Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oryspa Rice Bran Meditation Balm

I know I said I'm forever loyal to GIGA's Massage Rub (best all around anti-pain remedy, which doubles as insect bite cure and mosquito repellent). However, during an out of town trip, I placed my trusty pocket sized GIGA Massage Rub in my luggage which was placed in the overhead bin so it was inaccessible. I was getting so dizzy because of the bumpy ride when my officemate took out her ORYSPA Meditation Balm and offered some to me. Needless to say, I was more than grateful to dip my fingers in the pot (I would usually squirm as it is unhygienic haha) and massaged some on my temples, and rubbed off whatever's left of it under my nostrils and back of my neck. I felt so much better afterwards.

I bought my own little pot since then and road tested it. Here's my feedback:

It is not as oily as GIGA Massage Rub. You know how Vick's feels? GIGA's texture is like that. With ORYSPA however, the texture is that of a hard balm, so when you rub your fingers on it, you don't get a lot (unless you scrape on it). If you are afraid to look like an oil mine, USE THIS.

Rice bran oil, pili oil, beeswax, rice bran wax, menthol, pepermint, orange oil, bergamot

The scent reminds me of Halls Lemon. Citrusy with a hint of cool menthol. I love love menthol liniments and rubs but I'm wary of applying something strong smelling in public places, lest I offend other people who do not like the smell. ORYSPA is your best bet in this case because the scent is mild and innocuous. Most likely, you are the only person who can smell it. 


GIGA is still the best for immediate pain relief. I love its scent because it is strong but not amoy "matanda", and the coolness factor from the ointment is out of this world. The texture is really really oily but I cannot be bothered with it because it works! GIGA is much more expensive too at 115php for 10grams and 400++php for 60g. If GIGA is too much to handle for you, ORYSPA is a good alternative. I will still use it for minor aches and pains, or something to sniff when I need to revive myself, or if I want something less oily and obtrusive. 

I bought my ORSYPA Meditation Balm from the ORYSPA booth at Robinson's Place, Manila.
15g at 95php
50g at 265php

Made in the Philippines

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Feast Day of St. Padre Pio

Today is the Feast day of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

I would love love love to go to the St. Pio Centre in Libis right now. but I'm stuck at work. #employeeproblems

I can catch the mass later in our parish after work but I want to spend the day with the devotees in St. Pio Centre, thanking God for giving us St. Pio. I would love to hear from other devotees; I like listening to people speaking of their everyday miracles; So if you are reading this and have a story to tell, please do so in the comment section. Maybe I won't feel so bad being stuck behind a computer right at this very moment.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Zen Rose

Thank God it's Thursday!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I love Fridays and weekends. I don't like to wake up early in the morning, only to be bombarded by traffic, noise and pollution as soon as the sunshine hits my face.

I painted my nails last night! Woohoo! Big deal. haha

After painting my nails, I realized I love their new candy fuschia color and  suddenly had the urge to make terno my lipstick for today. but alas! I don't have any candy fuschia colored lipstick!!! I was already thinking that I should break my no-makeup-buying-fast and get myself a hot pink lipstick. But my mom was like, "YOU ALREADY HAVE A FUSCHIA LIPSTICK!!!" yeah, that's our topic while I was having my breakfast earlier this morning haha. She went to the room and came out with this:

Image courtesy of:

This lipstick was bought two years ago in HK. (or was it three?) haha as long as it doesn't smell, look or feel differently, okay lang. I discard makeup based on my instinct. So please don't judge me!

I don't use this lipstick a lot because it is too glossy. I've outgrown that stage in my life when I wanted everything to be shining, shimmering and splendid. While this is not exactly my cup of tea, this is perfect for those who love lip gloss! Consider this as a lip gloss stick. Not as sticky but very shiny. A word of caution though: the lipstick melts! Seriously, it is so soft and creamy, that it looks like it's melting all the time.

Sorry for the smudges haha! I had a hard time maneuvering this lipstick while applying since its flat top form is not exactly geared towards precise corners application.

Zen Rose is a fun color but not too loud or in-your-face.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

LA Girl Matte Pigment Gloss Review

No, I haven't given in to the temptation of buying make up YET.

I purchased these last May when I felt really frustrated with creamy lipsticks. There were times when I was talking to someone, only to realize later that I have lipstick smears on my chin! Hello, how did that even happen?! I think my lipstick melted on my lips and traveled all the way. So I hunted for matte lipsticks. It doesn't hurt that liquid to matte lipsticks are very on trend these days too.

Why did I choose LA Girl? Because of all the positive reviews on You Tube! Haha.

The gurus were saying all the good things about this brand and of course, it was so affordable. From what I gathered, these are: unscented, not as drying as other liquid to matte lipsticks, cheaper but still long lasting. 

I ordered two colors: Fantasy and Bazaar

Since these were available online only, I took a gamble and ordered based on what I saw on videos and pictures. I imagined Fantasy to be a pastel baby peach color and Bazaar to be a natural looking red. The applicator is also doe-foot which makes for a precise application.

Monday, August 31, 2015

On Saving, Makeup Shopping Bans and Trade-Offs

My shopping basket has been makeup free for the past two months! 


It certainly is not easy. With the proliferation of Instagram, Facebook and online shops flaunting the latest makeup must haves, I feel the hunger pangs quite strongly. Sometimes, I'm tempted to have just little makeup purchases here and there to quench my thirst without the guilt. But so far, I'm surviving and haven't given myself up to temptation, as you can see through my lack of posts. 

I have managed to convince myself (and still try to do so everyday), that the so called little purchases can't make up for the real thing. For example, what I really want right now is Estee Lauder's  Matte Sculpting Lipsticks. I've ogled swatches and skimmed through reviews for weeks on end. And yet, I'm stopping myself from buying them because I have tons of other high end brand lipsticks which I promised to finish. Everytime I fork over a chunk of my money for makeup, I make myself promise to use it til the last atom haha. (just to justify that it will never go to waste). I realized that with each additional purchase, I make it more difficult for me to make my end of the bargain. Furthermore, when I add up the total cost of these "little" purchases, I am appalled that they do cost more than the "real" thing while my lemmings are left unsatisfied.

Can you see how preeeetty these Estee lauder lipsticks are??? Okay, it's not helping me!! Not at all!

So how do I reward myself? how do I make myself feel undeprived of all these worldly stuff? haha. Of course, there's a trade off. If you make a sacrifice (that's how it feels like to me, penitensya), you expect something good or better will come out of it.

I made this collage earlier this year to motivate myself, and I pray pray pray that one day I will be able to visit all these beautiful places. They say that the ultimate secret is visualizing your dream. So I'm sharing my dream destinations with all of you. Maybe the dream could be fast-tracked to reality haha.

Bongga, not buying makeup to save for a trip to Europe?! haha maybe a bit far fetched but I use this so I can hang on for as long as I can. Every peso  centavo counts!

A bit more affordable (still not cheap) is Japan. I know. Japan is like the new Hong Kong for a lot of Filipinos. Ginagawa nilang weekender. Almost everyone has been to Japan except me haha. I will work and save for this too. And maybe have a makeup-all-you can-buffet while there to make up for lost opportunities. Haha joke! I've been wanting to visit Japan since Memoirs of a Geisha days. (yep, i loved the book! i was still in college that time when it first came out)

Japan images courtesy of -!/custom-trip/

One day, some day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry


It's already the month of August and this fact gets me pretty excited. Although we don't have the Fall season here in the Philippines, I celebrate the season! I love Fall fashion: the earthy colors, deep makeup hues and intense jewel tones. All these scream sophistication and elegance to me.

When it comes to makeup, I don't go for dark goth looks though. I like something serious looking without being old and outdated, just like the  shade SULTRY from Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Exquisite Pieces: Fino Leatherware

I've been wanting to post this forever. I am just so in love obsessed with my new leather bag from Fino Leatherware.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur Primer

Hello!!! Here's something from me to you: a mid-week beauty pick-me-up!

This product from The Body Shop is not recently launched. Nevertheless, it's quite a discovery for me. Find out why.


This all-new face perfector blurs imperfections, giving you flawless photo-perfect skin in an instant! With Community Fair Trade marula oil.
  • Shine Controlling 12h
  • Reduces appearance of pores
  • Blemish Hiding
  • Complexion Unifying
  • Make-up Extending

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cheap Find: Flormar Water Proof Lipliner

Last week was such a gloomy and rainy stretch. I struggled especially during the mornings because: I love the bed weather (sleep!) and I dreaded having to walk on wet pavement. Fortunately, our boss allowed us to go home an hour earlier than the usual twice last week so I was not stranded on some flooded street.

If the weather was grim and gray, my lips were most certainly not. Thanks to my bright lip color from Flormar. I am currently holding myself back from buying new lipsticks as I already have a lot on my hands. I consider this as a little cheat: new lip color without the guilt because it is so affordable. Needless to say, my new lip color craving is satisfied.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's In The Bag!

I have this secret (which is not so anymore) fantasy of being stopped somewhere on the road by a magazine or TV reporter and have my "What's In Your Bag?" moment. Okay, this hasn't happened yet, and no, I will not open my bag for and in front of a stranger! Baka modus or scam! So I will open my bags for myself instead and be the reporter/photographer at the same time. ;) I guess this idea came about because of my curiosity on what other ladies carry in their bags. I am naturally usisera like that haha. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pencil Concealer: Etude House Play 101 Pencil

This is not a new product from Etude House. In fact, I wasn't a bit interested to take a look at these Play 101 pencils since I didn't think the pencils would add anything new to my kit. But while I was looking for creamsicle orange lip liners (yes, I am that specific), I found out that Etude House has these pencils in aplenty of colors and in varying textures (matte, creamy and glossy). Looking for sample images, I came across white and flesh colored pencils which can be used as eyeliner and concealer too. Cool. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bathroom Break

I've been really busy at work these past few days (blame it on difficult and confusing cases!!! #ilovemyjob #iloveshoppingmore) that I badly need a bathroom break!!! (Okay sorry haha couldn't resist the pun. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

St. Benedict's Medal

Yes, you are on the right blog and I'm not going to talk about makeup today.

I just had to write about this.

I received a St. Benedict's Medal from our San Beda law student interns last week and I appreciate the gesture so much (much more than receiving any other material gift!). They said this was already blessed by a Benedictine monk from their school.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Smells Like Summer

It's the month of June already, and I'm still writing about summer. Haha! Who can blame me though? With scatters of rainshowers every now and then, the weather is still unbearably HOT HOT HOT. Drink loads of water and stay in the shade if you can. These times, I really feel bad for those who need to work under the heat of the sun. Tsk, tsk. I cannot imagine the exhaustion they feel at the end of each day. I mean, just standing under the sun for 5 minutes without an umbrella over my head is enough to give me a migraine!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Positively Dashing

Happy Monday Morning!

I've got another lipstick post for today, which I think my topic is 90% of the time. =)

It's from the MAC Pro Longwear line.

I really really appreciate long wearing formula nowadays, given the scorching heat. While I love moisturizing formulas for lipsticks the most, it's a bit embarrassing to have my lipstick melt and migrate everywhere on my face. I was not very keen on trying matte lipsticks, as they do entail more effort. It's not as easy as swipe and go. But I'm pleased to discover better formulas for matte lipsticks such as this one from MAC.

Read on for more.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Grand Nivea Sale

So last May 1- May 9, 2015, Nivea held its summer sale where all Nivea products were on 50% off.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Backstreet Boys In A World Like This Tour Manila 2015

I'm a HUGE Backstreet Boys fan. I was in fourth grade when I first heard their album and from there, the fandom just developed. I grew up thinking that they were singing for me haha and that Nick Carter is the cutest boy alive. Those were the days when the boys in my class (so did everyone else's, I think) copied Nick Carter's hair. HAHAHA.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pink Lips for Summer!

I was "playing" with my pink lipsticks last night when I had an epiphany.

The pinks I've been buying are too similar/of the same family in terms of shade.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Summer Makeup

It's super hot and humid these days! I sweat very easily and my skin is even oilier than the usual. My problem during the overly hot summer months include melting/ disappearing makeup (due to sweat and wiping my face so much), blocked pores and dry frizzy hair, to name a few.

To address these woes, I've made the necessary changes in my kikay kit.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cheap Thrill: Essence Long Lasting Lipstick

I have a hard time updating this blog. This is because I'm holding myself back from making cosmetic purchases. My last makeup purchase was 3 weeks ago and all I bought was this lipstick from Essence. Aside from skimming through product reviews on makeupalley, I don't have much feedback as regards the brand prior to buying this.

I thought to myself, if makeup were always this affordable (with good quality), I might even lift my self-imposed makeup shopping ban!

Presenting: Essence Long Lasting Lipstick in Wear Berries

Isn't the shade so fun and feminine? 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Non Makeup Post: Safety Please!

I know it's not exactly positive and encouraging to post something like this on a Monday, but I was just so close to losing my entire bag last weekend so just take this as a reminder to be watchful of your belongings at all times even in the absence of any kind of suspicion whatsoever.

My friends and I met up after office for dinner at Ayala Triangle. We had to sit outdoors because one of my girls brought her dog. Suddenly, the waitress was screaming that the bag of one of the customers was stolen. The customer went up and tried to chase the thief but sadly, the thief was not apprehended. His bag was not recovered. The waitress explained that she noticed the bag was stolen because she was keeping an eye on everyone, as her suspicions were raised by one particular woman. The woman pretended to be a customer waiting to be seated but refused to sit on the designated waiting area. Instead, the woman walked  and hovered around other tables while speaking on her phone. I noticed that woman too because I saw her standing too close to our table. I even stared at her for a brief moment because at one point, I found it weird when she lingered near our table. But it never occurred to me that she might be a thief! The waitress even thought the woman was one of my friends! Now I realize, we might have been the initial target because my friend who arrived first, placed her bag on the vacant chair beside her. I did the same. We were being careless, I know. But we had not given much thought about that because the area where we sat is medyo tago, not along the aisle or anyone's pathway. Only the waiter who brought our menus and orders walked around. I just remembered that the woman also did that!!! The woman might have aborted her plan to steal our bags because right that moment when she stood near our table, one of our friends texted that she is on her way with her dog, so we immediately took our bags from the vacant chairs and placed them on our laps instead. 

So what's so suspicious about the woman, aside from her standing up and walking around? She disappeared as soon as the theft was discovered. Maybe she was in cahoots with someone. She talked to the waitress and blocked the waitress' line of vision and when she walked away, then waitress noticed the bag of the other customer was gone. 

It really happens everywhere! no place is safe, even in BGC and Salcedo, theft is so very rampant. The thieves wait for their victims to lose focus on their belongings. even getting the cellphones placed on the table while the owner is distracted, talking or eating. Keep safe ok?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Elusive

I realized I haven't posted about Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms! This might be a little too late, given the hundreds of reviews and raves for this product but it definitely deserves its piece in this blog. I'm showing you lip swatches for the light pink shade Elusive, which is very appropriate for Spring:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Too Dark Powder Foundation? Here's How I Use Mine

We all have purchased the wrong shade of powder or foundation at one point in our lives. Just check this too orange MAC Studio Fix Powder!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Mightiest Maraschino

Good morning everybody!

Today, I wore red lips to the office, never mind the Monday mad rush (why is it super chaotic on Monday mornings?! LOL). No, dark red lips won't cut it this sunny bright morning so cherry red  it is!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint in PK001

Hello bright summer colors!

For this summer heat, I opt to use lip and cheek tints for long wearing color. My favorite nowadays is Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint in PK001 which is light pink in color. This is my second bottle from the Fresh Cherry Tint collection. The first time, I bought the red one. Needless to say, I was able to finish the bottle after a year because it was so pigmented, I only use a dot each time. It is a favorite, hence the repurchase.

Currently, it is available in 6 colors, all of which I find attractive. However, I chose the lightest pink this time since I want the pink flush to look natural. Also, I have a variety of red tints right now.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Collecting (Cute) Pens!

I miss having a diary/ journal-- not the online version. I want the actual scented paper notebook and pen. I miss scribbling random notes, messages and prayers. Or sticking notes in between pages. Right now, I consider this very public blog as my journal. Well, yeah I wrote product reviews in my diaries (haha! since High School, would you believe?) No one got to read those reviews (I hope)! But I loved pretending as a beauty magazine writer. I bought Candy back issues then because buying the most recent issues cost more. Oh the simple joys of childhood.

I love kikay and cute things even before the kawaii wave. But since not a lot of products were available back then, add to the fact of having super limited budget for school supplies and getting them straight from abroad is out of the question, I felt my school stuff was rather ordinary and boring. I am grateful, believe me. I know how many kids do not have enough, but that's another issue.

Now, thanks to technology, we have a lot to shop from! and the choices are endless!!! I can buy office and school supplies and be happy with both the designs and function!

Check these cool, feminine pens I got online-- the seller gets them from JAPAN!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Catch! Boracay Soaps

So, what do kikay ladies and gents buy when they are on island vacation?

Beauty Soaps!

Here are the soaps I bought from Boracay: Catch and Cerros.

From Catch:
The orange ones are papaya soaps, black soap is Noni (their bestseller) and pink soaps are kojic acid bars. 

Cerros: Calamansi (green bar) and the yellow one is tomato.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Human Nature 100% Natural Tea Tree Oil

Welcome back to my blog!

Do you guys love natural and organic products? I do! But like most buyers, I find it difficult to stick to all natural products because:
1. I have no brand loyalty 
2. Chemical products sound more appealing with their promises of instant cures and solutions
 3. Advertisements

I am an avid user of Human Heart Nature products since it was launched way way back. I stray but find myself using Human Nature again and again.

Frankly, this time, I bought a bulk of Human Nature Products online to reactivate my dealer's discount. I was also super duper curious because there are a lot of new and exciting products from Human Nature. I've re-stocked  my fave citrus hand sanitizer, sunflower oil and strengthening shampoo while my new "to-test" products are the natural lavender oil, natural tea tree oil and chamomile feminine  wash. Needless to say, I was most excited to about the tea tree oil.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mud Masking Like A Mad Woman

Hi guys and girls!

How was your weekend? I had a relaxing one (as opposed to last week's tumultuous version). I bought a pair of running shoes and hit the gym, all in one day. haha. I'm not an exercise fanatic so mentioning rubber shoes and gym in one sentence is quite a challenge for me, a challenge which I overcame. I was so intimidated by the buff ladies and gents who looked like they were living inside the gym, they are so right at home while I felt like a fish out of water. I hid inside the locker room (I was not informed to reserve for a personal trainer prior to my official first day so I had no idea which equipment to use) and waited for one of the dance classes to begin; at least I would just imitate my classmates.

Anyway, I had so much fun since we danced to really catchy and upbeat songs. The instructor is enthusiastic and was smiling all the time, it was hard not to smile back.

Last night, I slathered mud mask on my face to liberate my pores from all the Manila gunk and pollution. I am not posting my picture as I might scare you guys (39 followers na nga lang baka mag-alisan pa kayo hahahaha).

 (image source:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover

I loooove my newest discovery!!! This product is not a new product from the Body Shop but I just finished a giant tub of Pond's cold cream last night, so I thought I'm trying this one. This has been sitting inside my cabinet for a month and I stopped myself from testing/using until I finished using Pond's. The price of water-based make up removers turns me off so I'm not exactly raging mad to buy and try new ones. When The Body Shop offered their products on a buy 1 take 1 promo last December's post-Christmas sale, I immediately headed to one of their branches to check their items. this is one of the things I've gotten.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Khaki/ Olive Eyeliner for an Au Naturel Look

A happy happy GV morning!

I just want to jump start the day with a beauty boost. Let me show you a quick and subtle way to emphasize the eyes without a ton of product by using an olive green/ khaki eyeliner. I like this color because it's lighter than brown and no harsh lines are drawn, while it makes me look like I have mascara on my lower lashes.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Prayer for Peace By St. Pope John Paul II

I am so emotional today. Lots of moments which made me feel nervous, sad and angry.


Last night, I boarded a PUV on the way home but I alighted barely 5 minutes later because my instinct was telling me that something was wrong. Two men followed me before I can even sit. I was a bit confused because I cannot recall seeing them waiting for a vehicle with other commuters on that particular street; they just suddenly appeared out of nowhere and seated across me. They did not make an effort to pay immediately pay which increased my anxiety. I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt and rode for a few minutes in silence. However, I could not ignore the nagging feeling inside me, so upon seeing the next stop where lots of commuters were also standing, I went out of the vehicle and waited for another one.

Earlier this dawn, we sent my sister off to the airport. I hate how goodbyes are always so rushed in NAIA Terminal I. After unloading the luggages, we cannot even say a proper goodbye, just quick hugs from my sister, then she went inside the terminal.

I've just finished watching a video showing how the Jordanian pilot was killed by ISIS terrorists. It is beyond my imagination how those killer monsters live and walk amongst us. They are even worse than animals! This is clearly not a fight for religion but only for money and power. Burning alive? This is like a horror movie with possessed monsters. Will the world ever learn? History recounts tales of countless wars but has anyone ever really won? Everyone loses in times of war.

 "Lord Jesus Christ, who are called the Prince of Peace, who are yourself our peace and reconciliation, who so often said, "Peace to you," grant us peace. Make all men and women witnesses of truth, justice, and brotherly love. Banish from their hearts whatever might endanger peace. Enlighten our rulers that they may guarantee and defend the great gift of peace. May all peoples on the earth become as brothers and sisters. May longed-for peace blossom forth and reign always over us all."

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Banish that Pimple Trick!

Today, I'm sharing with you guys my pimple medicine which works without irritation! This is one of the best pimple medicine s out there that works for big, bad red zits!

Shunned and Ignored

My blog that is.

i have pretty much forgotten about this blog.

January was a whirlwind of events. There were lots of holidays given the fact that last month, work was cancelled for a few days in anticipation of Pope Francis' arrival. However, I was a secondary sponsor for my cousin's wedding. Days before the wedding were filled with stress for us because we were duped by the designer of the gown and realized we had nothing to wear a week before the wedding! We called on other designers, fought with the "scam designer", looked up quick and easy gown designs which could be sewn in a week. Then came my relatives from all parts of the world for the said wedding. Next came the wedding. We made a quick trip to Bora, lots of parties and gatherings for our relatives (belated Christmas reunions I should say, since instead of coming home last december, they saved their leaves for the wedding). It was so crazy. And. I. loved. it.

Now the toll is on my face. and wallet. Haha.

I am having big zits! I blame it on my late nights because after office hours, all I wanna do is kill time talking to my sister (who's leaving on thursday. boo.) until late at night. or wee hours in the morning. So I am very very sluggish and sleepy when I wake up. To compensate for this low energy feels, I chug up a lot of coffee. Then we ate everything we could because she missed all the good food in the Philippines. Traditional Filipino dishes are never healthy-- crispy pata, kare-kare, lechon kawali, all the cholesterol filled stuff, sweets like kakanin, suman, sapin sapin, fruit pies, yes we ate and ate everything so Hello Pimples!

Last weekend, we squeezed in a short trip to Bora= sunscreen= sweat= clogged pores. Haaay.

Anyway I had fun spending time with my loved ones. But i feel very sad now because things are going back to the way they used to be; our relatives already left for abroad one by one and my sister's flight looms ahead. I wish with all my heart that we could make her stay. However, as everyone with an OFW in their family knows, our country does not give the same kind of work benefits and opportunities to employees that other countries do. We cannot curtail her growth and success because each of has to grab on whatever chance life presents us with. Just like how my family respected my decision to take up law, we defer to her decision to charter her own  destiny outside the Philippines.

Oh Boracay, I wish we could just stay. But you are just a dream. I am living in reality where you are just so far away...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Unexpected Grace: Pope Francis Visits the Philippines

Okay, regardless of your religion, if you have access to the internet, tv, radio or newspapers, you should know that Pope Francis visited the Philippines last week!


It is a busy, jam-packed January for me. 4 weddings, a travel to Boracay (soon!), "fight" with one of the bride's modista who is a semi-scammer... This month is filled with surprises. Nothing beats Pope Francis' visit though; this seriously tops the list of my January unforgettables, it is all over the news, social media and friendly neighborhood chika.

I'm sharing some fast facts about Pope Francis which I found very fascinating:


What Pope Francis Gets Right

He wants church doctrine to draw people towards God instead of casting them away in shame.

• He wants to open up Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics.
◦ “I think this is the moment for mercy.”

• He approves of baptizing babies born out of wedlock.
◦ “This is not good pastoral zeal, it distances people from the Lord and does not open doors. So when we take this path…we are not doing good to people, the People of God.” (May 25, 2013)

He cares about the physical needs of the financially poor.

• He invited 3 homeless men into the Vatican to share a birthday breakfast with him. (December 17, 2013)

He’s not afraid to tackle economic policies that he thinks perpetuate injustice.
• He denounced inequality of trickle-down economic theories of capitalism. (November 26, 2013)
• He warns that the “idolatry of money” can lead to a “new tyranny.”
◦ He wrote, “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” (November 26, 2013)

His heart breaks for the downtrodden.
• He not only acknowledge but also embraced and kissed a deformed man who suffers from neurofibromatosis. (November 6, 2013)
• He washed the feet of 12 criminal offenders including two women and one Serbian Muslim. (March 28, 2013)

He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
• During a Pontifical Council he allowed a child who wandered on the stage to sit in his chair. ( October 26, 2013)
• He caused a commotion when people saw him carrying his black bag as he walked toward his flight in Brazil. (July 22, 2013)

He emphasizes people over hot-button issues.
• He thinks it’s unnecessary for the church to always focus on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. (September 19, 2013)
◦ “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” (July 29, 2013)
• When asked if he approved of homosexuality, he replied with another question: “`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”

He strives for a simple life.
• When possible, he chooses modest cars like a Ford Focus over the Papal fortified Mercedes.
• He chose to live in a building reserved for visiting clergy and lay people instead of the plush papal quarters.
◦ “I’m visible to people and lead a normal life. All of this is good for me and prevents me from being isolated.”
• Prefers to wear more humble attire. Francis is keeping his black shoes, foregoing the red cape popes usually wear, and chooses to wear his regular black pants under the robe. He’s also keeping the iron-plated pectoral cross he used as archbishop, and his papal fisherman’s ring isn’t gold but gold-plated silver.
He takes risks to care for the poor.
• Sometimes he dresses up like an average priest and sneaks out to give money to the poor living on the streets of Rome.
• He visited the violent slums of Rio de Janeiro and gave an inspiring speech.
◦ “No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! No amount of peace-building will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself.” (July 25, 2013)

He humbly admits that he does not have all of the answers.
• When asked to describe himself he said, “I am a sinner.”
• “The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt,” he said. “You must leave room for the Lord.”

He wants to redistribute the power of the church.
• On January 12, 2014 He chose his first group of Cardinals to reflect his belief that the church must pay more attention to the poor. The 19 men are from Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, including the developing nations of Haiti and Burkina Faso.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did! Viva Santo Papa!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy 2015!

I hope it's not too late to greet everyone here a "Happy New Year"!

January 1, 2015 saw my family and I attend mass at St. Pio Centre, Libis Quezon City. We have been continuing this tradition for three consecutive years now ( and I do pray that we can keep on doing every January 1st forever)! As usual, the church is packed with people!

I'm beyond thankful that we got through 2014, but am praying for our friends and relatives who underwent (or are still undergoing) difficult times.

Being a lawyer has taught me to look past the casual smiles and friendly "kumustahans" of friends and acquaintances. When people post enviable pictures on facebook or Instagram, our (my, actually haha) initial reaction is usually to say, "Wow, this person is very lucky! I don't mind switching places with him/her! Does he/she even wake up with something as trivial as bad hair day?" But now, I realize that everyone is going through something at some point-- believe me, there are oceans of problems drowning your neighbors, officemates, facebook friends and even the security guard manning the store near where you live. Some of their problems are quite unimaginable! I've been privy to some confidential info (which could be the topic of hot gossip if passed on the wrong hands) because people just need help. They want to talk to someone who will tell them what to do. However, more often than not, I learn that their problems are not LEGAL controversies-- meaning there's no law involved. I'm just sad when I cannot do anything, no advice, no whatsoever for them since many of them come up to me with the expectation that I can say or teach them something to whisk their problems away. When this happens, I just tell them: PRAY. Some are disappointed, "So, ganon na lang yun?" Some are persistent, "Pero sabi ni xxx pwede ako..." Some are less than appreciative of the time you allotted to meet up and listen, "Thank you nalang, pero.."

Guys, ito lang, it is not an easy world but we can make it a more livable place for us.

I wish that wars, scams, poverty, corruption, sickness, quarrels, lying.. all these would stop, then maybe the hurt a lot of people are experiencing would dissipate (my work could be a lot easier too). Let us pray more, that we could have the peace we are all longing for. This 2015, let's start and make it a habit to whisper our prayer every now and then; call on God more, involve Him in our daily and mundane activities and let Him work His ways in our lives.