Yesterday, March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD). Across the globe, people recognized the achievements of women economically, politically, and socially throughout time. It is also on the same day to consider the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women. On this day, I am more proud to be a woman!
As I was writing this post, I realized that IWD has been born more than a century ago. How amazing that women at that time were brave enough to fight for their rights to work, vote and hold public office. It is also very inspiring to look back on how far we have gone since then and how much effort we are putting to push stability, equality, and empowerment to all women.
INSPIRING WOMEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY
Even before I was born, the fight for women’s rights has been ongoing worldwide and there were a lot of volunteers and participants to this cause. Now, I would like to feature some of those inspiring women throughout history which made an impact to me.
Aung San Suu Kyi
EQUALITY TO ALL
The movement for gender equality has been active many years ago and we have seen drastic changes already. True, women can now go to school, work in the corporate world, vote in elections, hold a government post, and enter a business venture, but some are still struggling to have stability and peace especially those living in societies entrenched in patriarchal norms. We have achieved a lot in making all rights equal to both men and women, and I hope efforts to abolish gender inequality will continue on.
LEADERSHIP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
More and more women have proven their leadership skills both in public and private sectors. By leading others, women are grasping another fruit of decades-worth of fighting against social inequality. How many women have successfully climbed and topped the career ladder?
From CEOs, COOs, CFOs, partners, associates, and other senior managerial roles, women around the globe have conquered the corporate world once only dominated by men. Of course, a lot of political and inspiring leaders are women as well. Some of them are Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Indira Gandhi, Angela Merkel, Benazir Bhutto, Golda Meir, Michelle Bachelet, and Julia Gillard, to name a few.
Girl power at its finest! I commend all those women who have worked and fought hard to attain the positions they are in now. They will always be the inspiration for others to stand up and claim their rights. In this time, there is no more limit to what women can do and achieve.
Inspiring Change, being the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, is just apt to encourage active participation of everyone for gender equality.
Now is our time to be part of the change! Don’t shy away from responsibilities to create a better society for women.
Let our voices and actions be heard and seen. Uplift the role of women in our society and fight injustices affecting half of the world’s population. Sign The Girl Declaration and help girls around the world have access to education, employment, health care, safety, and citizenship. Support the fight of rape and sexual assault survivors. Use your talents, skills, and expertise to help out as much as you can. Volunteer – it is time to give back!
ABOUT THIS OUTFIT
Since it is a post for International Women’s Day, I thought of featuring a fierce look to show my fight for women’s rights. A fiercer me for all the advocacies and causes I am supporting. It is just appropriate, don’t you think so?
For this look, I donned my Soiree sexy back black dress together with my SOTD_PH boots. I am always known as a minimalist, so there were no accessories present, save for the Tomato Time watch I was wearing on that day.
For my hair, I didn’t do anything special about it aside from shampooing it that morning. Haha! Professional makeup artist and friend, Anne Olila, did wonders to my face by creating a sexy appearance, crowning it off with her signature smoky eyes. Of course, the ever talented Edryl Castro, photographer, made me look inches thinner in photos. LOL.
Are you feeling empowered as a woman?
On our third day in Thailand, we spent the morning enjoying Green Park View Hotel and Resort amenities. I swam and floated together with the Western guests in the hotel’s free form pool until my skin felt warm and burned. Kidding. Before lunch, we checked out and waited for the tour van which would transfer us to our next destination – Bangkok.
WELCOME TO BANGKOK
I was finally in the big city! I partly saw some areas when I moved from airport to Pattaya, but as the van drove down the main roads in Bangkok, it finally set in – I was where I wanted to be! I had items in my 2014 bucket list that needed to be done here in the City of Smiles, and I was so excited to do all of them.
NOUVO CITY HOTEL
Originally, Kimchi Man wanted to book at Prince Palace Hotel, but he considered the nearness of Nouvo City Hotel to Khao San Road. He wanted me to stay and feel the Banglamphu area, or the Old Bangkok City, and as a frequent tourist in Thailand, he vouched that the experience would be unique.
Nouvo City Hotel is a modern luxury boutique hotel just a few minutes away from Khao San Road. I didn’t expect much since Kimchi Man mentioned having a cheaper accommodation for our first hotel in Bangkok. Still, I was surprised when we were dropped off by the tour van and the hotel loomed above me. It wasn’t a shabby inn, as I expected.
I didn’t take photos in my stay in the hotel, but these grabbed photos will give you the idea.
[photos from Nouvo City Hotel]
TIP: Try the Diplomat’s Room! If you want to know more about this hotel, click here.
KHAO SAN ROAD
We simply placed our bags inside our room then headed out to take an early dinner meal. I didn’t have to worry which streets to take since I was with the BKK tourist expert, haha! Soon, we found a place filled foreign tourists and we decided to check it out. It was a nice choice! The restaurant was called Greenhouse Café, located right next to Khao San Road, in Soi Rambuttri, if I am not mistaken. Look what we filled out tummies with!
With happy stomachs, we strolled along Khao San Road, the popular walking street in old Bangkok city. Tagged as “The Center of Backpacking Universe” by the novel, “The Beach”, this one-kilometer stretch of road is a haven for backpackers as it is filled with the anything-goes vibe and teemed with countless of guesthouses and inns, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, massage and tattoo parlors, and street vendors.
TIP: If you like to drink, go here in the evening as the place gets livelier at night. Better bring cash, too. Lots of cheap souvenir stuff and Thailand travel shirts can be found here.
STARBUCKS IN BANGKOK
I was still full after spending some of my energy walking along Khao San Road and its surrounding streets that I demanded my quick fix for this crazy ailment – hot green tea. We combed local stores for my favorite drink, but they only offered those Lipton tea bags which I hate. Nearing Sunset Street though, a huge Starbucks sign caught my attention and I immediately pulled Kimchi Man towards it. Ah, for the love of green tea!
PHRA ARTHIT PIER 13
We went back to the hotel to change our sweaty clothes (blamed the weather for my sweat glands activation lol). Then, we took a cab going to Phra Arthit Pier 13. Kimchi Man included a night trip to Asiatique, and he wanted me to experience riding a taxi boat. Isn’t he thoughtful? However, a boat left few minutes before we arrived and we waited quite a while for the next. Feasted by Bangkok’s mosquitoes, we surrendered for another cab ride instead.
ASIATIQUE THE RIVERFRONT
Once a bustling international trade port, Asiatique has been transformed into Bangkok’s first-ever large scale riverfront mall and night bazaar to serve Thailand’s local and foreign tourists.
It has more than 1000 boutiques to shop at, numerous upscale restaurants to dine in, and fine sights to explore.
I wanted to eat while looking around so we stopped by at Gelate and look at their tasteful selections!
They even had a replica of Juliet’s balcony! Look at those love locks!
Other shopaholics went home with multiple shopping bags, I brought home an entire luggage.
My ride is here. See you soon!
Do you prefer living in an old city or in a modern one? See you on Thailand Travel Diary Day 4 and read my travels in Ayutthaya!
P.S. All photos were taken using my Samsung smartphone. Some shots might be grainy since they were taken during the evening.
It has been almost two weeks since Valentine’s Day, but we are still in the so-called Love Month. This time seems like an excuse for shopping malls and other commercial entities to decorate their stores with red hearts and play romantic songs over the radio while lovers celebrate their feelings to each other. In a country where this scenario is glaringly apparent every day, it troubles me to think of those who are single or have recently broken up. Won’t they feel bitter to be surrounded with these joyous celebration of love to a partner?
I know someone who was affected by this highly commercialized holiday. She broke up with her ex quite some time now, but still haven’t committed herself in a relationship again. When asked, she would turn bitter and say that she needs no one. She’s happy being single. I could understand the freedom and independence she thought she was having by being unattached, so I didn’t pursue asking her. However, I wasn’t aware that there was a growing issue underneath her jolly façade.
Before, I noticed she was uncomfortable with our guy friends and I attributed it to her recent breakup. Then, she won’t go out even with us, her girlfriends, and instead invent many lame excuses not to see us. I wasn’t bothered until lately, when even her colleagues flood her with comments pleading her to go with them, too. I tried talking to her then, and when she finally granted my request to meet her, I was surprised with what I’ve discovered.
Being Single is Different from Being Alone
My friend did not take well the sour ending of her year-long relationship. It isn’t easy, I give her that. In the beginning, she couldn’t face her friends and family who were witnesses of how their love bloomed and withered. She preferred tiring herself at work and hiding in her room at home. She also stopped accepting invitations to social events for fear of talking about what happened. Friends and colleagues tried to get her out, but their efforts were all in futile. She was slowly turning herself to a recluse.
Have you ever felt so alone? So sad that you just want to bury yourself in loneliness and never come out?
Those were the questions she gave me in our small chat. She admitted that at first, she felt depressed how the relationship ended, and helpless for being unable to stop it. She felt so lonely. Later, loneliness engulfed her and she was cocooned in it. Solitude made her comfortable, safe, and secure. She didn’t want to get out. How could she embrace loneliness like it’s her lifeline?
My friend, I may not know how difficult it was back then, but your family and friends were and will always be here for you. Don’t turn your back on us!
Every one of us has experienced rejection and abandonment in different degrees and it is okay to stay alone for a while. Keep in solitude until you found yourself perfect and whole again, but never get deluded in the sense of comfort it gives you. We will patiently wait for you to return to us and we will surely welcome you back with open arms!
ABOUT THIS OUTFIT
This long black dress was from OASAP, one of the leading international online fashion stores out there.I have made multiple transactions from it and I never had a single complaint about its service. The site is user-friendly and filled with a huge range of fashionable products to choose from. Also, the customer service is always there whenever I have queries about a product or my order details.
One thing worth highlighting about OASAP’s products is the quality it has compared to other brands. It never fails to deliver high-quality clothes. If the product description says it is 100% polyester and fully lined, expect the item to arrive the exact way.
This is my first maxi dress and I was afraid it would dwarf me once I wear it. I like its simplicity and elegance with tassels and cutout details as its only design.
What do you think? Does it suit me? I will upload few more photos wearing a belt to add body, so please bear with me and my lack of figure here. Hehe.
Set your self free, my friend!
Thoughts to Ponder:
“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” – Jodi Picoult
“Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” - Haruki Murakami
Nuffnang, one of the leading blog advertising agencies in the country, will be rocking its 7th year anniversary in the blogosphere very soon. To celebrate, affiliated bloggers are invited to attend an exclusive party on February 28, Friday, starting from 10:00 PM at Cabana Club, Resorts World Manila. Dress code will be black and white suits and evening dress. As much as I am excited to go, I am faced with one problem – what shall I wear?
It is a common situation for us girls to have an outfit dilemma, especially if we are going to attend a social event. Appearance is important and we want to look our best. We can’t just pull out a long dress from the closet without considering if it has already been a style fad or not. For us, a keen eye for design and comfort is a must in selecting our fashion ensemble.
Being an online shopaholic that I am, various stores came to mind. There were those I have already tried and others which just picked my fancy. I browsed through all of them looking for inspirations, but without any special result. Thankfully, someone introduced me to a new online shop featuring high quality dresses in affordable price. Let’s check the site together!
ZDress is another worldwide online fashion retailer shop which has been gaining more popularity these days. It has a huge range of clothing and accessories being updated to the latest trends daily. It also promised to have superior quality in its products in a factory low price. Well, the last part got me most interested to try and search for my outfit.
Help me choose?
I first saw this mini black dress with chiffon long sleeves. It looks casual and classy for me.
How about this black crisscross sleeveless dress? It looks daring, but the front is so plain cotton. I am not sure I could be brave enough to wear this, but the design is good.
This is really a black and white ensemble. It has that sexy asymmetrical skirt and white tube top. Will I rock this?
I have seen a lot of this type before, but I don’t own one. It looks a perfect party LBD. Shall I add it to my collection?
Lastly, I have seen this safe and sweet midi dress. It is plain black with only asymmetrical cut in the skirt, yet it suits my personality. I am not sure it is appropriate for the event though.
Oh, which to choose? I find it difficult to find an outfit since I really don’t go to bars and clubs. Yep, I just confessed that. I am a very boring person stuck in books. Anyhow, which dress do you think would suit me and the occasion? Please let me know!
There are only two more days left for my JollyChic International Giveaway. Join and win $100 store credits here.
On the other side of the world, spring is yet to come, but in the Philippines, we are already tasting the summer heat. Almost everyone is fantasizing about an escapade with skinny golden bodies, sky blue water, and large waves. Living in an archipelago with more than 7000 islands is sometimes an advantage for beach adventures, but being a city girl also has its drawbacks. One of which is having no nearby sea to swim in.
Fortunately, one resort exists amidst the high rise buildings and busy lifestyles in the metro. I was even lucky to be invited in its Bloggers Day a little over a week ago. To share my experience, I am writing this first summer post for 2014.
Club Manila East is a one-stop resort in Taytay, Rizal, which offers various water-related activities and innovations to delight its clienteles. Aside from its various pools, this waterpark also features a FUNtasy Lagoon, Boating Area, Buzzy River, Beach Volleyball, Beach Waves and Ocean Waves which never fail to entertain everyone. It also caters accommodations for both day and night tours, as well as function venues for events such as parties, group activities, and team buildings.
That morning of February 9, bloggers and guests were assembled in front of our designated cabanas. There, Christian Sikat, CME Marketing Officer, warmly welcomed us and gave a run-down for that day’s activities. Then, we waited for a while for the arrival of CME’s VP for Operations and Marketing for a brief introduction and orientation. For our free time, we took leisure taking our OOTDs.
Soon, we met Mr. Reu M. Dellota, VP for Operations and Marketing, and Mr, Louie Ramirez, Senior Manager for Sales and Client Relations, and we chatted a bit about the resort’s vision and how they want to be more active in social media and blogosphere. We also have a mini discussion about the resort’s history, amenities, and other branches. Here’s a photo of us bloggers and facilitators.
As a warm-up, CME gave us the chance to experience Beach Volleyball in the city. Unimaginable? The resort features a court with fine sands, score boards, and referee stand fit to collegiate and international games.
credits to: the-travelhub
Being a non-sporty type that I am, I joined the game with only one goal in mind – win the prize! Unfortunately, the other team won with three gift certificates each. I internally blame my [lack of] skills.
The winning team. You know what to do, sister!
After basking in the sun’s harmful rays, I reapplied my sunblock lotion to get ready for our next activity. We headed to the FUNtasy Lagoon and directed to its Boating Area. There, we experienced kayaking. It was a first for me! Didn’t know the paddle could provide arm exercise.
go paddle, sistah!
Row,row, row your boat
Next, a free lunch was provided to us by the CME staff. I think I exceeded my yearly dose of soda – three cans!
SHADED POOL AND GIANT TWISTED SLIDE
Having my almost perfect tan, I did not want to stay longer under the sun, so I urged my sister and friends to go to CME’s Shaded Pool. I’ve been wanting to try this since I saw it in the huge map near the entrance. Finally, a place where I wouldn’t get burned!
I enjoyed floating and swimming in the pool despite the noisy Korean kids also present. Seems like we weren’t the only ones who were afraid of Mr. Sun! I could understand snippets of their conversation and complains for the temperature. Haha! Meanwhile, the others also tried the resort’s giant slide. [no photos available]
CME FLY: ZIP LINE
Few minutes after 1 PM, we tried the CME Fly, a 350-meter zip line with a height of a six-storey building. From up above, the rolling Beach Waves up to the Giant Slide can be seen. Being the only who had tried zip lining several times,
I cheered my sister and friends to boost their courage and face their fears.
OCEANWAVES SURFING POOL
The last activity for the day was surfing. For Php 1500, one can enjoy a two-hour basic surfing lessons with an inclusion of surfboard rental. Since I am a blogger, I was entitled to this for FREE!
The Club Manila East “Surfing in the City” has been the resorts exceptional draw from the date it was opened. Being the first and still the only one in the Philippines, it has captured beginner and trained surfers alike to catch waves right here in the Metro. In partnership with the Philippine Surfing Academy, classes are done with a personal trainer and surfboards internationally made for wave pools.
To start, bloggers [and my lucky sister] were given a land-based orientation to know the parts of a surfboard and some rules and tips when surfing.
Next, we practiced our stance when standing in our boards.
Soon, our professional instructor deemed us educated enough to try surfing. Paddling in our surfboards to those swells, our trainer guided and instructed us to push up and stand. “Never give up! Don’t be afraid to stand!” was my teacher’s mantra.
I countlessly fell down in the water, scraped and bruised my knees in the pool floor, but he was patient teaching us. Before the session ended, I was proud to count one successful and several almost-there attempts. Didn’t beat my sister who was the first to successfully stand though.
When our class ended, we were given free time to have fun frolicking in the water and using the resort’s amenities. I noticed that whenever we go, there were staff visible to attend to our needs. Lifeguards were also there and maintenance were seen cleaning the areas every so often. Food was also generously provided for us. With my OOTD outfit, I looked and felt like a spoiled daughter of Club Manila East!
It was a fun-filled [yet skin darkening] experience I had with my sister and blogger friends. I was beyond grateful to The Club Manila East Resort for opening its amenities for us and being accommodating and friendly to our inquiries and requests. To Christian who initially sent an invitation even when I was lounging in another resort in Pattaya, thank you for receiving us so warmly. I really love to come back and bring more friends!
Who’s ready for summer? Club Manila East Resort is ready to accommodate you, your family and friends. This February, they have an ongoing promo where the entrance fee is reduced to Php300. Yay! I will definitely come back to try their new amenities that would be opening soon. How about you?
Club Manila East is located at KM 24 Manila East Road Taytay, Rizal, Philippines. To know more about the resort, check their website here.
Are you excited this summer? Share your plans! Have you tried surfing before? In beach or pool?
As a blogger, it is very important to take photos of clothes, events, portraits and landscapes for my site. Pictures make every article more interesting to read, so I always make it a point to include at least one in a post. As much as I am happy with the quality of the raw photos my Samsung Galaxy S4 takes, I still love playing with effects, filters, borders, and stickers using photo editing applications and software. Whenever I see a vibrant and colorful photo, I always wonder how to do that. Hence, my continuous search for photo editing apps.
Few days ago, I stumbled upon Fotor. It is another photo editor available for various platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. I downloaded it for free at Google Play Store and tested what it has to offer.
It has the basic editing tools like crop, adjust, effects, scenes, borders, tilt-shift, and text. The user interface is good, friendly, and intuitive, so there is no need to worry if you are a beginner like me. I don’t like those apps which don’t have labels to their editing icons; they assume everyone already knows each of them.
Fotor has various photo effects to choose from and I love them all. They make me look more beautiful.
Each tab for Classic, Lomo, B&W, Art, and Vignette offers tons of features as well.
However, I have read that Fotor has collage and text options but I failed to find it in the mobile app. Thus, I tried downloading it in Windows for FREE and was happy that I found everything that I was looking for.
Photo collage was a fun experience as it let me do whatever I wanted. I could add up to nine photos for the collage and change border thickness, background, and color. There are many layouts to choose from, but there is also a freestyle option where one can do a collage scrapbook-ish. It also has a 1:1 ratio which makes edited photos Instagram friendly! I hate it when I have to crop or put borders to my pictures when I upload them to IG.
As a noob in photo editing, I prefer mobile apps, one-tap enhance, and one-click editing over complicated processes. Perhaps that is why I don’t like learning Photoshop. Instead, I keep on searching for easy and user-friendly applications that could give me high-quality and professional looking photos for my blog. Now, I think I have found one reliable app that could help me with my blogging needs and social media life. If only the mobile version also has collage and text features, this will be perfect.
Have you tried Fotor before? Which mobile photo editing app are you using?
Would you be my Valentine?
How many times have you been asked by this question? More importantly, how many times have you received this from someone you like? What did you answer?
Last February 14, I have never expected to see a lot of people going out exactly on Valentine’s Day. Wherever I looked red, I saw red, and I meant it literally. Bunches of red roses along with heart sticks and teddy bears were being sold by street vendors along the pedestrian lanes, while shopping malls and restaurants were competing each other for the best Valentine-decorated place. Also, hotels, resorts, and even motels gave all promos one can imagine just to entice customers to have a reservation. All these mostly for couples who would like to celebrate their love on this red-letter day.
In my country, one will be painfully aware that he/she is single during Valentine’s Day. It must be the culture, Internet, media, or probably the effect of those three, which made it an unwritten rule to better celebrate with a partner. I don’t agree with any of this. Why a person’s happiness would depend on another?
Can’t we just appreciate the love we feel and witness around us? The love of our parents, siblings, friends, and colleagues? Yes, loving someone special is an entirely different experience, but if we don’t have a partner at the moment, we must not feel bitter about it. Instead, we must appreciate the love we are willing to give to someone we haven’t met.
ABOUT THIS OUTFIT
I wore this for a pre-Valentine celebration I had with my friends. Yes, friends! It is possible to have fun and celebrate love even if Kimchi Man is in his home country and we couldn’t celebrate together. Anyway, I got this very feminine and ruffled white top more than a year ago, while a blogger friend and I bought this lovely red skater skirt in the first week of February. For the shoes, I have received many compliments for this pair, but I am not sure exactly where you guys can buy this. I only got it from a blogger bazaar last December.
For this look, professional makeup artist and friend Anne Olila made my eyes more dramatic to suit the romantic night we were in. She did amazing contouring on my face that photographer friend Edryl Gwayne Castro commented that I looked like some local celebrities. Whoa! That’s how excellent Anne is; she could make a goddess out of a nerd.
Since it wasn’t a planned photo shoot, Gwayne only had her camera ready. Thus, most photos are dark. If you have seen some bright lights on my face, it was because of my Samsung S4’s Assistive Light default app. Anne was very resourceful to have thought of this.
Who had fun last Valentine’s Day? Did you celebrate it with your special someone? If your answer to my last question is affirmative, did you exchange gifts? Oh, I hope my readers are not that type of girls who feel entitled to receive lavish gifts without giving something in return! Check where I am coming from and read My Thoughts on Valentine’s Day post.
Who wouldn’t know today’s date? Since the start of the year, many of us were already looking forward to this red-letter day. Social media and commercial industries did not fail to remind us about this huge event, especially if you are in a relationship. Couples were both excited and stressed, while single people tried not to give a fig about this holiday. Whichever group you are in, I’m afraid no one can escape to witness heart decorations in shopping malls, romantic songs on the radio, statuses on Facebook and Twitter, and promo deals by restaurants and hotels for Valentine’s Day.
ARE YOU CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY?
This question is both for those committed and not. For couples, do you give and receive gifts on this day? Do you prepare ahead of time for your special celebration in a restaurant or hotel? For singles, do you hangout with fellow solo friends or pretend that this day does not exist? Do you somehow feel bitter that you don’t have someone to share Valentine’s with?
For two years, I did not celebrate Valentine’s Day the way almost all people do. Aside from my long-distance relationship, I did not feel joining the bandwagon of roses, stuffed toys, and hotels for one day. When I became single, I did hangout with a friend for dinner, but I did not feel envious of couples holding hands and girls carrying impossibly huge bouquets.
MY THOUGHTS ON VALENTINE’S DAY
As I observed, a lot of people make this day a very big deal especially if they are in a relationship. Even before Chinese New Year, they were already stressed over Valentine’s gifts and reservation plans for their dates, as if daily stress from work and family are not enough. The Internet and social media greatly affect most of us by suggesting presents to give or fancy restaurants to dine in. For so long, society made Valentine’s day a commercial event where the more expensive the gift or reservation is, the better.
Also, I feel pity for the men. Why is it that even until now, Valentine’s Day is mostly associated with giving a woman something? A dozen or more of red roses, box/es of expensive chocolates, gigantic stuffed toy, or a diamond jewelry is often something to be expected by a girlfriend/wife/partner. What happened to those women fighting for gender equality?
I have seen a lot of girls going gaga over an expensive gift they have received from their hardworking boyfriends or husbands. It disgusts me to no end. Worse, they flaunt it to their friends while adding, “I am actually not boasting, but I think you must see this. My boyfriend/husband must really love me for buying this!” Why not instead of showing off, ask what you have made or given to your special someone? Did these girls even make an effort of doing so?
Why do expensive material things make us happy on this marked day? Do we really need to be spoiled with things just to be reminded that we are loved? Isn’t our love to our partner supposedly enough? Or are we greatly affected by commercialism already? I am not against material gifts, but wouldn’t a cheaper present have the same worth?
Even with my disappointing observations of many couples’ behaviors on Valentine’s, I still see some who are not sticking to society’s norm. I know several women who make effort to surprise their special someone by breaking the status quo, and I admire each and every one of them. Those couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day in their own, special, and more often than not, inexpensive way, are my inspiration. I would love to have someone to share Valentine’s Day that way.
HOW TO SHOW YOUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION ON VALENTINE’S DAY
Even though society and media are screaming for commercial gifts and five-star hotels, these things are not the essence of Valentine’s Day. Instead, February 14 is supposed to be a celebration of love and appreciation with one another. Material things are irrelevant; love has no price tag.
Personally, I prefer doing my own gifts. Not only they are cheaper, but they are also made by my hands and heart. Also, I am always uncomfortable receiving something from my boyfriend, so I usually give him something special for a change. Thus, I made a list of simple yet sweet things to do and give to your boyfriend or husband on this special day. If you haven’t thought of a present to your special someone, why not give these a try?
VALENTINE’S GIFT IDEAS
- If you are friends with your kitchen, cook his favorite dish. Better ask his mom for recipe.
- Or you can bake him a cake or brownies. Men love to eat anything, anyway.
- Give him a coupon for a free back massage. Catch: You will be the masseuse.
- Make him a mix tape (or mix CD) with his favorites or your theme songs.
- Write him a song or poem.
- Make a collage, frame it, and put it secretly in his room.
- If you are into crochet, make him a nice sweater. Maybe with his initials or yours?
- Create a movie of your photos and videos together. Add a personal message at the end and I am sure he will keep hitting replay. Trust me.
- Take him to the place where you first met, got engaged, or married.
- Show your creative juices by making him a scrapbook.
- Write him the sweetest Valentine’s card you can do. Make it as personal as possible.
There are a lot of gift ideas out there which you can do. The most important thing is that whatever you do, it must sincerely come from the heart. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the love and attention you have for one another and the appreciation that you are a couple. There is no other alternative.
VALENTINE’S DAY ROMANTIC OUTFIT IDEA
Red is the color of the heart, and as romantic people associate this organ to love, it is appropriate to wear on my Valentine’s Day post. It does look cliche, and I am sure a lot of people will tease me, but who cares? At least I look like the paragon of beauty and romance! Haha!
Kidding aside, red has been a symbol of love for years. If you are happy in a relationship or simply enjoying your freedom, you can still wear this outfit. Valentine’s is about loving yourself and extending it to others. As long as you have the capacity to love, you don’t need to mope around and be bitter that you don’t have a date.
I felt confident wearing this red number after the very talented Miss Anne Olila, professional hair and makeup artist, showed me her skills and made my face a very beautiful masterpiece. She didn’t have to ask me questions; she simply matched various cosmetics to my skin color, and voila!
Of course, these fabulous photos were made possible by my newest photographer, Miss Edryl Gwayne Castro. She introduced herself as a newbie, but I appreciate her love to learn. I was surprised when I first saw the processed photos; not a newbie at all! I would love to be her muse for her future projects.
What do you usually do on Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate it? Did you know that in East Asian countries, the custom is for girls to give a box of chocolate to boys on Valentine’s?
I woke up quite early for my second day in Thailand. Originally, we were bound to Koh Larn Island, a picture-postcard paradise west of Pattaya. However, we had limited time to explore during the day because we booked an after lunch travel package. Kimchi Man suggested that it is better to have a separate trip for beaches and sunbathing, and since I wanted to be exposed to Thailand’s culture first, he did not include swimming in our itinerary. He added that we could go to beautiful beaches in my home country, the Philippines, or go back to Thailand next time for a Phuket trip.
Thus, we spent our morning enjoying Green Park Hotel and Resort’s amenities. Their free-form pool was very inviting and most guests chose to take a dip here than going out. When my stomach gave me a signal, we went to a restaurant near our resort to have some lunch.
Soon, we were picked up at our resort’s lobby by a Korean travel agency van. Funny that aside from the driver, I was the only non-Korean in the group. More interestingly, other guests thought I share the same nationality with them.
NONGNOOCH VILLAGE CULTURAL SHOW
Our first stop is to watch Thailand cultural show. As a future diplomat, I wanted to know more about other countries for intercultural understanding with the Philippines. Various presentations were shown depicting the colorful and royal culture of Thailand, as well as its rich history.
However, I didn’t expect to see dancers stepping over fast opening and closing bamboo sticks. I was surprised they also have my country’s “Tinikling” as their traditional dance.
NONGNOOCH ELEPHANT SHOW
Right after the cultural show, guests were ushered to walk a few meters to watch smart elephants performing various tricks.
From dancing, biking, painting, and even playing soccer, these lovable elephants showed that they could quickly learn to provide entertainment to people.
NONGNOOCH TROPICAL GARDEN
We were given around two hours to explore this 500-acre Nongnooch Tropical Garden, considered as the biggest and most beautiful botanical garden in Southeast Asia. It has perfectly manicured European and French gardens, and pretty Butterfly Hill, Orchid Display Garden, and Flower Valley. It also showcases a Stonehenge garden and vintage cars!
According to my research, spending a half-day tour in this world-renowned adventure park is not enough to take in all the beautiful attractions it has to offer.
TIPS: Wear comfortable footwear as there will be no other mode of transportation inside the gardens other than your feet. Always re-apply sunscreen and bring hats or umbrellas.
TAI TAI ELEPHANT GARDEN
This was my favorite part of that day’s itinerary as I was able to tick off one more item from my bucket list – to ride an elephant!
We rode a 30-year old female elephant and even got introduced to its mate! The elephant coach spoke broken Korean to us and shared stories about the village and its elephant residents.
The sun was about to set and our tour guide suggested to go to this popular attraction in Pattaya. At this golden hour, everything was more beautiful and bright.
The romantic scenery of beautiful Italian-styled buildings were highlighted by the setting of the sun and colorful flowers surrounding the lagoon.
Silverlake’s vineyard stretches far from the rolling hills, but I wasn’t able to taste some grapes. Kimchi Man offered to go to Italy if I really want to visit a legit vineyard.
Overall, I highly recommend this place if you want to end your day with a romantic, serene and panoramic view.
TIPS: Entrance is free! Better bring pretty clothes if you want to take fashionable photos here for remembrance.
BUDDHA MOUNTAIN – KHAO CHEE JAN
Near Silverlake is another tourist destination only found in Pattaya, the Buddha Mountain.
Carved out of the cliff using laser technology, this 130-meter high golden Buddha became one of the noticeable attractions in Pattaya. It was so huge I felt Buddha was looking down at me. LOL. Anyway, we spent less than 20 minutes here just to take obligatory tourist photos. Once done, we started heading back to Pattaya proper.
WALKING STREET PART II
In my Thailand Travel Diary Day 1, I shared my first experience in Pattaya’s popular Walking Street. For our second day, we decided to dine here for another filling seafood experience. We chose King Seafood Restaurant since it also has the same atmosphere as its neighbor, Tankay Restaurant.
I used their public restroom before heading out and I found these unique signs!
YA YA MASSAGE
Feet weak and exhausted, Kimchi Man suggested we took a foot massage before going back to our hotel. Being ticklish and coward, I pleaded to have mani-pedi instead. Nearby Walking Street, we spotted Ya Ya Massage which offers nail polish services as well. Soon, Kimchi Man was happily snoring while a therapist was giving him an hour’s worth of massage, while I was sitting pretty choosing my nail color.
KOREANOVELA IN PATTAYA
The massage studio used traditional polish technique so it was not surprising when my pedicure did not easily dry up. When we stepped out of Ya Ya, I realized I was wearing closed flats which could definitely murder my bright green nails. Kimchi Man told me to stay while he would search for street vendors selling flip-flops. Of course, I didn’t want to be left alone in a foreign country so as a solution, I held my lace blue flats in my right hand while Kimchi Man carried me on his back. Thais and Western tourists alike looked at us as we crossed the street going to a nearby department store. There, I bought a pair of pink floral slippers. But I would trade it for another piggyback ride anytime!
How did you like my Thailand Travel Diary Day 2? Which part of my itinerary did you like best? If you have been to Pattaya, which place did you love the most? If you are planning to go to Thailand, which places would you like to see? Day 3 will be in Bangkok, Thailand so please stay tuned!
**all photos were taken using my Samsung smartphone**
My JollyChic Giveaway is still up on the blog! Join and win $1oo store credits. Open internationally.
After the popularity of BB creams, the next big thing for skin care is the launch of CC creams. A lot of Korean cosmetic brands have released their own versions and I was lucky to try Innisfree Real Skin CC Cream from W2Beauty, an online Korean cosmetic shop.
Name: Innisfree Real Skin CC Cream SPF 30 PA++
Net Weight: 40 mL
Purchased from: W2Beauty
This was my first Innisfree product and I loved how the box is made from recyclable materials and printed in soy ink. Not only it is resourceful, but environment-friendly as well.
Made in Korea, but you don’t have to guess what those Hangul characters are. Innisfree ensures that there is an English translation right after.
The bottle is made from sturdy plastic in neutral color. It comes with a pump which is very hygienic and easy to use.
TEXTURE AND SCENT
Innisfree Real Skin CC cream comes in a very light pink color with micro beads. It has a creamy texture, but lightweight when applied. It exudes a slight floral scent.
I tried applying the CC cream to my face after my skin care routine. Here are the before and after photos.
I felt my face became more moisturized upon application. The cream glided easily to my skin, thanks to my SK II morning regimen. The micro beads tried to adjust the formula to my skin tone, but I observed that it gave me a whitish pallor. Even though it comes in a light pink color, it made my face appeared somewhat pasty in a satin finish. I have a medium fair skin with neutral undertones, so this is most likely the reason, but I believe this will suit better in pale skin tone with pink undertones. Also, I tried wearing this the entire day and I didn’t notice any fading.
- Comes in a hygienic packaging
- Has sun protection (SPF30 PA++)
- Suits well for pale skin
- Can be worn for six hours without any signs of fading
- Can be easily bought through online shops (if you are not from Korea)
Innisfree Real Skin CC cream is another skin care product revolution that everyone must try. If you have a pale skin tone and would love to have a cream that could correct and control your facial skin color, I would recommend this. If you have a medium fair skin tone and/or would like to have more coverage, I suggest you try mixing this CC cream with your BB cream. I swear you would love it!
I know how it feels to be unable to try your favorite Korean brands because there are no franchised stores in your area or the price of products are impossibly high due to taxes. If you are interested to purchase Innisfree Real Skin CC cream or any other products from Korean cosmetic brands, you can try going to W2Beauty website here. As featured in my post, W2Beauty offers a huge collection of skin care and cosmetic products from various Korean brands…with free international shipping plus samples! Now, because all readers of Impressions of a Princess are so special to me, you can exclusively have a $5 voucher when you signed up for a W2Beauty account. Just register in this link and you will be able to use your free credits whenever you buy an item from the site.
My JollyChic fashion giveaway is already up! If you haven’t joined, do so already and you might win a $100 store credits.