Thursday, January 8, 2015

Now is as good a time as ever, always.

There comes a time in your life when you finally get it… When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new perspective.

This is your awakening.
You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something, or someone, to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. 
You come to terms with the fact that there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. So you begin making your way through the “reality of today” rather than holding out for the “promise of tomorrow.” You realize that much of who you are, and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you’ve received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about: 
What you should wear and where you should shop.
Where you should live or what type of car your should drive.
Who you should sleep with and how you should behave.
Who you should marry and why you should stay.
The importance of having children or what you owe your family.
Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown, or should never have practiced to begin with.
You accept the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are… and that’s OK… they are entitled to their own views and opinions. And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a “perfect 10” Or a perfect human being for that matter. So you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head or agonizing over how you compare. And you take a long look at yourself in the mirror and you make a promise to give yourself the same unconditional love and support you give so freely to others. Then a sense of confidence is born of self-approval.
And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that “it is truly in giving that we receive and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of “creating” & “contributing” rather than “obtaining” & “accumulating.”
And you give thanks for the simple things you’ve been blessed with; things that millions of people upon the face of the earth can only dream about a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed and the freedom to pursue your own dreams.
And then you begin to love and to care for yourself. You stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors including participating in dysfunctional relationships. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising. And because you’ve learned that fatigue drains the spirit and creates doubt and fear, you give yourself permission to rest. And just as food is fuel for the body, laughter is fuel for the spirit and so you make it a point to create time for play.
Then you learn about love and relationships, how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch. You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, intentionally or unintentionally and that not everyone will always come through and interestingly enough, it’s not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done to you or weren’t done for you. And you learn to keep your Ego in check and to acknowledge and redirect the destructive emotions it spawns; anger, jealousy and resentment.
You learn how to say I was wrong and to forgive people for their own human frailties. You learn to build bridges instead of walls and about the healing power of love as it is expressed through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture. And, at the same time, you eliminate any relationships that are hurtful or fail to uplift and edify you. You stop working so hard at smoothing things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating your needs with confidence and grace. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that you don’t know all the answers, it’s not your job to save the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.
Moreover, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and relationships and that that not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given. And suddenly you realize that it’s wrong to demand that someone live their life or sacrifice their dreams just to serve your needs, ease your insecurities, or meet “your” standards and expectations. You learn that the only love worth giving and receiving is the love that is given freely without conditions or limitations. And you learn what it means to love. So you stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that “alone” does not mean “lonely” and you begin to discover the joy of spending time “with yourself” and “on yourself.” Then you discover the greatest and most fulfilling love you will ever know. Self Love. And so, it comes to pass that through understanding your heart heals; and now all new things are possible.
Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn’t change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past. So, you stop lamenting over what could or should have been and you make a decision to leave the past behind. Then you begin to invest your time and energy to affect positive change. You take a personal inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses and the areas you need to improve in order to move ahead. You set your goals and map out a plan of action to see things through.
You learn that life isn’t always fair and you don’t always get what you think you deserve and you stop personalizing every loss or disappointment. You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that these things are not an act of God… but merely a random act of fate.
And you stop looking for guarantees because you’ve learned that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected and that whatever happens, you’ll learn to deal with it. And you learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time FEAR itself. So you learn to step right into and through your fears because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.
Then, you learn about money… the personal power and independence it brings and the options it creates. And you recognize the necessity to create your own personal wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire. Then a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
A word about the Power of Prayer: In some of my darkest, most painful and frightening hours, I have prayed not for the answers to my prayers or for material things but for my “God” to help me find the strength, confidence and courage to persevere; to face each day and to do what I must do.
Remember this: “You are an expression of the almighty. The spirit of God resides within you and moves through you.
Open your heart, speak to that spirit and it will heal and empower you.” My “God” has never failed me.


The Awakening by Sonny Carroll


This moment happened to me several years ago but I unearthed the poem during my recent holiday de-cluttering. I want to put it out there, share it with the world, in case someone needs this moment NOW or is going through this albeit a little confused and scared. We don't need to wait for the new year or a portentous event to demand for change. It starts with an idea, a spark of courage and finally, YOUR determination to move, to do, to be. So good luck to you, the brave one, and congratulations :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

REVIEW: Fernando at Coloane Village, Macau

One of the most highly recommended restaurants online in Macau is Fernando. We took a free shuttle to the Venetian, crossed their bus parking lot (on your left before you enter the hotel), crossed the street and turned right (going left would bring you to the direction of Galaxy) to the bus stop. We waited for Bus No. 9 which stops at Hac Sa Beach. We left Venetian around 11:15 am and arrived around 12:40 pm, no traffic, it was a weekday.

Hac Sa Beach final bus stop
We made the mistake of getting off one stop earlier because there where no signs, in English at least nor could we communicate with the bus driver where we wanted to go. No worries though, we walked about 2 blocks straight to the road and saw the final bus stop (pictured above) and the restaurant facade.

Fernando facade.
We almost missed the restaurant too because seeing the beach, a parking space, a walled compound and small stores lining the street made it so easy to see this humble entry way as just a bunch of trees.  Or maybe it was the hunger?! There are no visible signage outside the restaurant so just look for that bunch of foliage and go right in :)

Inside dining area
We got ushered inside past the open doorway, a dining area,  a wall of foreign currency, an al fresco dining space, an open bar and finally inside this charming dining area. We arrived a little before noon on a weekday which is probably the best time to visit this place as there is no line for waiting that is often reported online. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Galaxy Macau / Tsui Wah

Went out of our hotel to have midnight snack at the first Tsui Wah in Macau located at the 2F of Galaxy Hotel.

King Sized Prawns with Fried Noodles

"A noodle dish inspired by the classic Peking Sweet and Sour Chili Prawn. The noodles are pan-fried to a crispy and crunchy state, then mixed with succulent sweet and sour king prawns on top."

This dish is so good with just a hint of sweetness and the right amount of chilli that does not burn the tongue but keeps the taste exciting. The number of prawns in the dish was just right. It was served sizzling after a few minutes. The crispy noodles were perfectly done, if I may say so. I am definitely ordering this again and would recommend it to anyone who likes a hint of spiciness in their food. Also, the hot plate ensured the dish didn't grow cold or the noodles to become soggy.

Crispy Buns with Condensed Milk

“Crispy Bun served with sweet condensed milk”is Tsui Wah’s reinvention of a classic Hong Kong snack. Each freshly baked bun is richly coated with thick butter and condensed milk, giving it an irresistible taste that is crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Why order bread with condensed milk in a restaurant when you can just make it at home right? No. Their crispy bun has the right amount of crunch and chewiness, for lack of a better word. The sweetness of the condensed milk is balanced out by the slight saltiness of the butter and the bread. For a midnight snack though it was a bit heavy on the stomach. ;p


We really wanted to try their other food especially the jumbo hotdog but for 2 girls at midnight, it was just too much!

No one is allowed to take photos inside the casino but the interior was too beautiful and I had to risk it.
 Suffice it to say, a Chinese woman shouted at us from across the room telling so we innocently (and briskly) walked away as I put my camera away.
 Some website say the Tsui Wah is only open until midnight, but if I understood the Chinese sign correctly, they are open 24 hours. You may ask for water from the waitress but they'll serve it hot. I didn't know how to ask for cold water.

Peacock wall decor with rainbow changing lights.

We tried to wait for the diamond to float out but we didn't see it. I was wondering though if the koi swimming under the fountain were real.

 The drop off area of Galaxy with a stretch limo casually parked and several other luxury cars waiting.

This place is H U G E. As of the time we went, two other buildings/towers were still being constructed at the back. 

There was so much detail and preciseness put into the making of this hotel and I do want to stay here when I return to Macau. Also, because I want to try the rooftop wave pool.

You can take a free shuttle to Galaxy from other hotels or from the airport or the ferry terminal. Or you can take a bus because there's a bus stop right at the foot of the casino gate. Bus stops have posted details on their routes and it's quite easy to understand and figure out. From Regency Hotel at Taipa Village, we took Bus 21 but you can also take Bus 25. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

5th Philippine Pyromusical International Firework Competition

The second week of the six weeks of the 5th Philippine Pyromusical International Firework Competition was held last 22 February 2014 at SM Mall of Asia. Competitors performing were Spain and the United Kingdom. 

The show started with the BRUNCHU EXPERIENCE OF SPAIN. 

 This is my first pyromusical show so I was pretty much in jaw-dropped-eyes-big-and-glazed-giddy-as-a-kid-on-Christmas-morning stunned, awed and just all around happy watching the show. THIS, not including the fireworks display at Disneyland because that is just a whole different level of magic for me ;p
The fireworks danced in tune to about 5 or 7 songs, I really was not counting nor paying attention.
 Followed by a short break with a short fireworks show by Bonchon.
 The Jubilee Fireworks by the United Kingdom was a league better than that of Spain. The fireworks display was so much bigger and it was in tune most of the time. There were also a greater variety of fireworks used or at least it seemed to my amateur eyes.
 If I remember correctly, they both used Don't You Worry Child by the Swedish House Mafia. I'm not sure if this was a requirement for the competition.

 UK had hearts and double hearts fireworks but my favourite was the ball of gold glitter like fireworks with purple tips. Unfortunately, I was not able to take a good photo of it.
 Aside from the fireworks, it was also very nice to hear the kids screaming in awe and excitement whenever big fireworks come out.
Maybe, UK will be able to defend its title this year but then again, there's 4 more weeks and 7 countries more to go so it's really anybody's game still. 
For more details, visit the Pyrolympics Website The show is supposed to start at 7:00 pm although with us it started a little bit later. However, best to come earlier to get a good spot as people pile in as early as 5 pm. 
Short clip of the fireworks display of UK shot by my friend :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brighter Than The Sun 2014

I like 2013 so much I'm feeling really positive for 2014 so I got my 2014 planner already (photo above). Actually I bought the planner from my recent trip in Seoul and I feel like it will bring me better luck for 2014 because, well, Seoul is my happy place :)

I can say that 2013 has been good to me. However, I don't feel that it is an accurate statement to make as this year has been been quite challenging not only physically - I don't think I've ever been so sickly - but emotionally and academically as well. Maybe I can say it has been a good year because when it was good, it was really good, and that got me through the rest of the year, good and bad experiences together. That said, I do hope I can get more free time in 2014 while keeping the successes of 2013. I would like to do more traveling and less working. HA! You know what they say, write your goals and watch them come to life. So again universe, my goals for 2014 is to TRAVEL MORE, earn MORE MONEY and get MORE REST. Thank you in advance :)

The curly haired kid with the orange jacket sat
on the girl with the pink jacket so they both fell.
Life is a matter of perspective. It is what you make of it. There will always be happy times and sad times. You'll get your heart broken. You'll fail. But you pick yourself up. You believe that it is not yet the end, and it really isn't. You can wallow in self-pity and drown yourself in all the awful things that has happened and is happening to you and get stuck in that dark abyss of sadness and failure. Or you can cry, bitch, whine, complain and then move on. Do something about what hurts you. Do anything to get you started. Do whatever it takes to be happy again. You deserve to be happy and loved.

The future looks bright but only if you choose to wake up to see the sun shining :)

Photo taken in Mt. Seoraksan, Sokcho, South Korea
I'm looking forward to sharing my South Korea trip and all the Korean beauty products I will be reviewing :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

REVIEW x SWATCH: Rimmel Forever Shape Mascara

Rimmel Forever Shape Mascara is a life changer! My make-up artist friend Finella Manuel got me this from her recent trip in Japan. After a quick search online, I've come to the conclusion that this is an exclusive Rimmel Japan only product. Rimmel Forever Shape Mascara comes in two variants, Super Long and Super Volume. I got Super Long and I need Super Volume. It is waterproof even on my bottom lashes and lasts a whole day on me. It literally keeps my lashes long and curled from morning until night without need of re-application. Not that I would advise re-applying mascara as this can lead to all sorts of makeup mishaps. 

It has a curved wand with short fine bristles. Admittedly I was apprehensive when I saw how seemingly clumped together the bristles were but I soon discovered their very effective use. Upon application, it doesn't feel like the brush actually touches all my lashes. However, I realize that the dense bristles allows for the wand to coat my lashes sparingly without clumping while "pulling" it upwards and giving it a curled effect. 

Bare lashes.

One coat of Rimmel Forever Shape Super Long Mascara. You can see that it has visibly extended my lashes already without particularly thickening it giving a natural look. I apply the mascara by wiggling the curved (middle) part of the brush sideways on my lashes while pulling the brush upwards. 
 This is 3 coats of mascara (could be more :) ). Yes I like to apply a lot of mascara especially if I don't have any eye make up :) You can see that it has added volume to my lashes without clumping it. 

I curled my lashes and voila. Drama drama drama. I usually curl my lashes before I apply mascara but for purposes of this review, I decided to curl it after applying the mascara. Notice how my lashes look thicker and longer? It has also opened my eyes and that is even without eye liner. Needless to say, I absolutely love this Rimmel Mascara and I am on the hunt for the Super Volume variant so I can layer them! :)


  • Anyone who is in Japan (Please buy for me too!)
  • Wants longer lashes
  • Wants an affordable mascara
  • Who does not want long lashes (Seriously!?!?!)

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