All Posts By

Diane Salazar

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Beauty

OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Manila

If there’s a makeup trend that I’m pretty sure will go on forever, that’ll be the  MLBB (My Lips But Better) lipstick shades. I think it’ll be a forever trend because it matches almost all types of makeup – colourful, smokey, natural. It also suits almost all types of skin tones. And yup, it suits almost every woman. 

Recently, Glamourbox together with OFRA Cosmetics created a nude matte lippie called Manila. It’s formulated to suit Filipinas. I have fair skin and so far, it also suits me. The packaging, like other long-lasting lipsticks, is in a transparent bottle with a doe applicator.  It has a creamy consistency with a vanilla, caramel scent. Guys, that OFRA scent always gets me! Promise. It’s like you’re applying dessert on your lips. It’s also super pigmented. One swipe is enough to coat your lips. It doesn’t dry out your lips unlike other matte lipsticks. But if you really have the driest lips ever, you can apply lip balm first, let it set for a few minutes then finally apply Manila. What I really like about this lipstick is that it stays almost all day sans lip primer. It stays on even after two full meals, two cups of coffee and few kissie smacks. 

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Lippie Tip: You can actually mix and match this nude lipstick with other colors. I tried mixing Manila with other OFRA lipsticks. I used Manila as base then topped it off with Laguna Beach, Mocha and Aries. I love how it can instantly glam up your look. Its flexible shade will definitely make your simple, casual look or smokey, sultry makeup stand out. 

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Manila with Laguna Beach

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Manila with Mocha

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Manila with Aries

The OFRA Long-Lasting Lipsticks are available for P850 on glamourbox.ph, BeautyMNL and Zalora

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Travel

Osaka,Kyoto & Nara Japan

I’ve been wanting to see Japanese temples and experience Japanese culture for the longest time. I’ve seen some in Tokyo but I really wanted to see Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara. Last week, I finally got to see these cities. 

How to go:

Local airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air and Air Asia have direct flights from Manila to Osaka (Kansai). I booked through PAL because I needed to use my Mabuhay Miles before it expires next year. My flight was a connecting flight and has a layover in Taipei. It was a two hour travel from Manila to Taipei, a 1 1/2 hour layover, and finally, a 4 hour flight to Osaka.

How to go to Kyoto from Kansai International Airport:

Head to the ticketing area and make sure to buy a ticket paired with an ICOCA for JR Haruka Limited Express. The travel time from the airport to Kyoto is roughly one hour.

ICOCA card is their version of Hongkong’s Octopus Card. You can reload this card and can be use for unlimited train rides, buses and even payments at convenience stores. Check this link for more information. 

Itinerary:

As much as I want to recommend a no itinerary trip coz you know it’s spontaneous and all that, I highly suggest that you research and plan everything out before going to Japan or mostly anymore to save you time and so you’ll be able to explore the country more.

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Pocket Wifi:

If you want to save on your data, if you’ll be staying for at least one week in Japan or if you just wanna be online 24/7, it’s always better to rent a pocket wifi than buying a local sim card. Pocket wifi devices are available in the arrival hall of Kansai Airport. I read that you can rent it on the spot, but just to be sure, always book online. For this trip, we opted to rent Global Advanced Communications’ Premium Wifi for 1290JPY per day. You can choose from the following plans:

ECO Wifi 21MBPS

Standard Wifi 75MBPS

Premium Wifi 75MBPS with Wide Coverage

Super Premium Wifi 187.5 MBPS

What I like about the wifi in Japan is it’s ultra-fast. No fail, guys. You can download and stream videos without buffering. All plans can accommodate 5-10 devices at the same time. Anyway, we paid online and we just picked up the device in the post office located at the 2nd floor of the arrival hall.

When to go:

If you have read my older posts, you’ll know that I always prefer to go out of the country during spring and fall. But it was summer when I visited Osaka and Kyoto. Guys, it was SWEATfest. LOL. It was like I went to Boracay because of the heat.

There are pros and cons of visiting other countries during summer time and one of them is definitely a lighter luggage because no coats, no layering, no boots. I’m not saying that I don’t like it but I won’t suggest it. 

Where to stay:

You can definitely stay at hostels, airbnbs and three-star hotels. For this trip (since my boyfriend and I were celebrating our anniversary), we decided to stay in Citadines ApartHotel in Kyoto for a night and Hilton Osaka for the rest of the trip.

I definitely recommend Citadines ApartHotel because it’s an apartment-hotel complete with kitchen equipment. It’s also affordable at P7200 per night. It is close to Gojo Station and is a 20-minute walk to Gion where you can spot geishas. 

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We stayed in Kyoto for 1 1/2 days then transferred to Osaka for the rest of the trip. We chose to stay at Hilton Osaka. Yup, the price was a little steep but 100% sure that you’ll be a pampered customer. Plus, the location is just across Osaka Station.

What to do:

KYOTO

If you’ll search PINTEREST, you’ll discover that 1 1/2 days isn’t enough to see Kyoto. Yes, it’s true because there are more to see aside from Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and Fushima Shrine. But if you’re time constraint, like us, 1 1/2 days would be sort of enough.

Gion Street

It’s an entertainment street surrounded by restaurants and izakayas cased in traditional Japanese houses. Geishas, entertaining guests, can be spotted roaming the streets of Gion. I researched some do’s and don’ts about geishas and I learned that you can’t take photos with them and photos of them in general. I just secretly snapped a photo of a geisha who passed us by. 

It was a 20-minute walk from Citadines ApartHotel  but we were exhausted from our flight so we opted to hail a cab to get to Gion. We had an authentic Japanese dinner at one of the restaurants here. Tsubi ordered a grill-your-own-chicken set meal while I ordered a duck set meal. We roamed the streets after dinner and went back to our hotel because we were tired, AF (excuse the expression).

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Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

We woke up early the next day to see the very touristy Bamboo Forest. It’s one of the must-sees in Kyoto and I couldn’t agree more. You’ll get a feeling of serenity and peace just by standing in the middle of the beautiful bamboos. 

How to goAlight at Saga Arashiyama JR Sagano Line

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Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine

It’s definitely better to go here early in the morning where the shrines are still clear of tourists. We went here around 11am and I got frustrated because I couldn’t take photos without photo bombers. I know, I know, my fault. Haha. The famous vermilion torii gates welcomed us and it was a majestic thing to see. If you’re into hiking and long walks, you can trek until the end of the shrine to see the sacred Mount Inari. 

How to goIt is a 10-15 minute walk from JR Inari Station.

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Kinkakuji Temple

I’m pretty sure you’ve also heard of this temple. It is also known as the Golden Pavilion. It was very beautiful in real life. According to japan-guide.com, Kinkakuji is a zen temple whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. It is built overlooking a large pond and the way it reflects on the water gives the temple more character. 

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There’s a tea garden at the end of the temple where they serve authentic green tea and a small piece of cake for 500JPY. Since it was summer, we chose to sit inside where there was a cooling fan. Their green tea was over-the-top delicious! It was 100% authentic and it was the best I’ve ever had. I didn’t really like the small cake but since it was paired with the tea, I ate it anyway. 

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How to go: We took a cab but you can also take the subway to Kitaoji Station (Karasuma Line).

OSAKA

After a tiring 1 1/2 days in Kyoto, it’s time to see what Osaka has to offer. We rode a rapid train going to Osaka which was just 30 minutes. We stopped at Osaka Station and made our way to Hilton Osaka. 

Dotonbori

We checked-in and rest for a while and made our way to the famous Dotonbori for dinner. It’s a long street filled with shops and restaurants. If you’re a foodie, you will definitely love this place because you can find different kinds of food everywhere! We strolled throughout the street and found Ichiran Ramen, yup, the famous ramen place. The line was exaggerating long, which was a good sign that that restaurant serves delicious meals. After dinner, we found ourselves walking again and looking for dessert. We bought one of the street desserts which was shaved ice filled with strawberry syrup. (Are you a foodie? Don’t worry, I’ll post all must-eat street food in Osaka on a separate post).

How to go: Alight at Namba Station

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Universal Studio

I never wanted to visit Universal Studio Osaka because I’ve been to Universal Studio Singapore and Los Angeles but since I was in Japan already, I might as well maximize my vacation and see it anyway. We went there 10 minutes before the opening time. According to my research, it’s always better to go there before people arrive and it’s surely a must to buy your USJ entrance ticket and express pass online. There were several plans you can choose from but since my boyfriend and I were not big fans of rides, I just bought the 4 rides express pass tickets via Klook.com. Special things about USJ were the Amazing Spider-Man 3D, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem 4D, Harry Potter World and Hello Kitty Park.

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We took our time in the Minion Park because everything was super cute. We wanted to try the minion ice cream sandwich but chose to eat the shaved ice with Hawaiian syrup served in a cute minion bucket because 1. we were so thirsty 2. I needed ICE because the heat was just excruciating.

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For lunch, we ate at a pizza place inside USJ. It was pretty yummy and filling but guys, it was so expensive. The serving was only good for one. If you want to save up, make sure to bring snacks with you.

How to goAlight at Universal City Station. You’ll know that you’re in the right direction because a lot of kids will be inside the train with you.

Osaka Castle

One of the main highlights of Osaka is the famous Osaka Castle. According to japan-guide.com, it is owned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and was the largest castle in his era. 

It was a 15-20 minute walk from the station. The heat became unbearable as we walked but good thing, we brought an umbrella to protect us from the sun. The castle was huge and we chose to just roam around the castle itself. 

How to go: Alight at Osakajokoen Station then walk for 15 minutes to reach the castle.

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Umeda Sky Building

After an exciting day with the deer, we were actually supposed to go straight to Kobe for some Kobe beef but we were so tired so we just went straight to the hotel to rest. We went out to eat dinner and decided to check out the Umeda Sky Building. The skyscraper is 173 meters tall and has two towers connected by a floating garden. A super long escalator will bring you to the observatory deck. It’s similar to the Petronas towers in Malaysia but this one’s smaller and shorter. We got in for 1000JPY per head. 

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Travel Tip: I suggest you go at night because it just makes the view more romantic. Though, it’s somehow hard to take a photo because of the strong wind.

How to goAlight at Umeda/Osaka Station, walk for 10-15 minutes and you’ll reach the sky building.

Nara

Nara Deer Park

Did you know that deer are considered to be messengers of the gods in Shinto? Japanese treats them well and these adorable deer can freely roam around this park. If you wanna feed them, there are stalls in the park selling deer crackers for only 150JPY. They were really cute and every deer looked like Bambi but once they see the food, they’ll semi-mob you. I got scared so I ended up feeding one deer only. LOL. Some deer know how to bow! How cute is that?

How to goTake the rapid express and alight at Kintetsu Nara Station and you’ll reach the park in 5 minutes. 

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Todai-ji Temple (Big Buddha)

We walked for 20 minutes to get to Todai-ji Temple. This temple houses the big buddha and the world’s largest wooden building called Daiutsuden. This place is huge and if you really want to know more about this temple, one day isn’t enough. My boyfriend and I didn’t get to explore the whole area but at least we got to see famous bronzed buddha. The entrance fee is 500JPY.

How to goWalk for 20 minutes until you reach the Nandaimon Gate. 

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I’ll be posting about Osaka and Kyoto street food on another post. Have you guys been to Japan? What’s your most memorable experience in Osaka, Kyoto or Nara? Comment down 🙂

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Beauty

Biorè Micellar Cleansing Water Oil Control

I love makeup so much! If only I can sleep with makeup on, I would. LOL. I’m just kidding, guys. Makeup is definitely enjoyable but when it’s time for a good night’s sleep, it’s also time to give your face some rest. A facial wash isn’t enough to remove the makeup and other junk my face has collected throughout the day so for the longest time, I’ve been using Bioré’s Makeup Remover Wipes but I’ve been also searching for a really good micellar water just to back up my makeup wipes and really remove my makeup. Good thing Bioré has come up with a new product called Bioré Micellar Water: Oil Control. My skin has really adapted to their makeup wipes so I’m 100% sure that their micellar water is effective, too.

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Bioré Micellar Water: Oil Control comes in a 300ml pump bottle. It gently removes all makeup including waterproof and sweat proof pencil and gel eyeliners and mascaras. It’s unscented and get this, it doesn’t only remove makeup but also the excess oil from your face. It cleanses and refreshes the skin and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling. I used it after a night out with a heavy makeup on my face – primer, heavy foundation, concealer, contour, bronzer, eyeshadow, blush, waterproof eyeliner, mascara, residue of an eyelash glue, and finally, the dirt that I accumulated from the club. I soaked some cotton balls with Bioré Micellar Water: Oil Control and I was surprised how it dissolved my makeup instantly! I looked like a clown but it just shows how effective this cleanser is. It only took me 3-5 rounds before my makeup was completely gone! The best thing about it was I don’t have to tug around my eye area to remove my mascara and eyeyliner. Amazeballs, right? 

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I love this micellar water because it’s made for oily skin like mine. It completely and easily removes my makeup and bonus points for also removing excess oil, grease and dirt on my face. A 300ml bottle for just P460! What a deal, right? 

Don’t miss this product especially if you’re a heavy makeup user! It’s available at Watsons nationwide. You may also get it on BeautyMNL.com 🙂

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Lifestyle

Dress like a princess, feel like a princess

Gown For Rent (based from their name) is a gown rental studio. They offer a wide variety of gowns for all types of occasions. They have gowns for as low as P300! Don’t worry about hygiene as they meticulously clean all the gowns before letting customers wear it. Their gowns are adjustable, too! There’s a gown for all sizes whether you’re petite or plus-sized. 

I’ve been attending a lot of weddings lately and of course, I’ve bought gowns but it’s so expensive knowing that I’ll only be using it once or twice. Good thing there’s Gown For Rent. It’s practical and affordable. You can choose from different styles and you can now not worry about wearing the same gowns for all occasions and events that you’re going to attend to.

Last week, I was invited by Gabby of Gown For Rent to visit their store and do a photoshoot for them. They’re located at Suite 302, 77 Visayas Avenue, QC. Upon arriving at the 3rd floor, a cute white door decorated with flowers and a Hollywood-like red carpet greeted me. The studio was filled with numerous gowns in different cuts, colors and designs! I was allowed to choose three kinds of gowns and I had a hard time choosing because there were a lot! And I like all of them! I actually wanted to try a wedding gown but I was too busy looking at the printed section. 

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I ended up choosing these gowns:

A black mermaid-cut gown which is perfect for formal events. You can add a pair of diamond stud earrings or a simple necklace to spruce up your look.

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A dazzling silver tube dress with a gorgeous train which can be used for proms and graduation balls. I added a pair of dangling earrings for a sophisticated vibe.

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A blue, floral off-shoulder dress (my favorite) which can be used for beach or garden weddings. I love this because it’s very comfortable and breathable. The design also gives a soothing and calming feeling. You can add a pair of tassel earrings for a boho chic vibe. You can also apply highlighter on your collarbones for a sexy finish. 

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If you’re looking for gorgeous and good quality gowns which you can rent, visit their studio at Suite 308, 77 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. They’re open on Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday from 9AM-6PM. You can also check their website at www.gownforrent.com.

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Giveaway

Itchyfeetwonders Giveaway: Gown For Rent GCs and Maybelline Lippies

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Hi guys! I’m giving away two P1000 Gown For Rent gift certificates plus three Maybelline Powder Matte lipsticks to one lucky girl!

You know the drill, guys. Just follow these instructions 🙂

1. Repost this photo and tag two of your friends. (Don’t forget to use #IFWgiveaway)

2. Follow me on Instagram @_dianesalazar0289 and @gownforent

3. Enter the raffle on my blog

4. Open to PH residents only.

5.Giveaway runs from July 7 (today) until July 28.

6. The winner will be announced on the 28th at 1:00pm 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Beauty

Happy Skin’s Eye Woke Up Like This

Recently, Happy Skin launched a new collection called Eye Woke Up Like This. Basically, the collection focuses on products for the eyes and eyebrows. The collection includes mascara, eyebrow pencil, eyelash curler, eyeshadow pen, tweezers, and even an instant makeup eraser. How cool is that, right?

I love Happy Skin’s beauty products because 1. they’re a local brand 2. their products are affordable yet effective 3.they have über cute packaging 4. they’re witty product names always get me. A few days after their launch, I bought some of their products – mascara, eyebrow pencil, and eyeshadow pen at Beauty Bar. Woot! These goodies are amazeballs, I swear!

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Eye Love View Too Microtip Eyebrow Pencil and Spoolie Duo in Natural Brown

Now I don’t have to buy an expensive eyebrow pencil because of this product! I have neither thick nor thin brows so I just use a pencil to fill some sparse areas on my brows. This really does wonders! I love that it comes with a spoolie to semi-prepare my brows before I fill them in. This 2-in-1 pencil/spoolie is 100% travel-friendly. I really do recommend this, guys. 

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At Long Lash Supercurl Waterproof Mascara

Have you guys heard? This mascara is bristle-free. Yass, bristle-free! I was a bit worried when I tried it for the first time because how on earth can you apply mascara with a bristle-free brush? I was surprised on how easy the application was. Coating my upper lashes was easy breezy but I had a hard time coating my lower lashes because the mascara has a runny consistency; it was messy to use for the lower lashes. 

This mascara is perfect for the upper lashes. It was able to give me a tightline even without actually having to tightline my upper waterline. It was also able to volumize my lashes and it really holds up the curl throughout the day.

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Say Eye Do Easy Eyeshadow Cushion Duo in Champagne and Espresso

I’ve been travelling lately and you know how hard it is to pack everything in a one suitcase, right? If I can only bring all my stuff at home, I would but it’s not practical. I bring an eyeshadow palette with me when I travel and of course, it makes my luggage heavier. Thank god for this eyeshadow duo! It’s very handy, lightweight yet super pigmented. I use champagne during daytime and add the espresso for sultry, sexier eyes for night-outs. It’s very easy to apply especially with the its cushion tips.Apply an eye primer just to make sure the eyeshadow lasts until nighttime. 

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Have you tried Happy Skin’s Eye Woke Up Like This Collection yet? What’s your favorite product? 🙂

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Travel

Summer at Siargao

Siargao Island is a tear-drop shaped island and is a part of Surigao, which is one of the provinces in Mindanao. It is attracting tourists all over the world because of its great waves, good food, beautiful beaches, friendly people and relaxing ambiance. People in Siargao speaks Tagalog, Bisaya and English. According to Wikipedia, it’s composed of municipalities of Burgos, Dapa, Del Carmen, General Luna, San Benito, Pilar, San Isidro, Santa Monica and Socorro.

How to go:

Direct flights from Manila to Siargao are available via Skyjet Airlines while Manila-Cebu-Siargao flights are available via Cebu Pacific. Make sure to check their websites regularly for promos on cheap fares.

When to go:

All year long because it’s forever summer in the Philippines but best months are April and May. If you’re a surfer, better check the weather forecast for typhoons and waves forecast before booking a trip to Siargao. 

How to get around:

You’ll need an airport transfer to and from your hotel. You can rent motorcycles to go around Siargao. For those who doesn’t know how to ride a motorbike, you can rent a habal-habal for P20 per person.

Where to stay:

My friends and I stayed at Siargao Bleu Resort located in General Luna which is one of the well-known towns in Siargao. It is a three-star resort and has typical hotel facilities – swimming pool, standard and deluxe rooms, in-house restaurant and airport transfers. We got the deluxe room which can accommodate up to 3 persons; breakfast is also included. 

Their pool was under maintenance for three days so they offered a complimentary island hopping instead. YES, tipid hits. They also have different activities every night and happy hour starts from 530-930pm. 

Travel tip: Make sure to bring an insect repellant with you because there are a lot of insects and mosquitoes and more insects. LOL.

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Where to go:

Cloud 9

This is one of the best surfing places in Siargao. Beginners or pros come here because of the waves. The boardwalk is also located in Cloud 9. It is where you can just chill and just gawk at the beautiful scenery. 

You can surf here for P500 for one hour inclusive of a surfboard and an instructor. Best times to surf are early in the morning (6-7AM) and afternoon (3-5pm). Don’t worry if you’re a beginner because the instructors are really nice and the baby waves are enough for you to practice standing up on your surfboard.

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Magpupungko Tidal Pool and Rocks

It’s best to go here in the morning when it is low tide so you can see the famous rock formations. You also have to cross a series of rocky shores before you get to the tidal pool. The tidal pool looks shallow from afar but it’s really deep once you swim in it. It has crystal clear water and more rocks on the side where adrenaline-junkies can jump and dive. 

We took a van for P3500 because it’s a 1 1/2 hour drive from General Luna. Parking for the van is not yet included in the van fee. 

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Naked Island, Guyam Island, Daku Island

These three islands are included in the island hopping and costs P1500 inclusive of a small motorized boat. The entrance fee to Daku Island and lunch are exclusive, though. 

We first went to Guyam Island. I can compare it to the islands I see on the TV series called Survivor. It is well-surrounded by palm trees and crystal clear but rocky beach. We stayed here for 15-20 minutes for picture taking and Instagram stories. There’s nothing to do here really but photos, photos and more photos. 

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Next stop was Naked Island. Ooh, this island is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L! It’s called Naked Island because there are no trees in the island; it looks naked. It has white sand – not as refined as Boracay sand, but white sand and pristine, blue water. You may opt to swim here and stay for a bit but there are no shade or cottages if you want to rest.

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Our last stop was Daku Island. This island is surprisingly more beautiful than Boracay. It has clear water, is surrounded by palm trees and has cottages with picnic tables. This is where we had lunch prepared by our boatman-slash-tour guide. We couldn’t take the heat so we swam before having lunch and we swam again after lunch. We also chilled by the cottage, played cards and drink beer while waiting for the sunset. 

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Sohoton Cove

Sohoton Cove is located in Bucas Grande Island.  It is a 2 hour boat ride from Siargao port. You’ll be amazed with the beautiful sceneries that you’ll see along the way. You will have to pay several fees upon arriving at the Sohoton Cove Reception Hall. You will be then transferred to a smaller boat where a boatman will serve as your guide. 

Our first stop was Hagukan Cave. Hagukan is snoring/snore. It’s name was derived from the sound of the waves entering the cave – which sounds like snoring. We swam up towards the end of the dark cave. The cave was surrounded with different types of limestones. 

On to our next stop which was called Bolitas and Crystal Cave. This place is for adrenaline junkies out there. You have to semi-trek a rocky cave and the only way out is to jump into the water. My friends and I passed on this activity but we were able to witness some people jumping! 

Our last stop in Sohoton was swimming with the stingless jellyfish at The Jellyfish Sanctuary. I swam with the harmless sea creatures and yes, it was amazeballs! I got a little bit creeped out because they were so squishy and slimy. I didn’t touch them but my friend did and it was like jell-o!  I got a little paranoid whenever I feel them near me nevertheless, it was a one-of-a-kind experience!

Where to eat:

Mama’s Grill

If you’re looking for grilled food like pork barbecue, grilled fish, grilled pork belly, this is the right place for you! Their food is very delicious and affordable! Eat your heart out because I swear this is the best restaurant for grilled food ever! 

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Kermit

Kermit is one of the pioneer establishments in Siargao. It is owned by an Italian and Filipino couple. They offer authentic Italian dishes and Filipino food. The place gets packed during dinner time so if you wanna come here, better call to make a reservation. Some of their best-sellers are pizza and pasta.

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Bravo 

Ola! Ola! Bravo serves Spanish cuisine and their tapas are to-die-for! They have reservations on weekdays; they follow a first-come-first-serve policy on weekends. I recommend the croquetas and jamon iberico. 

We were too hungry to eat! I forgot to take photos but they really do have great tapas!

Shaka Cafè

For vegans and health conscious people, you’ve come to the right place, guys! They serve fresh fruit smoothies, power fruit bowls, acai bowls and coffee. They’re famous power fruit bowls are enough to energize you before and after surfing.

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Have you guys been to Siargao? Did you surf, eat and drink? Share your thoughts with me 🙂

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Lifestyle

Massage and Buffet at I’m Onsen Spa

I got really tired from all the exploring, sightseeing and WALKING, yes, all caps because WALKING was an excruciating activity, from my recently concluded Eurotrip. My feet went to feet heaven! LOL. I’m a little bit exaggerating but it’s true! My feet pulled out the white flag on me! When I arrived in Manila, the first thing I searched for was a massage. I’ve been loyal to a well-known spa here in Manila but this time, I’ve decided to try a new spa place called I’m Onsen.

I’m Onsen Spa is a Japanese-inspired spa which offers different types of relaxing massages, facial services and onsens. Onsens or hot springs are popular in Japan because it is said to be rejuvenating and refreshing. It’s housed in a six-storey building! The lobby is where the reception area is. The second floor is where you’ll find a swimming pool over-looking the Makati cityscape. You’ll also find gender separated toilets and lockers here. Third to sixth floors cater to spa suites, relaxing lounge and wellness suites. The last floor houses their eat-all-you-can restaurant. 

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My boyfriend and I got their signature massage which comes with a free buffet. We upgraded our room to a spa suite. You can choose from a suite with a steam bath or a jacuzzi. We chose the latter. The suite doesn’t come with a budget-friendly price. We paid P6500 inclusive of the signature massage, spa suite with jacuzzi and free buffet. It’s pricey compared to The Spa where you can a couple’s massage in a executive couple’s room for P3500++. Our massage was scheduled at 530pm so we checked out the swimming pool area first. The pool stood out because of the colourful sun lounges hanging above it. There’s a bar where you can order some chows and drinks while waiting and an instagram-worthy wall just a few inches away from the pool. 5 minutes before our massage time, we proceeded to the 3rd floor where the spa suites are; not knowing that there’s no allotted private cabinet in the suite so we had to go down the second floor again to change into kimonos and place our things inside the gender separated lockers. We were told to wait for a little bit because they’re still fixing our room. They made us wait for 30 minutes. We kept following up and the receptionist on the suites area got irritated and she made an annoyed face. The reason we got for the delayed service was the service man from the engineering department was late and they couldn’t operate the jacuzzi without him! It took a series of follow-ups before they gave us our room.

We made our way through a maze-like hallway before we got to our suite. I was expecting for a really nice room since we paid P6500 but a normal and incomplete suite welcomed us. It has two massage beds, a sink, toiletries, towels and an operating jacuzzi which smelled like chlorine. A toilet and bath wasn’t provided in the suite, though, a communal toilet and bath can be found along the hallway. There was no buzzer inside the room so if you’re done bathing in the jacuzzi, you have to robe up and go all the way to the reception to notify them that you’re ready for your massage. We tried the jacuzzi for a little bit, waited for the masseuse and our massage began. The therapists were polite, friendly, hygienic enough, and professional. We dozed off after a few minutes into our massage session. The massage, IMHO, was great; the facilities, not so much. 

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After an awesome massage, we went to the top floor for our free dinner buffet. Their buffet was amazing! I imagined that it would be an ordinary buffet but it wasn’t. They offer a wide selection of food and get this, they have a pasta cooked inside a huge cheese wheel!  Their food was delicious and uberly satisfying. The ambiance was extremely inviting, too. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to taste everything because we were in a hurry. 

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So, is I’m Onsen worth the hype? Nah. While I really like their buffet and massage, I find it too expensive and I didn’t like the overall service that I got. I’ll stick to a home service massage which is P250-P450/hour or The Spa which has a superb service for a cheaper price. 

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Beauty

Europe Beauty Haul

Hi guys! I just got back from my one month Eurotrip and I have so many things to share! I went to see Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. With great sightseeing comes great shopping! LOL.I’m gonna start with the beauty products that I bought! I thought Sephora stores are abundant in Europe just like in the US but I was wrong! They only have few Sephora stores as in I’ve only seen one or two. They have their local version of Sephora though and big department stores such as KaDeWe and Galleries Lafayette, just like Rustan’s here, where they sell branded cosmetics and skincare products. 

Let’s get to my haul, shall we?

Giorgio Armani Silk Finish Foundation

I read many good reviews about this product. According to the articles I read online, it’s becoming a cult favourite amongst makeup artists and beauty bloggers. True enough, this product is wonderful! It comes in a pump bottle and has a light to medium coverage. I didn’t have a hard time looking for the perfect shade. I think this foundation suits most skin types – from Europeans to Asians. It has a runny consistency so be careful because it might spill. It’s super easy to blend and is 100% buildable. IMHO, this is an upgraded version of Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation. It stays on my face from morning until early evening –  8 hours max. I have to retouch a bit after. I love it because 1. It doesn’t have a smell 2. It’s super lightweight 3. It really gives a silky, smooth finish. But, yes there’s a but, I need a setting spray to make it last longer because I have an oily face. 

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NARS Liquid Blush in Orgasm

This is my most awaited beauty product! NARS finally created a liquid version of their best-selling NARS blush. It comes in a handy dandy pump bottle. It’s hard to control the amount of the product, though. A pea-sized amount goes a long way. I just pump it as gently as I can. It’s highly pigmented and gives you natural rosy cheeks the entire day. There’s more shimmer in the powder blush and just an ample shimmer in this liquid blush. It has a semi-thick consistency. I just don’t like that the oil tends to go up the bottle. You have to shake it well before you use it.  Some beauty bloggers say that this liquid blush still looks good even if you apply it after you set your face. I haven’t tried it yet but I will give you guys an update if ever. I love that it doesn’t make your face cakey. Au Naturel.  

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Maybelline The Falsies Push Up in Angel

I have the local version of this mascara called The Falsies Push Up. In my previous blogpost, I gave the local version a 6/10. The Push Up in Angel comes with a wing brush which makes it easier to coat both upper and lower lashes. It volumizes my lashes – making it like I have plump lashes. It’s perfect for everyday use because it’s waterproof.It opens your eyes without exaggerating. Manila weather is a b*tch and it melts your makeup off but don’t worry, this mascara will not disappoint you. 

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Maybelline FitMe Poreless Matte Foundation

I thought that Maybelline Philippines is not going to release it here so I bought one in Paris. And then when I came home, they launched the FitMe line. LOL. I had a hard time finding the right shade because I can’t choose between 110 and 120. Hmm, maybe it’s because of the lighting in the store. 110 is lighter than my skin color and has a pink undertone while 120 is a darker shade with a yellow undertone. In the end I chose 120 because it’s the closest shade to my skin color. I tried this when I went to the Britney Spears’ concert and it stayed on my sweaty face! Yup, it did not melt sans setting spray. It has a creamy texture which is good because it’s not gonna run on your mixing palette. It’s easy to blend and is also buildable. It gives a medium to full coverage. It really gives off a matte finish and it really hides the pores. IMO, It’s a little too heavy to wear daily. Fun Fact: I don’t wear foundation everyday, I sometimes use concealer as my base. 

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The Balm Bahama Mama Bronzer 

This bronzer comes in a little yellow package with a tropical beach girl. I like this bronzer because it has an intense color and a little swipe does wonders to the face! Since I have an oval-shaped face, I swipe at the apple of my cheeks and sweep towards my temples. I seldom use bronzer because the contour I do at the start of my makeup routine is enough for me. I only use bronzer if 1. I get sun-kissed because of a beach trip 2. if I want to add more color on my face. 

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Have you guys tried any of these products? Share your thoughts below 🙂

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Beauty

Glossier Haul

Glossier is a US-based cosmetics. They also have TDF skincare products. Their products are affordable yet effective. Their products became cult favorites instantly. The most talked about Glossier product is their newest cheek stain called Cloud Paint. Hollywood makeup artists used it to the A listers such as Rashida Jones, Chrissy Teigen, Reese Witherspoon and Allison Williams in the recently concluded Oscars. I got really intrigued and I wanted to try them out! Unfortunately they don’t ship in the Philippines so when my friend went to the States, I immediately bought stuff online and had them shipped to her address there. Here are my Glossier Haul!

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Rose Balm Dotcom

Basically, it’s a lip balm which moisturises, protects and heals lips. It has a rose stain which subtly colors the lips. I love that it smells like roses, too! It’s a little bit sticky so make sure to put just the right amount on your lips. It seals moisture on your lips especially in this hot and humid Manila weather. 

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Cloud Paint in Haze and Puff

This is my new favourite tint! It comes in a girly coloured tube. It’s highly pigmented – a little tint goes a long way. I love how it gives you that perfect natural glow. It makes you have that I-just-finished-my-workout flush. It’s not sticky and doesn’t leave a stain on your fingers. I also use it as lip stain.  Haze has a darker tint while Puff is lighter. If you have fair skin, I suggest you use Haze so you’ll have a cheekier flush. 

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Glossier Matte Lipstick- Generation G in Like and Cake

I got excited because like who doesn’t get excited with lippies?! so I bought two shades. Sadly, they say it’s matte but it’s not matte enough for me. It’s more of a sheer, glossy lippie. It’s not a great lipstick but more on a lip tint. It definitely has a lower color payoff than most lipsticks. It gives a subtle, natural lip color. 

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I also made an amateur Glossier video! Check it out <3

Glossier is available at glossier.com but lucky you, it’s now available at BeautyMNL! Go check it out guys.

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Travel

Seoul Searching: Demilitarized Zone, Common Ground, Seoul Tower

Demilitarized Zone 

Prior to our flight, I booked our Demilitarized Zone tour via DMZ Tours. We chose the basic tour which was a DMZ morning half tour for 50,000WON or PHP 2,450 per person. The tour includes an English speaking tour guide, transportation and entrance fees. The itinerary includes hotel pick-up, Imiingak Park, The Bridge of Freedom, The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, DMZ Theater and Freedom Hall, Dora Observatory, Dorasan Station and drop-off at Itaewon or City Hall Area. Your passport is needed on the tour day. 

Erika, our tour guide, picked us up at our hotel at 720AM sharp. We proceeded to the bus while she went to another hotel to pick up other guests. We were off to DMZ by 830AM. A young soldier went up our bus and checked our passports. Erika said that there are two types of soldiers – camp-based soldiers and stay-at-home soldiers. The camp-based soldiers are those who excelled in military school while the stay-at-home soldiers are those who either did not do well in military school or are breadwinners of their families. 

While Erika was buying our entrance tickets, we got a chance to roam around Imjingak Park and The Bridge of Freedom. Imjingak Park was made for refugees of North Korea who were homesick. It’s the closest location they can get to North Korea. The Bridge of Freedom was named after thousands of the Korean war survivors passed through the bridge and returned to South Korea. Hundreds of notes can be seen on the Bridge of Freedom. These notes are made for their relatives and ancestors who were stuck in North Korea. 

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Our next stop was The Third Infiltration Tunnel. Just when the people thought the war between North and South has ended, little did they know that the military in North was digging up tunnels connected to South Korea. These secret tunnels were made so the North can discreetly infiltrate South. The tunnels they made were installed with rock camouflaging bombs. But the South soldiers discovered it and made an action. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the tunnel. We were 150 meters away from the North Korea. We were also advised to wear a hard hat because the tunnel has a really low ceiling. I bumped my head twice and the echoing sound really startled me. LOL. It was suffocating because of the lack of oxygen. It was really easy going down but it was super struggle to climb up! This is not for the faint-hearted, claustrophobic or those with heart problems. Erika said there were soldiers inside the tunnel before but because there is no oxygen in the tunnel, they just use thermal meter now. 

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We also went to the Dora Observatory. It is where you can glimpse a part of North Korea. The binoculars would make you see urban areas of Gaesong, statue of Kim II-Seong and the flag of North Korea. According to Erika, the flag of North Korea doesn’t wave because it’s so heavy. It approximately weighs 250 pounds and can survive even the toughest thunderstorm. 

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Our tour’s last stop was the Dorasan Station. It was the northernmost station in South Korea which was connected to Pyongyang. It is where you can see the barbed fence of the boundary of North and South Korea. Our guide said that you can actually ride the train before but a tourist roamed around and accidentally crossed over the boundary of North Korea and she was killed. From then on, they stopped the train service. 

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Common Ground

I’m sure you guys are familiar with the popular food parks here in Manila like The Yard. Common Ground is similar to that. It’s filled with container vans which they transformed to shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s a popular place amongst tourists and Korean millennial because the place is perfect for OOTDs and photoshoots.

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We got hungry and tried a Chinese restaurant called Modern Chinese Restaurant. The food was delicious and the price was reasonable. One bowl of noodles is good for 3-4 persons. Don’t forget to try their chili shrimp.

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 Address: 17-1 Jayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea

How to go: 

From Myeondong, take Line 2 

Get off at Konkuk Station

Take Exit 6

Seoul Tower and Love Locks

It’s an observation and communication tower located in Namsam Mountain. You can either hike up or take the cable car to get to Seoul Tower. We actually got lost going here. We took a detour and thought that it was an easier way but it was actually the start of the hike to the tower. We took a cab instead and got to Namsan Omuri (where the cable car is) in 5 minutes. The roundtrip cable car ride costs 8500WON. It’s the fastest way to get to the tower. 

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The tower was beautifully surrounded by cherry blossoms and spring flowers. The love locks are also in the area. Don’t worry if you get hungry or thirsty because there a lot of restaurants inside. If you’re planning to put love locks, buy before going there because it’s cheaper outside. 

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Address: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

How to go:

 From Myeondong Station

Exit 3

Walk for 10-15 minutes following the signs on the right side of the Pacific Hotel

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Travel

Seoul Searching: Nami Island, Petit France

We got up early for our trip to Nami Island. Prior to our arrival in Seoul, I was thinking of getting a tour for Nami and Petite because I didn’t think the long journey from Myeondong to Gapyeong was doable. Good thing, I didn’t get a tour because it was totally easy. It took us three train changes and an hour and a half to get to Gapyeong. 

Direction to Nami Island via Seoul subway:

From Myeondong Station

Get off at Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Staion

Change to Line 2 heading towards Sindang Station and get off at Wangsimni Station

Change to Jungang Line and take the train towards Cheong-nyangni and get off at Mangu Station

Change to Kyeongchun Line and take the train towards Galmae Station and get off at Gapyeong Station

Once you’re at Gapyeong Staion, buy an unlimited bus ticket for 6000WON or PHP 295. The bus will take you to the ferry wharf to get to Nami Island, Petit France and Garden of Morning Calm. 

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Outside Gapyeong Station

I wanted to see Nami not because of Koreanovelas but because of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil’s movie called My Exs and Whys. Anyway, when we arrived at the ferry wharf, we ate lunch first at a popular chicken dak-galbi restaurant called Kko Kko Chuncheon Dakgalbi. Chicken dak-galbi is a Korean stir-fry dish which consists of chicken marinated with barbecue, chili pepper, cabbage, onions, potatoes on a hot plate. The server cooked the dak-galbi right in front of us. He told us to wait seven minutes for the chicken to be cooked. Our order came with refillable side dishes which were kimchi and mu-namul or stir-fried shredded radish. The chicken was delicious but I think a little bit of cheese would add more flavor to the dish. The serving was good for sharing and the unlimited side dishes would instantly fill you up. 

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After lunch, we headed to the ticket booth to buy our entrance tickets for Nami Island. The roundtrip ticket is 8000WON or PHP395.00 The ferry schedule runs from 0730-2140. There was a short line before entering the ferry. Don’t worry because the ferry’s big enough to accommodate a lot of people. It took us 10 minutes to get to Nami Island. 

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Ahhh! Nami Island! It was so beautiful and picturesque. No wonder a lot of tourists flock this place. My cousin who was into Korean drama told me that Winter Sonata, a popular Korean telenovela had their scenes here. I had no idea what Winter Sonata was but nevertheless, I truly enjoyed this place.

The island is populated by different types of trees but the most popular trees are the metasequoia. I’ve seen a lot of photos taken with the metasequoia trees as their backdrop. Guilty as charged! I have photos with those trees as my background. LOL. 

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You can either roam the place by foot or you can rent a bicycle, family bike or electric car. We were supposed to rent an electric car but the booth guy didn’t allow us because neither of me nor my sister knew how to ride a single bike. That’s why we ended up with a family bike for 10,000WON which was good for 30 minutes.

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For the sake of a good Instagram photo because I really don’t know how to ride a bicycle.

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. They were everywhere in Nami Island but there was one area where the blossom trees were aligned. It was near the lake, right after the ostriches. The island was so beautiful in spring what more does it look like in autumn where the leaves turn into burnt orange.

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After several hours of roaming around, we decided to take the ferry back to the wharf and go to our next destination which was Petite France. By bus, it is 25 minutes away from Nami Island.

Petite France is dedicated to the well-known novel entitled Le Petit France written by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The village showcases old French houses and street entertainment such as musical performers and theatre performances. It has an art gallery, souvenir shops and few restaurants. An individual tickets costs 8,000WON or PHP 392.00.

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