Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Past, Present and Future of Snoe Beauty

Helloooo folks!

Before I start, allow me to apologize for not posting anything in the blog because I was busy with alot of things and I'm sure my fellow fierces are are also busy-busihan as the holidays are already approaching. If you  think about at it, we are half way already of November! Oha Santa Claus is almost in town!!!

I am still waiting for any ganaps from the Fierces organizers so kung may mga announcements please inform so we can upload it here immediately.

Okay, since maraming fierces ang may mga blogs at beauty and fashion junkies, let me share you another beauty shamajiggy! I went to the second Snoe Beauty Bloggers event last Saturday, November 17 with other beauty and fashion bloggers. As you may have encountered my post about this cosmetics company, they are relatively new but this year, they really went full blast. Alot of the glossy magazines have started to feature them. It was actually Fifi who recommended this company ( because of their Hair Heroes Argan Oil Conditioner (which is really panalo sa hair believe me!).

Ms. Jen talking about Snoe beauty's beginnings
I met up with Fifi and was introduce to other beauty bloggers. Founded by Ms. Jen Gerondias-Diaz and Ms. Gen Enriquez-Gerondias, Snoe Beauty is now one of the leading and affordable cosmetics. From hair conditioners, BB creams, lipsticks, arm whitening, facial care and sunblock, they have everything that a girl and woman would need.

At the event entitled Past, Present and Future, Ms. Jen shared to the old faces and new faces (me included) about the products they have done, are currently in the store and will produce in the next few months. She also gave tips about being very discreet in picking products especially those who claim they are certified organic or natural. She also clarified about the ingredients in products, saying that not all of them are bad for the skin unlike those who claim it to be.

Their line of rouge. Have two of them
We were also introduce to the Love, Peace and Happiness project they are doing. The project is actually the direct-selling sister company of Snoe and the very interesting part about it is that for budding entrepreneurs, you can product your own products with them. Isn't that great.

Each guest was also given a gift box of samples, discounts to new products and try the upcoming products Snoe will be doing. I have three samples that will be testing and can't wait to give my feedback to them.

I already made a promise to myself I'll be purchasing some new stuff and I really can't wait to see what's next with the company. Until then Snoe Beauty for the next gathering!!

The SnoePedia

The Parallel aka CC cream

One of the new products-BBfied

Hair Heroes Invisible Wonder Shampoo with Macademia Nuts

One of my favorites-the eye serum

Bloggers testing products

Yours truly by the Snoe counter. Wearing their pink rouge which really pops out in my photos ;)

The lovely and preggy Ms. Gen with some of the bloggers

Products currently being tested which we will give feedback to Ms. Jen

The loot box I got which includes a new lipstick!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maria Ressa and the Six Degrees from Osama Bin Laden

In  September 2001, the world witnessed one of the most horrifying and life changing moments in history when terrorists hijacked four planes with two of them crashing into the Twin Towers in New York, one in the Pentagon and the other plane in a field in Pennsylvania intended for the White House in Washington D.C. Since then, the word terrorism has been used to describe member of the Al-Qaeda movement, an Islamic group behind the in what is now called the 9/11 attacks.

A year after America, Indonesia's vacation spot Bali was victimized by terrorist. The Bali Bombing in October 12, 2002 killed tourists from Australia and Indonesia which is said to be the worst in the country. It was considered as the 9/11 of Southeast Asia. Members of the Jemaah Islamiyah said to be connected with Al-Qaeda have been tried and arrested.

More violent events followed. The London bombing in 2005, another attack in Indonesia in 2005 and the Mumbai bombing in 2008. All are believed to be the work of Islamic terrorists and all are believed to be connected to one of the most notorious terrorist of all time, Osama Bin Laden who was killed last year.

Terrorism was the topic of Maria Ressa's book 10 Days, 10 Years: From Bin Laden To Facebook which was launched last October 12 at Powerbooks, Makati. The author, a former CNN reporter and ABS-CBN News head has documented terrorism in her 25 years of coverage. But writing the book, a follow-up to Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of an Al-Qaeda's Newest Center of Operations In Southeast Asia was the most challenging for her as it involved ABS-CBN in the persons of anchor Ces Drilon and her crew composed of Jimmy Encarnacion and Angel Valderama, who were kidnapped in June 2008. At the time of the kidnapping, she was the head of the News and Current Affairs of the network.

During the book launch, Maria was almost emotional but joked that it was six degrees of separation from Ces to Bin Laden. In her book, Maria wrote that many of the bandits involved in the kidnapping of Ces, Jimmy and Angel were trained by those involved in some of the terrorist attacks in the US such as Ramzi Yousef, the man behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The book also narrates how Islamic extremists work through social network to continue their acts of terror.

"It’s a very emotional topic, this one. It was cathartic to write the book, even more so to actually place it in a global context," Maria told the audience present at the book launch.

Copies of Maria's book she signed for me and my friend Worley

Maria together with anchor Ces Drilon and her sister Grech who was part of the crisis team
In the book, Maria wrote that she was no longer a reporter during the kidnapping but she was about to embark on her most challenging task to date.
Maria signing a copy of her book

"I was no longer just reporting the actions of other people; I was leading our crisis team toward the single goal of getting our people home safely," she narrated.

Ces, who attended the launch was also emotional as she read excerpts from the journal she wrote during her captivity. Four years since the nightmare of her, Jimmy and Angel's experience, the three would get together and spend time, grateful that they were given a second chance.

While the book may be heavy for some to read, it is worth grabbing especially in the fast-changing world we live in. Social Media has become powerful and you may never know that you are just a degree away from a terrorist plotting it's next attack.

Thank you Borj Borja

By now, people realize how life is short that many of us tend to abuse it. Some are fortunate to live their life to the fullest while others are not lucky.

Last week while scrolling through the timeline and Facebook statuses, many of us were caught off-guard when one of our fiercest sis Borj Borja died. When I asked Jasmin the cause of death, she was informed that it was due to pneumonia. None of us saw this coming. Borj was one of the most active and liveliest fierce in the group. In fact, Divine in her twitter account shared that Borj was one of her first callers when BeckyNights started airing online. I was fortunate to have known Borj for a short time and I have to say that he was a person I would love to be spending more time with.

I remembered the first time when I went to meet the fierces in Makati. It was the Christmas party Divine asked Jasmin to organize. I met Borj and we really hit off. We talked again during Fashion Week and I snapped  a picture of him for this blog. It was through his account that I would get to know him more. Active in the cause of AIDS awareness in the country, a member of the Dragon Boat team, these were some of the things I was slowly discovering about Borj. When I pitched the idea of revamping the website with some photos, I immediately asked Borj to come in as creative director because I felt with him, he'll be able to see the vision I wanted for this blog. It never pushed through because of busy schedules but if he was alive today, I'm sure he would still go for it.

A week since his death, alot of us are still digesting the fact the he's gone. Jake, Matt and Buern were so stunned when they heard the news and even dedicated a moment for Borj in last week's episode of the show. But life must go on and for sure, Borj would tell us that as well.

Borj where ever you are, continue to watch over us. You will live forever in our hearts and you will remain a fierce to the end.

Taken at the last Philippine Fashion Week, the last time I would see Borj.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

When You Are In Charge...

No one  said it was going to be easy. While I was ecstatic about being the coordinator for DiabetEASE magazine, I know that errors from the magazine will become my responsibility. True enough, to my dismay, I overlooked two errors and it was for accreditation. To me, nothing more is important than saying thank you to the people who made it possible but to misspell them was totally different.

I will not deny...I was on the verge of crying. I was very frustrated. Here I was given the opportunity to do a magazine and I ended up with two errors. While it's common to make a mistake in publications, credibility is always a cloud hanging on you. I was so shaken and horrified when I tell the EIC but a mistake is a mistake and I must take responsibility for it.

I was often told that the mistakes you make, the lessons from it will make you sharp and focus on what happens next. I was not happy about it but what is important is that I acknowledge my mistake, apologize and do an erratum and hope it will not happen again. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

@Schu_Shop and @Myth_boutique Workshop

Hello Fierces!!

I got great news. 

For those who aim to be the next Anna Wintour or Nina Garcia, here's a chance just for you.

SCHU and MYTH will be having  a FREE “Weekend Workshop” on September 29, 2012 (Saturday) from 3PM to 6PM  at the SCHU Factory Outlet at Residencia 8888, Pearl Drive corner Amethyst St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. 

The event will be an intimate seminar with a maximum of 30 attendees. The workshop will be about Fashion PR and Fashion Writing by Mr. Tedrick Yau, PR & Events Manager of One Mega Group and Ms. Sarah Santiago, Features Editor of MEGA Magazine. 

And guess what Fierces, SCHU and MYTH is allowing  ME (yup yours truly) to take one reader of our dear blog to the workshop this coming Saturday. 

Here's how to join:
 Follow: @schu_shop and @myth_boutique

 Tweet:  "I want to attend @schu_shop and @myth_boutique's FREE Weekend Workshop on Sept. 29 at the #SchuFactoryOutlet  tagging me @alexavillano

And..... aside from the free workshop, participants will be given loot bags and raffle off Schu and Myth gift certificates.
I will choose the winner by WEDNESDAY.

So What are you waiting for? Start tagging away!!


The Social Good Summit: Responsible Online Users

Good day fierces!

Again, I sincerely apologize if I don't update the blog as often as I can due to work commitments but will do my best once my schedule permits.

So from journalism class, let's switch to usage of social media. I was fortunate to be one of the lucky 550 participants in the recent Social Good Summit last Sept. 22 at the Asian Institute of Management. Sponsored by @tweetupMNL and @rapplerdotcom together with Mashable, the event saw the gathering of various speakers in the government, entertainment and local citizens who are changing the landscape of social media in the country. The summit was divided into two sessions: morning and afternoon and I attended the afternoon session. Speakers included Tourism Sec. Mon Jimenez, Communications Sec. Ricky Carandang, Smart's Mon Isberto, FOI advocate and lawyer Chris Lao, TV host, magazine editor and columnist Bianca Gonzalez and Rappler's Maria Ressa. Master of Ceremonies were Tim Tap and prof. Chay Hofilena.

Each speaker talked about the importance of social media. Jimenez, who was credited for the slogan It's More Fun in the Philippines said that social media has helped the tourism industry because of the campaign's viral marketing. He even said that from the previous years, more tourists are now coming to the country and that the department is working double time to meet the demand.

Carandang, one of the heads of Malacanang's media bureau said that through social media, the government is now in tune with the people's needs. He showed a presentation of the gov't newsletter The Gazette and the evolution of the other department's use of twitter and facebook accounts.

Tourism Sec. Mon Jimenez and Com sec. Ricky Carandang answers questions from the audience. Hosts were Tim Yap and Prof. Chay Hofilena.
Smart, one of the country's leading telecommunication companies was not only a sponsor of the event but also talked about the importance of the cellphone industry in the country. Isberto said that social media has definitely changed the landscape of the telecommunication industry as more social media users rely on celphones as their means of communicating with one another.

Chris Lao, Bianca Gonzalez and Maria Ressa.
The famous line "I was not informed," made him the talked of the cyberworld last year but Chris Lao showed his courage infront of a room of people to talk about his experience as a victim of cyberbullying. Lao, now a lawyer told the audience that while he can laugh about it now, he is still in the process of healing and confessed that at one point, he wanted to leave the country. He has since become a staunch advocate of the Freedom of Information Bill still pending in Congress, appeared in a commercial and is now happily married with a child.

For someone used to the media spotlight, Bianca Gonzalez is also a victim of cyberbullying. She told the audience about her experience when one person claimed and tweeted she knew her way back in La Salle Zobel and began maligning her on twitter. When she confronted the person online, the girl made a 360 degrees turn and began praising her instead. The story was even documented by In the end, Bianca gave the audience 10 rules to remember in the use of social media which should always be remembered.

One of the most popular journalists in the country, Maria Ressa was the final speaker of the event. As former head for ABS-CBN and credited for the citizen journalism program of the station, Maria formed Rappler and is set to launch her book From Bin Laden to Facebook in October. Her presentation showed he evolution of social  media power especially in the Middle East which has been in the news for the past year. In fact, she even told the audience that social media has outnumbered porn as the number one hobby online.

Tonyo Cruz of @tweetupMnL
A question and answer portion of each session was also done and unfortunately, I was not able to ask my questions to due to time restriction but nevertheless had a good time. Tonyo Cruz of tweetupMNL closed the event with his remarks and hopes that the country will continue to show that the Philippines is indeed the number one social media capital of the world.

Indeed, the summit has been one of the best experiences so far. Looking forward to another one soon.

In the end, it up to us about being a responsible social media user. Always learn that with the freedom comes the proper use and responsible for actions.

A rare opportunity. Yours truly with Rappler's Maria Ressa.

Holding one of the moods of Rappler's Mood Meter.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fullybooked and SOFA Capsule series of talks, Coursera classes

I know I own alot of updates but please bear with me since I'm in the process of closing pages of DiabetEASE magazine. Will make the necessary updates when my schedule permits me.

Originally scheduled last August 15, the Creative talk by Amina Aranaz-Alunan pushed last August 25 at Fullybooked Bonifacio High Street. Amina is a familiar face as she is not only a model but also one of the co-founders of the School of Fashion and the Arts or known as SOFA. Married to Rafa Alunan, she is a mother of three children and is also the creative director of Aranaz bags which was started by her mother.

In Amina's talks, she shared that creativity is everywhere. She was able to practice her skills further after she became a fashion assistant for Chalk magazine and then left for Instituto Marangoni in Italy to study. After coming back, she established SOFA and became actively involved in Aranaz bags, which is one of the most popular brands carried by fashionistas in Manila.

One of the most interesting topics she told the audience is about using mood boards. A mood board is a collage that you can use as an inspiration for your collection or even for writing. I recalled having a class with Jim Paredes about using mood boards ( it was called a future board in the session) and I believe it really comes in handy because it will help you in decluttering what you want to do with your fashion collection or
 even the story you want to write about.

SOFA founder Amina Aranaz-Alunan shares he insights in creativity  last Aug 25 at Fullybooked Bonifacio High Street.

Also, SOFA had two other capsule sessions: interior design and online journalism. Yesterday, I attended the online journalism class and I have to say I definitely enjoyed it. The speaker was Carla Perlas, editor of One Mega's Celebrity Living and former associate editor of Mega Magazine.

Carla tackled blogging since it's the newest form of journalism that's happening. One of the key points she told us in the class that blogging is a SERVICE. While blogging is a form of expression whether it be personal or for media, she told us that we are still rendering service, informing our readers.

SOFA fashion journalist teacher and Celebrity Living EIC Carla Perlas shares her tips on online journalism and blogging.
She also discussed the issue of print editors and bloggers, which has become a controversial topic in the industry. She even shared a story that while she and her former boss were in a fashion event, they were asked if only two or three people from their staff can go since bloggers also had seats. Her story just shows how powerful the bloggers are nowadays. They are the new breed of ROCKSTARS, the people who command respect because of their readers.

As a journalist and a staff writer for DiabetEASE, I know that bloggers have power in readership. But I also believe that for you to be a good blogger, you have to be taught the proper techniques of writing. This is what I believe that bloggers lack. Popularity is one thing but informing is another. It's just about writing what's happening but you also have to be aware of the situation. Read books, magazines and online journals that are credible. Also, you have to find your writing style or voice because it will define who you are.

The online journalism class also gave me the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers. We even exchanged blog sites so we can check it ourselves. I also met Nikki, a fellow student who was nice enough to sit down with me and discuss topics such as writing and even issues that we believe are very important in writing and blogging. She was a PT graduate and I asked questions about the health industry since I am working for a health magazine. 

Aside from the SOFA and Fullybooked classes, I also enrolled myself in Coursera, an online group which has various subjects taught by professors from international universities. For this month, I will be taking classes on World History since 1300 and Roman and Greek Mythology. I believe that despite being a professional, learning should never stop. I really can't wait for it.

So Fierces I encourage you to never stop learning. Believe me, you'll be surprise that while you may know something, there are still things yet to be learn.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Beauty Junkie moment: Snoe Beauty Products and Watsons

I must be the world's frustrated beauty junkie right now!

At the height of my 30th birthday, I found myself at the Watsons store so many times for the past few days looking at every bath, body and face product and testing them and asking questions from the sales representatives. So aside from the shoes I bought from Primadonna and the lunches I had with my friends, I treated myself to some beauty shopping at Watsons and scooping out their olive oil base shampoos and conditioners and newly released cream body washes. Since they have the campaign Switch and Save, I ended buying three products and since it was buy 1 take 1, I ended with six products on my way home. Not bad!!

My Watsons buy. Currently using the purple body wash.

A good friend and Fierce upcoming stylist Fifi Abboud recently shared a new discovery called Snoe Argan Oil based Heroes Conditioner on his blog ( From Fifi's blog, he shared that the conditioner worked so well and smelled so nice. Being the curious and frustrated beauty junkie I am, I decided to try it myself and in three words- I LOVE IT!!! My hair feels soft and relaxed and it even smell so good.
My first purchase from Snoe Beauty-Hair Heroes (Argan oil base conditioner) and Magic Apple s-rub.
Went to the Cosmetics expo at Megamall last Saturday and bought the pore minimizer and slimming gel. Comes in a cute shopping bag too!!

I also bought Snoe beauty's S-rub, a dry lotion that promises to exfoliate dry skin. I tried it before the conditioner and it worked well although I recommend to exfoliate with a paddle scrub to really exfoliate the dry skin. I also bought their Pore Minimizer set and Slimming Gel. I have yet to try the Pore Minimizer but has been rubbing some of the slimming gel twice a day to test for myself how it will shrink my stomach. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle is still a must though so I really have to work on this.

So if you want to try the products go ahead. Run to our nearest Watsons store for the Switch and Save and  checkout Snoe Beauty at their website for more information.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beauty Junkie-@myflawless and @BlowoutBar_MNL


First of all, thank you for all the greetings. It has been a wonderful but quiet birthday today and now that I'm 30 (yes yuppie na talaga hahaha), I am looking forward to the adventures I'm embarking soon.

Anyway, unknown to many, I am a frustrated beauty junkie. While many girls prefer make-up, I am more into hair and body care. Shampoos, conditioners, eye creams, lotions you name it, I'm willing to try it. While I'm wary of going to popular skin treatment salons, I made an exception with My Flawless last August 21 when I dropped by for a power peel session. I am actually blaming Fifi Abboud for this in particular because while I know Flawless even before the BeckyNights and Divine were sponsored by the beauty salon, it was only now I decided to go for it after he told me about his experience with the Nano Peel.

At the MRT after my treatment at Flawless. Medyo mapula pa hehehe ;P
A few weeks before the actual treatment, I had a consultation with the dermatologist at the Cubao branch. Base on our talk, Cosmelan and Frac and Roll were the treatments recommended but since it was very steep for me (Cosmelan ranges 18k-30k for a set of sessions while Frac and Roll starts at 4,500 per treatment), I decided to avail the birthday discount for either a Power Peel, Body scrub or facial. I chose the power peel which comes with a facial and added a mask to it. Initially I was cringing especially in the nose part (when I saw all the dirt I could not believe it at all) but after the pricking, I was able to relax especially when the vitamin mask was added on to my face. I went out of  Flawless feeling fresh and the best part--I got a free collagen soap as part of the package!

My beachy hairdo after my treatment at BlowoutBar Manila :D
Last Monday, after going to an appointment in Makati, I dropped by Blowout Bar located in Rada St. I bought one of their vouchers and decided to have my hair treatment that day. The space was small but very cozy and set-up like a bar. I had a deep conditioning treatment using argan oil and asked to style my hair in beach waves. In between the process, I was watching Coco Avant Chanel and the Victoria Secret Fashion show and sipping tea. I walked out of the salon like I came from the beach with my hairdo. :)

So if you have a free day, drop by Flawless or BlowoutBar Manila and I can guarantee that you will feel pampered and special with their treatments.  After all, every woman or becky wants to feel beautiful. ;)

For more information check-out  My Flawless  thru their facebook - or tweet @myflawless

For BlowoutBar check out - or tweet@BlowoutBar_MNL

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Land of the Morning Calm...

Scenic view at Jeju Island
How time really flies!

Exactly a year ago today, I left Manila for a three week fellowship sponsored by LG Sangnam Press, a division of LG Electronics for Korea. It was in Korea that I met seven other crazy journalists (not to mention student guides and care takers) who I would form friendships and experience the ultimate adventure of a lifetime.

Korea will always have a special place in my heart. I have fallen in love with the country even before the rise of the hallyu wave and I'm looking forward to the day I will comeback and see my friends.  I am looking forward to seeing Namsan Tower and Gyeongbukung Palace and even the places where the dramas were taped and going to the other places I haven't been to like Busan.

During our graduation day.
I miss the adventures from drinking soju to writing my thank tablet in Gyeongju, Korea has open my eyes to alot of possibilities. Learning their instruments to making pottery to even going to Jeju Island and see the Teddy Bear Museum.

Tomorrow, I mark my 30 years of existence in the world. While I normally would have gone out of the country on my birthday, will do it sometime end of the year. While Korea will not be on top of my list for this year, chances are, it will be for 2013.

Very familiar bears? It was from the top drama Princess Hours :)
At Gyeonju during one of our music sessions
Happy anniversary to my group of friends who I met in Seoul -Aveek, Nickolay, Magda, Francoise, Lee Jun, Amir, Marco, Shannon, Terry, Hyelim, Seul Ki, Yena and company. Until we all see each other again.


Me about to learn the instrument.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


It's been six months since that day I said goodbye to my old office. While I now enjoy a new career in a magazine publishing firm, I won't deny that it's still hard to accept that I can't go back simply because a mistake I made caused all of it.

Photo from
Accepting the painful truth was the hardest of all. In any bad or sad moment, it takes time before one accepts the reality. There is no time machine to go back to the past and fix it but, only the days ahead of you to pick up yourself, move on and learn from it.

In two days, I turn a year older, entering 30. My youngest brother told me that at this stage, I should know by now what I want. Back then, I always said I wanted to be a journalist and I got that when I started working in GMA 7 until I went to the Phil Star and to my current job as a senior writer for a magazine. But a day after watching Ateneo Blue Rep's production of 13 the Musical, a part of me sudden emerge wanting to perform on stage just even for the last time. I don't know if meeting Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo a few months ago also helped but her words of loving your passion struck me since theater is also my passion.

I don't know what lies next for me in the following days but I came across my old music sheets and tried to follow the notes as I sang. I'll be doing the ultimate test and see for myself if I still have it in me. I admit that I'm nervous and scared but accepting the challenge has always been part of the plan to know if it's meant to be.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

When I was 13....

What were you when you were 13?

It's contagious alright. The cast of Blue Rep's 13 the Musical. Photo courtesy of Blue Rep's facebook account.
That was the question I read via twitter as I was scanning my timeline. In the new musical 13 by Ateneo's Blue Repertory, a boy name Evan comes to term with turning to a man. As a Jewish, he has to go through the process of bar mitzvah, which is a term for circumcision or coming out of manhood. Moving to Indiana from New York, making friends, peer pressure, the musical explores how Evan copes up with the changes around him and finally realizes who really cares for him.

As a theater buff, I'm always on the look out for musical plays and straight plays to watch. Since it was the long weekend, I decided to drop by Ateneo this afternoon to catch the matinee performance (a prelude to watching Phantom and The King and I this September and a treat for myself as part of my 30th birthday next week) and I was not disappointed at all.

While I commend the lead actors, my vote goes to the ensemble cast especially the side kicks of the popular guy Brett who provided the comedy in the play. I also love the character of Lucy, the scheming best friend of Kendra because as one person quoted on twitter, "there's a Lucy in all of us."

I also give my thumbs up to Christopher "Toff" de Venecia, the director of the show. I met Toff last year while watching the preview of Rivalry (which unfortunately I wasn't able to catch in full because of  commitments then). His face was very familiar since I saw him in television as a child actor. I did not know that he decided to focus his energy on theater so it was really a revelation to me that he has been backing the industry for a long time.

The play also somehow made me yearn for the stage again. I was very active in college with the Miriam Liturgical Choir and I did some theater acting back in Grade School  which included being part of the Ateneo Children's Theater "Mga Prinsipe ng Dagat." I also did "Little Shop of Horrors," as a culminating activity for a workshop in Trumpets and I can tell you, nothing is surreal when being on stage.

Anyhow, I found the play very funny and fresh because it dwells into the minds of 13-year-olds. I wish more new plays would be stage by theater groups for the young generation to be aware of and I'm just simply glad that Ateneo's Blue Rep is doing their part. I know that Dulaang Ateneo focuses on the Filipino productions and I'm so looking forward to more productions in the future to watch. I'm definitely going to attend more productions to write about. :)

So you're probably wondering what was I when I was 13? I can tell you that at 13, I discovered my passion for writing and love of theater, books and boys and even growing up. I was 13 when I know that theater and journalism will always be a part of my life.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The onion and thick skin around ourselves

It has often been said that there are two types of people in this world; the good and the bad. Going further , there are the onion skin and the thick skin type.

The term onion skin has been used for defining people who are emotional and easily break down in peer pressure. Thick skin on the other hand is describe by those who just shrug off the negative issue and go on with their lives despite the harsh criticism they get.
Emotional means onion skin. Photo courtesy of

Between the two, I believe I'm in the middle of both although 55 percent would be onion skin simply because I get pissed or cry easily. But the past months have also taught me to increase the thick skin that of an alligator or crocodile to survive life. It's been a roller coaster ride as I saw myself fall down flat facing the endless possibilities of not having a job that I will love. But months after that dark moment, here I am, a senior writer for a magazine and heading a publication I have lack of knowledge.

Nevertheless, I took on the challenge and decided to focus and redeem myself of what I lost. While I can never go back, the work I now have is opening lots of doors for me to learn the world of medicine and health. It just gave me the chance to finally join the publishing industry full-time unlike before when I was just contributing.

In this world you have to develop thick like that of an alligator. Photo courtesy of
So whenever you feel like an onion skin, just think on the positive side. From there you build the onion until it becomes thick without you knowing it.    

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Approaching 30...

How time flies.

It just dawn on me that in a week's time, I'll be a year older, 30 to be exact.

I won't lie that I still have much growing up to do. I was always the baby among my siblings. I have a younger brother but I guess his experience in a Science High School taught him to be mature beyond his years.

The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride. Left a company, gain a job left again until I found a company which I believe can help me grow further. As much as I love the publishing industry, working behind the scenes was daunting task but I took on the challenge and foremost that of being a headwriter of a niche magazine regarding diabetes. Despite the fear, I accepted it even if I was hesitant. But fear has always been my enemy and the only way to conquer was to accept. After all, there are the possibilities I would regret if I did not do it.

The saying when a door closes, another one opens can probably be applicable to the situation I have. I am now doing one of the things I love which is magazine writing. I am fortunate that my experience in the newspaper was a big help and I am applying what I can to the magazines I'm working with. But in any company, there will always be the ups and downs and challenging the status quo.

Now that I'm turning 30, the situation presents itself. I must challenge the status quo. I must get out of my comfort zones and risk it. While it may work in both ways, I should not regret it. For all the happiness and tears one thing is for sure right now; I'm ready to bounce back.

I saw a link from Project Runway's Nina Garcia about the 10 essential habits of positive people and reposting the tips here:
Going with the flow. photo from

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.
Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:
 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 
To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 
And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!
 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.
Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.
Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.
The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.
Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!
Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!
When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

8. People who are positive are great communicators.
They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.
One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.
Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.


Friday, August 10, 2012

The spirit of Bayanihan never dies...

Never count out the Filipino in time of crisis.

Following the massive rains brought by the habagat last Tuesday, Filipinos united and did their own ways of helping those who were devastated by the floods in Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Pampanga up to Bataan. As mentioned in my last post, Divine and Victor rallied up their group that was formed during typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) and immediately went to work in packing and distributing goods.

Goods bought through the Fierces cash donation.
The Fierces also gathered together to lend help. Using Facebook and Twitter, our leaders Jasmin and Jencee sought for goods and cash to buy the additions to bring to Divine's house which became the base for the relief operations. I met up with fellow Fierce member John Rufo and was fortunate enough to scout and give five bottles of drinking water, can goods and biscuits to add to the relief.  I was also able to ransack for hotel toothbrushes, soap, toothpaste and shampoo that were just lying in the house. My older brother also donated toiletries and my youngest brother and I couldn't help but laugh when we saw the collection of toothbrushes, soap and toothpaste that he gave. Talk about hoarding but I know it will go to those in need. Mom brought them with her to Miriam this morning where the student council and volunteers were busy repacking.
Jasmin, Jencee, John and Divine Carmelo helping at Victor and  Divine's house to repack goods.

Aside from the goods and toiletries, cooked food was also donated to the evacuees and volunteers via Binalot. By pledging a bulk starting at P250, those who pledge can help feed 5-50 persons. I was really glad that the restaurant thought of this and I was able to share it via FB and twitter to international base Filipinos and groups wanting to help.

Politicians and celebrities did their own relief operations and despite animosity and tensions, they set aside their differences and helped the people who needed the attention. President Noynoy Aquino also went around to examine the damages brought by the floods and also distributed goods together with his staff and sister Kris.

Our leaders Jasmin and Jencee repacking goods. :)
So many stories of heroic deeds with photos showing members of the AFP, PNP, Navy and even ordinary civilians uniting to help rescue those trapped in flooded areas. PAWS also lend a hand by rescuing pets abandoned or neglected by owners.

We may have a chaotic country but if there is one thing that you can never take out in a Filipino is that the bayanihan spirit lives on.


PS: For those who want to donate, please get in touch with Jasmin through @iheartjasmin, Jencee @jeenceepay, Divine @divinemlee, Victor @victorbasa  or you may drop them at Tony Galvez Salon in Cubao, House of Laurel in Makati, Aracama Restaurant at the Fort, SM Megamall and other relief operations in your nearby areas. 

Food pledges are also accepted through Binalot. Tweet @binalot or you may go to their website on instructions how to pledge.  

The longgowncompetition by Shahani Gania is scheduled this Monday, August 13 at Prive where all  forms of donation will  be accepted for the victims of the Luzon flood. Tweet @shahanigania, @xstinasuperstar or@vincearie for details.

Photos taken from Jasmin and John Rufo's twitter and FB accounts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Non-stop rain and mobilization of operation drives

For the last 14 days, rains continue in Manila and this is by far the longest in the past few years. As everyone knows, three years ago, Manila was under state of calamity following the havoc caused by Ondoy.  As of 3:05pm, many areas are already submerge in water and Malacanang has already instructed  the suspension of classes (since last night), government work and private offices although according to Sec. Abigail Valte, if offices force workers to come in, they must ensure the safety and give double pay. As of last report, President Aquino has already instructed private offices to suspend work due to the heavy rains.

Divine and Victor have already mobilized their team which was organized during Ondoy so I encourage all of you to visit Divine's blog on how to help. The Fierces led by Jasmin and Jencee have also called upon the group to help so please tweet or message us for the donations which include food, blankets and water and they will bring it to Divine or Aracama Restaurant to drop it.

ABS-CBN, Rescue 5 and GMA 7 are also accepting relief operations as well as Ateneo de Manila, La Salle and La Salle Benilde. SM Megamall and Ayala have also tweeted that they are open for drop points of donations and shelter for stranded passengers.

As of this writing, places in QC, Valenzuela, Makati and Manila are now in floods with some up to the roofs. Commonwealth, Roxas, QC, West Fairview and Araneta Avenue are also submerge. Marikina River is beyond the 20 feet warning and people have been already asked to evacuate. Dams are also being monitored as well as affected provinces.

Stay safe everyone.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Get together with @mszenzest, magazine work and @iheartjasmin 's b-day

Hello fierces!!!

A huge apology for not updating due to lots of work in the office. This post is quite very late but nevertheless kuwento akesh!

Last July 4, ZenZest founder and President Michelle Fontelera invited the fierces to come to Glorietta to visit the ZenZest store. I knew Michelle way back when I interviewed her for an Ever Bilena story (see the link to Living the Zen Life below)  and how coincidence that her younger sister Carla was a former classmate of mine back in Miriam Grade School. :)

When I arrived, the Fierces were already having photos of Divine outside of the store. I gave my greetings to Michelle and was asked to choose a bottle of perfume (I chose Thistle) which was distributed with a ZenZest gift pack during the dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. I also catch up some conversation with the group most notably Fifi as I have been seeking alot of fashion styling questions for my articles in the magazine. As much as I love fashion, it is a huge comfort to seek one who is really knowledgeable about the trends. I also met Sal who I really became fond of since we were discussing alot of things from fashion to relationships to personal advice.

Going back to ZenZest, Michelle shared her story how she started the business. She was always into colognes and perfumes way back when she was young and after graduating from La Salle University, she decided to make her own concoctions starting at the family's kitchen. She told everyone that she was doing it all from the cooking to packaging with help from her family and do the delivery and join bazaars. ZenZest formally started in a small stall in MegaMall and today is one of the most affordable and booming businesses with stalls and stores all over the country. As with her personal life, Michelle is a mother of two and happily married to Sunday Fontelera. I encourage the Fierces to buy the Go Negosyo book on Women entrepreneurs where you can read more about Michelle and ZenZest's story. :)

It was also during the get together that we also celebrated Jasmin's birthday. Unknown to our Fierce organizer, we were secretly talking to one another (led by Jencee) to chip in for a birthday cake. Imagine Jas's surprise when John came in with the cake followed by another cake from Michelle. We were like paparrazi taking photos of the event hehehe. ;)

The ZenZest store in Glorietta

Divine arriving in a white Grecian dress and yes from a taping.

Surprise!!! John Rufo hands Jasmin the birthday cake we all chipped in for her.

Jas with her two birthday cakes. One from the Fierces and the other from Ms. ZenZest herself. :)
Strike a pose ang apat L-R: Fifi, Sal, Lavern and Yanyan ;)
Parang artista si Jas that day hahaha :D

Yours truly with Divine. I'm glad I really met this girl :)

Me, Mel and Divine Carrmelo :)

Sal and Ms ZenZest Michelle Fontelera

The group with Divine and Michelle. We were given gift packs that day.

On another note, I am busy closing the pages of the magazine I am in charge with as senior writer. I have never been excited so much. The opportunity that I have now has opened alot of doors and as I mentioned before, I will take it one day at a time learning everything and absorbing it like a sponge.  I really can't wait to share the magazine with everyone once it comes out.

Special mention to Sal Fife-Garcia for the photos.

For Michelle's story from the Philippine Star --

Bye for now!!