Tokyo Diary Part 4

Our first agenda for our 4th day in Japan was to hear mass at a catholic church. It was a really nice experience since there were a LOT of Pinoys there and they were very friendly. They were so helpful in helping us locate yet another ramen place that was highly recommended by the guys we met up with on our second night in Tokyo.

Ichiran is located in the Roppongi district and has a classroom setting for a serious ramen experience.

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You customize your ramen according to your preference!

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It was a rainy afternoon but we braved it and walked to the The National Art Center also found in Roppongi.

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The National Art Center is so beautiful and we happened to be there when a really large exhibit for amateur artists was ongoing. They gave us stickers before entering to serve as our votes for the paintings we liked best!

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Art ba itey?

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We left the museum at sunset

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Roppongi was so pretty and clean!!!

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There are so many restaurants in Japan with fake food displays. So cute!

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Geisha taking a train

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We went to Shibuya to check out one of the busiest intersections in the world!

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And of course we visited the shrine of the most loyal dog ever, Hachiko!!!

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We ended the night with a fabulous Tempura dinner – Jim’s treat – to celebrate our engagement!:)

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I had the worst scare in my life after stepping out of the restaurant. It was really cold so I put on my jacket and shook my arms. Believe it or not, my ring flew off my finger!!!!!!!! GRABE!!!! It was 1.5 sizes too big for my finger (uyyy, feeling payat) and we all panicked for a good 1 minute until somebody (I don’t even remember which one of us) found it really close to a sewer!! Hahahaha bwisit!!! So I started wearing it on my middle finger so it would be tighter. Now, it’s been resized to a perfect fit and I’m so so so happy – I’m never taking this off <3

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Tokyo Diary Part 3

Moving on with Day 3! We were in kind of a rush so we just passed by Family Mart to eat! I got a tuna roll.

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Cutie

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The ever-fashionable Frank

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Maxx’s new watch from Gift Gate

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Buying tickets for the train

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Walking to Akihabara where all the toys and gadgets are!

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Jim, Arkin and I went to a huge 6-floor toy store and it was amazing. Snuck in a few photos heehee

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Ang dami ring inappropriate toys lol

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Started heading to Ueno park where, little did I know, I was going to get engaged ♥

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Saw this super cute Marlboro dog!!

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He’s an old corgi!

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We ate at a place that served all raw fish on rice. Sarap! Mine was tuna fat.DSC00577

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Jim’s maguro (tuna)DSC00582

Strange sign in the store that we couldn’t understand haha DSC00583We finally got to Ueno park after lunch <3

DSC00594There were a LOT of people enjoying food and alcohol under the cherry blossom trees!

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Original hipster

DSC00612I was just hanging out with Jim and since he was apparently stressing out about the perfect time to ask me to marry him, he wasn’t talking to me at all!! Hahahahaha!

DSC00619 DSC00620The park was very beautiful <3

DSC00622 DSC00628These guys were practicing their swordplay

DSC00633 Elmo found the one haha

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Sarap mag picnic awwwDSC00642

Best photo I took <3DSC00644There were also a lot of dogs at the park that made me miss Joey so much :(:(:( Here are some Maxx captured with her camera

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And this is it!!!

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Read about my engagement story here.

One of my favorite photos is this one of us being all ecstatic about our engagement and Clara’s in the background totally clueless!!

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And when she finally realized what was happening she cried and hugged me!! What a sweetheart <3

DSC00715DSC00716We headed back to the hotel, freshened up and got some Japanese curry at Go Go Curry!

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Sobraaaaang sarap! :) DSC02688That’s it for day 3!:) Wait, I’m helping Maxx set up her own blog!! Hahaha! Will resume with day 4 probably tomorrow!:)

 

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Tokyo Diary Part 2

FINALLY!!! I got more photos from Maxx’s camera that I wanted to use for the next blog posts. I super apologize for the delay. And the lie when I said I’d post part 2 in “a couple of hours” SORRY <3

These are some photos from day 1 that I want to share. Here we are at NAIA waiting to board!

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And here we are in Tokyo!:)

DSC02259 DSC02346DSC02365Anyway! Here we go with Day 2!!

DSC02369 DSC02370We walked all the way to Rikugien Garden from our hotel. What was supposed to be a 20-minute walk (according to Google maps) turned into 2 hours because of all the slowing down, chikahan, picture-taking, Instagramming, etc. Haha!

DSC02380 DSC02388But it’s alright because we got to explore the backstreets and look at all the nice houses!

DSC02401 DSC02402 DSC02412 DSC02415Even before going to the Rikugien garden, we already saw a lot of beautiful flowers <3<3<3

Since we walked for about 2 hours, we got very very hungry and decided to eat at another Ramen place just across the garden! It’s called Yotteko-Ya Ramen and it’s also very good!

DSC00432Here we are laughing at Google Translate

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DSC02440Finally went to Rikugien to see cherry blossoms!

DSC02447 DSC02461 DSC02472DSC00433 DSC00434 DSC00435 DSC00436 DSC02484DSC02494 DSC02503 DSC02506DSC00439 DSC00444So beautiful <3 We decided to go to another park that was famous for its cherry blossoms as well – Shinjuku Garden! But no, we got there and it was already closed. Huhuhu! Enjoy these photos of us in transit instead

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Chino looks like a local haha

DSC00451 I was the self-appointed navigator hehe

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Me, Clara, and our friend heheDSC00475Like in Hong Kong and Singapore, there are special tiles to help the blind get around!

DSC00476My hair was absolute crap in Japan. Hahaha. I should have used conditioner :p

DSC00478So we decided to go to Odaiba to check out giant Gundam!

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We had some katsu at River City mall

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Yummerzzz… *sobrang tamad ko ba magsulat?* Anyway, so we went back home and after cleaning up a bit, Maxx, Chino, Jim, Frank and I went to an awesome yakitori place to meet up with Chino’s friends, JC and Aki! Sarap ng sake!!

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Korean pancake sarap

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DSC00517I am so sorry but I don’t remember what the place is called. But everything is 280 yen each.

Then we had ramen AGAIN!!

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That’s it for day 2!! Tokyo diary part 3 coming up in a couple of hours FOR REAL NA TALAGA hahaha

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Tokyo Diary Part 1

I have got a LOT of photos to share so let’s break them up into different parts! This post is all about our first night there.

We arrived at Narita Airport around 2PM on a Thursday, March 27. Japan is 1 hour advanced compared to the Philippines so it’s like we lost a full hour. Then it took us another hour and a half to get to our hotel because of traffic and also because Narita Airport is pretty far. I guess it’s like driving to Clark airport if, like me, you’re from Quezon City. We got to explore Sunshine City around dinner time already.

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Our hotel was right beside a police station. There was this bulletin board with what I assume are wanted signs. Actually, according to a Google search I made just now, the crime rate in Japan is lower than all other industrialized countries. It’s so orderly there. People are all so polite.

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We checked out the strip a block away from our hotel. It was a very lively place on a Thursday night!

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It had very familiar stores

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Lovers in Japan: Maxx ♥ Chino

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We were all very hungry so I downloaded the TripAdvisor app on my phone and searched for the best ramen restaurant nearest us. Hot ramen on such a cold night after a long and tiring trip — perfect! Medyo mahirap lang pag yung reviews all written in Japanese haha.

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We ended up at a place called Tonchin, a ramen restaurant that takes your order via a vending machine. Very much like Sango, my favorite Japanese burger place here in Manila. I was very sad about the Shangri-la and Rockwell branches closing. The only Sango that’s still open (I hope) is in Mile Long in Makati, and that’s very far from me :s ANYWAY, going back to Tonchin.

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Obligatory photos while waiting! Side note: If you are a couple taking a selfie (assuming a selfie is a photo of yourSELF taken by yourSELF) then is it called a couplie? Because it’s a photo of a couple taken by the couple? Or is it still a selfie because only one person has his/her hand on the trigger? ‘Groupies’ just sound wrong because the word means a totally different thing.

Our first night in Japan

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It’s hard to find an authentic Japanese restaurant that seats a large group unless you’re at a mall or you shell out and go for a tatami dining room! No big tables, most restaurants we went to had customers sitting right at the bar watching the cooks prepare meals. There was also a little bit of pressure to eat fast because right when our food came, people were standing right behind us, waiting for us to finish and vacate the few seats. Maybe that’s why they don’t have big tables, so they can discourage “hanging out” or as we Filipinos call it, “TAMBAY.”

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The ramen at Tonchin was really good! I can’t exactly remember the name of what I ordered. It’s pretty hard without an English menu. Next time, I’ll make sure to take note so that I can be more useful :p Basta I got a soy-based bowl and the second ramen above is Chino’s miso-based one with extra egg. I’ve never been a big ramen fan. Unlike my sister Maxx who is a huge ramen lover, I don’t crave for ramen. But, you know what they say: When in Rome… In this case, When in Japan! The hot soup in my belly was so perfect – ready to be walked off in the cold, cold night going back to our hotel.

We dillied and we dallied on the way home. Though we wanted to sleep early to prepare for a long day ahead of us, we couldn’t help but enjoy the far cry from our hot nights in Manila.

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Photo ops were fun because even the alleys were so clean.

Look at this cute izakaya (Japanese bar).

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For the duration of our Japan trip we had quite a lot of stops at different branches of Family Mart, it’s become somewhat an inside joke.

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By the way, I have an announcement to make… Because of all the fun and chic get ups I saw in Tokyo, I’ve decided to become a fashion blogger

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CHOS. Wala akong patience. Haha.

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Passed by the SEGA building basement. Puno ng claw cranes/merchandiser! Morbid – the stuffed toy will fall on spikes if not played correctly LOL

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Kawaii!!

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And then there are creepy men. I wish I could see where his hands are D: wahaahhaa!

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An example of how nice the Japanese are: while Elmo, Arkin, Clara, and Frank were posing for a group photo 2 guys stopped in their tracks so they wouldn’t ruin the shot. After the photo was taken, one of the guys said (in cute broken English) that the picture would look cooler if they used his bike as a prop. We were pleasantly surprised at how friendly they were that we told them to join the photo as well! Tourist mode! (^_^)Y

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That’s when we realized all of the bikes along the street right beside us. They were all parked in a neat line and didn’t even need locks! How I wish people were as honest in our country!

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We did a little more walking.

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This was when we decided to make insta-shortfilms! Click here to watch Jim, Chino, Maxx and I do a silly short about donuts. Click here to watch Arkin call up his future.

Hey, mister, that’s a donut!

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The Bro-Friends

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And that ends part 1 of my Tokyo diary!:) Check back in a couple of hours for part 2!

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Sepunks!!!

We call our little group Sepunks. It’s derived from SepAnx, the short term used for Separation Anxiety. It’s that anxious feeling you get when you are separated from something or someone. K, that was pretty self-explanatory.

Some of us got together last Thursday to celebrate Jim and my engagement! We brought out the sake and Japanese whisky!

DSC00746Pretty frickin’ bad ass samurai!! Wait.. Is that a samurai? It is, right?

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Had so much fun just hanging out and talking about future plans

DSC00750 DSC00751 DSC00752Manny playing with my bear

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Then the sake and whisky kicked in.

DSC00759Things got pretty strange. We started wearing props and playing music.

DSC00760 DSC00761 DSC00763 DSC00766Ang daya ni Jim, wala sa pictures. Pero thank you for taking these photos. That was a fun night! I’m so happy I’m best friends with my band members!!

~*SEGUE*~

Watch Cheats tomorrow with Pedicab, Flying Ipis and Vokadin at Saguijo, Makati for GRRRL SCOUT Productions and LockedDown Entertainment!

LockedDown x GrrrlScout Poster copy

Tara na, wala namang pasok eh!!

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Basic Makeup Tutorial (again)

I’m not sure if I should be calling this a tutorial because I am definitely no expert but I got the idea of making an updated makeup video when my good friend Megan Young gave me some pointers. She took a makeup class because, as Miss World 2013, she needs to travel the world to do charity work while still looking gorgeous so had to learn how to do it herself (side note: I said ‘makeup class’ hehehe get it?)!

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Her makeup’s always on point so I asked her to teach me one night, and she helped me create this look! I apologize for the quality – it was taken with my phone indoors and at night!! Nakakahiyang itabi kay Megan wahahaha!

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Fake lashes, when applied correctly, will always make you look like you have somewhere important to go to. Haha. That’s one thing I need to practice more!

So here you go – a no frills video on applying what I learned when applying makeup ;)

Products I used in order: Smashbox camera ready BB cream (light), Motives Hypoallergenic Concealer (amber),  MAC Studio Fix (NC35), The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer, Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner (Deepest Black), Sleek Makeup Brow Kit, Fairydrops Platinum Waterproof Mascara, L’Oreal Colour Riche Caresse (Cherie)

Megan also encouraged me to buy appropriate brushes because I only had 2 and I was using an eyebrow brush for my eyeshadow. Haha. I agree it’s best to invest. I love my new brush for my face powder. I’ve never had one before. Thanks again, Megan!!:*

P.S. You can apply OFF Clean Feel (no smell, no colorants and no preservatives) on your face before doing anything to keep mosquito bites away!! I’ve had 4 lamok bites on my face in the last 2 weeks. Just make sure to keep the OFF lotion away from your eyes and mouth :)

P.P.S. Watch my first tutorial here

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Am I Really Engaged?

I’m not going to pretend I had no idea about the proposal. There were several signs.

Jim and I have always openly discussed our future. We get so excited imagining our future home, decorating our living room, where to live abroad (just for maybe 2 years), what business ventures to explore together… It’s not a dead giveaway but I did notice the conversations about our future becoming more frequent. I would always joke about hating having to part ways every night. Cue the Beach Boys’ Wouldn’t It Be Nice.

Obviously marriage was in our not-so-far future. Then I heard about a diamond. Jim and I were driving home from the 7107 International Music Festival (February 23) when his mom called. Siyempre it was just the 2 of us in the car and I could hear everything his mom was saying. She was just reminding him of some errands to run and then she said in a very excited tone, “May nahanap na diamond si tita Fely. Gusto mong tignan?” and my heart skipped! He rushed to say “Mommy, mamaya na” and said goodbye as I looked out the window so he wouldn’t see my smiling face with matching wide eyes. I was SOOO happy it was really difficult not to smile like an idiot. I didn’t want to ruin his plans.

Our first night in Japan

The next clue I got was from MY mom. Hahaha!! It’s a long story but Maxx and I had a silly misunderstanding and didn’t talk for a WHOLE WEEK which was like a lifetime for BFFs like us. Then we finally HAD to see each other at a meeting. We talked and figured out that we totally misunderstood each other so we made up. When Maxx went to the bathroom, my mom asked me, “So is this why Jim wanted to have dinner with me and Maxx? To try and fix your fight?” and I was so weirded out and said I don’t know but I was pretty sure he was going to ask for my hand in marriage. I kind of freaked out when I realized my mom could totally say no to the idea of us getting married.

Gundam at Diver City, Odaiba, Tokyo

I NEVER EVER go through Jim’s phone but when we order food for delivery we grab the nearest phone. I really wanted to kick myself for getting his phone and his inbox was onscreen. His mom’s message read “Did Pia reply na?” ANO BA YAN!! Hahaha! By this time I had super mixed feelings already because though I was very excited to get married, I also felt guilty that I already knew.

I guessed it would happen in Japan because… Duh, why wouldn’t you propose in Japan? Haha! So whenever I told Jim, “I’m so excited for Japan!!!” he didn’t know I was secretly telling him, “YES I WILL MARRY YOU!”

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On the second day of our Japan trip, we passed by a coffee shop and it was too full to seat our group of 9. We had to get separate tables so Jim and I coincidentally got a little privacy. As we were half-joking about someday living in Japan for a few years, he started getting serious. He told me that he had spoken to his parents and my mom about the idea of us moving in together. He said that his very conservative mom got very upset and they hadn’t spoken for 2 weeks. My mom wasn’t happy with the idea either, according to Jim. All this information took me by surprise and I genuinely felt like a fool for thinking he was going to propose to me. But he was such a sweet heart and told me he was trying really hard to take our relationship to the next step. Sadly, he said he couldn’t offer me marriage because he was waiting to become financially stable. I couldn’t let him know how sad I was because he was thinking very rationally so I smiled, brushed it off and excused myself to use the bathroom. My tears started pouring faster than my heartbeat in the confines of the women’s bathroom. My chest was really hurting but I knew it wasn’t my heart breaking. I still knew I was with the best boyfriend ever. I got upset because I wondered if his whole story was to cover up my mom saying NO to our engagement. I wiped my tears quickly and thanked myself for using smudge-free eyeliner and waterproof mascara before heading back to our table. I gave Jim a quick peck on the cheek and told him I didn’t want to live together anyway before getting married so it’s no problem with me. I know, right? I’m such a wonderful girlfriend………… CHE!! Hahaha!

So nagpaka-Elsa na ako and I LET IT GO…

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It wasn’t going to happen. Kebs na. The next day we traveled to one of the best parks in Tokyo — Ueno Park. It was so beautiful.

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Walked around for a few hours and then it was time to go home. We all took photos before leaving.

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Then Arkin started taking photos of Maxx and Chino by the Japanese sign (I have no clue what it says). He called Jim and I to take photos too because it was a nice place to take “couple” photos daw. Cute!!

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As soon as we stood there to take photos, a strong breeze blew the cherry blossom petals on us! It was SO ROMANTIC. In hindsight, Jim told me he kept choking to ask me the entire trip because he kept waiting for the perfect time. The petal shower was the perfect sign according to him and that’s when he turned to me, held both my hands and started sort of stammering. Hehehe. I knew it was finally happening but I couldn’t believe it!!

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He said “I’ve been waiting for the right moment to ask you…” I was already crying before he got down on one knee and brought something out from his pocket. I saw a silver Spiderman keychain (my favorite Marvel superhero) and my heart stopped. I was thinking OMG IS THIS NOT A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL?! I’M GONNA DIE hahaha and then I saw the ring attached to the keychain. That’s when he said “I love you. Will you marry me?” and of course I said YES!!

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Look at how happy mom is!! But I still couldn’t believe it! I actually asked “are you sure?!” and as desperate as it may seem, I remember saying “thank you!” HAHAHA. It’s just my automatic response to anything that makes me happy. <3

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Here I am hugging my mom <3 I am so happy and it means so much to me that we have her blessing. Thank you, mama!!

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As you may have already guessed, Jim and his mom are totally fine. They have all been in on it and I can’t think of anybody luckier than me right now. Pang best actor ang performance ni Jim haha. He really tried to throw me off because he had a feeling that I knew about the proposal. Ang galing niya but also kinda cruel. Hahahaha!

Thank you so much for all your well wishes. I’m also thankful for being able to share this moment with you. I’ll be sure to let you know more about my journey down the aisle and into holy matrimony! I have so much more to tell you!!!

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AHHH!! YES WE’RE ACTUALLY ENGAGED!! IT HAPPENED ON MARCH 29 — NOT ON APRIL FOOL’S DAY, THANK GOD! HAHAHA! KAMPAI!!

Posted in Love, Personal, Travel | 375 Comments

Ipanema’s Sole To Goal: Watch The FIFA World Cup LIVE!

I really enjoyed playing futsal (indoor soccer) in high school and college. I even had plans of training and joining the actual women’s football team in Ateneo. I enjoyed playing it but I wasn’t an exceptional player. Watching football players, both men and women, just really fascinated me. The precision of their kicks, their eye foot coordination. Strangely enough, I have never really been into the FIFA World Cup.

I do, however, see all the excited tweets of my friends and how affected they are by “their” teams winning or losing haha. I experienced TRYING to get into a pub in Makati 2 years ago to watch the games in the wee hours of the morning but the lines outside were just crazy!

So now I’m curious. For the rest of you who are actual die-hards of the World Cup, how about ditching the long lines in rowdy bars and actually going wild while watching your favorite team LIVE?!

Sole To Goal

Ipanema’s promo SOLE TO GOAL is giving you the chance to tour Brazil and watch the games! All you’ve got to do is buy a pair of Ipanema slippers, get a coupon code and input it in Ipanema’s Sole To Goal app on Facebook! What?! A pair of flip flops gets you a chance to be one of three winners of a 6-day and 5-night stay in Brazil?? Crazy, I know!

This is just perfect timing because I need to get a new pair of flip flops for the summer anyway! I should really start watching replays of the past World Cup games, too!!

P.S. Sobrang cute nito!!

ipanema

Posted in Beauty/Fashion, Events | 1 Comment

Time’s New Romance

I just saw this kilig-inducing video of a couple making time for each other. After seeing this video, I wonder if it’s true that chivalry is really dead.

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Gone are the days when boys actually had to ask a girl’s parents for permission to court her. No more standing outside a girl’s window and singing harana. Today, courtship usually happens when a boy and girl aren’t even together.

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While the technique has drastically changed over the years, the barriers have also been broken. Maria Claras no longer need to hide their smiles under their paper fans. The modern Marias are free to let their men know how much they are loved.

While it’s more than okay to go back to our ancestors’ romantiko moves, I think it’s very useful to understand your partner and his/her needs. My boyfriend Jim introduced me to the concept of The Five Love Languages. The usual cause of arguments between a couple is misunderstanding. I admit I used to get a little hurt when my boyfriend wouldn’t do the same things I would do to show my love but once I understood his love language, we have been the happiest!

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There are five love languages according to relationship counselor Gary Chapman:

  1. Gifts
  2. Quality Time
  3. Words of Affirmation
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

I do simple things that make Jim happy like getting dropped off at his office after work so we can brave rush hour together and he won’t be alone (we call this Crush Hour). Just the other day while shopping for my Japan trip I saw a cute pair of pajamas and remember Jim saying he wished he had a good pair of jammies so I got it for him and left it on his couch. When he got home I got several heart emoticons via text because he was so surprised and touched. It may be the simplest things but it makes a world’s difference when you know what your partner wants.

It won’t come naturally if your love languages differ but that’s where romance kicks in. The effort into finding out how best to make your partner feel loved and proving it is very rewarding.

It’s a different time and age for love but ultimately we are freer to do whatever we want and that is the challenge. Are you up for it? Just always remember that romance and love don’t require each other but they are both crucial to a happy relationship <3 <3

P.S. I actually wrote this 2 days before Jim and I got engaged!! Thank you for all your kind words of support. It means so much to me. So many of you are what I call “lurkers” and don’t ever comment but the day I got engaged I was so surprised at the number of people who have been reading my blog for years (some since the beginning of time haha) sending me messages of elation. I will share my journey with you guys, I promise!! The engagement story will be saved for another blog post. Hehe. To be continued! <3

Posted in Love, Personal, Video | 34 Comments

An Invitation to Join Bayani Challenge 2014!

Gathering one million volunteers across 12 provinces from April 9 to June 12, the Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan will be the most massive showcase of volunteerism that the country has seen. Every year since 2006, Gawad Kalinga (GK) and its partners have staged the Bayani Challenge with the objective of building relationships, bringing out the hero in everyone and raising resources and results for the poor that can only be achieved by working together.

Bayani Challenge

This year, as the country confronts the unprecedented destruction brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege, the Bayani Challenge 2014 (BC 2014) will be of a different scale altogether. With a clear and fixed target of ONE MILLION VOLUNTEERS, BC 2014 will be ongoing for 9 full weeks of rebuilding homes and schools, planting trees, conducting clean-up drives and health missions and investing time with the young – activities that carry out the GK promise of WALANG IWANAN (‘Leave no one behind’) to all those affected.

BC2014 Banner

Mark your calendars and join the Bayani Challenge in any of these 12 provinces: Aklan, Antique, Bohol, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Samar, and Zamboanga. Register and get more details at www.bayanichallenge.com. You may also email bayanichallenge@gawadkalinga.com for inquiries.

Posted in Events, Help Out, Travel | 5 Comments