feminine form of "fifteen-year-old"

"The celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America."

Quinceañera is from a Latin American Culture and is also similar to Sweet Sixteenth Birthday Parties. They believe that girl’s maturity hits at the age of fifteen, as it marks transition from childhood to young womanhood. It became a tradition to every Latina around the world.

For a girl who will celebrate her Quinceañera, her dress or gown is very important because it signifies the first dress for the young woman. Traditionally, girl’s wear ball gowns with pastel colors. Pink and White are the usual colors of the gown.

If you will be celebrating your Quinceañera soon, you are definitely excited to pick your dress up for your party. It’s quite hard because there’s a lot of dresses to choose from and of course you wanted to have the perfect dress that will make you look like a gorgeous princess. Worry no more because www.dresshop.com.au offers a lot of affordable Quinceañera Dresses that is designed to give you a perfect look.

Let’s take a look at their gallery:

Deodorant Antibacterial Insoles from Saizen Daiso

Last week, the guy and I dropped to Saizen Daiso Robinsons Iloilo to find some Japanese treats to eat but as usual, we came out of the store carrying more than we intended to buy since all items are sold for Php 88 only.

We got packs of mixed dried fruits, a pack of 8-piece soft cloth (we place it over our mouse pads for extra comfort), a pair of bedroom slippers and foot cushion which I will be talking about in this post.

First Zalora Purchase

A few months back, I collaborated with Zalora on a certain blog post and in return, they give me a one-time 30% discount coupon. From then on I would check their website from time to time hoping to find something I like but I didn’t find anything. I have been thinking of giving away my coupon code to anyone who is interested just so I can make use of something I worked for. Fortunately for me, I forgot about it until I found this cute blouse I have been looking for.

I’ve been scouring the malls in my area for weeks already to find a similar top or dress like this but to my disappointment, there is nothing I can find that would suit my preference and budget. I am just so glad that I found this! Additionally, I can finally use the discount coupon I have been itching to use for months.
The Mee In Charlie Top in Standout Black

Earning From Your Blog Through Viral Planet

One reason why I want to keep this site updated is building passive income although I admit my blog is not earning as much as others. But that doesn’t stop me from blogging because I love what I do. So you see, when you blog, you also have to be passionate about it to help you keep going.

Last June, I got an email inviting me to join Viral Planet, a blog advertising service similar to Google Adsense. Interested parties will have to options when registering; publisher and advertiser. When you want to advertise your business, obviously you have to sign up as advertiser however if you own a blog and you want to earn from it, you have to sign up as publisher.

Naturally I signed up as publisher since I have to business to advertise and that is what I am invited for. Unlike Google Adsense in which you have to ad banners to your site, Viral Planet only requires publishers to add a small code in the homepage. I love this style as I never have to worry about the banner’s placement, design and if it looks good when added to your site. You just have to install that small code and everything else will follow. Actually it is so simple that I forgot about it until I got an email that they are sending me 7 GBP for my October earning. Not convinced (considering the rampant fraud email), I checked my Viral Planet account as well as my Paypal account. To my surprise, the money is indeed there!

When Beauty Products Aren’t Enough

If you follow my posts, you will know that I have been suffering from acne (too much of it) since the middle of October. I tried various beauty products but the improvement is minimal to nothing. I think that was the worst days of my year. My self-confidence dropped to -100 and I sometimes no longer want to go out of the house and meet other people because of my horrible face. It was so disappointing that I decided to seek medical attention to treat my acne-infested face.

I went to Dr. Carmela Wendy Uy since she is one of the dermatologists accredited by our HMO. Based on her acne grading system (I forgot the name), mine is on grade two only but for me, I think it’s on grade four or five. I don’t dare argue with her though since of course she is doctor and she knows better. :D

She prescribed three topical medications, one soap and 14 doxycycline to be taken once every night. The soap is called Hydra Pine tar Exfoliating Soap  and must be used to wash my face twice every day, morning and night. After washing with soap, I must apply Clindamycin liquid to my dry face and followed by acne lotion in the morning or retinoic acid lotion at night.

SM Thanksgiving Day Sale Find

A close friend’s wedding is fast approaching and being one of the bridesmaids, I have no choice but to buy a new pair of shoes I can wear with my purple mini gown. :D

I have been eyeing the bluish gray suede pumps from Rusty Lopez so during SM’s Thanksgiving Day Sale, I head out to SM Delgado to purchase the shoes and avail the 10% discount offered to those who are SMAC holders. While looking around, I found another gray suede pumps from Chelsea and it is already on sale (apart from 10% less from SMAC). The frugal chic that I am weighed things over and since I won’t be wearing the shoes as often as I wear my Crocs sandals, I decided to go for the cheaper one.

Black and White Outfit Inspiration

Black and white is the theme for our Company Christmas Party this year and since we  rarely “dress to kill” in the office (hurray for not so strict dress code), the December’s party is something I always look forward to. During the planning, their were three choices but due to black and white’s simplicity, it garnered the highest vote.

As usual, I want to go for simple outfit. I’ve been thinking about wearing a bodycon dress and in fact, I already have one in which the upper portion is plain black and the bottom is printed. However, what I want is a plain black dress with three fourth or long sleeves and cutouts like the ones below.

black bodycon

Unfortunately, I can’t find something similar in the shops here in the city and I am hesitant to buy online as I want to try the dress first before buying. Not that I don’t buy clothes online but with a bodycon, I just want to make sure that it fits me perfectly so that I will never look frumpy or uncomfortable.

I am also thinking of DIY-ing the black long sleeve turtleneck top I used during our company Halloween Party. I want to get rid of the turtle neck and make the back portion look something like below.

black crop top

I originally wanted to pair it with a black bodycon skirt but I bought a white polka dots skirt a few days ago so I might be using that skirt and go for vintage look instead.

Wedding Blog

Finally! After months of confusions and being apprehensive about this, I decided to move forward by purchasing a domain for my dream blog - Iloilo Wedding Network. With this blog, I hope to help future brides and grooms organize and plan their wedding should they decide to exchange vows in the city nicknamed “The City of Love”.

The template and other stuff to make it aesthetically pleasing are on the works so expect more changes every now and then. With regards to posting, my goal is to publish one post every week starting this month and gradually increase as we go along. If only I can swallow sleep supplements (so that I will just work and work instead of sleep) to reach my goals…

I have lots of plans for this new blog and hopefully I can implement them sooner.

Anyway, I am happy that I finally got the domain that has been on my godaddy shopping cart for months. And I am happier because I got it for Php 95 (around $ 2) only. The cheap purchase is made possible with the help of discount coupon I got from fatwallet.com. *happy dance* You can also get discount by using the promo code WOW321abc.

If there is any particular topic you want me to feature on my new blog, please feel free to comment below. Thank you!

Review: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

My recent and ongoing battle against pimples exhausted my concealer thus necessitates for the procurement of a new one which can help me hide such hideous little devils. :D After seeing this from a friend’s stock of items for sale, I decided to get this product though I have not read any product review. It wasn’t love at first sight; it was urgency and maybe desperation. :D

I have been using this product for more than two months already so I think it is about time that I make a blog post about it.

Product Description:

Help Build a Boat, Help Rebuild Lives

The world has seen how Yolanda (International name Haiyan) ravaged the Philippines. Its fury killed thousands, rendered hundreds of thousands people homeless, many are still missing and livelihood destroyed.

While foods, medicines and other basic needs have been pouring from various parts of the world, it is obvious that they cannot go on like this forever. Supplying them with relief goods for many more months to come is not feasible. Next to relief, the best thing we can do is to help them rebuild their lives. As what the Chinese proverb says, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". Fortunately, we do not need to teach most of the victims how to fish as fishing has been their primary source of living. They just need a boat they can use to fish.

With this, the organization which my friends put up years ago plan to help the victims get back on their feet by providing them with boats they can use to earn a living to feed their family and send the kids to school. Since Southern and Central part of Iloilo were spared, our main recipients are people from the Northern part of Iloilo particularly the small islands in the town of Concepcion.

For details, you can check out iririmaw.org or you can also contact me through this blog or email at cescilay@gmail.com to facilitate your donation. You will also be updated as to where your donation goes.

With our help, the victims can get back on their feet with dignity and be able to provide their children with bright future.

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

It’s been months since the last time I publish a post about lipstick… oh well, that was also the last time I bought a new one. I avoided buying makeup particularly lipstick for a few months since I want to use all that I’ve got before buying for more but I just can’t resist this one. It seems like I am on a quest for a red lipstick forever and seeing this made me purchase right there and then. I got this lipstick from my friend who sells authentic US brands cosmetics so I am confident of its authenticity.

Will this reign my humble makeup stash? We’ll find out…

[Update 10/04/14]: I added two shades to my collection, rendezvous and honey. 

Product Description:
It’s a pampering balm fused with a lightweight lipstain in an adorable chubby crayon. Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain gives softer, smoother lips with a perfect flush of color that lasts hour after hour. The gel formula comes in 12 vibrant shades that match any look or mood. 


Packaging and Appeal. Instead of the typical lipstick tube/barrel, this product comes in retractable tube with chubby crayon appearance. Sharpener is not required though. I love that the body of the packaging is designed depending on the color of the lipstick. With this, storing and using this at a later time is easier. You never have to check the bottom of the tube to find out the color.


Review: St. Ives Skin Renewing Body Lotion

This should have been posted before we left for Palawan but I wasn’t able to finish the review so I decided to post it now instead.

While out to buy a bottle of Jergens lotion, the display of St. Ives lotions caught my attention once again. So instead of buying what I initially planned to buy, I decided to go for this product this time. If you are regular reader of my blog, you might have read my review of another variant, the

Is this variant any better than the other? Find out...

Product Description:


Packaging and Appeal. The packaging of this variant is the same as others, rectangular white plastic bottle with slim pump. The label is nothing too fancy either.

The product itself is a typical lotion with just right consistency. It is not as thin or watery as Nivea Milk or as thick as Nivea Creme hence application is a breeze. You never have to rub it to your skin vigorously to even out the application.

Puerto Princesa Restos: Noki Nocs, Kalui, Penao and Hapchan

Hurray for my last post about my recent trip to Puerto Princesa Palawan. This time, I will be talking about the restaurants we have eaten into. Unfortunately, we were able to experience eating at four restaurants only due to time constraints and at other times our meals are included in the tour package.

On our first day, we ate at Noki Nocs. It is located in a corner near the Palawan Provincial Capitol. Actually, we didn’t have plans to eat here nor have I heard about this eatery before but since it is the only restaurant conducive for us at that moment, we decided to go for it. Noki Nocs Savory House is not a fancy restaurant that is considered a must for tourists to visit but it’s good enough to satisfy a hungry tourist’s tummy after exploring the city the whole morning. Prices of set meals (with unlimited rice, one main dish and one side dish) are a little over php 100. This is also where ate the highly recommended Chao Long (beef stew with rice noodles).

On our second day, we availed the packaged Underground River tour and included in the package are van and boat transfers as well as buffet meal at Penao Restaurant. The restaurant is nothing fancy and is in fact very crowded since almost all tourists who will be going to Underground River eat there. The food is so so but then, the quantity can make up for the quality since it is buffet. :D

One restaurant in Puerto Princesa I do not want to miss is Kalui. I have read so many good reviews about it so I really want to know what the hype is about. After our hearty meal in such stylish restaurant, I just have to say that it indeed live up to its reputation. The ambiance is a combination of everything; romantic, homey, classy and artistic. Upon entrance and before you are hosted to your table, you will be asked to take off your shoes and leave them in the area designated for customer footwear. Don’t worry about walking barefoot around the restaurant; the floor is clean… squeaky clean! I think every angle is picturesque including the restroom. :D The foods are amazing! I particularly love the tuna steak as well as sinigang ni kaka (fish and shrimp sinigang with coconut water). The restaurant may be a bit on the pricey side but you will surely get what you are paying for, you will never regret it.

Where to Stay in Puerto Princesa: Audissie Pension

One of the things I like most about Puerto Princesa City is that you will never run out of places to stay for a night even if you are on a budget. There are hotels, pension houses or inns in almost all streets. There’s a place for everyone depending on their preferences and needs.

During our 4 day/3 night vacation in Palawan, we stayed at Audissie Pension along Malvar Street. There are many reasons why I went for this pension house over the others. One is the location. Audissie Pension is just walking distance away from Baywalk, Cathedral and Plaza Cuartel. We even walked from here up to Palawan Museum and Provincial Capitol. It is highly accessible too! Second reason is the price. For us who will be staying in the pension house only to sleep, take bath and to have a place where we can leave our belongings, booking with expensive hotels seems unreasonable. Besides, we are not high-maintenance people so this budget pension house is fine. Third, they offer free airport and hotel transfer.
The green curtain I am referring to. (Photo credit)
For me it is also a great factor that the staff, particularly Kiko, is quick to reply to my email queries. His detailed information and friendly-approach is amazing. He even gives his opinion to what he think is best for you. Other staffs are equally friendly. One time, I forgot the key inside the room but nobody got mad at me. :D They comply with requests without smirking or any other unfriendly body gesture.

DIY Honda Bay Tour

Are you sick of my Puerto Princesa posts? Sorry but your misery doesn’t end here as I still have a couple of Puerto Princesa posts after this. Our third day was dedicated to Honda Bay tour and I’m proud to say that the tour ended without a glitch though we did it on our own. Thanks to so many bloggers whose blogs gave important information and tips on how to DIY this tour. With this, it is just right that I return the favor and share what I experienced during our Honda Bay tour.

On our city tour during our first day, the pension house staff referred a Tourism-accredited tricycle to us. He is the same tricycle driver I asked to take us to Lourdes Wharf and back to the city in the afternoon. We wanted to leave the city as early as 7:00 am but the driver suggested that we’ll do fine even if we leave at 9:00 am since the wharf opens at 8:30 - 9:00.  But being such a worry-freak, I told him that we go at 8:30 to lessen the risk of issues concerning motor boats, permits and others.

Travel time from the city to Lourdes Wharf is around 25 - 30 minutes and when we get there, the wharf is indeed open and the lady manning the desk is entertaining Korean tourists. After finalizing the arrangement for them, she turned to us and discussed about the tour, boat rentals, islands to visit and others. We initially asked for a smaller boat since there are only four of us in the group but unfortunately, all smaller boats have been rented out to other tourists who arrived earlier than us. So the boat given to us is a bigger one and can carry 20 passengers. Rent is Php 1500 only for the whole tour which comprises four islands.

Immediately after paying the boat rental and environmental fee, we were then directed to our boat for the day and depart for island hopping. Our deal was to stop at two islands and pass by two other islands of our choice. First on the route is Cowrie Island but we decided to just pass by it since we are really aiming for Pandan Island wherein we can order food for lunch.

Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

My Puerto Princesa post is far from over yet. In addition to this, I still have a couple or so posts about our recent Puerto Princesa trip. This time I will be talking about our tour of the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, the longest navigable underground river in the world.

Based on my extensive research aka blog-hopping, permit from the local government is necessary for one to be allowed to enter the cave and that arrangement must be done weeks before the scheduled trip. Additionally, I also know people who weren’t able to experience the tour because of permit issues so the worry-freak me booked the tour five months before our schedule. :D This is the only tour I am too scared to DIY because I do not want to miss the opportunity of getting inside the cave so I availed the package tour offered by the pension house.
Cave entrance
The package which costs Php 1500 per head includes van transfer from the hotel to Sabang Wharf and from wharf back to hotel, boat transfers and lunch. Environmental fee of php 40 is shouldered by the guest.

The night before the tour, the front desk informed us of the time the van will pick us up and surprisingly, the van picked us a few minutes before the said time. *clap hands* We then proceeded to pick up other tourists who are staying in other hotels/pension houses. There were 14 of us in the van including 1 driver and one tour guide. As we travel the winding road towards Sabang Wharf, the tour guide is busy doing her job giving us information about the Underground River, the animals found there and many other things about Puerto Princesa and Palawan in general.

Drop off point from Sabang Wharf

October Finds

Whew! Seems like it was only yesterday when I said “let’s go October!” and now the month is about to end. Such a busy month for me. It was so hard juggling time among family, friends, boyfriend, my 9-6 work, my part time gigs and teaching a newbie about various online jobs. Additionally, I went on a 4d/3n vacation in Palawan wherein I am the sole organizer, helped my co-workers with our decorate your room contest and participated in the company sports fest and costume party. Lastly, I also got fed up seeing my worsening pimples so I went to a dermatologist to have it treated. The treatment is still ongoing and I am seeing good result so far.

Despite my busy schedule, I am thankful that I still have time to update this blog and reach the quota I set for myself. *happy dance* So here are my October finds...
  1. Hydra Pine Tar Exfoliating Soap. This and the next three items listed here are actually not finds since I have no choice but to use these products my dermatologist prescribed. After weeks of frustration caused by excessive acne, I finally decided to seek professional help before my self-confidence go down to -100. :D
  2. Clindamycin. It's a liquid I apply all over my face after washing with Hydra Pine Tar Exfoliating Soap.
  3. Retinoic Acid Lotion. This is applied all over the face after applying Clindamycin liquid. The dermatologist prescribed that I use this every night only.
  4. Acne Lotion. This is the opposite of Retinoic Acid Lotion. I apply this every morning after applying Clindamycin liquid. This is used on pimples only.
  5. Maybelline FitMe. And because of the current acne, I have so many things to hide thus the need for a new concealer.
  6. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. My quest for the red lipstick is still on so I decided to get this. Additionally, the packaging is new to me so I just have to have it. :D

Puerto Princesa Firefly Watching

This isn’t included in my original itinerary but the boyfriend showed interest to experience this so I decided to go for it. I am the decision maker here! LOL!

Kuya Jigs (the tricycle driver) probably heard us talking about this so he suggested a company/agency offering firefly watching. Given that this is not included in my original plan, my info on this is quite vague so we decided to avail the tour from the agency Kua Jigs is suggesting. He is even the one making arrangements for us.

After our Puerto Princesa City Tour and buying souvenirs at Mercado de San Miguel, Kuya Jigs drove us to Baywalk area which is the dropoff point for Firefly Watching. We waited for other tourists and when every expected guest has arrived, we then departed towards the mangrove area via a motor boat. The motor boat is I think good for 25 to 30 passengers including the crew and guide.

I usually dread traveling at night via a motor boat but I am calmer that night maybe because of the sea. :D The water is so calm that when you close your eyes and cover your ears, I think you will never feel that you are traveling in a motor boat. Additionally, it was a night before full moon so the surrounding is really bright. Think that firefly watching days prior to a full moon is a good idea? Not at all! Had we realized this, we might have not pursued with the tour because it isn’t as beautiful as when the night is dark.

Going back to the tour, after around 30 minutes traveling while the guide is talking, the motor boat stopped. We were divided into two groups; the first group is to enter the mangrove area first while the second group stays in the boat to have dinner. Since we are like two excited kids, we asked to be in the first group and were told to transfer to a smaller motor boat. I think the boat is good for 10 persons including one guide and one boat man.

DIY Puerto Princesa City Tour

After months of research, planning and anticipation, our trip to Palawan finally came and three nights later, we’re back home with lots of stories to tell. Our first day was spent exploring the city and as planned, we did it on our own. That is why I did a lot of research months prior to our trip as I want to do things on our own except the Underground River Tour.

I decided to DIY the city tour for two reasons; one, you can save as much as 50% when you do it on your own as tour care of agency costs Php 600/head while renting a tricycle to take you to attractions in the city is only Php 600 and that is good for four passengers. You can even haggle but we didn’t do so since it is their only means of livelihood and besides, drivers deserve more for keeping us safe during traveling. Also, our driver, Kuya Jigs was a tour guide for 10 years before he became a tricycle driver so aside from driving for us, he also shares information about a particular tourist attraction in the city. I think Php 600 is well-deserved! Another reason for DIY-ing is time factor. When on our own, we own our time and we are free to do activities without having to worry about other people in the group. We can skip an attraction if we don’t feel like going and we can stay longer to a particular place should we like to stay.

Actually, our tour started in the morning and we did it on foot. Yes, we walked from our pension house up to the center of the city to familiarize ourselves and to kill time since check in time at the pension house is 12 noon. We left our baggage there for safekeeping, rested for 15 minutes and with a map we got for free from the tourist assistance at the airport, we went on our way.

Our first stop is… BPI! LOL! We had to replenish our cash on hand since we brought only a few thousands with us for safety purposes. Not that the city is unsafe but we simply don’t want to travel with all our trip money in my wallet. :D

Our next stop is Palawan Museum. We didn’t plan to go there in the morning much more knew where it is located but our feet took us there so we decided to stop to learn some information about the early inhabitants of this beautiful city. The old municipal hall turned into museum is a two-storey structure in the heart of the city. Turning it into a museum is just right since the building has that vintage architecture common among municipal halls in the country including ours. Entrance is Php 50 per person. After paying the entrance fee, you are free to explore the museum on your own. There’s nothing much to see in the museum as they are only a few items on display but if you are a history buff or you simply want to know more about the place and its people, then this place is definitely worth a visit.
One of the artifacts found inside the museum.

Puerto Princesa Itinerary and Travel Expenses

I’m back from my three nights vacation in Puerto Princesa City Palawan. I love it there! Right now, it is my third favorite city in the country next to Iloilo (of course) and Davao City. There’s no time wasted while we were there. We only stayed in the pension house to freshen up and to sleep as there are lots of activities to enjoy and places to explore.

So without further ado (aka before the details slipped off my mind), I am sharing to you our itinerary of travel and expenses.


Day 1
07:45 am Depart from Iloilo International Airport
08:50 am Estimated time of arrival (Palawan Airport)
09:00 am Depart from airport to pension house
09:15 am Estimated time of arrival Audissie Pension House
09:15 am Leave baggage at pension house (Check in time is 12 noon)
09:30 am City Tour (Walked along Rizal Avenue, Palawan Museum, Provincial Capitol)
11:00 am Lunch at Noki Nocs
12:00 nn Back to pension house, check in and rest
02:00 pm City Tour via rented tricycle (Crocodile Wildlife and Conservation Center, Mitra Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Mercado de San Miguel (souvenir shop)
06:00 pm Baywalk (assemble for firefly watching)
06:45 pm Depart for firefly watching via motor boat
07:15 pm Estimated time of arrival near mangrove area
07:20 pm Transfer to smaller boat and depart for firefly watching
08:15 pm Estimated time of arrival at bigger boat
08:15 pm Dinner
08:45 pm Estimated time of departure going back to Baywalk
09:15 pm Estimated time of arrival at Baywalk
09:25 pm Estimated time of arrival at pension house

Review: Lactacyd Baby Bath (as facial wash)

If you have read my previous post, you are aware of my struggle with pimples for weeks. You are aware that I almost called a dermatologist to schedule an appointment since I am getting frustrated with my skin problem. But before I call the derma’s clinic, I decided to try this last recourse - the Lactacyd baby bath my cousin in law suggested. She uses this product when her pimples start to appear and according to her, the pimples are almost healed within three days of use. And besides, this product is widely used by mothers for their babies so I’m pretty convinced that it will do me no harm.

I have been using this as facial wash for more than two weeks already so I think it is ok to review this product now.

Product Description:

Calamansi and Honey Mixture: Just Don’t Overdo It!

These days, our home is never without a few pieces of calamansi because I use the fruit to help control my dandruff. At times, I also apply it on my dark spots to help even out my skin tone. The honey, on the other hand, has been present at home as well since the bf always buys a couple of bottles from a friend whose parents are in Palawan (where the friend’s supply of honey comes from). So aside from using it as “food”, I also use honey as part of my skin care regimen. I oftentimes add a couple of drops to my facial wash and spot treat my pimple with it.
Photo Credit
Being a fan of calamansi and honey as home remedies, I decided to mix the two ingredients to use as mask. During my first attempt, I sliced the calamansi into half, remove the seeds and add one drop of honey to it before rubbing it to my clean face gently. After around 10 minutes, I rinse my face with water. When I wake up the next morning and checked my face, of course the result is unnoticeable hence I decided that maybe I should do the regimen every other night.

On my second attempt, I tweaked the procedure… just for the sake of variation. :D This time, I squeezed one calamansi into a saucer, mix in honey and apply the mixture to my clean face like before. But instead of rinsing my face after a few minutes, I decided to let it stay overnight hoping for quick relief of a few pimples and of course to get dramatic result. And just like before, when I wake up the next morning, nothing has changed. LOL!

Review: Human Nature Balancing Toner

My first attempt with organic toner was good hence encouraged me to try a different brand. And since it is organic, I didn’t worry of it being too harsh for my skin. The second organic toner I tried is the Human Nature Balancing Toner. At first, I was skeptical to try the product since many organic products are a hit and miss. But after reading a few reviews of the product, I finally decided to give it a try. I head to a Human Nature outlet in my area to buy one, hoping that it will work well and most of all, not cause negative reaction.

Fast forward to approximately a couple of months later, here’s what I think about the product.

Product Description:

100% Natural | For OILY or COMBINATION SKIN

Complete your natural face routine with the improved formulation of Balancing Face Toner! Bursting with elemi extract, a prized ingredient known for its skin-care benefits and healing properties, and sugar beet, now you can help keep oil under control for shine-free, refreshed skin!

This helps you stay away from alcohol-based toners that can dry your skin leading to premature skin ageing. Your skin deserves a gentle yet effective cleanser without the stinging and tightening. And what’s best is that it preps your skin for what should come next – moisturizing! The end result? Stunningly clear, shine-free skin!


Payless Shoesource in Iloilo

Don’t you just love it when new shops are being opened in malls in your area? That is what I felt when I see Payless Shoesource opened its doors to Ilonggo shoppers. The first time I stepped into a Payless Shoesource store was in one of the malls in Manila around a couple of years ago.

Back then, I love how the shoes are displayed by size and in their respective boxes. That and it’s low-key interior give the store that sort of warehouse ambiance. If you are not well aware of the store’s origin, you will not even think that they sell imported products and that they have branches all over the world.

When I checked the store the other day, I was kinda amazed that the shoes are reasonably priced though imported. Flat shoes and strappy sandals range from Php 700 to Php 900 while wedges, pumps and other high-heeled shoes are around Php 1200 - Php 1500. Other products up for grabs are high cut and low cut boots, rubber slippers and shoes, socks as well as bags and wallets.

The sole Payless Shoesource outlet in Iloilo is located at ground floor, Robinsons Mall Iloilo (near Ledesma Street exit).

September Finds

I thought I won’t be posting for my September finds since I am on hiatus from trying out new products as my skin has been suffering from major breakout. It is annoying because pimples are popping up not just on my face but my neck and back as well. Each time I face the mirror, I cringe, not wanting what I see. Actually, I would love to try various acne treatment products but I’m afraid that it would aggravate the situation so I settled for:
  1. Dove Sensitive Beauty Bar. Though I have been using Dove soap for years, I haven’t tried this variant before. Believing that it is mild since it is formulated for sensitive skin, I gave this product a go. Additionally, I know some dermatologist who prescribes Dove soaps to their patients so I think this must be good.
  2. St. Ives Skin Renewing Collagen Elastin. Not my first time to use the brand’s body lotion but my first time for this variant so I included it here.
 These are the only items I tried for the first time for the month of September. I am really hoping that my pimples will clear up really fast so that I will never have to worry about it anymore. If it remains the same in the next couple of weeks, I might have to see a dermatologist.

Review: Nivea Extra White Repair Pore Minimiser Foam

One of my favorite face washes is the Nivea. I haven’t had any major problem with it that is why I keep on buying and using it. But one time while shopping for my beauty essentials, the variant is not available and since I have no time to go to other stores to look for it, I opted for what is available - the  Nivea Extra White Repair Pore Minimiser Foam. Given that they belong to the same company, I was kinda hopeful that it will do ok, or perhaps better than Nivea Visage Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Cleansing Foam since it claims to suit extra dull skin with extra large pores. 

The verdict? See my review below.

SMART Scam Text

Everyone loves reward, there's no doubt there. Regardless of value or size, any recipient will surely be delighted. Some would even do anything just to get the promised reward.

Unfortunately, there are people who use the reward method for their evil motives. Last week, I received a message, purportedly from SMART Communications, informing me about my reward. Here's what the message says:
1/1 SMART:
Congrats! SMARTLoad are giving 500 Load @ FREEText 2 all SMART/TNT Retailer. To verify? Just text 500 09984432405 send to 343.
DTI 7903
There are many points that made me believe that this message is bogus.
  1. Only the number of the sender appears on the screen. SMART being a telecommunication giant undoubtedly has measures to ensure their reliability. When a message is a valid SMART message, the name should be 888, CustCare, SMARTGold and SMART. When it is number only, better take a step backward.
  2. It says retailer but my number is not a retailer SIM, it's not even prepaid.
  3. Grammar and punctuation error. Example use of "@" instead of "&" or "and".
  4. The use of 1/1. I think those who are in charge of the company's communication are not stupid enough to use 1/1 when there is obviously one SMS only.
I tweeted @SMARTCares about this text message to confirm the veracity of it and so that I can warn others if I have proven that it is indeed bogus. True enough, my suspicion is correct. Here's the reply:
Hi. Pls disregard the txt mssg since 343 is an access code 4 SMART Load transactions. Pls note that we do not give something in exchange of knowing details or claiming prizes such as this transaction. All promos/prizes shall come from a SMART Text ID/access #. U may visit ntc.gov.ph 2 file a complaint online. Pls include d # that sent u d message when filing ur complaint. HTH. Tnx.
The reply says it all. So to every cellphone owner out there, be extra careful about these text messages you receive. Don't believe everything you hear or read. I advice that you get confirmation first from authorized persons/sources. With today's technology, doing so is no longer impossible. Be vigilant my dear readers! The world is beautiful but unfortunately it cannot stop evil deeds from spreading.

Review:Human Nature Strengthening Shampoo

Last week’s review was about Human Nature Moisturizing Conditioner. This time around, I will be talking about Human Nature Strengthening Shampoo. If the organic conditioner is no different to traditional or chemical-laden conditioners when it comes to application and the feeling you get while washing, it’s a different story with organic shampoos. Organic shampoos don’t have sulfate?, the chemical responsible for creating bubbles and rich lather when we shampoo. Having been used to “unorganic” shampoos, using the organic one sometimes gives me the feeling that I have not shampooed my hair at all.
I have tried using this without a conditioner, with Human Nature Moisturizing Conditioner, with Pantene Conditioner and with baking soda. The result?

Note: Updated 10/12/14

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin

Long before A Song of Ice and Fire which is now adapted by HBO into a dramatic series titled Game of Thrones, there was The Ice Dragon written by George R.R. Martin and was first published in 1980 in Dragons of the Light. It was then re-published by Starscape in 2007.

The story is about a little girl named Adara who was born during the coldest winter and whose mother died while giving birth to her. It’s also said that an ice dragon was seen on the night she was born. Hence explains Adara’s lack of emotion and always longing for the winter.

One winter, she finally met the ice dragon and came to tame the dragon over the years, though everyone believes that ice dragons cannot be tamed. Nobody knew of the relationship she developed with the dragon and nobody knew that she has been getting a joyride when the dragon comes for her every winter.

Review: Human Nature Moisturizing Conditioner

I have been using organic soaps for more than a year already but that is not the case with organic shampoo and conditioner. Human Nature is my first attempt with organic hair care products. I have read a few positive reviews about this hair product hence I'm quite hopeful that this will be the solution, or at least one of the solutions, to my dry hair.

But is it any good? Keep reading this review…

First Iloilo Business Park Fun Run

Fun runs are getting unstoppable in Iloilo. Many organizations, government and private, have been organizing various running activities to benefit their chosen charities and projects.

Last Sunday (September 1), I along with my boyfriend and few co-workers joined the first ever fun run initiated by Iloilo Business Park (Megaworld). Apart from free singlet for first 500 registrants, what motivated me to participate is the venue/route of the race which is in Iloilo Business Park. Indeed, it is the safest fun run in the city since they own the roads and they can prohibit vehicles from entering the area while the activity is happening. No need to close the highways that can annoy those who are affected by traffic. It felt like running in a gated subdivision where houses are sandwiched in between vacant lots.
Getting ready for the run. Photo Credit
There were two categories; 4k run and 8k run. The program started at 5:30 am and the actual marathon started at around 6:00 am. SInce it’s the first time for the group to organize such an event, there were only around 1000 participants. But give this event three to four years and the participants will surely increase significantly.

Snack (arroz caldo and burger) was served after the race.

Orcas, Swimming Lesson and Impulse Buying

As a self-proclaimed nature-lover, I can’t help but feel happy each time I get a glimpse and experience nature at its best. The event that inspired me to make this post is the video I saw last week. It was a video of a pod of orcas parading through Active Pass, a narrow stretch separating Galliano and Mayne Islands (British Columbia). They swam just feet from the shore! Oh what a lovely sight!

Never mind the woman screaming. :D

The video led to a chain of events on that day. Why? Because the video reminded me of our Palawan trip next month. It reminded me that I will be having a good time with nature soon. But the thoughts of our upcoming trip didn’t just give excitement; it also reminded me that I don’t know how to swim. I feel a bit bad thinking that I won’t be able to enjoy underwater sights as much as those who are confident with their swimming ability. Additionally, the recent accident in the waters of Cebu that claimed close to 100 lives and left 39 missing made me feel a lot worse due to my lack of swimming prowess.

August Finds

Time flies fast… really fast! Seems like it was only a few days ago when I am writing about my July Finds but here I am now, writing about my finds for the month of August. Oh time! Where’d you go?

Anyways, I didn’t try a lot of new products this month because I suffered from breakout and until now, I’m still trying to find out the reason for it. So the only items I tried for the first time for this month are:
  1. Human Nature Moisturizing Conditioner. Like the organic shampoo, it is my first time to try an organic conditioner. So as trial, I opted for this 50 ml. bottle.
  2. Human Nature Strengthening Shampoo. As the name suggests, this shampoo should strengthen the hair the natural way. Since it is natural, the shampoo doesn’t lather into foam like chemical-laden shampoos. Using a shampoo that doesn’t create foam can be a bit weird but I’m trying to get used to it. Review will follow in the days to come.
  3. Avon Glimmersticks Chromes Eyeliner. It’s retractable and on sale so I bought it.

Cerro Qreen 7-Pc Brush Set

If you have read my previous posts, you are probably aware that I am no makeup expert. I am just one of the girls trying to learn this beautiful art. With this, I humbly say that expensive brushes are out of my league… yet. Besides, I rarely put on makeup when going to work as I am always in a hurry so it isn’t wise for me to shell out that much money for brushes I rarely use.

As practice tool, I use this Cerro Qreen 7-pc brush set I got from What the F auction a few months ago. This is originally priced more than Php 450 but I won this in the bidding for Php 170.
The set contains:
  • 1 Powder Blusher - made of wool
  • 2 Eyeshadow Brushes (big and small) made of horsehair
  • 1 Eyeliner Brush made of fiber
  • 1 Eyebrow Brush made of fiber
  • 1 Lip Brush made of fiber
  • 1 Sponge Brush

Calamansi and Baking Soda to Treat Dandruff

For months, I have been wondering how to get rid of my itchy scalp caused by flaky dandruff. I tried using Head and Shoulders but I have to stop using it after a week because it gave me split ends and made my hair dry. I cannot even say that it works in eliminating my dandruff since there is no significant change. I also tried adding a pinch of baking soda to my shampoo once a week but to no avail.

After failed attempts with commercially-available products, I knew that I have to take things seriously to get rid of this problem once and for all. I am determined to get rid of the itchy scalp through natural remedy. After reading blogs and forums about possible cure, I came up with my own solution. A lot of people mostly Westerners swear by apple cider vinegar and though it is also available in Iloilo, I decided not to go with it because my being frugal kicked in. One large bottle costs around Php 150 and since I needed only a small amount I didn’t think that it is practical to buy one. If only it is available in smaller bottles...

With that, I experimented a solution that I can use for the meantime. If it works then good, if not then that’s the time I would give ACV a try. Thankfully, my solution worked and I haven’t been getting flakes for more than a week already. Here’s what I did:
  1. Cut three pieces calamansi into half and massage each slice to your scalp. When doing so, you may want to wrap the calamansi into a cloth to avoid the mess of pulp and seeds. Also, you may want to increase or decrease the number of calamansi depending on your needs.
  2. Let it stay for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Rinse hair with water and shampoo using a mixture of one part water and one part baking soda. Let is stay for one to three minutes and rinse. Use conditioner if desired. (I suggest you condition your hair since baking soda can be drying.) Rinse.
  4. Repeat the process for three days.
On the fourth day, you can go back to your previous hair care routine and do the treatment every other week or as necessary. As for me, a couple of days after my three-day treatment, I switched to using organic shampoo and conditioner to strengthen the treatment. I will talk about organic shampoo and conditioner in another post.

Scientific name for calamansi is Citrofortunella microcarpa but is also called golden lime, calamonding and calamandarin.

Have you tried this remedy? Do you find it helpful? I’d certainly be glad to know if my remedy works for you too.

Janda Loafers from Parisian’s Comfy Collection

I cannot remember when the last time I bought a pair of shoes from Parisian was. In other words, it was so looong ago. I have one explanation for this - the last pair (nude peeptoe) I bought from the brand caused me painful blisters and utmost discomfort that made me promise myself that I will never buy anything from them. From then on, I don’t even dare look at the items from Parisian each time I visit the mall.

For years, my impression of the brand remains the same until that one time when I noticed their new collections. Being a fan of flats, loafers, mules and anything that provides utmost comfort, I got a bit excited upon seeing their comfy collection. They have a wide array of shoes that are actually my kind of shoes, the type in which I can wear to work, mall, to church, when going on road trips or just hanging out with friends.

When I tried one, I felt like my foot is in feet heaven. More than stylish, it feels comfortable because of its cushioning and contoured foot bed. It also has rubber out soles therefore reducing the risk of slips which I am prone to considering how “unladylike” I am. And with a price of less than Php 1000, what is there not to like in these babies?

Review: Body Music Sports Bra (A60)

When I was just trying to develop my jogging routine, I promised myself that I will get a new pair of shoes should I became consistent with the activity. Well, I already bought a new pair of shoes months ago and until now, I am still committed to continue what I have started. Thus, I rewarded myself with another purchase that I can use when I go jogging - a new sports bra. Well, it’s not actually a reward since it’s actually necessary and what I got is just a basic and simple one. But it’s a reward just the same since I won’t be buying it had I stopped doing the activity.

Anyway, what I got is nothing high end, expensive or from a popular sports brand. It’s the type that any other frugal girl like me would buy. The product is by Body Music. I can’t find enough information about the brand online so I’m guessing that the brand has either not developed its online presence yet or is simply not that popular to gain attention of other sports enthusiasts.

37th Milo Marathon in Iloilo: Running in the Rain

The 37th Milo Marathon in Iloilo took place exactly a week ago (August 4, 2013) and it was something worth remembering. Every participant who were at the venue were all wet, dripping wet to be exact, because of heavy rains around 30 minutes after the 21k started and right before the 10k race started.
Photo Credit: Milo Philippines
But despite the rain, the spirit of the participants was not dampened. Many decided to push through and finish the race though running while the rain is raging is never the easiest thing to do. I have to deal with countless puddles of rainwater forming in the road (and other runners intentionally stepping on these puddles to hit other runners with water), the rain hitting my eyes (didn't bring a cap), wet socks and shoes (at least it's not squeaky, thanks Nike), the cold that seems to have reached my bones and back pain probably caused by cold.

Review: All Organics Goji Astringent Bath Soap

The past couple of months have been productive months for me because I was able to publish my targeted number of blog posts. I love it! For the month of August, I intend to maintain it thus I have been motivating myself to make my creative juices flow nonstop. It isn’t that easy though as I have to juggle my time among my fulltime and part time work, exercise, family and personal errands, relationship, friends and other social activities as well as this blog. Tiring, yes, but the results of each of them make life worth living.

If you have read my previous posts, you probably have read my post about my WTF Finds. One of the stuff I got from that auction is this Goji Organic Soap from All Organics. Half of the bar has been used already and I am sharing to you the review of the product.

Human Nature Iloilo Experience

I knew when the Human Nature opened its first concept store in Iloilo. I knew where it is located but for some reason, it took me this long to visit the said store. First, the store is not easily accessible to me before. Second, I work from 9am to 6pm, and the store closes at 6pm as well so I cannot drop by the store after work. The store is open on Saturdays and though I do have weekends off from work, it is reserved for doing the laundry, cleaning the house and sadly, making up for my backlogs if there is any.

But then, nothing is impossible to the person in need. :D I have been dying to try their Balancing toner so I really scheduled my trip to the store. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the store for two reasons; one, to buy and two, to see the store and take pictures to go with this blog post. But shyness got the better of me, so I wasn't able to take even just one picture.
Photo credit: Human Heart Nature Iloilo

July Finds

I never thought that I’d be able to post my finds for the month of July since I didn’t have new discoveries made. And besides, I am quite contented with my current skin care regimen that I didn’t see the need to try something else. But when my facial wash and toner came to an end, I was prompted to go to the mall to get my supplies. I didn't get much though. These are the only items that find its way to me:
  1. Human Nature Balancing Toner. This is my first toner from the brand. I have read good reviews about this product hence I’m quite hopeful that it will reduce the oiliness of my face.
  2. Nivea Extra White Repair Pore Minimiser Foam. I was actually looking for the variant I have been using for months but cannot find it so I got this instead. I am not really after the whitening claim but settled for this since it is from my trusted brand. I really do hope it works like Nivea Visage Sparkling White Acne Oil Control Cleansing Foam if not better.

Watch out for the reviews as I will be posting them in the days to come.

Mongolian Buffet Experience at EON Centennial Plaza Hotel

Buffet meals are so common nowadays that you can see lots of restaurants offering buffet meals in almost every part of the city. From Sarabia Manor hotel to a small refreshment located along the small street somewhere in the city, you can satisfy your gastronomic need without hurting the budget. That is if you can eat more than what you paid for.

One spot I've been to recently to to pamper my stomach is the EON Centennial Plaza hotel. The hotel offers Mongolian buffet lunch and dinner every day except Sunday. Unlike other buffet experiences in which you can just pick any dish available, buffet here makes dining more fun because you will be the one to make your own dish. Instead of cooked dishes, the long table has bowls containing raw ingredients - from meat, chicken, noodles to vegetables and seasoning, for customers to choose from. You will then pick and combine whatever ingredient that suits your fancy and have your "masterpiece" cooked by the staff in the kitchen. While they provide some recipes you can follow, you can also make up your own.
Photo credit: EON Centennial Plaza Hotel