Living in the Philippines, a beautiful hodgepodge of cultures and races, has its own perks. Aside from our local tradition, we also observe various festivals celebrated by foreign communities residing here. With the country’s mission to respect and tolerate every one’s beliefs, religions, and races, the government leads the nation to accept the diversified culture only found in the Pearl of the Orient.
Since Spanish regime, Chinese started flocking the archipelago and over time, the influx of these Asian foreigners paved the way for the creation of Chinese communities all over the Philippines. Due to intermarriages among Filipinos, these communities continue to grow. With the increase of population, Chinese communities started to become one mighty social and economic entity in the country. Its culture and tradition gradually became amalgamated with Filipinos’ while Chinese and Filipino-Chinese businessmen continue to help driving the Philippine economy. As one big foreign group in the Philippines, Chinese has influenced the country in so many ways. An example of this is the celebration of the Lunar New Year.
The Filipino-Chinese communities celebrate Chinese New Year hoping for prosperity, peace, love, and harmony among family. Usually, they prepare lucky money slid inside a red envelope (Hong Bao/ Ang Pao), eat sticky rice cakes and fruits, and watch/participate in dragon dances performance.
If you have a Chinese friend or someone who has Chinese blood, how would you like to celebrate Lunar New Year with this person? What gifts would you like to give him/her?
HOW TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR
Go to China Town and join the festivities
Wear something red
Prepare sticky rice cakes and share with family and friends
If you are young, greet someone older with “Xin Nian Hao” and expect to receive small cash inside a red envelope marked with Chinese characters
Visit Seng Guan temple
Watch a parade in China Town or Binondo
Be one of those strong dancers lifting the head or body of the dragon/lion
Watch beautiful firework displays in China Town
GIFT IDEAS FOR THE CHINESE NEW YEAR
Hong Bao / Ang Pao
This is probably the best and easiest gift to be prepared. Just buy those red-colored envelopes elaborately decorated with gold and black characters and insert bills. A tip – better give bills in an even number for good luck: 500, 600, 1000. Never hand out a 400 or anything with 4 as this is bad luck though.
Impress your friends with your fine taste and knowledge about the best sought-after alcohol in China. If you can find Mou Tai, a liquor from Baijiu brand, it is rumored that you can easily become closer with your Chinese friends. As the authentic version of this legendary drink can be quite pricey and difficult to get even in China, you can be assured that this gift will be highly appreciated and well-remembered.
Chinese people mostly prefer tea than water so it is probably good to add more to their stock of beverage.
As giving in pairs means good luck, include this very cute and affordable tea strainer I found from Lazada, a Philippine online shop.
Supplements and Herbs
Nourish the body and prolong the life of your Chinese friends by gifting supplements and herbs. It can be a ginger root, Chinese jujube, black sesame seeds and any of those found in Chinese herbal stores.
Chinese love to start the Lunar New Year wearing new clothes from head to toe. Why not be practical and buy your friend an additional trendy piece for his/her wardrobe?
If this friend is soon to approach his/her Chinese zodiac year (mine is 2014, horse), better gift him/her with a red underwear, too!
Whatever you have decided to give, always remember that it is the thought that counts, so put your heart in searching for the perfect gift. Don’t forget that presentation also matters!
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Have a happy and prosperous New Year!
Curious what was the first thing that was ticked off in my 2014 bucket list? READ HERE
On that Sunday morning, I willed my lazy body to wake up early. I arrived at the airport (NAIA Terminal 2) less than two hours before my flight. I met Kimchi Man there and together we headed to Philippine Airlines booth to check-in our luggage. The agent behind the counter had an unpleasing attitude for that fine morning, but we simply brushed it off. No one could ruin the start of my perfect holiday vacation.
There’s nothing worth mentioning about my flight to Thailand except that both Kimchi Man and I were disappointed with PAL’s complimentary hot meals. After cruising in 37 000 feet for more than three hours, we finally landed to Bangkok.
SUVARNABHUMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Welcome to Thailand!
Looking like a baggage while waiting for Kimchi Man’s luggage in the carousel
I find it an interesting hobby to read the back of a toilet’s door. This one only proves I was somewhere far from my home. LOL
My first thought that came to mind was, “Wow, it’s huge!” My last international flight was almost four years ago and I was surprised as to how I got used to my country’s very cute airports. Anyway, I also observed that there were too many tourists in the airport, mostly Westerners! Kimchi Man and I looked like kids among the giant whites. If the length of the queues in the immigration area is not an indication of the number of tourists in Thailand, I don’t know what is.
After a little over an hour waiting in the ground floor of the airport, we took a private bus then a van to our destination, Pattaya. We used Bell Travel Service for the transfer, just in case you want to know.
Tips: Your booking confirmation is not your final ticket. Better go to Bell Travel Service counter in the ground floor and show your printed voucher. An agent will then give you your tickets and cute “I am a tourist” sticker to be place in your shirt at all times. Somewhat kidding. Not applicable to Kimchi Man though. He’d been to Thailand more than six times already. What a killjoy. ^_^
PATTAYA – GREEN PARK HOTEL AND RESORT
In an hour and a half, we were dropped off by our friendly, non-English speaking driver at our resort. “Welcome to Green Park Resort,” he exclaimed in his broken, weird and funny Thai accent.
We were warmly welcomed by the staff who assisted us with our luggage. Kimchi Man immediately proceeded to confirm our booking, while I was being served with refreshments. Yes, life is sometimes unfair. When I reached the room, I was pleased.
The view was beautiful! If you wish to know more about Green Park Hotel and Resort, you can go to their website here. I forgot the exact rate we got, but I think it was somewhere around US$150/night. Affordable!
Eager to go sight-seeing, I freshened up quickly. We must beat the sunset!
A few minutes’ walk from the resort, I found myself staring into a beach beholding the beautiful setting of the sun. Kimchi Man told me it was the Pattaya beach where many tourists flock to go sunbathing. I internally flinched with the last word as I didn’t need any sunbathing – I have a perfect, well-cooked tan already! Kidding aside, sunbathing still caught my attention. Only sunbathing? Getting close to the waters confirmed what I have read in my research.
According to Wikipedia, the Pattaya Bay area is one of Asia’s largest and second-most visited city in Thailand. It has a long stretch of beaches, but Pattaya beach had become dirty over time. However, tourists still love to go here to “cook” and turn themselves into fried lobsters. Nearby islands e.g., Coral Island, sufficed the need for healthy swimming though.
After a lazy walk along Pattaya beach, Kimchi Man surprised me on how we would go to our next destination. It was my first time to ride Thailand’s short but spacious jeepney – a safer and more comfortable version of what we have back in my country. Interestingly, the jeepney was all occupied by tourists who were very excited to stand in the back of the moving vehicle. Funny.
Alighting one of Thailand’s unique mode of transportation, we walked one block before arriving to Walking Street. If you have read my post on A Vacation You Would Like to Take, you would have seen Walking Street being included there.
I am not a green girl if that’s what you’re thinking; I am simply curious about what goes on in this so-called “red light district” of Thailand where one can see a lot of go-go bars.
TANKAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
To have my first authentic Thai food, we dined at Tankay Seafood Restaurant, an open-air, close to the sea diner located in Walking Street. Huge, fresh lobsters and other seafood I am too lazy to write here were displayed in the entrance, which, of course, easily enticed Kimchi Man. We were ushered to a table closest to the sea and I could see the black water blinking back at me. Gratefully my stomach brought me to reality and made me order these:
BE A HAPPY TOURIST
Filled with fresh, yummy goodness, we strolled along clubs and go-go bars before a thought came to Kimchi Man: We needed to be connected as always! Finding the nearest Family Mart, he purchased this for me:
For as low as 300 THB, I stayed connected to my family, friends, and blogger fans through the entire trip. All thanks to DTAC’s 7-day unlimited 4G mobile Internet, I didn’t miss my slow and problematic unlimited data connection at home.
WALKING STREET’S STREET FOOD
I just love word play, sorry. No more words here.
ALCAZAR SHOW – THE GREATEST SHOW IN ASIA
Kimchi Man really paid attention when I answered his questions on what I wanted to do in my dream vacation. “I want to see lady boys,” I replied. I didn’t imagine he would remember that and put it in our itinerary.
As mentioned in my Thailand Travel Tips, using one’s smartphone apps like Google Maps and Navigation will surely help you a long way. Kimchi Man’s got us lost though. Alcazar’s indicator in his Google Maps was wrong so we believed that it was near Walking Street. Always checking-in to Foursquare, I found the location of Alcazar near our hotel resort! Quickly hailing down a cab, we arrived in our destination two minutes before the start of the show.
Tips: If you are interested to watch Alcazar Cabaret Show, it is highly recommended to book tickets in advance as seats get easily full. Also, don’t be late. Normal seat rates around 500 THB (US$15)
Seated, there came a booming voice of the anchor telling the audience that the show was about to start (which made everyone excited) and cameras, phones, and video recorders were not allowed to use inside the theater (which everyone ignored). Soon enough, the curtains were raised and I waited for the legendary performance in this side of Thailand.
Kimchi Man is not a fan of lady boys, but all the performers in the show were all previously male. I was worried at first that he would not enjoy, but the allure of these pretty and sexy female impersonators performing cultural to pop numbers in their glittering costumes made him feel at ease, somehow. They showcased songs and dances from Asian countries and the West, though I observed Korea had four sets in their entire show, with Gangnam Style rocking the entire theater. With great music, performance, backdrops, and costumes, it was a very entertaining way to end my first night in Thailand!
Eager to know more? Stay tuned for Day 2 of my Thailand Travel Diary! Want no hassle? Subscribe to my blog via email to get the latest post straight to your email address. Widget in the upper right corner.
A few days before I leave for my first ever major travel for 2014, a package arrived from Unilab Philippines with Celeteque products – Dermoscience Sun Care Soothing Lip Balm and Brightening Eye Tuck. For this post, I will be giving my review for the lip balm first since I had the experience of using it already.
Packing my toiletries for my next destination, I threw Celeteque Sun Care Soothing Lip Balm in my cosmetic bag as a friend gave me a heads-up on how hot and dry Thailand would be when I arrived there. Caring for my skin is something that occurs to me almost automatically these days, lips included. That is why few hours before I drove to NAIA Terminal 2, I got the chance to check what Celeteque’s newest balm has to offer.
The packaging is neat and nothing fanciful, though it lists all the information one needs like ingredients, application directions, effectiveness, and manufacture and expiration dates. Surprisingly, it was manufactured in Thailand!
The balm comes in a small, white plastic jar with a twist-cap opening to seal the content and prevent it from dirt and bacteria. It doesn’t come with any spatula or brush though so using one’s fingers for application can be unhygienic.
The lip balm has a clear and neutral color, perfect for me since I don’t like tinted ones. It doesn’t have any of those cherry, strawberry smelling scent either.
With a small scoop, I noticed that it is a bit oily, but not greasy (if you know what I mean). When applied, it exuded a light mint scent – aha, the soothing effect! It provided cool sensation and moisturized feeling to my sometimes neglected lips. How long will one application last? It can last for hours and in my case, I still felt my lips protected even after a meal.
What I especially like with this Celeteque lip balm is how it keeps my puckers moisturized without the greasy feeling. I also feel my lips soft and smooth with continued use.
Comes in a handy, small jar (easy to carry everywhere)
With neutral color
Comes with a minty, smoothing effect
SPF15 sun care protection
Affordable (approx. 4 USD)
Unhygienic without spatula or brush
Celeteque Sun Care Soothing Lip Balm has a surprising effect on me. I rarely use local drugstore brands, but this proved its worth to be included in my daily skin and lip routine. With continued use, I will be able to say goodbye to dry, darkened, and chapped lips. With its SPF15, I also feel protected from harmful rays of the sun, which can burn and age my precious smackers. A room for improvement though – I wish they can do something to make the balm more hygienic for application! Other than that, this lip balm is definitely a keeper.
You wanted it. You requested it. Stay tuned for upcoming beauty product reviews, dearest readers!
The winners of my CBTL 2014 Planner Giveaway are:
Congratulations! Both of you will receive a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 2014 Planner and one Zap Tag. Please wait for my email to know how you can claim your prize.
Did not win yet? Try your luck to my Dressale Fashion Giveaway which will be ending soon!
In my previous post, I have listed items included in my 2014 bucket list, among them some places I want to see. As I look back in an article I wrote around October 2012, my dream vacation would be in Thailand, my country’s neighbor. Incidentally, the City of Smiles is also included in this year’s bucket list, and after wishing for this paradise getaway to take into picture, I finally made up my mind to start 2014 in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Now that the destination is finally chosen, it is time to do the next and crucial step – preparation. This can make or break your holiday vacation so better not skip or take this for granted. As I am currently in my dream escapade, let me give you a list of some important things to prepare, study, and remember before going to Thailand.
Tips and Things to Prepare
Save for your trip. This is the first thing that you should do if you are planning to go on a vacation. Having a good holiday does not mean that it have to cost you an arm and leg, but you still need some savings for accommodation, local transportation, meal, and pocket money.
Grab cheap flights. It is no brainer that flights booked ahead of schedule are cheaper than ones bought few days before the departure date. I suggest scout at least a month before for affordable and/or promo fares from various airlines.
Book hotels in advance. From 5-star hotels to backpacker lodge, it is better to reserve your room before you arrive, especially if you are planning to go on peak season. Thailand is known for having its cheap hotel rates so I don’t think there is nothing to worry about your budget.
Plan your itinerary. This, I think, is the best and most interesting part in preparation. In here you can list down the places you want to visit and activities you want to do. Be realistic, though. Try not to fill your day with too much activities as these will only tire you at night and probably the day after.
Brush up on Thailand’s culture, history, and language. Whenever I go to a new place, I try my best to know more about my destination first. It will help you appreciate and understand more the heritage sites, national symbols, and words spoken once you landed in the country.
Travel light. Easier said than done, I know. For women, this is a usual struggle as I think it is inherent in us to overpack (laughs). However, many fashionable clothes and accessories can be found in shopping malls and weekend markets all over Thailand, so it is better to hoard there and use up the remaining space of your luggage.
Bring appropriate clothes. Thailand is a tropical country and usually hot, so you’d better not bring your winter clothes with you. Kidding aside, better pack your most comfortable summer clothes, best swimwear, and some long pants or skirts (as these are needed whenever you go see temples).
Pack comfortable footwear. I need to separate this from the entry above as I want to emphasize how important shoes and slippers are in your trip. If you plan to visit heritage sites, mountain peaks, etc, you need not bring stiletto heels. J
Bring your camera and SD cards. Who doesn’t want to save memories and beautiful sceneries in photographs? Don’t forget your charger and SD adapter though.
Optimize the use of your smartphone. Phones will be your best friend in this trip, trust me! With Google Maps and Navigation installed, you can be confident that you can arrive in your destination (98% of the time). Charge your phone and bring charger, spare battery, and powerbank, please.
Study Thailand and Bangkok Maps. Though Google is always at your service, it is also better to familiarize yourself with the road maps of Thailand, especially Bangkok. The names might be long and difficult to pronounce, but it will surely help you especially when you are asking for directions (or lost).
Get ready to take public transportation. Unless you will get a rent-a-car service, it is better to take public transportation to and from Bangkok. Aside from doing what the locals do, you will be able to have new experience riding with the Thais and enjoying sceneries as you pass by. Take your pick from BTS, MRT, taxi, jeepney, or tuktuk – all can give you a pleasurable ride while cruising through the streets of Thailand. My current favorite is the pink taxi with pink interior!
Be prepared to have an ultimate gastronomical experience. Even in my home country, I like Thai food and it was no surprise that I fell in love with the authentic version of the cuisine. There are too many different traditional dishes to choose from. A warning though. Most dishes that I love are spicy so ready your tongue for that touch of zing!
Those are my tips if you ever want to travel to Thailand or dreaming to go there in the future. It might look lengthy, but I assure you that based on my experience, these things are quite helpful. If ever you need more information about traveling to Thailand, the Internet is just there to help you. There is no excuse for you to have a bad holiday vacation. Failing to plan is planning to fail, right? So what are you waiting for? Go get your travel planner and start preparing now!
Do you have any plans to go travel soon? Where? How are you preparing for this trip?
The winner of my Rosewholesale Giveaway is Jinky Sagum! Please wait for my email to know more details on how to get your prize. Congratulations!
Didn’t win? Cheer up and try your luck in my ongoing Dressale Giveaway!
At the start of the year, we start making New Year’s resolutions and bucket lists. For New Year’s resolutions, the simple they are, the better. As mentioned in my previous post, we tend to associate resolutions with unattainable, almost impossible dreams and wishes that made us easily give up on them after a few tries. With basic and realistic resolutions, we can find them easier to achieve even through small improvement. As for bucket lists, these are the “things to do before I die or before a specific time ends” kind of thing. There is really no limit in here and I always love making one every New Year.
Ready for my 2014 Bucket List?
MY 2014 BUCKET LIST
Fly to my nearest dream destination, Thailand
Go through the longest underground river in Palawan, Philippines
Book a flight ticket less than a week before the flight schedule
See the auroras
Travel to Korea
Visit more islands in the Philippines
Maintain this site by writing at least twice a week
Get at least 1000 more followers
Have five major photo shoots for my fashion posts
Create a new blog template
Attend more blog events
Enroll in a driving school to study manual transmission
Join guitar lessons
Learn to swim
Get fit through yoga and zumba
Participate in at least in a 5k fun run
Do at least two volunteer activities
Study how to cook
Take my master’s degree
Ride an elephant
Get an authentic Thai massage in Thailand (where else?)
Go bungee jumping
Have a dinner cruise date
Learn a new language
Swim with dolphins/seals/sharks
Watch a concert
Climb a mountain
Eat more vegetables
I got this long sleeve dress from JAMY, an authentic Korean store which features tons of popular Korean brands. As the influence of Korean wave continues, I find myself liking Korean style. As a fan of anything girly with bows and laces, Korean feminine fashion suits my preference perfectly. With a lot of items to choose from especially from its daily apparel updates and free international shipping, I immediately fell in love with JAMY.
Just like the blue dress I wore in this post, this blouse fits me nicely and hugs my body shape. The material is also good and neatly finished (no stray wools here!) and the color did not fade after the first wash. This becomes one of my newest favorites!
This 2014, I hope to have more outfit posts to be featured here on my site!
Top: JAMY | Shorts: Robinson’s Department Store | Bag: Lovely Wholesale | Shoes: Celine
Goals make us wake up every day with a determination to fulfill them. They drive us to work better, study more, and live fuller to achieve what we want. There is nothing wrong in dreaming big or listing difficult things to achieve; the important thing is the effort we make to reach our dreams and the happiness and satisfaction we get through them.
Got your 2014 bucket list? Feel free to share it with me!
P.S. By the time this post goes live, I am already on my way to ticking off the top most item on this list. Isn’t it awesome?
JOIN MY OTHER GIVEAWAYS!
Rosewholesale International Fashion Giveaway
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 2014 Planner Giveaway
Dressale International Fashion Giveaway
How are you starting this 2014? Are you still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions or have given up this early? Have you done/achieved some things in your bucket list already? However you want to live out the first month of 2014 is up to you, but I hope this January brings you a fresh start to have a better and happier life.
To celebrate the first item to be ticked off in my bucket list, I am sharing you yet another amazing giveaway here on Impressions of a Princess. That’s the third I am having for this month! Read further to know the first two on-going giveaways to try your luck.
This time, I have partnered with Dressale to give away their hot selling dresses. Dresssale is an online clothing store which provides a wide range of high quality custom-made wedding, party, and special occasion dresses, as well as fashionable shoes.
One winner may win clothes of her choice worth $200!!! If you won’t be the lucky winner then you can at least receive a $15 coupon if you join this giveaway and follow ALL the steps/tasks. This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on January 30.
See the rafflecopter widget to join. More entries mean more chances of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
JOIN MY OTHER GIVEAWAYS!
Rosewholesale International Fashion Giveaway
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 2014 Planner Giveaway
It is that time of the year again when we create resolutions and bucket lists for the New Year. More often than not, we list down things that we want to change for the better – personality, attitude, outlook in life, healthy diet, study and work mode, among others. However, over the years people tend to consider their resolutions as wishes; they think of something very appealing yet sometimes not easy to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong about dreaming big, but we must also consider the feasibility of our dreams in relation to our target schedule.
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU MANTRA
As the year changes, we are given an opportunity to change anew. We consider the New Year as another breath of life, a sweet spring in our existence. But how can we fully live out the next 365 days with our expectations and goals?
TAKE A SELF-INVENTORY
This will always be on top of my list. First, let’s try to look back at what happened the last year. What did we do and say? Were our actions and words justified? How many good memories did we make? Did we learn from our experiences? It amazes me to think that our sad encounters, resentments, guilt, unforgiveness, heartaches, and other negative thoughts carry over to the New Year and affect our supposed to be blissful and new life.
CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE
Every day, we are presented with a new opportunity, a new life and it is up to us how we want to live it. A positive attitude can bring us a long way. I know it is difficult to discipline one’s attitude especially when memories and emotional baggage get in the way, but we must try our best not to get affected by negative thoughts. End blaming yourself (and others) and instead focus on achieving happiness and your goals each day.
Easier said than done, I know. However, this is one of the best lessons in life that we should emulate. By acknowledging our mistakes and failures, we recognize that we are in a journey and these are inevitable stop-overs in our life. The road to success is not easy and sometimes we cannot easily achieve what we have initially set out to do. The important thing is we accept our failures, learn from them, and move forward.
ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS: BE SIMPLE
I learned from past experience that success doesn’t have to be big and complicated. We don’t have to overwork ourselves, step on other people, and abandon our values just to reach our goals. We can easily see improvement and achievement of our goals and dreams by looking at the little things. It doesn’t matter when we have not reached our target by a specified time; what is important is our acknowledgement that we move forward inch by inch toward success. When we finally realize this, we can enjoy our journey to our dreams better.
The New Year presents us with a new chapter of a book waiting to be written. We are our life’s author so examine deep within your hopes and aspirations then write them all down. Get a piece of paper or a notebook – something you can keep and get easily reminded of. With our new goals we can fuel and drive 2014 for the better.
*** OUTFIT REVIEW ***
I got this colorful abstract printed long sleeves blouse from Everbuying.com, one of the leading international online wholesale and retail stores. It offers the latest trends inspired by European and American high streets in a very affordable price. What I like from Everybuying is its wide range of products from electronics, fashion, beauty, and even home supplies. It is very versatile!
For my shopping experience, I was served like a VIP. The customer service agent was very helpful to me by pointing out of stock products from my order and even suggesting other item replacements instead. The shipping and delivery was also smooth since most of the items on the site are ready to be shipped within 24 hours. When the parcel arrived, I was jumping with glee. I have enjoyed my transaction with Everbuying that I would love to shop there again soon!
Happy New Year, everyone!
Top: Everbuying | Skirt: Forever21 | Shoes: SOTD_PH | Bag: MNG
DON’T MISS OUT MY ONGOING GIVEAWAYS!!!
Rosewholesale International Fashion Giveaway
CBTL 2014 Planner Giveaway
I was personally invited to join ZAP’s first ever blogger event, the ZAP Crawl BGC. For those of you who are wondering what ZAP is, it is basically the mother of all the rewards cards. Being the Philippines’ first ever rewards smart sticker which enables users to enjoy 2-15% cash back points on every spending, ZAP successfully grows the number of its clienteles as it reaches more than 200 merchants around Bonifacio Global City (BGC, Taguig) and across the metro. Shopaholics, coffeeholics, bar-, spa-, gym- holics can all benefit from the 1 point = 1 peso reward whenever they tap their ZAPtag card or sticker in their smartphones at any ZAP network stores like Adidas, Converse, Puma, Digital Walker, The Spa, 360 Fitness, Barre 3, Skin, Happy Lemon, Slice, Draft Gastropub, Burgoo, Mesa, among others.
To have the feel of being a ZAPtag user, the ZAP team hosted the ZAP Crawl Experience where bloggers can try out some of ZAP’s affiliated establishments. We started at Sunshine Kitchen where I was greeted by the friendly team and welcomed by the energetic host of the day, Mr. Spike Acosta.
Together with Angelique Uy, ZAP’s marketing manager, Spike, introduced us to the world of Zap and how it works.
ZAP: How it Works
Sunshine Kitchen: Giving Sunny Smiles to Happy Tummies
I had the opportunity to meet and chat with other bloggers as we shared a very sumptuous lunch recommended by the owner itself.
I highly recommend this Truffled Four Cheese Pasta. I felt the heaven’s gates opening and the angels’ singing when I had my first taste of this mouth-watering goodness! Don’t ask how we many times shamelessly pleaded to have this dish refilled.
This Crabcake Benedict is a surprise!
Six-hour Slow Roast Porchetta – Best seller! If you are a carnivore like me, you will not let your Sunshine Kitchen visit pass without trying this. The meat is so tasty and tender, you won’t notice you have already finished half of the plate.
For dessert, we had Peach French Toast with Chocolate Caramel Sauce with Crème Anglaise. I know, the name is a mouthful, but I am sure you can’t help but fill your mouth with this sweet treat!
Tummies happy and filled, we started heading out to our next destination. Wait, we need a group photo first!
The Sunshine Kitchen: Facebook
Urban Ashram Manila: The Yoga Experience
Basking under the sun’s rays while enjoying a comfortable chat with fellow bloggers and host, we walked a few blocks away from Sunshine Kitchen to our next destination. We felt like VIPs as ZAP team even had their “umbrella service” for us!
With few more springy steps, we headed to Urban Ashram Manila – a yoga hub in the heart of BGC. I was very excited to visit this merchant as I have been considering doing some yoga since last month.
As soon as we stepped inside Urban Ashram Manila, there was a sudden change in atmosphere. I felt relaxed which was a bit weird since we had walked our way there. It must be the serene and calm ambience. We were then greeted by the studio manager, Lexi Payumo. She toured us to see the studio’s facilities and answered our questions regarding their yoga lessons.
Next, we had an orientation on yoga presented by Ms. Lexi herself. In here, we learned about our bad posture and the easy ways on how we can correct it.
We did a lot of stretching as well!
Urban Ashram Manila is so generous to give all the bloggers present a seven-day unlimited pass. With all the complete use of the amenities, we can fully experience how to be a yogi and yogini for a week. Hooray! I am planning to use mine after the holidays. Wise idea, don’t you think?
Excited for my yoga lessons!
If you are interested to see me in my first yoga studio class, you can avail their current promo for a 15-day unlimited pass. If you live or work within BGC, you get a further discount so please join me!
The Urban Ashram Manila: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Wink Laser and Wax Studio for Painless Beauty
Posture renewed, we had a short walk to our next stop, Wink Laser and Wax Studio. It wasn’t my first time to come here and if you are interested to read my first experience at Wink, you can click here.
We were welcomed by the owner, Holly Chang, and she explained to us how Wink is very much different to other laser and waxing salons sprouting like mushrooms in the metro. She emphasized on the studio’s philosophy of giving a hygienic and clean experience to its clients.
One fellow blogger, Jen, volunteered to try Wink’s eyebrow waxing since she wasn’t able to maintain hers for years. At first, she anticipated pain, but was surprised that the entire procedure was smooth and quick. Painless beauty makeover!
Wink is also very generous to give us vouchers for us to try their services. Sweet!
Wink Laser and Wax Studio: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Slice of Heaven
The last leg of our ZAP Crawl BGC was in Slice, ZAP’s newest partner. We sampled some of their sweet and tasty cupcakes. I love the cute icing, color, and decoration and they all made my stomach growl after the long day.
Slice: Website | Facebook | Twitter
After a very educational, filling, beautiful and healthy experience, I will summarize the everything that I learned today:
Why you must register to ZAP:
- You can have the luxury of splurging at your favorite stores without feeling guilty of spending
- ZAP network is continuously getting bigger across the metro so you don’t have to be confined in one or few shops
- You only need one universal card instead of a collection of reward/loyalty cards
- You can easily stick the ZAP Tag sticker to your phone without the hassle of downloading an application or even owning a smartphone.
- Every time you spend, you will get 2%-15% Cashback points that will automatically be credited to your ZAP Tag account
- The more you spend, the more points/peso you can earn back.
So what are you guys waiting for? Let’s start ZAPping! Here is a photo of me with a giant ZAP Tag. How I wish this has an automatically huge reward points, too!
Lifetime rewards by signing up for a FREE account online HERE.
ZAP Tag PH: ZAP website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
JOIN MY ONGOING GIVEAWAYS!
Rosewholesale Fashion Giveaway
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Planners with Free ZAP Tags Giveaway
Before anything else, I wish each and every reader of Impressions of a Princess a happy and prosperous new year. New Year’s Eve was loudly and brightly celebrated here in the capital of the Philippines and now, several hours later, the festivities continue. There are some leftover firecrackers wanting to be lit and people noisily playing music, along with the media noche being shared by each family to its neighbors and visitors.
This year, we will have another chance for a clean slate, a new life. A new 365-page book for us to outline our dreams, draft our plans, write experiences, delete bad memories, and dog-ear memorable days. On the start of 2014, we are given a new beginning to become a better person with better purpose, goal, and heart.
I am so loving this Cichic black swan printed cotton dress!
On the first day of the New Year, a lot of resolutions will be made (and eventually broken some time later), bucket lists created, and organizations joined. There will be a lot of plans for the next 364 days, but are we all going to achieve them? How?
** side story **
I am a pure green tea lover and it disappoints me many times to see a lot of coffee shops not offering tea for its non-coffeeholic clients. Milk tea stores sprout like mushrooms, but I dislike the way they serve their drinks. I always settle for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf since they offer freshly made, bitter but good tasting green tea!
During holiday season, CBTL offers its patrons a reward program whenever they buy drinks from the coffee and tea franchise. For 12 drinks bought and stamps collected, one can go home with an exclusive Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf planner and coupons.
My blogger friends tolerated my caffeine and tea addiction by joining me in my CBTL store hop. Enjoy Philippines always makes our visits happier and VIP-like with its free size upgrade for every card holder. I feel so fab every time I present the cashier with my privilege card; it sure makes going to CBTL Philippines enjoyable!
With all those trips to my favorite coffee shop, I was able to collect 39 stamps as of the moment. And that means…
In my own little way, I hope to help you plan your 2014 right with my CBTL planner giveaway. To show my appreciation to everyone who supported my site, I am giving away TWO Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 2014 planners along with TWO ZAP Tags [ZAP will be featured in the next post]. This giveaway is open to all Philippine residents only and will end on the 20th of January. Two winners will receive a planner and ZAP tag each and will be announced before the month ends. To join, simply do tasks found in the rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
My 2014 resolutions will be saved for another post since I have quite a lengthy and difficult list. For now, why don’t you share with me yours?
Here’s a canon for welcoming 2014 with a bang!
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Cichic Fashion Store | Kelvin Correa Photography | Ghia Somblingo Hair and Makeup | Jubilee Myx Digital Arts
2013 is soon to end and what a better way to celebrate it than having a giveaway? On the last day of the year, I am inviting you to join the festivities of the season by trying your luck in my current fashion international giveaway sponsored by my newest online shop find, Rosewholesale.
Rosewholesale is is a leading international online fashion store focusing on the latest affordable and chic styles. The shop aims to provide its valued customers from all over the world with an extensive range of high quality and trendy clothing at the lowest prices. With fast international shipping in partnership with UPS, DHL, and EMS, Rosewholesale ships to more than 200 worldwide locations on a daily basis.
I am currently drooling over these products. *ahem* for those who still want to send their holiday gifts to me
Lucky followers and readers of Impressions of a Princess are fortunate enough to be given a chance to win any item/s of their choice worth $25 with free international shipping from Rosewholesale. The rules are pretty simple and straight-forward, so I hope there will be no unfollowers once the giveaway ended. The more tasks you do, the more entries you have for a higher chance of winning. This last 2013 treat is open internationally for 15 days and the winner will be announced here in my blog.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This giveaway starts on the 31st of December and will end on the 15th of January. Announcement of the winner will be made here in my blog. Impressions of a Princess is not in anyway affiliated with Rosewholesale and is not responsible for the release, reception, and shipping of the prize/s.
Good luck and enjoy the remaining hours of 2013. Have fun, everyone!
P.S. Come back here tomorrow and in the next few days to know more surprises from Impressions of a Princess. Will do my Looking Back 2013 posts and 2013 Goodreads Reading Challange in a bit!