Saturday, December 24, 2016

My BigSkinny Wallet: Best Wallet Ever!

Above: Old wallet full vs Empty Big Skinny
Below: Empty old wallet vs full BigSkinny
I've never been happier with my Christmas gift to myself this year: a BigSkinny wallet.

BigSkinny is the world's thinnest wallet. It's 10 times thinner than leather due to its nylon-microfiber material, which reduces wallet sizes by more than half.

I came across this on Facebook months ago because I always got hit by their ads. I got curious but at the time, I thought the logo looked cheap on their wallets.

Last week, I finally went online and ordered myself the RFID-blocking wallet. Aside from being skinny, it prevents others from scanning personal info from cards.

This cost P3,100 (including a P50 discount for signing up and delivery charge). I noticed that this was the most expensive one, probably due to the RFID-blocking properties.

To my surprise, it came the next day--and it's really light and skinny!

My wallet has always been bulky. In fact, it wouldn't even fold properly because of all my cards and receipts. With the BigSkinny full of the same stuff, it's now the same size as my old wallet--but empty!

If you look at my BigSkinny now, you wouldn't think that it's a special wallet nor does it look skinny but just imagine all the stuff in there.

It's definitely worth every cent. Best wallet ever.

Friday, December 23, 2016

No Coincidence in Seeing Abandoned Footwear

I wrote about my encounters with abandoned footwear years ago. After shrugging it off, then trying to interpret it, I was finally told what it means and it made perfect sense.

I'd always see discarded slippers or shoes in the least expected places. Back then, I'd only notice these when travelling. Since then, even while driving, I still see them!

The peculiar thing is that these are always missing their pair.

I've never resorted to seeking 'signs' and I didn't intend to go into the deeper meaning of life with footwear…until now.

Somehow, because of its frequency, I told myself that maybe these were telling me something--that perhaps I was on the right path in life.

That’s why with every abandoned shoe I’d see, I convinced myself that I am where I’m supposed to be. But still, I couldn’t help but ask: Is this more than just a coincidence?

During a recent visit to my life coach, she confirmed it. Yet contrary to my interpretation, she said that this symbolized imbalance rather than harmony--specifically my spiritual life.

At first, I didn't understand.

"Kasi palaging may kulang," she said. "Nagli-limp without the other," referring also to my physical and spiritual life.

Hindi ko naisip yun pero oo nga. It made perfect sense and she was spot-on. Admittedly, my spiritual life wasn't very healthy and it's something that I could work on. She advised me to pray, ask for guidance, and to seek for intervention for my intentions.

"Para naka-condition na dyan," she said while tapping her head.

Working on attaining balance won't happen overnight but for starters, I'll try to pray more often. (I always end up sleeping before I get to it!)

I'm sure that I’ll see more abandoned footwear in the future but if I see a complete pair out of nowhere, #AlamNa.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Stargazer's Predictions for Me in 2016

[UPDATED December 1, 2016]
After leaving my first consultation last December, I immediately jotted down Ms. Star’s predictions and advice for me in 2016.
Below are updates mostly confirming her predictions. What’s peculiar is that most of the things mentioned happened within weeks to a few months. Sometimes, it would be an afterthought that an event was foretold already.
--

GENERAL
2016 would be the start of prosperity. I'm headed in the right direction with what I'm doing.


BUSINESS
This was the bulk of our discussion. After telling her about my current bakery business, here’s what she had to say:

1. Expansion!
2016 is a year of expansion. She looked to the side. Ms. Star “saw” that we'll have a kiosk in one of the nearby barangay soon. "Maraming tao doon at malapit sa trisikelan."

Expanding our bakery franchise was an idea that we barely touched on. We weren't ready but we were open to the idea.
A few weeks later, one of the government officials I met last year approached me offering to show me her properties for lease. She mentioned that it was an ideal place to expand. I thought it was a joke but when we went to see it, it was exactly where we initially wanted to open our bakery! It was one of the populous places in town and a tricycle stand was just around the corner. We opened our second branch last June.



Ms. Star also mentioned the possibility of having a new branch in the next province by 2017.
Unfortunately, we sold both branches of our bakery last October due to high operational expenses. I asked Ms. Star if this prediction still holds true. Given that we closed, not anymore. But if we had kept it open, this could still have been a possibility.

2. Security Issues

A. Guard
She looked intensely to my left said and said, "Madilim dyan sa inyo, no?" referring to our bakery. I was surprised because it was! (To think she's never seen it.) She advised us to hire a stay-in personnel to guard the place—“yung taga ibang probinsya."
Little did I know that one of our applicants that we were just about to hire at the time wanted to be a stay-in employee. Strangely enough, he was from a different province!

B. Securing money 
"Ingatan niyo ang pera!" This was something reiterated by Ms. Star. She told us to secure our money properly because she sensed that we may get victimized when we least expect it.
True enough, someone stole sales money from us. And it happened inside one of my business partners’ house! One of our deposits was short by P1,000. 

3. Extra emotional  employee
"May employee ba kayong may dimple? Palaging andyan. Ingatan niyo siya.
My reaction: May employee pala kaming may dimples? (I never noticed.)
We immediately examined all our employees and indeed, there was one who did!Before the year ended, "Dimples" had an outburst which led to violence in the bakery and his being fired. 



4. No problems with business partners
Just petty ones, if ever (ie. asaran, tempers, tampuhan). Ms. Star reminded me, "Don't forget your love for one another. This should prevail over all things."
Thankfully, we never fought. There were tense moments here and there, but all was good between us. What Ms. Star said stuck to us. 



 5. I'll do consultancy work for advertising. 
I'll get bored daw kasi. Di nga?
Last May, I posted a small ad on OLX for my Marketing Consultancy services. I missed advertising work. (And in a way, I was getting bored with work.) Surprisingly, I’ve been getting projects here and there and it’s kept me busy since!



HEALTH
This was one of Ms. Star's warning to me. I should be careful with my legs, particularly the left one. She warns of a sprain or accident. 
I got cellulitis in June! And guess what? It was on the left leg. Read more here.



LOVE
"You'll meet someone," Ms. Star said, "But..." She paused, looked down, and shook her head. I immediately understood. Wala lang yun. #sad
Yes, I did meet someone unexpectedly in February. I liked the person but after a month, the person just disappeared! It hurt but as it was foretold, “Wala lang yun.” Nobody came after. 
--

She also computed something based on my birthday. I got the number 1, which meant that 2017 will be a year where "anything goes". It'll be a fresh start and she said that the Universe will be very kind to me. I'll be alone but something big is coming. 

She smiled.

"Hala. Ano po yan?" I asked.

"I can't tell you yet," she said, "You're not ready to hear it." And I'm glad she didn't. Whatever it is, it'd probably freak me out.

Leaving this here so I won’t forget and so that I can review in the future.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Back in Puerto Galera

I'm so proud of myself for finally getting out of the metro. 

With friends, we ended up in Galera. Again.  

I always look forward to trips to Puerto Galera. I've always said that it's my go-to beach just because it's so fast and easy to get there--not to mention affordable. (I barely spent Php 3,000 for the 2-day trip, all-inclusive!)

As always, our itinerary was just to eat, sleep, drink, and chill. 

At our little bahay kubo.
It's a cute place, though it's not in the beach front. 

Drinks for brunch.

Tocino and unli-rice!

Work mode muna.
Telecon with my business partners. Serious!

Mindoro Sling for merienda.

The struggle is real!

Drunk by dinner time.

Kaguluhan over baby powder in our room.


Super chill at our favorite hangout spot: Coco Aroma.





Group pic before leaving.

Our trip was definitely bitin

We were contemplating on staying another night but boat schedules and early morning meetings the next day made it impossible. Earliest boat that leaves White Beach during off-peak season is now at 6:30am instead of the usual 5:30am during peak season.

Too bad.

Can't wait to go back! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

I miss traveling!

I miss traveling. I haven't done much of it since I left the advertising world.

The past year has been focused mostly on making our business grow... though that's a different story altogether. But given new developments, a well-deserved vacation should be in store.

Soon, I hope!

I can't wait to get out of the city-- smell some fresh air, get sand on my feet, hear the waves, and get a tan. (Not too dark, though. I'll regret it. Haha!) Anywhere but here, really.

My next confirmed confeermed trip is still in January next year. Tagal pa!

#Throwback to when we were in El Nido, Palawan.
Emoting while watching the sun set.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

PositiviTEA After Being Stood-up

A few weeks ago, we fired our seller at the bakery.

Unfortunately for us, his replacement stood us up on his first day of work and was nowhere to be found. He just... disappeared!

We interviewed another potentiable and he agreed to come in for training. But we were stood up.

Again.




I couldn't help but rant online. Diba? Nakaka-frustrate?

The next day, I received a tweet! 


I've had brands engage me on Twitter. Some are weird and #mema but this once was a pleasant surprise. (I wonder how they chanced upon my tweet!)

Fast forward to this evening, I saw this in my room!



I wanted to save it for a bad day... but I couldn't resist. Haha!



Inside were three different ice tea flavors and a cute tumbler. This was definitely a happy humpday surprise.

Thank you to Lipton Philippines for sending over some positiviTEA! No negativity tonight.

To add to the positiviTEA, we have a new seller already! Tengksgad!

#LiptonPositiviTEA

(Omg. Feeling influencer??)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Discover Taiwan’s best brands at TriNoma, August 19 to 21



We're in for a treat!

A wide selection of high-quality products from Taiwan’s best brands will be showcased at the third Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone. It's happening this weekend (August 19 to 21) at TriNoma mall in Quezon City.

Now this is something I'd want to see and experience.

Led by the Bureau of Foreign Trade and in partnership with the Taiwanese government, the three-day event is an interactive showcase of brands that bear the Taiwan Excellence seal.

This seal assures customers of the products’ superior quality.

Over 140 products from 54 Taiwan Excellence-accredited brands will be showcased. Products range from gadgets, home appliances, personal care products, to fitness gears.

Some of the featured items include STRIDA’s durable bicycles designed for convenient and reliable urban transport, SH-RD’s protein cream that avoids hair damage and promises softer and shinier hair, and FECA’s storage-ware that help in maximizing spaces at home.

Gigs, fashion shows, games, and raffle draws are also in store. Watch out for performances by Silent Sanctuary (August 19), Callalily (August 20), and Up Dharma Down (August 21).

Booth tours and brand presentations will be present. Selling booths from brands such as Tatung, MSI, FECA, and Asus will also be available, while generous discounts from brands like Kymco, MSI, Pacific, Tatung, Tern, and Thermaltake will be offered.

Let's not miss out on these treats from Taiwan Excellence-approved brands this weekend. Again, it's at TriNoma only from August 19 to 21.

See you there? Hao!

(This is a paid advertisement.)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Perspectives

We were in Batangas for a seminar and there was a unique hammock-type swing that would spin round and round--something I've never experienced before.

Being a photo enthusiast, I wanted to capture my happy moment on it. Selfies wouldn't do, I thought. I felt the need to take a "different" kind of photo to capture the moment.

So while spinning (and feeling all dizzy), I put the camera on slow-mo, looked up, and clicked.

Happiness!

Some people see this and say that it's nauseating, Photoshopped, or it's grabbed from the Net. To me, it's one of my best works, which captured how happy I was. It's a matter of perspective, really.

When everything seems to be spinning out of control, slow down and capture what life has to offer. Don't just swing through it. Enjoy the ride and don't forget to look up.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Late Realizations About the Rizal Shrine


We were in Calamba that morning for an errand. On the way home, my Dad asked if I wanted to visit Jose Rizal's house.

Since I've never been there before, I didn't mind the side trip. 

My parents stayed in the car while I explored the place. I didn't have much time to absorb and read much, let alone take too much pictures. Museum pala siya?

I had 10 minutes. I breezed through it, masabi lang na nakapunta ako doon. 

Statue of young Jose Rizal
Here are some of the stuff I learned afterwards, while trying to write this entry:

1. OMG! It's a replica?!
Yep. The current structure is a replica of the original ancestral house of Rizal's family. 

2. Maraming pinagdaanan yung bahay.
It took two years to build the original ancestral house. Spanish authorities confiscated it in 1891. One of Rizal's brothers reoccupied the house during the Philippine Revolution, but lost it again to the friars. It was then sold, destroyed during World War II, and then demolished. *whew!*

3. It cost Php 24,000!
That was during the 1940s, though. The government bought what remained of the Rizal House for Php 24,000. Pretty cheap now but back then, it was probably expensive.

4. There was an E.O. to reconstruct the house.
In 1949, President Elpidio Quirino passed Executive Order No.145 to have the house reconstructed on the same site and built from the same materials from that period.

5. The remains of Rizal's parents are there.
These are located at the right side of the house. I didn't see this, TBH. 



 



There's no entrance fee required to explore the museum. Donations are welcome, though.

I also got to explore the small souvenir shop at the back. Was quite disappointed that items for sale were generic. I was hoping that there was something uniquely Jose Rizal there. 

The place is ideal for field trips. It also makes a great setting for photo shoots. 

I wish I had spent a bit more time there for quiet time. 

Map of Rizal Shrine
JP Rizal St., Calamba, Laguna

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Best Fried Chicken now in Robinson's Magnolia

My favorite restaurant in Binondo is now in my favorite mall! Who would've thought?

Sincerity recently opened in the Robinson's Magnolia food court and there's an express lane for take-out!



To me, they have the best fried chicken (that's not fast food) and oyster cake. Surprisingly, it tastes the same as those served in the Binondo branch.

Waiting time for the food to be cooked is around 10-15 minutes. The waiting is worth it, though.

Pardon the food shots. These were taken midway through the meal. Sorry!

Fried Chicken.
There were more, but I ate them already. 

Oyster Cake

No need to go all the way to Binondo just to enjoy these! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Greg's Fruitcakery in Twin Lakes, Tagaytay



The others were having coffee in Starbucks while my friend Bubbly and I were seated at the benches having a tarot card reading.

We were at Twin Lakes in Tagaytay. The sun was in our faces and it was just too hot outside. We needed a cool and quiet place to move to.

That's when we stumbled upon Greg's Fruitcakery.




Greg's Fruitcakery is a homey, quaint, and upscale bakery in Twin Lakes, Tagaytay. The smell of freshly baked bread just makes you want to stay there forever.

This is where we continued our tarot card reading. 



We also had a chat with the owner of the bakery. Too bad I didn't get her name. She told us that Greg is her late mother. (I actually thought that Greg was a guy! Oops.)

Greg was said to have baked delicious fruitcakes and would give away hundreds to friends every Christmas. When she passed on, the fruitcake recipe was found and used. 

Fruitcakes were continued to be given away in Greg's honor. I guess this is how Greg's Fruitcakery came to be. Some were even sent to Calea, the famous cake shop in Bacolod. Interestingly, there are aged fruitcakes that are four years old and are said to be extra delicious.

Like wine, it gets better with age.


We invited the rest of the barkada to hang out here instead. 

Here's what we ordered:

Banana Loaf fresh out of the oven
Carrot cake of sorts. Can't remember what it's called but it's yummy!


Greg's Fruitcakery has really yummy bread, treats, and cakes. It makes a nice pasalubong for family and loved ones. We weren't able to order any fruitcakes, though. (I personally don't like it, TBH.)

Some of the items may seem a bit pricey but overall, Greg's is  a better alternative to Starbucks.

(Photo from Nichael Muncal)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Don't Take Scratches Lightly!

[WARNING: Graphic Images]

Who would've thought that a tiny scratch near the ankle would make my leg red, swollen, and look like a hazing victim?

If there's one thing I learned from this ordeal, it's to never take scratches lightly!

Hazing? No. Just a bad case of cellulitis.

It started with a little scratch near my ankle--yung tipong, "Ay, may sugat pala?" 

I didn't bother doing anything to it, let alone put medicine on it. My bad.

After a few days, the affected area started to hurt when I'd touch it. It didn't bother me. I thought it was just bruised.

See that dark spot near my ankle? I thought it was just bruised.

The next day, I was down with a fever. I thought it was exhaustion from doing yoga for the first time. I even thought it was dengue because my eyeballs were painful--which is one of its symptoms.

After two days of being sick, I woke up to my left leg being red, swollen, and really warm. The scratch wasn't just a scratch anymore. It became a round, open wound. Sugat na talaga.

The redness and swelling crept up fast. Strangely, it was painful and I could barely walk!

#iWokeUpLikeThis

Doctor's diagnosis: Cellulitis. (Dengue was ruled out after a series of blood tests.)

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath it. It happens when bacteria enters through a crack or break in the skin--in my case, the little scratch.

Kalokang infection yan.

In just a few days, the redness and swelling went up to my knees!

Doctor #1 prescribed supplements and an antibacterial ointment. She advised antibiotics only if my leg wasn't getting better.

The next day, Doctor #2 advised me to get admitted in the hospital to treat the infection through IV. (But who wants to stay in the hospital, right?) I opted for oral antibiotics instead, which she prescribed. I was also given two Tetanus shots.

The following day, I consulted Doctor #3 who specializes in infectious diseases. He jacked up the dosages of antibiotics, added more (including painkillers), and extended its duration.

Mega-dosages of antibiotics!
(And it's the first time I've seen legible handwriting from a doctor!)

Per doctor's orders: House arrest with not too much walking, standing, and sitting (aka bed rest) for four days. Ang hirap!

I even had to bathe using soap that surgeons use just to decontaminate myself of bacteria. That left my skin really dry and itchy.

Bed rest but still trying to work.

Thankfully, the antibiotics did its wonders.

After 4 days of antibiotics. 

After 10 days of being on meds, my leg is pretty much back to normal. I can walk normally again without pain.

As of writing, though, the color still seems a bit off. But I'm just glad it's better.

The next time I get scratched, I'll definitely think twice about just letting it be.

Back to its normal shape. Color is still weird, though.