Review: All Organics Lemongrass Facial Toner

 Ever since I started using organic soaps, I have been on the lookout for more organic products to try next. In fact, I have been trying various brands and variants of organic soaps left to right and realizing that there’s no harm in using such products, I decided to take another step further. I tried and am reviewing an organic toner this time.
All Organics Lemongrass Facial Toner is quite different from other commercially-available toners I have tried before. Apart from being organic, this is my first toner with an atomizer. LOL! But yes seriously, this one is indeed a breath of fresh air from the usual liquid and cotton partnership during application.

This toner comes in a green transparent bottle with labels printed on a sheet of paper and pasted on the body of the bottle. Actually, the general appearance of the bottle is nothing fancy. By simply looking at the bottle, one can easily determine that the product is made by small companies, not by skin care giants. The toner itself is cloudy white and must be shaken well before use.

I am using this toner twice a day (morning and night) and I am about to use up my first bottle. By the way, the 100 ml. bottle costs Php 155 and lasts for about two months when used twice daily. This toner is also sold in 200 ml refill bottle for Php 300.

Product Description:
  • Made of 100% natural ingredients, Lemongrass Facial Toner is made of pure plant waters from 4 skin-loving, skin-nurturing plants, that controls oil without leaving the skin dry. No alcohol, no water added, just pure plant extracts. The plant's high anti-bacterial properties help prevent pimples and aid in faster healing of outbreaks.
  • Store in the ref as a refreshing face cooler, use after washing to tone and refine skin texture.

What I like about this product:
Refreshing - one word that best describes the product. I love that fresh feeling I get each time I apply the toner on my face. Then once absorbed by the skin (which usually happens within seconds or a minute), it gives that semi-matte finish and makes the skin look supple. It is not drying nor cause stinging sensation during application. Although the first application feels weird because of the cooling/refreshing reaction, I eventually got used to it. The same goes for the smell. At first I thought it’s too overpowering for me and almost turn my back to it but as I continuously use it, I can no longer be bothered by the smell or that cooling reaction. Actually, toner time equals fun time for me right now.

Initially, I doubted this toner’s cleaning power but after using it, I realized that it cleans the skin like other drugstore toners, but in a more gentle way. No redness, stinging sensation or any harsh reaction during application. This toner is true to its claim that it “keeps pimples at bay”. When I started using this, a few pimples are feasting on my face but they gradually disappear as I use the product religiously. What is left from those pimples are very light scars that I hope will totally disappear someday soon. I cannot say that this toner lightens scars but it truly helps prevent pimples.

I love that this toner contains 100% natural ingredients therefore I can be at ease that I am not exposing my skin to various chemicals drugstore beauty products often contain.

Will all the benefits this toner offers, I am surely getting my money’s worth.

What I do not like about this product:
What is there not to like about this product? Oh yes! This one is not widely available in department stores or drugstores in Iloilo. All Organic products are only available online and a few resellers in the area. Lucky for me because I have a friend who is a reseller.

It is not evident that the product is effective in minimizing the size of my pores (no product can minimize the size of the pores, right?) but my blackheads have improved significantly.


  • Using this as stand-alone in caring for your skin may not garner same result. You have to use a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.
  • With regards to blackheads, I do not rely on this alone either. I steam my face and use pore strips to get maximum result.

Review: Nivea Visage Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Cleansing Foam

This facial wash has been staying in my review list for the longest time ever but as what I’ve said before, I’m quite busy with daughter duties and tons of Christmas activities that I rarely have time to sit down and gather my thoughts to write something. Besides, I seldom use this facial wash because I tested two organic soap variants I have not tried before so I sort of haven’t given this particular attention.

Anyway, I started paying close attention to this a few weeks ago and thankfully, I am motivated to write a review so here it is.

Nivea Visage Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Cleansing foam comes in a white plastic tube container with flip top cap. The tube doesn’t have any image except for the Nivea logo and the text colors are in pink, blue and mint green. The 50g tube costs Php 75 and the 100g tube is sold for Php 125.

Product Description:
 Nivea Visage Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Cleansing foam contains 2x smaller molecules of:
  •     Acne reduction technology cleans deeper into pores by effectively lifting dirt and oil which is the main cause of acne.
  •     Skin nutrient formula helps lighten acne marks and dark spots.

What I like about this product:
The smell of this facial wash is so light one can hardly notice it. Even those with allergies or sensitive to harsh scents may find this facial wash effective. Also, the viscosity of this pearly white cream is just right, not too sticky nor too watery either. A pea-sized amount of the cream should be enough for the face and neck but if you are like me who finds happiness in bubbles and creamy lathers, then you may want to add a little more.

This product gives me that squeaky-clean feeling after wash thus giving me the impression that it is really doing its job as promised. And indeed it is! It lessened my acne and helped improve the appearance of dark spots caused by acne. I really love how my skin feels each time I use this soap.

Most effective beauty products come with a prize but this one doesn’t. Considering how it affects my skin, I consider this facial wash on the affordable side.

What I do not like about this product:
Some stores in my area have limited supplies of this facial wash. Is it in danger of being discontinued? That I don’t know...

While it makes my skin clean, this facial wash can be drying sometimes - perhaps if I lathered too much and let it stay on my skin longer than a couple of minutes. But that is what facial moisturizers are for. :D

Will I repurchase?
Yes! This is one of the few facial washes that I find effective so I will surely buy again.


More products from Nivea:


Paradiso Inferno Blue from Benetton

Remember the Let’s Move, Let’s Love post I made last September? Well, I got an email a few weeks back that I am one of the first 20 bloggers to submit an entry. As such, I get to win this 50ml bottle of Benetton Paradiso Inferno Blue and the package arrived the other week.

But since the perfume is for men and I still prefer women’s perfume despite often called "one of the boys" by friends, I handed this out to my male cousin whom I know will love it. The scent is not too strong or overpowering for me but I think he will appreciate it more.

Though I won't be able to use the perfume, I am still thrilled that my blogging effort is rewarded. I would like to thank Benetton for this and of course NuffnangPh for organizing the contest.

Want to get the Paradiso Inferno Pink for Women?

Check out Benetton's website for more info...

The 12 Days of Christmas: What is it All About?

Christmas is just a few days away and with everyone busy with various Christmas activities, we tend to neglect some trivial matters pertaining to the celebration itself. Sadly, some of us even forget the true essence of Christmas which is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Christmas celebration wouldn't be complete without beautiful carols. Probably, most of us have been singing 12 Days of Christmas since we were little. But has it ever occurred to you to find out the meaning of the song? What partridge in a pear tree means or what is the relevance of nine ladies dancing to Christmas? Maybe some of you are are already aware of the song’s meaning but to those who aren’t, here it is.
There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled me. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

This week, I found out.

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed. 
 This was sent as an email and I’m not sure about the source. If you know the author, please leave a comment so that I can give proper credit.

Review: Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum

It’s been ages since the last time I publish a post and I admit I feel quite guilty about it. With so many things going on and with the fast-approaching Christmas, it’s a bit difficult to find time to take and edit product pictures for the blog, let alone write a review about a particular product. But guilt and lack of fulfillment creeping in, I somehow managed to gather all the strength (and motivation) to finally sit down and review this product that I have been using for one month.

I bought this Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum for Php 242.00, more expensive than the Human Heart Nature Sunflower beauty oil I used on my hair before this. The latter costs around Php 120 and has many uses thus marketed as miracle in a bottle. I have nothing but good words about the Sunflower oil but like many other girls out there, I sometimes crave for other brands or products in the hopes of finding the one that performs better than the one I am currently using.
Sorry for the crappy photo. I took this using my phone's camera.
As a whole, I cannot compare Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum to Human Heart Nature Sunflower beauty oil because they are entirely two different products. The former is geared towards hair care while the latter was created as an all around beauty oil so I am leaving Human Heart Nature Sunflower beauty oil out of this topic. :D

Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum comes in a clear bottle with pump. The bottle is sold in a clear plastic box which for me gives this product an edge in packaging as compared to other local products or similar valued products. The serum is very light yellow or gold in color but is hardly noticeable when you pump the serum into your palm. The concentration is just right - not too thin neither too thick that can make you feel like you are putting ordinary baby oil on your hair.

Product Description:


What I like about this product:
There are so many things I like about this product. First of course is the sleek packaging. Yes, I am a sucker for pretty packaging and it always makes me happy seeing a beauty product in an unusually cute and sleek container or tube. The packaging is sometimes what I need when deciding whether or not to buy the product. The bottle of this product looks like it is that of a perfume and won’t ruin the view when placed in a pretty dresser along with other expensive beauty products. Anyway, so much for the packaging... I will move on to the product itself. As what I have said, the serum has a tint of very light yellow or gold but I can no longer notice it when the serum is in the palm of my hand. With this, I never have to worry about white residue in my hair or forehead especially when the product is not spread evenly (shout out to hair cream!).

I expected this product to be thick and hard on the hair but fortunately, it isn’t. In fact, it glides in the hair without problems during application and gave me that light feeling I never felt before, when it comes to hair products that is. It helps tame and moisturize dry, frizzy hair without wearing it down. Bad hair day was my constant companion before but when I met this Dove Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Nutri-oil Serum, our relationship is on the rocks now and I am hoping to get rid of it soon. My hair has become easily manageable and no longer has a mind of its own nor flying in all direction because of this serum. I also love that it contains natural coconut and almond oils.

Two or three drops should be enough to a medium-length hair thus one bottle may last a couple of months or more, giving you your money’s worth. It is also available in most department stores nationwide so no need to worry if your supply runs low.

What I do not like about this product:
The only thing I do not like about this product is the smell. Though it is not that overwhelming, I am not a fan of it. I’d prefer an unscented one than this.

Will I repurchase?


Crochet: Granny Square Cellphone Pouch

Finally! This granny square project is already usable. It took me more than a couple of weeks to finish such a small project because I was busy with work, part time gig, blog and of course family and love life.

Apart from that, this is the most complicated design/project I have done so far because I haven’t had experience in joining granny squares. I initially wanted to just create four squares and join them together to create a cellphone pouch with string in which I can use when I go jogging. However, ideas arise along the way causing me to rip, crochet again, rip and so on until I end up with this. I also wanted to join the squares as I go but I find the method complicated so I decided to finish crocheting the squares and sew them instead, which I think the reason why this has become more complicated.

I wanted to create a sturdy strap but knowing that it’ll take more time to crochet one, I instead created a long chain of blue and white yarns and braided them loosely. Reliable strap in an instant! On the other hand, I wanted the button to be something cute but I don’t have the time to shop around so I settled for this black one I found in my mother’s stash.

Though it didn’t end up the way I wanted it to be, I’m quite happy with this project. I learned some techniques, which I can use on the next project I am eyeing - crocheted earrings. Watch out!


Review: All Organics Charcoal Bath Soap

Product Description:
Pollutants that constantly build up on our skin can clog pores, tamper with oil levels, and accelerate aging, so Milea harnessed the beauty benefits of charcoal to fight these toxins, producing a soap that cleanses, purifies and balances the skin. It contains Virgin Coconut Oil and activated charcoal from coconut shells. The oils nourish and moisturize, while the highly absorbent charcoal draws out impurities.

Milea's Organic Charcoal Soap also acts as a natural disinfectant, killing germs while it gently removes dirt and dead skin cells. It’s gentle enough to use every day and helps improve skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

If you’re still concerned about the fact that the soap is black, worry not. When applied to the skin, the soap is still black as it liquefies, but works into a creamy, luxurious lather that’s light gray—almost silver—and then rinses away totally, leaving your skin glowing. You can almost feel the impurities being lifted from your skin, while you soak up rich moisture in exchange. It’s the freshest clean you'll ever experience, and it lasts all day!

Photo courtesy of Milea

Usually, it took me around a month to determine whether or not a particular product is for keeps. However, this All Organics Charcoal bath soap is exempted. Not that I am paid to do instant review but because of how this soap works on my skin. I already noticed positive effects as early as one week, something which is not common among other skin care products I have tried before.

If you will just look at this soap, you might even hesitate using this because of its color which is black (it’s not called charcoal for no reason). But since using a black soap is not new to me (I used Cyleina Black Pearl soap for months), using this charcoal soap doesn’t feel at all. Same with other All Organics bath soap, this variant comes in rectangular bar of about half an inch thick. The regular size costs Php 70 but I only got the sampler size which costs Php 25 because the regular size is not available at the time of purchase.

The soap claims to fight toxins and cleanses, purifies and balances the skin. Additionally, it also acts as natural disinfectant and removes dirt and dead skin cells. Below is what I have to say...

Saponified Virgin Coconut Oil, Activated Charcoal, Vegetable Glycerine, Manila Elemi Oil

What I like about this product:
I like that I got this soap comes in sampler size. As what I am always saying, buying products you haven’t tried before in small or sampler size is a practical move since you are not sure yet if you will be using it up until the product runs out. It would be a waste to buy large bottles or bars only to find out after a few uses that the particular product does not suit your body’s needs. Though this sampler size is really, well small, I believe it will last for a couple of weeks when used in the face, neck and a few areas of the body only and when stored properly. Black as it is but it doesn’t have strong smell too. It has that typical organic soap smell but nothing I cannot tolerate. When lathered, you won’t even know that you are using a soap derived from charcoal properties.

Like other organic soap, this soap stings a bit especially when left in the face for a minute or so however, the sting also gives that something-is-sucked-off-of-my-pores feeling, which for me is an indication that the product is doing its job to improve the skin. I also love that squeaky-clean feeling I get right after I rinse thoroughly.

My love for this soap doesn’t just end there. Less than a week after my first use, the dark pimple scars in my face started to peel hence lightening the skin. I am seriously hoping that a few more weeks of regular use will eliminate all the pimple scars that have been bothering me for the longest time ever. Additionally, the appearance of blackheads started to improve as well. Those black annoying dots in my face are no longer as visible as before. Thanks to this soap and probably to the Lemongrass toner from the same company.

The soap can be drying to those with normal or combination skin but not to those with oily skin like me. It doesn’t cause tightness either. This is my HG organic soap right now!

What I do not like about this product:
The only thing I do not like about this product is its availability. I don’t think the malls in my area carry this brand nor the brand does have shops anywhere in Iloilo. I rely on online sellers for my consumption. Good thing a friend is a dealer.


Crochet: Granny Square Attempt

Our company declared November 1 as holiday in celebration of All Saint’s Day hence the time for me to do the things I really love - sleeping, lazing around, eating and crochet. However, I complied my responsibilities with my dearly departed and helped in the kitchen thus I only have little time to tinker on my crochet hook and thread to practice my “skill”.
After like a couple of hours of crocheting and ripping, I came up with these two designs. Nothing much I know but I’m glad that I already have an idea how to turn a round motif into a not-so-perfect square. I’m planning to create a new phone pouch for me using four or more squares joined together.

Potential Treasures (October)

It’s been so long since the last time I posted something on my "potential treasures" category and I actually miss doing that. Not just posting about my new finds but the actual use of such products. Unfortunately, I decided to stop trying one beauty product from another every couple of weeks because my skin is not too happy about it for it caused more than the usual breakout - me no happy!

Apparently, the series of breakouts prompted me to try these products.
Sorry for the low-quality photo. Taken using my phone's camera.
  1. All Organics Lemongrass Facial Toner
    It claims to keep pimple causing bacteria at bay, improve appearance of pores and freshen the skin. I have been using this toner for less than a month but nothing significant happened so far. I will review this after using for a month.

  2. All Organics Charcoal Bath Soap
    I have tried using Pond’s Charcoal Facial wash but I didn’t see any improvement so I stopped spending for nothing. I decided to take another attempt at charcoal-made beauty products with this soap and I am seriously hoping that I’ll get desirable result else I will never again be swayed by this charcoal hype.

  3. All Organics Tea Tree Aloe Vera Bath Soap
    I have been reading good things about tea on skin and yes, at some point, I even consider making my own tea toner out of store-bought teas. But due to hygienic woes (and laziness), the plan didn’t materialize. I got this soap instead. I can’t wait to use this and share to my readers how this soap fares.

Crochet: Pouch with Flap and Strap

Finally! The first ever decent project I created since the first time I learned basic crochet. This is supposed to be a cellular phone case for my 10-year old niece but I underestimated the size thus resulted to this bigger pouch. :D

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to list down the pattern (as if I know how) and it is surely difficult for me to recall all those stitch count and such. I will try to do so next time to give justice to the empty notebook I bought intended for new and potential projects.

Review: Crocs Women’s Mccall Ballet Flat

I was looking for a comfortable travel shoes or slippers for our trip to Davao when I learned about the Crocs Supersale the Provincial Tour in Iloilo. So instead of buying that Ipanema slippers I have been eyeing to buy (but hesitant in doing so because “someone” is criticizing me for wanting to buy that slippers worth around Php 1000), I waited for the sale.

When I entered the venue during the inclusive days of sale, I was greeted by boxes and boxes of Crocs footwear in various models, colors and sizes. The cheapest ones, unfortunately, either have ran out or don’t have my size. Also, the mary jane types are really pretty and fit my feet snuggly but they only have small discount and goes beyond my budget so I chose a different design. I got this Mccall Ballet flats instead. Regular price of this one is Php 1550 but got this on sale for Php 750, 50% off the price.
I road-tested this in Davao, among slippery, grassy or muddy hiking trails, hotel floors, in the park and streets of Davao, along the seashore and of course in the carpeted airport lobby and naturally inside the airplane.

Product Description:
The Crocs Mccall shoes feature a man-made upper with a round toe. The man-made outsole lends lasting traction and wear.

Amazon Description:
Love your Crocs clogs for fun and comfort, but looking for something a bit more fashionable and feminine? Crafted from the same soft and lightweight foam rubber, this slim little ballet flat features an airy and foot-flattering low-cut vamp and bumpy footbed designed to cushion and massage your feet. Wear with jeans, capris, cropped pants, and casual skirts and dresses.

What I like about Mccall Ballet flat:
This one is very lightweight thus making me feel like I am walking in the air. I kid! :D But seriously, it is so light that you won’t feel like you are wearing a pair of shoes. It has two small holes on both side and two stylish ones in the toes area therefore allowing the feet to breathe. This may be flat but it doesn’t give you that really “flat” feeling must flat ballet shoes do probably because of the “bumpy footbed designed to cushion and massage your feet”. As what I’ve said, I wore this when we went hiking and the shoes never failed me even in slippery areas of the trail. The outsole hold on to the surface securely hence I was able to enjoy the sceneries and other activities rather than focus on my steps to keep me from falling or slipping.

I got the one in cranberry shade but it isn’t difficult to wear at all. I don’t only wear this together with a coordinated-colored dress or top or bag. I wear this with ANY color I feel like wearing. Thanks to today’s fashion! And as what Amazon said, “Wear with jeans, capris, cropped pants, and casual skirts and dresses.” True! I have worn these babies with jeans, capris, short shorts, casual skirts and dresses and even swimming attire. This is my go-to casual shoes right now (probably until the Crocs Sexi Strappy sandals arrive early November).

Another thing that makes this pair really special is I can wear it both during summer and rainy days. It’s really easy to clean too!

What I dislike about Mccall Ballet flat:
When worn without socks, my feet gets a bit sweaty but it’s not something I cannot tolerate. Haven’t used this while wearing foot socks though.

Prolong use made my feet a bit painful but I believe it is because I got a smaller size. I’m a size 8 but I got the size 7 so I have a feeling that the discomfort is caused by wrong size. When I bought it, size 7 seems snug enough that I didn’t bother to try the size 8. And besides, I cannot remember seeing size 8 during the sale.


using the camera's vivid setting

A Photo A Week: Rediscovering Crochet

I started learning how to crochet during my early grade school days, when my older cousins are struggling (with my mother’s help) to finish their projects in Home Economics. Back then, I created a couple of “an ok quality” projects without proper training. I didn’t know various types of crochet or whatsoever and I am only armed with chain stitch and yarn over skill.

As I get older, become busy with school and trends changing (we were taught cross stitch instead of crochet in school), this beautiful hobby has started to take a back seat. The crochet is often forgotten and if I remember to start a project, a rarely finish time due to lack of time, determination and formal knowledge on various stitches and how to understand patterns.

Fast forward to more than a decade, I am back to this hobby. I think this is what boredom does! I am on the same work routine for five years and the same tasks, schedule and work place has taken a toll on my sanity. I have been looking for something different, fun, and colorful yet something I can do without hurting my bank account. And this is what I came up with! This activity motivates my sleeping brain to come up with beautiful stitch and color combination. Like before, I still don’t know how to read patterns and I only create a project inspired by another project but I am working on that. I downloaded loads of eBooks, watched some videos and even asked my mother’s advice from time to time. I am also inspired to pursue the activity because I found so many bloggers who are also crochet enthusiasts and I drool seeing their works.
My first finished project as an adult is this ivory and moss green cell phone case. I am not too thrilled with the color combination but these are the only colors I have at home when the urge to crochet kicked in. I finished the project in one day (approximately less than five hours if I worked on it nonstop). I originally planned to add a flap but I was so excited to see the finished product hence ditched the plan. I know it isn’t spectacular but my mother said that it’s ok for a beginner. :D

The other day, I bought one spool of Canon’s mercerized cotton yarn in dark pink and started working on my niece’s cell phone case. I aim to finish the project before weekend so that I can give it to her when she comes over. While doing this project, my mind is continuously thinking of a hundred ideas for my next project so expect more crochet posts from now on.

Eden Nature Park: The Log Cabin

After scouring the crocodile farm, enjoyed the Zorb and filled our tummies with sumptuous dishes, we headed to Eden Nature Park, a mountain resort located in Mount Talomo, Toril Davao City. Eden Nature Park is not just an ordinary mountain resort wherein all amenities such as pool, rooms, restaurant and others are cramped in one area alone. Mountain resort here means huge mountain with amenities scattered in various parts of the mountain. The restaurant is located more than a hundred meters away from the main gate, the front desk is a few hundred meters away from the restaurant and the log cabin, in which we will be staying for the night, is located probably a kilometer farther thus we need a shuttle service when transporting from our cabin to the restaurant and other parts of the resort.
View from the road (photo credit: mawe)
Side portion of the cabin (photo credit: mawe)
It’s called log cabin because the outer wall is made of log cut into half. The inner wall is thick and smooth concrete-looking plywood. It has a living room with television and kitchen equipped with refrigerator, stove, rice cooker, oven and kitchen utensils. The cabin has four rooms with three beds. There are two toilet and baths, with each t & b adjoining the two rooms. Neither the room nor any of the four rooms is air conditioned, only electric fans. But then, who needs air condition or even electric fan when the room temperature is very cold. Thankfully, the shower has hot and cold adjustment else you will find yourself shivering due to cold weather and cold water.
Front portion of the cabin (photo credit: mawe)
Living room and kitchen (photo credit: mawe)
At first, I was kinda hesitant to stay in this cabin because there are no other accommodations or amenities around us. Although it is located along the road where the resort shuttle passes by, the cabin is surrounded with trees and the peaceful ambiance makes it all the creepier. But being the safety-freak that I am, I asked the shuttle driver if there is a house nearby. Good thing there is a guard house just a few meters away from our cabin. Additionally, there are also guards patrolling 24/7 thus making me feel at ease.
The fireplace (left side) and front door (right side) (photo credit: mawe)
Cellular phone signal is poor in this area therefore giving us time to relax, enjoy the beauty of nature and spend quality time together. The cabin is ideal for 12 persons but I think it can accommodate up to 15 persons. Charge is Php 7980/night with free use of all the appliances inside the cabin.

A Photo A Week: Crocodile Meat

It isn’t my first time to visit Davao nor my first time to explore Davao Crocodile Park. However, it’s my first time to eat crocodile meat. While anything made of crocodile skin - bags, belts and wallets are to die for, this one is not. I can spend the rest of my life without ever eating it again.
Yes, it doesn’t taste that bad nor has that foul odor or whatsoever but it does taste like burnt meat - a major turnoff for me. I’m not sure if it is due to the way it is cooked or what but I’m sure I won’t be craving for it. The creamy sauce tastes good though.

Davao Trip: The Zorb Experience

When I went to Davao for the first time last 2010, I knew back then that I will be coming back to this amazing city surrounded by mountains. Last week, I returned there along with my friends and boyfriend. We went to the same attractions I visited before but added a few new activities - one of the activities is the Zorb ride.

The ride is actually called zorv by the management but I prefer calling it Zorb because it sounds so right (and zorv seems so wrong). Zorb is located in Davao Crocodile Park Complex, a developed village that also houses the Tribu K’Mindanawan Cultural village, Butterfly Garden, the Crocodile Park itself, walk in the water (water ball) and other activities.
Getting ready... (photo credit: mark)
To enjoy the Zorb, two persons are strapped inside the inner wall of the giant plastic ball. They should be strapped in the opposing sides to balance the weight and make the ball roll easily. Once everything is strapped securely, the giant ball is pushed into the slope with railings. The railings serve to prevent the ball from rolling out of the track. Once the ball reaches the flat surface and slows down, that’s the time for riders to go out of the ball.
Keep rolling, rolling, rolling... (photo credit: mark)
I rode the giant ball with my boyfriend. Lucky for me because I was strapped with my back turned away from the slope, in other words, my feet goes up first each time the ball rolls. My bf on the other hand is facing the slope, thus he is doing a dive each time the ball rolls. That is kinda scary for me!

I know the track is short and only took less than a minute before it reaches the ground but when I was inside, I feel like it takes forever for the ball to stop rolling and moving. Also, the track is straight but I have the feeling that the ball is turning into a curve and fear that it went out of track and will end us up in the nearby road or in the area with tall grasses. LOL!
The Gang!
I wasn’t able to contain myself while inside the ball. I keep on shouting and shouting while silently praying that we will reach the end safely. When the ball stopped with the help of the man-in-charge, I can barely move because of mixed emotions - excitement, fear and what not, hence my boyfriend unstrapped and helped me get out of the ball. Funny because while getting out and even when I’m already out, I couldn’t stop shouting. The adrenaline rush is making me really crazy!

If you are claustrophobic or have weak heart, then this may not be for you. I think kids under 12 years old are prohibited from riding. Cellular phones, camera, jewelry and even shoes are not allowed inside too. Each ride costs Php 200 (plus free walk in the water admission).

Posts about my first time in Davao:

Davao Trip Day 1 - Davao Crocodile Park Complex
Davao Trip Day 1 - Davao People's Park 
Davao Trip Day 2 - Eden Nature Park
Davao Trip Day 3 - Farewell, Davao

Travel Essentials for Frugal Travelers

Traveling, for me, is one way of rewarding myself for every hard day at work. I am my happiest when I am in a new place. I do not only get to see new places and learn different culture or way of life but the experience I gained when traveling is always added into my memory vault.

While traveling is supposed to be fun and exciting, we cannot deny the fact that there are some issues that could pop up along the way. For us girls, one common issue on the list is the baggage. For girls like me who have been told many times that I carry my closet (sometimes my room) when traveling, this can be a real challenge. Oftentimes, I get so stressed a few days prior the trip because of thoughts on what to bring, what to left behind, how many pieces of this and that to bring and so on. Having a mom that is acting as a reminder of everything I might need on the trip isn’t helping with my baggage woes at all.

But traveling on a budget has gradually taught me how to pack light and bring only the things that I will surely need and use. To minimize baggage costs and avoid muscle pain caused by carrying heavy bags, here are some tips you may want to consider:
  • Bring toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc) in small bottles
    Bringing shampoos and conditioners in sachet can indeed save luggage space but what are you going to do if you can’t use the entire content of one sachet? Throw or leave them behind? Not for the frugal one. Bringing the left over, on the other hand, can be messy. So instead of sachets, I recommend using small bottles. Most shampoos, conditioners and lotions are available in small bottles or containers. You do not need to buy such items each time you travel. Buy once and refill the bottles instead of throwing them away when the content ran out.

  • Consider the destination and activities when deciding what clothes and shoes to bring
    When your travel activities include zip line rides, diving, snorkeling, hiking and the likes, then sky-high stilettos and makeup train case are not really necessary. If you are to spend a week in an island, then load up on swimsuits, sun dresses and similar however if you intend to party at night or jog in the beach, then toss a few items for that activities in your luggage. Having a piece of clothing or accessory with multiple uses or can be easily paired with other items is a plus too.

  • Bring comfortable shoes
    Traveling usually calls for walking... walking and walking. Thus snugly-fit, comfortable and durable pair of shoes is really necessary.

  • Medicine, vitamins and other supplements
    Getting sick when you are away from home is worse and worst if you haven’t brought any medicine to make you feel better. Stomach upsets and dizziness are common health issues when traveling so better bring medicines to combat those. Anti-allergy medicines should not be taken for granted if you are prone to getting allergies. Understand that when you travel, each day is always loaded with activities and you might not be getting enough sleep and rest. Taking vitamins and other supplements in addition to eating right can give you more energy to do more.

While enjoying wherever part of the world you are, safety is of course, still the number one priority. Keep an eye on your valuables and also to those who are after your valuables. Make sure to lock the room or rented house before leaving. Also if you are the one driving, follow traffic rules and drive responsibly to avoid any untoward incidents.

Do you love traveling? Feel free to share your travel essentials and tips in the comment section below...

A Day at Crocs Supersale the Provincial Tour in Iloilo

I’m not sure if this has been happening in the city for years but it’s the first time I learned about this crocs provincial tour. I admit I got so excited when I saw the ad hence I wished that it will happen the next day after I learned about it. Sadly, I have to wait for a week...

My much-anticipated day came yesterday. I arrived at La Tolda in Plazuela (the venue) at around 11 am and managed to get in after 10 - 15 minutes of falling in line outside the tent. Entrance fee is free for Citibank cardholders and those who are wearing Crocs. Non-cardholders on the other hand need to pay Php 20. When I get in, there were already a lot of people rummaging through the large boxes filled with crocs footwear. The products are segregated into kids, womens, mens and unisex. There were areas for bags and a different brand of flats as well.

Newer models are not available for sale but the older ones are also nice so all is good. I got this McCall Ballet flat in cranberry, originally priced Php 1550, for Php 775 only. It is also available for sale in purple.
Crocs Women's Mccall Ballet Flat (will review soon)
Other models on sale are of course the humongous clogs, Olivia Slingback, Lady Flat, Malindi Flat sling back, Crocstone Skylar Flat, Patricia, high-heeled maryjane type and slip ons. Too bad the Olivia Slingback in New Gold, which is on sale for less than Php 500 has run out of larger sizes. The biggest is size 4, just half of my shoe size.

Re-entry (for free) is not allowed so better make up your mind before paying because the payment counters lead to exit door. There were five counters and it only took me like 15 - 20 minutes of standing in line.

If you are a Crocs lover and want to hoard a few pairs without doing a major damage on your pocket, watch out for events like this. In the country’s capital, the discount can be as huge as 90% so it’s really worth the time and effort. I suggest bringing an umbrella in case you need to fall in line under the sun, fan (for obvious reasons) and a bottle of water. Also, make sure that your stomach is full before getting inside the venue because food is not allowed.

Retirement Preparedness

Who in the hell would sign a retirement plan at age 21? Fresh from college, enthusiastic about life and have been working at my first ever job for only four months, I signed a retirement plan payable within five years. I’m really not sure what I was thinking at the time but somehow, my instinct is telling me to go for it.

As the days go by, I sometimes feel doubtful about my capacity to pay. What if I lose my job? Where will I get the money to pay for my dues? But thankfully, that didn’t happen. I think this insurance plan has become one of my inspirations for working so hard. And third quarter this year, I paid my last insurance bill. Whew! I don’t want to brag about it but I am just so relieved and glad not only because I can scrape off one item from my monthly budget but also because, I now have something to look forward to in growing old. :))

I am glad that I made the right decision of having this retirement plan because I NEVER want to work until I die or until beyond the age of 65 (provided the world will not end this year). I just want to relax, travel and enjoy my remaining years with my loved ones and that can be achieved only if I’m financially stable. Also, I wouldn’t want to burden my future children into spending for me and deprive myself of medical attention when the need arise someday.

Someone told me that retirement plan is a dead investment because I will not be able to use my money but sadly, that person does not know that the money I invested earns interest too. I can withdraw the interest anytime or leave it there to grow.

So you want a meaningful golden years, start investing now...

There are so many insurance companies available so scout around to find the most reliable ones. Their agents are more than willing to help and guide you determine what suits you best. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to ask questions because that is one way of ensuring that your money is safe and protected.

From Looklet to Glamstorm

Have you read my post about Looklet? Well, someone from Glamstorm, a virtual stylist like Looklet, did. The site recently launched and they are encouraging people, especially those who love fashion to fuel their love for it through the site.
The models!
I joined the site a few days ago but I haven’t explored the features fully because it takes time to load the pages probably because of my internet connection (with a site that is filled with graphics like this, it surely needs super fast internet). As far as what I’ve seen, the apparel as well as models don’t look as realistic as the ones from Looklet but I’m really looking forward for this site to improve. After all, they’re still in beta.

Hopefully I’ll be able to create a look within this week.

Crocs Supersale the Provincial Tour in Iloilo

photo credit: Crocs Ph
Let's go Ilonggos! :)

Crocs Super Sale Provincial Tour – Iloilo

September 28 - 30, 2012
10am – 7pm

La Tolda, Plazuela de Iloilo
Benigno Aquino Ave., Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Let’s Move & Let’s Love

Love is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is another story. Both parties need to do their part in order to make the relationship work and prevent love from jumping out of the window. Each one needs to make an effort to show how s/he really feels towards the other.
Double-sided heart origami love letter I gave him.
Buying material gifts or saying "I love you" every day are not enough to show love and devotion to a person. Love is best shown through actions thus my relationship mantra "action speaks louder than words". With this, I commit to do gestures of love rather than give empty promises and speak about it then do nothing. This commitment means I have to show up at the important events in his life, consider his situation and broaden my mind as to how my decisions will affect him and our relationship and just be there when he needed me the most. This commitment also involves gestures as simple as sending him homemade sandwiches and other goodies, leaving him little notes of encouragement, accompanying him to the movies or concerts even if the genre is not my cup of tea and even as simple as saying a little prayer for him the moment I open my eyes and before I doze off at night.

So yes, I commit to loving my partner in thoughts, words and deeds - commitment which I think is the foundation of a strong relationship.