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.