Thursday, February 28, 2013

Another Baguio Trip

I wasn't able to go to the gym this week for a lot of reasons - too much assignments, too much house chores, brother not anymore willing to join me, and I am having another menstrual period. Yeah...wasn't just the other week that I had my period? Awful.

Anyway, this is the last day of February, and my weight is still the same - 214lbs. Given the lots of food events I attended (plus the side food trips with the family and friends), I was glad that I maintained my weight. Tomorrow, I will try my hardest to walk around even for just 30 minutes, but my serious workout (will force brother to join me at the gym or I will let Jillian Michaels torture me) will start on 07 March, because tomorrow night the family are set to travel to Baguio City.

Dad's death anniversary is on 05 March, and since there is a full weekend before that, mom thought it would be nice for us to travel to Baguio City (possibly because my stories about my recent trip there made mom want to experience it, too) before going to La Union.

Baguio Cathedral
Baguio City Cathedral at Dawn (27 Feb 2010)

I have been to Baguio several times, but this would be the first time the family would travel there together. Sister won't travel with us tomorrow night, but she will travel afternoon of Saturday, giving us a full day to roam around on Sunday before going to La Union.

So...where do I want to go this time?

Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Farms - La Trinidad, Benguet (04 March 2011)
There are five places in and near Baguio City that I wanted to see: The Laperal Mansion, BenCab Museum, Philippine Military Academy, the Cemetery of Negativism, and the old Diplomat Hotel. Food wise, I just wanted to eat something (or somewhere) new to me, and I also want to go thrift shopping.

For sure, my sister wants to see several places new to my list, so planning it, I broke it down into two lists:

Day 1 - Saturday
  • Baguio Cathedral
  • Cemetery of Negativism
  • Philippine Military Academy
  • Lunch at Zens Restaurant - Mines View Hotel
  • Mines View Park
  • The Mansion | Wright Park
  • Laperal Mansion
  • The Old Diplomat Hotel
  • Burnham Park
  • Dinner (still undecided where)
  • Night Shopping along Session Road
Day 2 - Sunday
  • BenCab Museum
  • Strawberry Farms
  • Lunch at Oh My Gulay!
  • Tam-Awan Village
  • Pasalubong Shopping

Undas 2007
Visiting daddy's grave - October 2007

In La Union, the family will go to the cemetery to visit dad's grave first as sister has to travel back to Manila that same morning. This will be the first time the whole family will visit dad's grave since October 2007. After that, it's usually sister and I, or brother and I, or brother, sis, and mom, or just me alone. After paying him a short visit, we will roam around La Union, but I don't have specific places to go to... I might just let them eat lunch at Halo Halo de Iloko, then go to Thunderbird Resorts.

We will be traveling back to Manila the day after, but we will go back to the cemetery as that would be dad's death anniversary. I still don't know whether mom wants to travel back in the morning or afternoon or maybe late at night... all we know is that mom has to go to the main office on the 6th, and that brother and I have an event to attend to that night time.

I don't have that much expectations... for sure this plan of mine is bound to change as the days unfold; I just hope that I could get to visit these five particular places in Baguio City, and I am a happy travel junkie.

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

    Outfit of the Day | Blue Valentine's

    I am not a super fashionable person and I don't own that much clothes, so outfits I'd share would often feature mixes and matches of the clothes I own.

    For this "Outfit of the Day Wednesday" post, let me share I wore during "The Sweetest Thing" event, which happened last Valentine's Day at the Rockwell Tent in Makati City.

    Top - Divisoria bought, the label's in Hangul
    Shorts - American Eagle Outfitters
    Shoes - Primadonna
    Bag - Nine West
    Accessories - Esprit (watch) | Bracelet and Earrings bought at the weekend market

    For some reason, both my sister and I wore blue that day (she's a little shy to share her outfit as she feels her top emphasized her big tummy). Personally, there's no particular reason why I chose to wear blue on Valentine's Day, it just so happened that I wanted to wear this top and matched it with a pair of shoes made of denim.

    The shorts are given to me by my sister and it has been my favorite pair. She also owns the bag... I once borrowed it when I needed a big bag going to work and she decided to give it to me after seeing that the bag has served me well.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    The Sweetest Thing (A Valentine's Day Picnic Dinner)

    I do have someone special in my life, but we don't really celebrate big occasions like Christmas and Valentine's Day together because our jobs don't often permits us, as we were both in the Food and Beverage Industry, and we all know how hectic these occasions could be.

    This year, my work schedule allowed me to celebrate Valentine's Day, not with the someone special, but with my dear sister, through "The Sweetest Thing" (A Valentine's Day Picnic Dinner) held at the Rockwell Tent. As soon as we found our seats, there were already a basket of goodies waiting for us. I have been craving for Red Velvet cupcakes and seeing this one by Cukay's wowed me big time!

    Couples came in the venue one by one... but staff started serving the guests as soon as they were ready to eat. Catering was by Bizu Patisserie and here's what we had:

    Just like the basket of goodies, this small plate of Focaccine and Sesame Seed Roll with butter was already on the table waiting for us. I only ate half of each bread as I don't want to make my tummy feel full immediately.

    The salad is called - Oriental Salad with Grilled Zucchini, Carrots, Pineapples, and Aubergines tossed with Mesclun and Special Oriental Dressing topped with Crisp Vermicelli and Black Sesame - very long name for a dish, but I didn't mind it as this was amazingly delicious! Well, I am not a big vegetable person so some of the ingredients I didn't eat, but just eating the lettuce, eggplants, peanuts and the vermicelli was enough to make me say this was good. I super loved the interesting flavor of the dressing.

    Main course consisted of 10-Hour US Roast Beef Belly with Demiglace Sauce and Cobbler Fish with Mushroom and Spinach Cream with Grilled Vegetable Brochettes and Mashed Potatoes. I only gave the fish a taste as I am not much into fish (yeah, I guess I am a difficult person to feed), so let me just talk about the beef more. It was tender, not fatty at all... and mixing the mashed potatoes with the horseradish dressing (served at the side) made a good combination. The spiciness of the horseradish umped the taste of the beef, while the potatoes subdued the sharp flavors of the horseradish.

    The desserts consisted of Opera Cake, Calamansi and Raspberry Mousse Trifle, and Fresh Fruits with Syrup. The very first time I tasted Bizu Patisserie's cakes, I already loved it, so I am sure I'd love these, too, and I did. The Opera Cake was so divine, and the Calamansi and Raspberry Mousse Trifle was such a surprise. Well, the Calamansi flavor was strong yet it wasn't too sour.

    Throughout the dinner, we were served wine (I chose white over red), peach flavored iced tea (super good), and when the desserts were served, we were asked if we wanted coffee or tea. I chose coffee because I will be on a graveyard shift and I needed a strong cup of coffee to keep me awake.

    The Manila String Machine performed during dinner, and right after, guests were treated to the movie screening of "Valentine's Day," something that we weren't able to watch anymore because I had to be at work at 9pm.

    This was the second year The Rockwell Tent hosted "The Sweetest Thing," and this tradition is now going to be an annual event. It was a good way to celebrate the day of hearts and love... and I am so thankful to my sister for inviting me.

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Baguio City Trip, Day 2

    I was ready to sleep by 11:30pm, but my phone rang. It was my dear friend DeeJay who shared stories about the Fun Run activities he has done. He told me he's joining a Fun Run this March and would like me to join, too. He's aiming for 21K (as he successfully finished 10K on his last run), but he said he would be happy if I could join even if I'd run the 5K. That means I have to start training.

    30000th Tree

    I called it a night at 1am, and because I was lacking sleep the last few days, I only turned off the alarm at 6am and went back to bed. I regret not taking a peek out of my window - I missed a great sunrise view, which Iris and Jen managed to capture.

    Anyway, our day started at 8:30am when we had breakfast at the hotel. by 9:30am, we were already at SM City Baguio for the Ceremonial Tree Planting. SM City Baguio through SM Cares is currently doing the "Green Road to 50,000 Trees" and marked the planting of 30,000th tree a milestone in their three year period project. This was the main purpose of us traveling to Baguio City, and I was very blessed to be asked to attend this. I wasn't actually the one invited...but the the one who got invited couldn't attend and planned to pass this to my cousin Marge, who passed it to me.

    with the Gosiengfiao Sisters

    Celebrities present at the event were Cosplay Sisters - Alodia and Ashley Gosiengfiao, Ms. Earth (Air) Stefany Stefanowitz, and Sam Concepcion. After the tree planting, there were a few minutes break and seeing my chance, I asked the Gosiengfiao sisters for a photo-op.

    Pretty Ladies!

    One funny, but nice blessing came after...I admit my camera's shutter is proving to be difficult to use. Iris was asking us to hold for more pictures, when Ms. Earth (Air) came to us, asking Iris for one more picture because she wanted to join in. Somehow in that particular instance, I felt I was a celebrity. Hahahaha.

    Tai-yaki? Hahaha

    The program was short, but fun filled. Right after, we all went to Good Shepherd Convent to buy pasalubong, and while waiting for our companions, Iris, Jen, and I went back to Session Road to find this particular signage. Jen spotted this the night before and we found "Taiyaki" funny. We wanted to buy some, but there were a lot of orders and we were rushing, so we could only imagine how it taste like.

    It was 9pm when I finally reached home. It was indeed a very short trip, but very memorable. It was a pleasure spending time with Iris and Jen... and even if I used up all my 1000 pesos pocket money for this trip (I bought quite a lot of goodies to take home), I am considering this one of the most memorable trips I've had.

    - * - * - * -

    Going back to DeeJay's invitation to do the Fun Run...

    I am now set to prepare for it, and will go to the gym tomorrow to learn the basics of using the treadmill. Of course, I'd still do the things I have to do for Monday (using the dumbbells). Wish me luck!

    Caronia Nail Polish | Lounge

    As promised... here's the second part of the 4-part series on Caronia Bright Nights Collection:

    Caronia Nail Polish | Lounge Caronia Nail Polish | Lounge

    I bought this a few days after I bought Gold Rush, because I instantly loved Gold Rush and thought this would look as equally good. I loved the foil look of this nail polish, but the shade doesn't seem to love my skin tone as it made my skin appear darker.

    Formula-wise, this was a little liquidy, but two medium coats were already enough. Echoing what I shared about Gold Rush... I bought this last December and used it once, but after nearly two months of not using it, it still has the same formula like the time I bought it. What I loved the most about this nail polish was its durability. I initially applied 2 coats of Lounge (without top coat) in the morning and went ahead to do house chores come lunch time onwards and two days after it still looked great (no kidding)!

    Caronia Nail Polish | Lounge

    For these pictures, I applied another coat of Lounge plus top coat because it's already the third day and there were signs of wear (not really chipping) on the tips of my nails.

    As of this writing, I am still wearing this nail polish. I will take it out tomorrow and will apply Trance, which I will share next Saturday.