Whiterock Rocks!

Summer is officially on and we can definitely feel the scorching heat in the air! So if you’re up for some total fun and your skin is yearning to soak under water, it’s time to consider your options for that perfect getaway with your friends and loved ones.

If you don’t want to go too far from the metro but still want the perfect venue, a great choice may be Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel, or simply Whiterock.

Photo grabbed from Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel’s Facebook page

Located in Matain, Subic, Zambales, Whiterock is a resort covering a vast area of seven hectares. And just like what its name implies, it is a waterpark  and beach resort in one, so aside from the wide Subic beach in which guests can experience adventures like jet skiing and banana boat riding, there are also wave pools, water slides, and swimming pools to expect, and even other recreational activities like rappelling, wall climbing, and and ziplining.

It also has around 175 hotel rooms for those who want to spend a night or two in it. Guests can choose accommodations from the main building, Subic View building, Beach side area, and Seaside area as long as there as are still rooms available.

Whiterock map (Photo grabbed from its website)

Whiterock map (Photo grabbed from its website)

Hmmm… Actually, I haven’t really tried being a guest at Whiterock, I was just part of a little group on an ocular visit, searching for the perfect venue for our work’s company outing. And we aren’t exactly a department tasked for this stuff, it just so happened that the Admin Head, a friend and who’s assigned to this yearly, invited me and my package friend to join her, so along with one of the company drivers, we journeyed Zambales to check out different resorts.

Two of the rangers on a mission of finding the perfect location for a company outing! :P

Two of the rangers on a mission of finding the perfect location for a company outing! 😛 (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

Photo opportunity with our camera-shy driver, Kuya Allan. :)) (Photo grabbed from Deth Alegre Boss)

Secret photo opportunity with our camera-shy driver, Kuya Allan. :)) (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

Just a short tour around the resort was enough to get our jaws dropping. Coming from the entrance, the first we saw was the Team Building Grounds. It is so wide that I’m quite sure that the more-than 100 employees in our company can merrily run and roll at it–only if we want to, of course–all together.

Team Building Grounds

Team Building Grounds (Just guess what kind of weather we had while there)

Proceeding to the left, we passed by Pistahan ng Whiterock, a nipa-hut style  function venue, which was one of the improvements made last year.

Pistahan ng Whiterock

Pistahan ng Whiterock

And then there’s the kalesa to add to the native feel of the function area. It’s free to ride in for some photos.

Whiterock (15)

Whiterock (16)

After that, we were welcomed to a little colorful paradise for kids and the young at heart–the Children’s Play Pool area! This where my package friend and I spent most of our time talking and having fun like we were already on the actual outing. LOL.

Whiterock (17)

We just loved the playground ’cause it brought us to our childhood days where we didn’t have anything else to think about but silly stuff. A bit emo, but there really are those kind of days. hehehe

Whiterock (18)

Photos at the Children’s Play Pool area were taken by the funny Kuya Allan

Whiterock (19)

… In which he joked that when we get back to Metro Manila, he’d not only be a driver, but also a photographer. Good job on acquiring a new skill! :))

My package friend and I couldn't help but be crazy while at the swing. Photos were taken while our swings were in motion. XD

My package friend and I couldn’t help but be crazy while at the swing. Photos were taken while our swings were in motion. 😄

Right behind the playground is the pool itself complete with kiddie slides. Off limits for us on this part as we didn’t bring extra clothes with us and hey, we were merely on an ocular visit.

Kiddie slides at the Children's Play Pool!

Kiddie slides at the Children’s Play Pool!

At the side of the pool

At the side of the pool

The Children's Play Pool taken from a higher place (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

The Children’s Play Pool taken from a higher place (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

A little while later, the Admin Head, Boss Deth, called us to the Grand Pool. And oh, this isn’t called such for nothing. Aside from being big, it has two big white rocks in the pool itself, and even a bigger white boulder that serves as a wall, in which, yes, the name of the resort was taken. The former rocks even have an interesting legend which you can read on the second photo below.

The Grand Pool also has a see-saw slide behind it

The Grand Pool also has a see-saw slide behind it

Legend has it...

Legend has it…

Of course, we couldn't leave the place without a photo one of the white rocks.

Of course, me, my package friend, and Boss Deth couldn’t leave the place without a photo with one of the white rocks. (Photo grabbed from BossDeth)

Because the pool is huge, guests can play ball in it complete with a net and even ride on the big life buoys. And guess what, its life guard was nice enough to let me and my package friend experience one of the latter for a few seconds. hehe

With this photo, who would think that we were only on a short visit? XD

With this photo, who would think that we were only on a short visit? 😄 (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth)

At the right side of the Grand Pool is the Rampage Pool then beside it is Big Bowl Waterslide which looks so exciting to slide at.

Rampage Waterslide

Rampage Waterslide

The Big Bowl Waterslide. Shame I could only imagine myself going in circles in it at the moment.

The Big Bowl Waterslide. Shame I could only imagine myself going in circles in it at the moment. 😦 😛

To complete the ocular visit, we went to the other side of the resort where in we passed by the Giant Wave Pool and Children’s Plunge Pools, before finally heading to the beach.

The Chilren's Plung Pool at our back. Please don't mind our silliness with the innocent statue. hahaha

The Chilren’s Plung Pool at our back. Please don’t mind our silliness with the innocent naked statue. hahaha (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth)

The beach is nice! The sand is white that I don’t mind sacrificing my fair complexion just to enjoy that part of the resort!

The beach area. See the mountains there? That's the Subic Mountain Ranges! Nice view,huh?

The beach area. See the mountains there? That’s the Subic Mountain Ranges! Nice view,huh?

Whiterock (27)

Photo op with white sand! :D

Photo op with white sand! 😀

We headed to the Viewing Island which I think is perfect for some solitary thinking while staring at the horizon. Haha Oftentimes, my thoughts are only good for the lovers of solitude.

At the Viewing Island

At the Viewing Island

Then since we weren’t official guests, we were only able to disturb the peace and quiet of the jet skis on their parking space. Well, at least the staff assigned to it allowed us to experience them albeit us looking stupid. The man had fun watching our wackiness, by the way.

Turn to the right!

Turn to the right!

Turn to the left!

Turn to the left!

Stand up and put your hands up!

Stand up and put your hands up!

Wait! We were already surfing on the parked jet ski! Wahahaha XD

Wait! We were already surfing on the parked jet ski! Wahahaha 😄

Aside from the dining and entertainment areas, the only places we didn’t get to see were the accommodations since according to the crew that entertained us, all the guest rooms were full at the time, so of course, we couldn’t just barge in to check them out.

Despite that, we were happy with the visit, no matter how short, and we were convinced that it’s the perfect place for our company outing that all the other resorts we checked became so, so nothing compared to it. Sadly, it wasn’t approved by our work’s management because with a beautiful place like that, the company’s budget for the outing didn’t match with Whiterock’s rates. Pffft.

But looking at the brighter side, at least we got know such a wonderful and fun place. For free. 😛

Interested with the resort? Visit Whiterock’s webpage at http://www.whiterock.com.ph and find yourself wanting to be there in a jiffy!

 

 

Whiterock Waterpark and Beach Hotel
Matain, Subic, Zambales
Tel. #: (047) 222.2378 / 232.2857
Mobile #: +63922.813.3630 / +63917.863.0844
Telefax #:(047) 232.4446
E-mail: reservation@whiterock.com.ph

What’s Small but Terrible? It’s Cherry Mobile’s P8!

Amid the people crowding and drooling over big and technologically advanced cellular phones from giant companies, my friend and I showcased our uniqueness and went for the small and cute, yet surprisingly capable one from a starting local firm.

Cherry Mobile P8 - 1,199 pesos

Cherry Mobile’s P8 – 1,199 pesos

It all started when my friend-slash-officemate came to my place at work and excitedly told me about a cute phone she saw the other day that she thought would match our unique taste. It was the Cherry Mobile P9 and we searched for it on the Internet and it really was cute and totally inexpensive. We promised each other we would buy one each as part of the signs of our friendship, but on our next pay day because it wasn’t part of our budget as of then.

Then came weekend and we went to one of her cousin’s home and saw her niece’s phone which looked like the one we ought to buy soon. We borrowed it, placed it on our palms and got impressed with its size, then checked its features out, and since then we couldn’t get it off our minds.

So when Monday arrived, we looked for the phone in Eastwood during office lunch break, then SM Megamall after work. It was quite a frustrating hunt, with every store had it out of stock, until we saw the Cherry Mobile booth in SM Megamall’s Cyberzone, and then YES! We saw our perfect phone! Not the P9, though, but P8 which is actually better. P9 looks like a calculator, while P8’s like a toy but really, really cute and more of an eye candy.

The Pros 

CM P8

Cherry Mobile’s P8 is a tiny gadget packed with goodies. At the price of 1,199 pesos, you get a dual SIM phone that is also MMS, WAP, and GPRS capable. Then though its colored LCD is only 1.44 inches, its user can still view photos taken from its 1.3 MP camera and if one wants to, can transfer them to a computer since P8 also has a Micro SD slot that can accommodate up to 4GB! And the camera has options for: photo size, night mode, brightness, contrast, exposure, white balance, and effect. Nice, huh?

Not only those, who would’ve thought that such a small phone has Bluetooth, FM radio, can play audio and video, and even record voice and video? Almost everyone I showed it to in the office find it really impressive and one even already bought her own.

And with all the dangers on the streets expensive phones bring their owners, Cherry Mobile P8 offers no risk at all. I can wave mine freely everywhere without any fear that some bad guy or two would take it away from me. I’m too confident about this since I don’t think snatchers would sell their souls to the devil for such a price. hehe.

It’s also available in various colors: pink, blue, white, black, green, grey, white, and yellow.

The Cons

CM P8 04

Now there’s a downside to everything. Due to its size, this phone is not advisable to people with big thumbs ’cause they’ll surely have a hard time with it. And the keypad isn’t QWERTY, which means if you are to type letter O, for instance, you will have to click, click, click on key 6 first to get it, then click, click on key 9 for letter X.

When it comes to sounds, P8 is quite decent until you listen to music through its earphones–Errr… That is if you have ears like mine, that which is sensitive when it comes to what has good quality and what hasn’t. But if your ears aren’t, I guess it wouldn’t be a bother.

And if you’re into applications, obviously this isn’t for you. In fact, I think I have decided to make this my phone because I have an Apple iPod Touch, and only the SMS-sending capability is missing in it, so P8 is the perfect fit for that gap.

If you don’t mind the few negatives, you can definitely go for this phone and I recommend it. 🙂

CM P8 02

Established in 2009, Cherry Mobile is fairly new to the local IT business but it already managed to snag the IT Company of the Year award at the 2010 CyberPress Awards.

My friend and I with our Cherry Mobile P8. (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

My friend and I with our Cherry Mobile P8. (Photo grabbed from Boss Deth Alegre)

Toward Mt Daguldol’s Summit

I am never the sporty type. I don’t get to stretch and use my body the way others do.

I tried playing volleyball back in gradeschool only to prove myself I was a total shame in that field so I stopped right then and there and never tried another sport, except for those needed in my Physical Education subjects. Up to this day, the only physical activity I am into is walking, and walking I do as part of going to places and back home, and whenever I have to think hard.

But when Des, a friend and former co-writer, chatted me on Gtalk inviting me and two of our other friends, Mao and Champy, to join her and her friends in their upcoming minor climb at a mountain called Mt Daguldol, I got really interested and accepted the invitation. It might be a crazy idea for someone like me who isn’t exactly in shape, but I was up for an adventure and something new, so I thought, why not try it for experience.

First-time hikers (Photo by Desiree Quijalvo)

First-timers all set for the hike (Photo by Desiree Quijalvo)

The Mountain, the Neophytes, and the Adventure

Established by the UP Mountaineers as a hiking spot in the 90s, Mt Daguldol is a small mountain range located in San Juan, Batangas.

The adventure started not from mountain itself but from the 30-minute trek at the Laiya Beach, a nice beginning if you love the seashore and the sunrise, if you’re there very early in the morning. So we walked on the sand, which either entered our shoes or sunk them, saw other people taking photos and having fun at the beach, then passed by the rocks, then more sand, until there it was, the mountain to climb.

Taking advantage of the nice scenery. SMILE! :)

Taking advantage of the nice scenery. SMILE! 🙂

A walk at Laiya Beach

A long walk at the Laiya Beach

Walk at Laiya Beach 2

Photo by Desiree Quijalvo

:)

Photo by Desiree Quijalvo

Walk, walk, walk

Fellow hikers (Photo by Desiree Quijalvo)

Mt Daguldol has a difficulty level of 3/9, but although they say that numbers are precise, the hike wasn’t as easy as was claimed. And I am not saying it just because I’m new to the activity. Des and her friends aren’t part of any mountaineering groups but they’ve been climbing mountains as a hobby since 2006, and they sure had a hard time with this, too.

We were a group of around 20 and were divided into subgroups, and ours was at the tail. We only had an hour of sleep before the big day that’s why the climb was extra tiring. So we took the time and stopped for some rest every time we felt like it, and which made the usual five-hour challenge to the summit longer. But just like what Tito Fred, the eldest in the group, said, we shouldn’t exhaust ourselves too much by rushing to the top, we should just take it easy to save more energy. And so that’s what we did.

Des taking some rest.

Des taking some rest.

Of course, I had my precious moments, too.

Of course, I had my precious moments, too.

During the climb, even just a few seconds of rest was priceless.

During the climb, even just a few seconds of rest was priceless.

Never forget to smile and laugh despite the hard times. :)

Never forget to smile and laugh despite the hard times. 🙂

I was actually quite cool about it at first, Champy was even joking me that I walked like I was on a runway and was wearing high heels. But come our first real rest at the first waiting shed, after we all stood up and started hiking again, the sides of my vision went dark and I had to ask our little company to stop again because I was feeling nauseous. Champy gave me a candy, but instead of making me feel okay, I found my breakfast on the ground after a few moments, and I didn’t allow anything else, except for some gelatin and softdrinks, in my tummy the whole day. I was afraid to puke again and it was one of the things I hate, so it was better to be safe. The humiliating  scene made me much better, though, and my effortless stride on the runway continued.

Trail food: Lychee-flavored gelatin.

Our trail food: Lychee-flavored gelatin.

I think everyone in our group would agree that aside from the peak, it were the resting areas that we were all waiting for. They were the oases in a desert of trees, grasses, rocks, and soils. Among them is Mang Lizardo’s where Halo-halo and Mountain Dew are sold. Since I was already exhausted and I was taking care of my tummy, I didn’t order a Halo-halo, but it would have been refreshing if I got to taste it.

At Mang Lizardo's. Time for some unwinding in the midst of the mountain.

At Mang Lizardo’s. Time for some unwinding in the midst of the mountain.

Mountain Dew sold in the mountain. Makes sense. :P

Mountain Dew sold in the mountain. Makes sense. 😛

What I learned about this day event is that hiking is really a test of endurance. There were a lot of times when I thought of throwing in the white flag along with my treasured pride, because I couldn’t do it anymore, and just go down and wait for them to come back. But it was proving myself I’m not a wimp that kept me going. ‘Cause I’m not. I am not the type to give up easily, so I persevered, though the back of my mind was pleading me to do otherwise. That’s the spirit.

Hey!

Hey!

Perseverance

Perseverance

is

is

the

the

Key :)

Key 🙂

Then at last, we reached the summit. The vast area is covered with green grasses, is windy, and perfect for picnics and even overnight stays if one would wish to. Being there was the time when we all felt all our efforts paid off. Too bad we left our lunches in one of the resting areas, that’s why we had to cut our blissful relaxation and proceed in going back.

Mao and I rested on the grass while our legs were raised--an anti-varicose vein move. XD

Mao and I rested on the grass while our legs were raised–an anti-varicose vein move. 😄

Des' jumpshot at the summit....

Des’ jumpshot at the summit….

... Meanwhile, Mao and I were far too exhausted for some jumpshots of our own.

… Meanwhile, Mao and I were far too exhausted for some jumpshots of our own.

The pairs of shoes that helped us to the top, and would do the same in going back.

The pairs of shoes that helped us to the top, and would do the same in going back.

Photo op with our fellow hikers. We made it! :)

Photo op with our fellow hikers. We made it! 🙂

From our experiences in stairs, we learned that it’s easier going down than up. But with Mt Daguldol’s case, it was the other way around. With every step I made on our way down, all my weight would go to the foot that made the move, and with repetition, it became quite unbearable, and so we had to stop more often. Tito Fred said it was because I was wearing sneakers, not rubbing shoes. He said that the latter have cushion at the sole, thus, it isn’t so painful when the shoes hit the ground. So a friendly reminder to you, dear reader, if you’re going hiking for the first time: Rubber shoes, not sneakers. Again, rubber shoes, not sneakers.

For me, the best part in all of this, aside from reaching Mt Daguldol’s peak, was the next day when I woke up anticipating the tell-tale aches all over my body, especially in the legs, but I didn’t feel any. I even asked my sister’s boyfriend if it was possible to feel the pain the day after next, but my brother just interjected and teased me that maybe I was born for the mountains, and they both laughed and sang Lady Gaga’s Born this Way.

It was when I realized that all the walking I love doing actually made me fit for such physical activity. Good thing I was unconsciously trained for this. hehe

I swear, we're not fond of photos.

I swear, we’re not fond of photos.

We just love to smile, that's all. hehe

We just love to smile, that’s all. hehe

Yes, even if we're very much tired. :P

Yes, even if we’re very much tired. 😛

My first hike was tiring and frustrating in the process, but looking back… Hey! I’m very proud to announce that I survived my first hike at Mt Daguldol!

Will I do it again? Well, I guess so. My door’s open for invitations. 🙂

—–

REFERENCE:
Pinoy Mountaineer

—–

All photos by Champy Cachola–who didn’t get tired of taking all our hiking pictures–unless otherwise stated. 

That Adorable Little Coin Purse

EGG coin purse 2

Coins may not be as big as paper bills, but they sure deserve some perky tiny pouch, don’t they? With that, I present to you my latest cute possession, a coin purse from Egg, a local shop that caters the youth with its trendy and colorful bags and pouches! 🙂

Made of synthetic leather, this Egg item is an eye candy not just for its bright red color, but also for its attractive, creative design. On the side where the decoration is usually placed is a cute ribbon with a touch of color brown, while the other side serves as the bottom, all of which gives the impression of a small gift that’s always inviting you to unwrap. And here’s the twist: Unlike other coin purses, its opening is at the adorned side, just under the ribbon.

What you do is simply unfasten the snap button, then you are welcomed inside the pouch, wide open, giving your eyes the access to every coin inside it–which I think is a pro of this purse. This kind of opening gives its user the ease compared to those which openings are on the seam–either with the use of zipper or something else–that results in you fumbling your fingers inside such a small storage, hoping you’re getting the right change you need.

So what do you think about it, a must-have, huh? 🙂

This coin purse first captured my fancy, and my package friend‘s as well, in November. But since we didn’t have the budget for it then, we just promised that we would buy two of them together on a pay day.

We almost forgot about it, until recently when I went to Egg’s SM Megamall branch, saw a bunch of them on one side, decided to buy two, and gave the pink with beige one as an early Christmas present for my friend.

At the price of 200 pesos, you can also give this coin purse to your friends and relatives this Yuletide season, or if you think it’s too cute, you can also buy one for yourself! There’s also a wide selection of other items which you can choose from when you visit one of its branches.

Not sure if your favorite mall has Egg? You can check out the list below for Egg’s branches and their details.

EGG Coin Purse

Branches:

Egg – Cedar
G/F Cedar Executive Bldg, Arnaiz Ave., Makati City
Tel. No. (632) 836.7053

Egg – Marquee Mall
Level 2 (Home Zone), Marquee Mall, Angeles City, Pampanga
Tel. No. (045) 304.0572 / (045) 304.0557

Egg – SM City Baguio
2/F SM City Baguio, Session Road, Baguio City
Tel. No. (074) 304.1573

Egg – SM City Manila
LGF SM City Manila
Tel. No. (632) 522.1898

Egg – SM City Marilao
G/F SM City Marilao, Marilao, Bulacan
Tel. No. (044) 933.2138

Egg – SM City North, The Annex
3/F The Annex, SM City North Edsa, Quezon City
Tel. No. (632) 441.1787

Egg – SM City Pampanga
G/F SM City Pampanga, San Fernando, Pampanga
Tel. No. (045) 875.1847

Egg – SM Mall of Asia
2/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Tel. No. (632) 556.0799

Egg – SM Megamall
LGF Bldg. A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Tel. No. (632) 687.3508

Egg – TriNoma Mall
3/F Trinoma, EDSA cor. North Ave., Quezon City
Tel. No. (632) 900.7065

Outlet Store: FMF Business Center, Level C, 126 Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City

EGG

You may also visit Egg’s website at: http://www.regalongpambahay.com/ or like its Facebook page to find out more of its offerings online!

Visit Egg today! 😀

Anything But Ordinary Wallets

One idle work day, my friend-slash-colleague got so bored we were willing to do anything to kill time.

So with all the office supplies in the office, we decided to get our creativity going. She tore some papers from her notebook, while I rummaged through our file of received mails and found an empty envelope, cut here, and folded there, then…

TADAAAA!!!

We went green and created masterpiece wallets, complete with pockets for money, receipts, cards, and business cards, from used materials. Aren’t we amazing? :3

Right after finishing our recycled wallets. We’re so happy with the results! 🙂

Just kidding. Both of us are way too focused and hardworking to have any free time at work. 😛

In a time when Mother Nature has been pleading for help, we join the advocacy for being environmentally friendly without sacrificing fun, creativity, and quality.

What we’re holding on the photos above are actually Airmail– and 3 Ring Binder-inspired wallets called Mighty Wallet from Brooklyn-based company, Dynomighty Design. These quirky money holders, which are available in various graphics, are 100% eco-friendly, tear-resistant, water-resistant, and stain resistant.

Airmail and 3 Ring Binder Mighty Wallets upclose

First sold at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, a Mighty Wallet is made up of a single sheet of super strong microfiber material called Tyvek, merely folded and not stitched, making it one incredible thin wallet that is expandable enough to store as much stuff you need. The material is the same with that for express mail envelopes, but thicker, to ensure durability. The inks used are also guaranteed eco-friendly.

But if its designs are cool, deceiving, and are perfect for people who love making pranks, its proclaimed strength has met questioning facial expressions from officemates we showed our new wallets to.

Looks like an innocent envelope lying on my desk. hehe

In doubt of Mighty Wallet’s sturdiness? Its packaging, except for the plastic, and a paper containing informative information which is inserted in the wallet itself, are also Tyvek material. If you’re lucky to get a hold of any of these, you can try tearing it with all your power, but I’m very confident that you won’t be able to. Except perhaps if you will use a pair of scissors. There will be wrinkles on the spot, but it will be far from being ripped.

You can also spill water on it and even on the wallet, but not too much as the money and business cards inside are surely not made of Tyvek, and you’ll see how a paper amazingly resists the liquid. Its name speaks of the truth, they’re mighty wallets, indeed.

Christmas is coming very soon and I know you’re already thinking of and buying presents for your loved ones. How about this? In this Philippines, it is sold at Quirks Novelties and Curiosities at Rockwell Center, Makati City for 696.43 pesos. You can visit the store for more designs, or for your convenience, you may click here.

With our love for anything unique, my friend and I are definitely happy with our new wallets! 🙂

Pucker Up those Healthy Lips :*

It was just in April of this year when I started wearing lipstick.

My officemate, who is a close friend and a long-time wearer of red lipsticks, had convinced us, her lady co-workers, to buy inexpensive lippies from NYX online. At first, I wasn’t interested in joining the craze, thinking my lips are way too dry for it and that wearing one would be very uncomfortable.

But then my friend pointed to NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink and said it would look great on me since its light color fits my “demure” image. I considered what she said for a few minutes, then I thought, hey, it’s only 135 pesos, so why not try it for a change.

NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink (Photo by Champy Cachola)

So the purchase was made and I got my first. ever. lipstick. Oh boy, it’s kinda embarrassing, but it did look good on me and even on my other colleague who also bought the same shade. It makes one’s face bloom!

The Tale of the Lipstick Addict

That NYX shade became my official lip color for a few months except when I felt like using the NARS lipstick my close friend gave me some time when we transferred to another job.

Then one July night,  a seductive little catalogue arrived home with the letters A, V, O, and N on its cover page. I flipped through its contents and was completely hypnotized. And so, it was then when my love for lipsticks was born. I got two from it, was sated, then I bought another one from MAC. I thought of trying a red shade, but I was afraid it wouldn’t look good on me, so to be safe, I purchased a very affordable one from the local brand Fashion 21, then I bought another from a foreign brand, until voilà! I already have a lipstick collection!

It is true that mothers know best, though. When my mom noticed that I buy lipsticks like I was simply changing clothes, she suggested that I stop because it was getting too impractical. She said that there are other better stuff that I can use my hard-earned cash with. I got her point, and it had sense, and so like your regular obedient child, I took her advice. Whew!

Okay, I confess. It didn’t stop there. Just this month, I bought Avon Ultra Color Rich Brilliance Lipstick in Vermilion on a whim. I have this Avon dealer co-worker who always brings her catalogue to the office, and I saw this other officemate deciding on what to buy, then BOOM, I guess you know what happened next. I told it to my mom, and as she was about to say something, I quickly interjected that it was only 199 pesos, and that I promise that this time around, it’s really, really, really, really, reeeeaaaalllllyyyy the last. Hehe. Really now… >.<

Taking Good Care of Your Lips

With dry lips and a great lip color come great responsibility (Whoa. Who would’ve thought it would be just like being Spiderman? O_o).

Lips should be kept healthy so you can confidently pout like this! Just kidding. >.< Next photo please…

As I said above, I wasn’t into lippies before because I have dry lips (Along with my dry hair, dry skin, and dry eyes. Dry everything.). So just imagine yourself in my shoes. You’re on your way to work and you’re wearing a noticeable fuchsia pink lipstick. You’re so happy about it, but after a while, you feel your lips are getting dry. You’re tempted to lick it but doing so will erase what’s on so you act like a martyr who has mastered the art of self-control for the sake of beauty.

Then there comes a cute guy from the opposite direction and he is kind of looking at you. He is your type so you smile at him until you suddenly realize that he may be looking at the horror that is your now chapped fuchsia pink-colored lips. So what happens next is you look away in shame. Not a very good sight for him, not a very good sight, indeed. Tsk tsk. And you just ruined that potential love affair before it even started. (Note: This is purely fictional, okay? There’s no way I can smile to the guy I like like that. 😛 ) Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

Devastated, you mull over stopping painting your lips ’cause it’s turning into a discomfort. Yet just like anything else, once you start with it, you can never live without it ever again. So you need another option for this little challenge.

But what may it be? Thanks to the pieces of information I got all over the Internet, I now know. If you’re also a lipstick wearer but have lips that are always dehydrated, you may want to continue reading for useful tips on how to take care of your lips without causing you a fortune.

Aside from the dry lips itself, there are lipsticks which formulas are very drying and hot on the lips like that one I got from Shiseido. So add those two up and you get double pain in the neck. The solution? Simply put lip balm first about three minutes before you apply your lipstick. That way, it wouldn’t only moisturize your lips, it’ll also make it shimmery (That is, if you’re into that kind of lips).

Then before going to bed every night, always put petroleum jelly on and leave it overnight to achieve that soft duckface-worthy lips.

… Or like this! The “sexy” way, if it can be called that. hahaha This is getting too shameful, this blog entry is turning into my vanity pout page. :’) My apologies. Last photo please…

But applying those on your lips isn’t enough, for just like the skin all over your body, your lips should be stripped off of the dead skin cells to expose those healthy live ones. There are several simple ways to exfoliate the lips:

1. Toothbrush. After brushing your teeth, put a small amount of toothpaste, petroleum jelly, or nothing at all on your toothbrush, and gently rub it on your lips in circular motions. Do this for one to two minutes, then put petroleum jelly to moisturize your lips afterward.

Among the exfoliation methods, this is the only one that I do since it promotes no bother. I brush my teeth thrice a day with the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste (just like everybody else), so the only extra stuff that’s needed is another few minutes to my brushing time, that’s all. There’s no way I would forget it or I would be lazy ’cause all the essentials are with me thrice a day. 😀

2. Sugar. Mix sugar with olive oil or petroleum jelly. Use it as a scrub and gently rub it to your lips in circular motions using your fingertips. After rinsing off with warm water, don’t forget to put petroleum jelly on your lips.

3. Baking Soda. Mix baking soda with water until it resembles a paste. Put it on your lips, then with the use of a toothbrush or your bare fingertips, rub it gently in circular motions for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. To moisturize your lips, do not forget to apply petroleum jelly.

4. Honey and Sugar. Make a scrub of honey and sugar by mixing both and applying it to your lips, again, in circular motions. Let it stay on for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. Honey is known to be a natural moisturizer, so by using this method, you won’t need to apply petroleum jelly anymore.

So those are the four simple and budget-friendly steps to exfoliate the lips. Whatever method you choose, as long as it’ll get rid of the dead skin on your lips, go, go, go, I support you! haha.

Serious mode. Of course, a duckface is more fun and better done with a close friend who has equally healthy lips. Meet Mao, the person who persuaded me to wear lippy. 🙂 (Photo by Champy Cachola)

Oh, I almost forgot. Wearing lipstick did something good to me aside from the aesthetics. It stopped me from licking my lips whenever I feel like its very dry. Did you know that saliva evaporates fast making your lips drier than before you lick it? If you don’t, well now you know. That’s all. Hope this entry helped you if you have the same problem as mine. 🙂

Deboned Goodness: Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata

A few months have passed, but I can still remember that moment when I first had the taste of something sooooooooooooo delectable, and so, so worth raving about.

I am talking about Serye‘s Boneless Crispy Pata. If you look at the photo below, the presentation alone would make your mouth water in anticipation, and that’s even in person. So just imagine when it finally touches your taste buds. Mmmm…

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata at 130 pesos per 100 grams

Discovering the Goodness

Before anything else, let me first tell how I came to learn about the restaurant.

Serye was introduced to me by a close friend and office mate who went eating at its Eastwood branch with two colleagues one lunch break. As a person who likes sharing everything to me, she quickly told me she wanted to make me try its offerings especially the Boneless Crispy Pata, and so she went on talking about it for a few days until at last, our plan to eat together there materialized.

I think we just got our salaries when we headed to the same branch (it’s very near our office) with one of the co-workers she went with her first time. So both of us decided to treat this office mate, the company’s admin head, because she has been really nice to us even if she is just a new acquaintance.

It was around 12nn so the restaurant was full and we waited a few minutes before we got our table. The place was nice and cozy and the crew was really accommodating, but waiting for the food was taking forever, or maybe we were just running out of time since we only had an hour. Setting that aside though, once the food we ordered were already on our table, I forgot that I waited (one of my greatest pet peeves is waiting) and instead, pure satisfaction took over me that by the time we went out of the place, it was my turn to rave about it ceaselessly and enthusiastically to my friends and family.

Inside Serye, Eastwood branch

The Taste of Goodness

We ordered two viands, the Boneless Crispy Pata and Sinigang na Bangus Belly (Bangus is milkfish in English). At 215 pesos per order, the latter is equally superb, only that I think there was too little bangus in it that it seemed like it was a Sinigang na Gulay (Gulay is vegetable in English.), if such food exists. It was delicious that I didn’t find myself hoping there was a fish sauce nearby, and the slices of fish took no fuss in chewing because they didn’t have even a single bone when it’s known to have lots of it, but hey, it is really, really the former that I want to focus on in this post.

Serye’s Sinigang na Gulay… Er… I mean, Sinigang na Bangus Belly at 215 pesos

So what is a Crispy Pata? (It’s so off when the photo above this is not what I’m talking about. hehe Please forgive it. ‘^_^)

Crispy Pata is a Filipino dish made of a pig’s trotter, boiled in salted water, vinegar, and onions (or so my mother said), then deep-fried making its skin oh-so crunchy. When eating, it is dipped in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, sliced onion, chopped garlic, green chili pepper, pepper, and a little bit of sugar for added flavor.

When I was a kid, I remember how everyone would devour it once placed on the table like not doing so would leave them with nothing during family reunions. And now, I was able to have a taste of Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata. As the name would suggest, it is deboned, therefore, there’s no hassle in consuming it, ’cause all you have to do is chew and chew and chew, and indulge your taste buds and tummy. Now that’s total pampering for you!

It is also sliced to the right thickness for more ease in eating, and is cooked perfectly, so expect juicy meat meets crispy skin as you put a bite size in your mouth. It costs 130 pesos per 100 grams, or 600+ pesos for a small size (like on that first photo above) that’s good for three people. Of course, Serye also serves the regular Crispy Pata for a cheaper price of 100 pesos per 100 grams, but with the boneless one around, I believe it will be just a second option.

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata is the restaurant’s newest bestseller and is one of the dishes, along with the Kare-Kare, that won the Sooo Pinoy, The Search for the Ultimate Pinoy Dish award.

The Goodness that is Serye

Serye not only offers Filipino dishes, but also cakes, pasteries, and coffee.

A little trivia about Serye: The name of the restaurant is short and simple, but behind it is a total creativity and a hidden message. Serye is an anagram of the owner’s surname, Reyes, since the menu was based on the recipes of the Reyes family matriarch, Engracia Cruz Reyes (I suggest you click the link before this, she was totally amazing). Aside from that, the word serye, or series in English, signifies the restaurant’s mission, which is “to carry on the family’s culinary tradition.” As a person who’s in love with words, I find this totally awesome.

Currently, Serye has three branches in QC Memorial Circle (924.3411 / 426.2693 / 0921.8489149), in Santana Grove, Sucat (825.4691 / 826.9317 / 0915.2276042), and at Eastwood City (911.2334 / 709.3712 / 0921.3708648). Visit one of them now and be filled with real goodness!

P.S. Yes, I am a Reyes but no, I’m not related to these Reyeses, though I have joked that my father owns it and I was assigned to manage the Eastwood branch. hehe 🙂