MORE FAB AND FUN WITH CROCS

Crocs has gone a long way from its signature clog with new and innovative styles for men, women, and kids.

There are flats, wedges, and sandals for women in feminine colors and floral prints; vintage sneaker inspired styles and camo patterns for men; and Disney character designs for kids. Crocs also has designs which are water-friendly for those adventurous types.

A world leader in innovative casual footwear, Crocs continues to offer comfortable footwear with its Croslite™ material, a proprietary, revolutionary technology which gives soft, comfortable, lightweight, non-marking and odor-resistant qualities on each pair of shoes. Its iconic Classic Clog has proven its comfort and durability throughout time.

In the Philippines, Crocs now operates under its new distributor, Walk EZ Retail Corporation, in partnership with SM Retail Corporation.

Now is the best time to “Find Your Fun”, with Crocs with its new designs and vibrant colors that bring together great style and great comfort.

 Get connected with Crocs through @CrocsPH on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. #FindYourFun #CrocsPH

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SM EXPANDS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN BULACAN

 

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Cheer residences aerial view. The 2.3 hectare housing development is the first affordable mid-rise residential project that will soon rise in the highly urbanized municipality of Marilao in Bulacan.

SM expands its housing development in Bulacan with Cheer Residences. The 2.3 hectare housing development is the first affordable residential project that will soon rise in the highly urbanized municipality of Marilao in Bulacan.

Strategically located in the town proper, close to the major transportation hubs, schools and within the SM Mall complex, Cheer Residences offer affordable premium five-star living to the middle market as it provides a well- integrated development and full suite of amenities such as hotel-like grand lobbies and clubhouse. It will also feature a resort-style amenities with central park, swimming pool and landscaped garden as well as property management services including 24- hour security.

SM’s mid-rise residential development in Marilao will have 7 buildings and 995 flexi suites, an open concept floor plan with no partition. Each unit has approximately 28.5 square meters that offers flexible and versatile space for young, independent individuals looking to call home.

Offering convenience, accessibility, as well as wide array of shopping, dining and entertainment choices found at SM City Marilao Complex, Cheer Residences is the definitely your home beside the mall.

For inquiries call SM Residences Administration Office at (044) 913.54.20. You may also visit their showroom at the second level of SM City Marilao near SM Cinema.

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Cheer Residences entrance landscaped facade

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Cheer Residences adult pool and children’s wading pool

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Cheer Residences amenity area

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SM MOUNTS PHL’S BIGGEST POKÉMON GO LURE PARTY!

SM_NATIONWIDE Pokemon Go Lure Party

 

ALL ROADS LEAD TO SM SUPERMALLS THIS FRIDAY AS SM MOUNTS PHL’S BIGGEST POKÉMON GO LURE PARTY!!!!

Philippines’ biggest mall network, SM Supermalls takes the Pokémon Go craze to new heights as it stages the biggest nationwide Lure Party this Friday (August 12)!

SM’s upcoming event is set to be the biggest Pokémon Go Lure Party worldwide to date as more than 150 Pokéstops will be lured simultaneously from 5:00pm to 9:00pm in 50 SM malls (including SM Jazz Mall, SM Light Mall and SMDC Green Residences) all over Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao!

During the four-hour event, SM shoppers nationwide will be treated to an array of exciting attractions and fun-filled activities perfect for families and groups of friends. Pokémon characters and cosplayers will be strolling around the malls while select SM branches will feature different adorable Pokémon collectibles and Pokémon Go essentials perfect for every trainer’s daily adventure. Also joining the historical Lure Party are several mall establishments all set to launch their respective special Pokémon promos.

Participating SM malls for the Aug 12 NATIONWIDE Pokemon Go Lure Party

To make it more memorable, SM shoppers are encouraged to video their lure party experience and post it on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #GottaCatchEmAllAtSM tagging @smsupermalls. Three (3) winners will be chosen via e-raffle and will win an SM shopping spree worth P10,000 each.
For everything Pokémon Go at SM, visit SM Supermalls’ website and its official accounts on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Viber Public Chat. Also follow SM on Snapchat for exclusive updates, Lure locations, and more! Waste no time, #GottaCatchEmAllAtSM!

 

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ME, MYSELF AND MUSEUMS

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One of my favorite things to do on weekends is to visit museums. I love the long, romantic walks at the museum. I have this penchant for history and artifacts. In my point of view, museums are like portals to the past that gives remarkable insight of our present and fresh perspective of our future. By way of housing massive collection of artifacts and rare things of historical interest, museums convey multilayered stories that inspire us and allow us to see things differently, and eventually help us in gaining life lessons through what we see, read, and experience.

Ecstatic with the news today, the National Museum of the Philippines made an announcement on its official social media account that they are throwing their doors open for all visitors.Isn’t that amazing?!

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No one needs to pay as admission will be permanently free of charge. With this, allow me share the snippets of my visit at the museum.

Works of National Artist Guillermo E. Tolentino. He is a Filipino Sculptor in the 1920s to 1970s. Oblation Statue of the University of the Philippines and Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan City are his famous sculptures.

 

 

An altar piece from the Church of San Nicolas de Tolentino in Dimiao, Bohol, one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. The National Museum features religious arts from the 17th to 19th century.

Sketches drawn by the first National Artist of the Philippines, Fernando C. Amorsolo (1982-1972). Amorsolo is known for oil paintings of rural life.

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Cubist painting by Vicent S. Manansala

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Paintings by Abstractionist and National Artist Jose T. Joya (1931-1995)

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Works of master sculptor Isabelo L. Tampinco

Works of Cesar Amorsolo

Interesting Artworks

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Spoliarium by Juan Luna. It is one of the famous paintings in the Philippines. It was  made in 1884 as an entry to the prestigious Exposicion de Bellas Artes (Madrid Art Exposition, May 1884) where it won the First Gold Medal.

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This painting is displayed at the Old House of Representatives Session Hall in National Museum

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I just hope that museums in the Philippines have cafés where you can drink coffee while critically analyzing the connection between the spoliarium and the selfie you’ve just taken in front of it.

The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free. It is located in Padre Burgos Avenue, Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila.

 

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NADINE LUSTRE’S HOT SUMMER PICKS FROM PARISIAN

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She soared On the Wings of Love to fame as part of the Jadine love team, but on her own, young actress and singer Nadine Lustre has also become known for her great sense of style. And she’s never over-the-top in her fashion choices, but likes things stylish, sophisticated, and sensible. Just like the girls next door she portrays.

As the brand ambassador for SM’s iconic Parisian brand, Nadine likes shoes that are “fun, flirty, and comfortable to keep up with my active lifestyle”. An affordable fashion advocate, she likes shoes that combine style and comfort as well as value for money.

Nadine’s shoe shopping advice for summer is to “look for something that makes you feel confident”. And she’s amazed at how Parisian’s “wide variety of shoes and bags” will certainly boost one’s style quotient. Here are her hot summer picks:

  • Parisian Shoes in bright colored heels – orange, teal, mustard, and magenta – to sizzle up your look. Take your pick from strappy heels, sling backs and pumps. Block heels will also unlock fashion possibilities as they keep you grounded. Flat espadrilles in nautical and pastel shades will also keep your style shipshape this summer.For Nadine, the three types of summer shoes every one should own are “ballet flats, sandals, and a good pair of wedges.”  She particularly liked the gladiator styles and animal print strappy heels in Parisian’s summer collection.
  • Parisian Bags with fun and functional pieces for today’s stylish young woman. There are small bags that make a big style impact, backpacks with edgy accents, as well as chic shoulder bags and classic handbags.

 

The Parisian Shoes and Bags’ Summer Collection available at all SM Stores nationwide.

Get connected with Parisian Shoes and Bags on Facebook and @SMParisian and @SMShoesandBags on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

 

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STARBUCKS AT SM CENTER VALENZUELA

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Valenzuelanos can now start their day by indulging in a perfectly fresh-¬brewed cup of coffee at the newly opened Starbucks in SM Center Valenzuela!

Starbucks’ first branch in Camanava area is the perfect place for coffee lovers to enjoy their high quality whole bean coffees before going to work, during business meetings, or simply chilling with family and friends.  After all, Starbucks is not just a passionate purveyor of coffee, but goes with a rewarding coffeehouse experience.

Located at the ground floor of SM Valenzuela, it offers – apart from coffee – a selection of premium teas, fine pastries, and other delectable treats.  And the music you hear in the store is chosen for its artistry and appeal.

It’s not unusual to see people coming to Starbucks to chat, meet up, or even work.  It’s a neighborhood gathering place; a part of the daily routine.  After all, since the first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971, it goes to work everyday hoping to do two things: share great coffee with friends, and help make the world a little better.

Starbucks at SM Center Valenzuela is open from 8am-11pm.

 

 

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A FATHER’S DAY TREAT AT THE BODY SHOP

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Give Dad a gift of great grooming on Father’s Day with body and skin pampering products from The Body Shop. These are not only they are made from natural ingredients, but products that support Community Trade principles globally.

Introduce him with The Body Shop’s Spa of The World range for an at-home spa experience. There is the Hawaiian Kukui Cream with kukui oil that helps restore skin’s natural suppleness. Help him relax after a hectic day at work with Spa of The World’s French Lavender Massage Oil with lavender essential oil from the south of France that has a natural relaxing scent which promotes a sense of well-being; or the invigorating Thai Lemongrass Massage Oil, which boosts vitality, awakes senses and revitalizes the skin. The Polynesian Monoi Radiance Oil, on the other hand, leaves skin and hair silky soft, and can be used as a hair treatment, massage oil, or bath soak.

Other great ways to pamper Dad from The Body Shop: Maca Root Shave Cream, Kistna Hair & Body Wash, Activist Shower Gel, White Musk Sport Anti-perspirant Deodorant, and Red Musk Eau De Parfum, all made with organic and cruelty-free ingredients.

The best part is that The Body Shop offers 30% off on its Men’s category from June 2 to June 29, 2016.

The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all their stores nationwide.

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The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good. With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to be focused on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

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Red Musk Eau-de-Parfum

 

7 Kristna hair and Body Wash

Kristina hair and Body Wash

6 White Musk Sport Anti-perspirant Deodorant

White Musk Sport Anti-perspirant Deodorant

 

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Activist Shower Gel

4 For Men Maca Root Shave Cream

For Men Maca Root Shave Cream

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Spa of the world massage oils

 2 Spa of the World Hawaiian Kukui Body Cream

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SUNRISE

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BLOOMIN’ MARVELOUS WITH THE BODY SHOP’S BRITISH ROSE COLLECTION

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Everything’s coming up roses with The Body Shop’s NEW British Rose range, a brilliantly British interpretation of a timeless icon of femininity.

This body and bath collection is sourced from beautiful bespoke blooms grown organically in a farm from Herefordshire, England, where they’re infused in fresh mountain water to create its pure rose essence. This environmental, award- winning farm enriches the biodiversity of the local area, providing a welcome habitat for a variety of plants, insects, and small animals.

These roses grown in the heart of the English countryside are handpicked, air-dried and infused on-site into fresh mountain water. This careful extraction process is what gives the most exceptional quality rose essence for the British Rose products.

“Roses have been revered for centuries for their fragrance and beauty and are inextricably intertwined with the British identity,” says Jennifer Hirsch, Beauty Botanist for The Body Shop. “The unique British Rose blend by The Body Shop is extracted from English roses selected for their complexity of fragrance, perfectly capturing the experience of sinking your nose into one of these fragrant flowers.”

You’ll have petal-soft, healthy glowing skin with the British Rose body and bath collection, which includes the Instant Glow Body Butter with its glow enhancing rose essence; and the Instant Glow Body Essence, with its lightweight texture and dewy moisture. There is also the British Rose Exfoliating Gel Body Scrub with real rose petals; as well as the British Rose Shower Gel, Petal-Soft Hand Cream, and Exfoliating Soap.

Britain’s favorite flower comes into full bloom with The British Rose Eau de Toilette, a sparkling scent containing the essence of hand picked British roses and Community Trade organic alcohol.

And you can be a British Rose with colorful stains for lips and cheeks, as well as a petal perfect eye and cheek palette, elegant new essentials to give you a bloom’ beautiful finish.

The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all The Body Shop stores nationwide.

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 The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good. With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to be focused on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100% vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

 

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SM MARILAO STAGES FIRST MUSIC FESTIVAL FOR YOLANDA

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NOVEMBER 21– Hope was the reason and inspiration behind the music festival held recently in SM City Marilao.

The benefit music festival, dubbed as ‘Northern Lights’, staged celebrity appearances and performances to raise funds in the extended housing aid through the SM Cares Housing Project for the locals left destitute by the Yolanda disaster back in late 2013.

“There are many things that need to be done even after two years since Yolanda devastated the provinces in the Central Visayas Region” shares SM Marilao Mall Manager Bernadette Velasco. “Northern Lights, with its figurative meaning of guidance and beauty in adversity, hopes to foster support for the survivors of Yolanda” Ms. Velasco added.

Backed by colorful, animated visual set on futuristic stage; Jennifer Lee, Tom Taus and Ron Poe steer the energy right with exclusive house music mixes that set crowd into stupendous arm-waving and strobe-frenzied dancing.

Opening songs chosen by most of the artists had a thematic message of hope and soaring lyrics of peace and love delivered by the likes of Rico Blanco and Gloc 9. Band artists like Never the Strangers and Jensen and the Flips, on the other hand, gave a surprising renditions and moving interpretations of popular OPM songs.

Along with big names in the music industry, Northern Lights Music Festival likewise profiled home-grown bands and budding artists in Bulacan that warmed up the crowd with their fervor and fresh music.

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Northern Lights Music Festival is one of the many exciting activities in SM Bulacan Malls. The project was also carried out in SM City Baliwag last May 30, 2015.

“This Music Festival (Northern Lights) is a merry addition to the Christmas Celebration in Bulacan. We hope that this will bring Christmas cheers to everyone” said SM Marilao Mall Manager Bernadette Velasco.

Close to 8,000 people attended the event. Capping off the festival was a grand pyrotechnic and light show.

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SM’s “Northern Lights Music Fest” gives hope to Yolanda victims

By Emil G. Gamos

MARILAO, Bulacan, Nov. 22 (PNA)—Hope springs eternal for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda and it rocks.

Rockstar Rico Blanco and Glock 9 together with other well known local artists raised a different kind of storm—a storm of hope—for the victims of super Typhoon Yolanda while entertaining a big crowd who attended the benefit music festival “Northern Lights” at the SM City Marilao.

“Hope was the reason and inspiration behind the music festival,” Blanco said

SM Marilao Mall Manager Bernadette Velasco, said the music festibal became a centerstage of hope and love through the performances of local bands to raise funds in the extended housing aid through the SM Cares Housing Project for the locals left destitute by the Yolanda disaster back in late 2013.

“There are many things that need to be done even after two years since Yolanda devastated the provinces in the Central Visayas Region,” Velasco said.

“Northern Lights, with its figurative meaning of guidance and beauty in adversity, hopes to foster support for the survivors of Yolanda”  Velasco added.

Backed by colorful, animated visual set on futuristic stage; Jennifer LeeTom Taus and Ron Poe also steered the might with energy and exclusive house music mixes that set crowd into stupendous arm-waving and strobe-frenzied dancing.

“This Music Festival (Northern Lights) is a merry addition to the Christmas Celebration in Bulacan. We hope that this will bring Christmas cheers to everyone,” she said.

Gladiz May S. Latiza, SM City Marilao public relations manager, said that the opening songs chosen by most of the artists had a thematic message of hope and soaring lyrics of peace and love delivered by the likes of Rico Blanco and Gloc 9. Band artists like Never the Strangers and Jensen and the Flips, on the other hand, gave a surprising renditions and moving interpretations of popular OPM songs.

“Along with big names in the music industry, Northern Lights Music Festival likewise profiled home-grown bands and budding artists in Bulacan that warmed up the crowd with their fervor and fresh music,” Latiza said.

She added that the “Northern Lights Music Festival” is one of the many exciting activities in SM Bulacan Malls. The project was also carried out in SM City Baliwag last May 30, 2015.

Close to 8,000 people attended the event. Capping off the festival was a grand pyrotechnic and light show.

Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado hailed the initiatives of the SM Malls management for “uniting people for a good cause that will surely bring hope and new leash on life for the typhoon victims.”

“Bulakenyos know how it feels to be hit by natural calamities and we are very grateful to those who aided us in our times of need.This is one way of giving back by sharing to those who needed it,” he added.—EMIL G. GAMOS (PNA)

 

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BE A WRAP STAR WITH SM STATIONERY

Gifts become more meaningful with personal touches that warm the heart. And the good news is that you can be a wrap star instantly with a little help from SM Stationery.

These are extraordinary wraps – treat boxes for saying it sweet, and eco friendly woven gift bags that make gift giving convenient and so much fun. You’ll make presents perfect with stylish gift totes, eco-friendly pouches and gift bags, treat boxes, and colorful collapsible gift boxes and merry gift envelopes.

These gift- wrapping ideas are available at the Stationery section of selectedSM Stores. Also, become a fan of their Facebook page and follow them in Instagram in smstationeryph.

Visit their website at www.smstationery.com.ph for more info.

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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: ALL AMERICAN FEEL

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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: EROS

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Come slowly – Eden! 

by: Emily Dickinson

Come slowly – Eden!

Lips unused to Thee –

Bashful – sip thy Jessamines –

As the fainting Bee –

Reaching late his flower,

Round her chamber hums –

Counts his nectars –

Enters – and is lost in Balms.

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The BenCab Museum is one of the interesting museums in the Philippines.The four-level building houses Philippines’ National Artist Benedicto Cabrera’s art collection.  Exhibits of exciting contemporary artists are likewise featured.

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BRING CHRISTMAS TO YOUR HOME

 

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Bring all the joy, love, and beauty of Christmas to your home with delightful ornaments and décor from SM Home.

There are stars, balls, reindeer, and snowmen that recall nostalgic Christmases at home; as well as creative touches that bring a modern spin to holiday decorating. There are confectionery- inspired ornaments that look good enough to eat – cupcakes, ice cream, donuts that seem fresh from the bakeshop; as well as peppermint and candy ornaments that show us the sweet side of Christmas.

Translucent ornaments are sculptural and artistic; while fancy frosted pieces will give your home a wintry look.

Perfect to hang on your trees or garlands, or a create a fancy tabletop, the collection is available at the SM Home Section of all SM Stores.

 

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SM GETS A WARM WELCOME IN SANGANDAAN

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Residents of Caloocan, as well as nearby towns of Malabon and Navotas, gave SM warm welcome when it opened its new shopping center in the city last October 23, 2015.

As soon as SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy together with Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan opened the mall to welcome the first wave of customers, eager crowds quickly filled SM’s first mall in Caloocan to enjoy its shopping, leisure, and entertainment fun.

SM Center Sangandaan is the first mall in the budding business district of Caloocan City. It is a testament of SM’s confidence in the city’s booming economy as it will be a catalyst for employment, business opportunities, as well as lifestyle trends for residents of the bustling city and nearby towns.

Located on a 10, 569.87 square meter property along Marcelo H. Del Pilar Street and Samson Road in Sangandaan; the three-storey 38,622 square meter mall is the 55th SM mall in the Philippines. It is an architectural gem that creates a memorable identity along both of its main street frontages.

Because Sangandaan is home to many universities, colleges, and thriving businesses as well as manufacturing companies, the mall’s design reflects SM’s groundbreaking approach to retail as it creates a lively shopping center through bold and dynamic exterior wall. A vivid wall pattern established the center as a bold presence of the urban streetscape, and the primary mall entrance is elevated slightly from the sidewalk, covered along the street by elegant canopies.

Shoppers arriving in private cars are quickly guided from the main frontage road to a multi-level carpark that connects to each level of the center for optimal shopping experience. For customer convenience, the mall has allotted multi-level parking with more than 400 slots.

The interior of SM Center Sangandaan is organized around a simple planned atrium that allows clear line-of-sight to all shops on all levels at all times. A strategically placed bridge provides convenient access to all areas of the mall, and a soaring glass elevator, stairs, and escalators allow easy access to all levels. The interior design is simple and bold with strong bursts of bright color, daylit from above with an ample skylight and continuous clerestories. The SM Cinema and Cyberzone both feature their own designs, establishing unique identities for each of these entertainment and retail offerings.

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Featuring the biggest supermarket in the municipality through SM Supermarket, SM Center Sangandaan is also a home to Caloocan’s first digital theater through SM Cinema, as well as the first technological lifestyle center; Cyberzone. Likewise, SM Center Sangandaan houses SM mainstays like SM Appliance Center, Watsons, Ace Hardware, and BDO.

Fashion boutiques like Simply Shoes, Bench, and Penshoppe; jewelry stores like Broadway Gems, EMO, and Unisilver Time; eyewear stores like Executive Optical and Ideal Vision as well as wellness like Novagen Eye, and amusement centers like Worlds of Fun and Quantum will also enhance the shopping experience.

Mall goers can enjoy eating out options from major national and international chains like KFC, Gong Cha, Bo’s Coffee, Gilligans, Classic Savory, and many more.

SM Center Sangandaan’s design team includes DSGN Associates, mall designer Robert Meckfessel; Don Lee Builders; CH Perez, Construction Manager; and EDD Construction, Project Managers.

SM Center Sangandaan is among the four new malls SM Prime Holdings Inc. opened this year. With the center’s strategic location, unique, and upscale features, SM Center Sangandaan will definitely be a convenient, easy-to-shop and comfortable lifestyle hub for shoppers and diners.

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SM OPENS FIRST MALL IN CALOOCAN CITY

SM Prime Holdings recently opened its first mall in the budding business district of Caloocan City. SM Center Sangandaan is a testament of SM’s confidence in the city’s booming economy as it will be a catalyst for employment, business opportunities, as well as lifestyle trends for residents of the bustling city and nearby towns.

Located on a 10, 569.87 square meter property along Samson Road and A. Mabini Street, Sangandaan; the three-storey 38,622 square meter mall is the 55th SM mall in the Philippines that offers a full range of shopping, leisure, and entertainment. It is an architectural gem built along the strategic busy intersection connecting the thriving cities of Malabon, Navotas, and Caloocan.

Because Sangandaan is home to many universities, colleges, and thriving businesses as well as manufacturing companies, the mall’s design reflects SM’s groundbreaking approach to retail as it creates a lively shopping center through bold and dynamic exterior wall.

The mall’s facade is characterized in different shades of blue, giving the exterior a quirky geometric visual interest from several vantage points.

Behind SM Center Sangandaan façade, interior spaces are complemented by pristine white walls. The dominant blue patterns on the floors produce beautiful contrasts against the overall white canvas architecture style, blending perfectly into the color palette of the mall’s exterior.

The high white ceiling adds further dimension to the pleasant and inviting ambience of the mall. The elegant streak of LED downlights simulate a ‘starry sky’, providing a soft background illumination for shoppers, while the mall’s continuous clerestories maximizes daylight and use of energy efficient sources.

SM Center Sangandaan features the biggest supermarket in the municipality through SM Supermarket. It is also a home to Caloocan’s first digital theater through SM Cinema, as well as the first technological lifestyle center; Cyberzone. Likewise, SM Center Sangandaan houses SM mainstays like SM Appliance Center, Watsons, Ace Hardware, and BDO.

Fashion boutiques like Simply Shoes, Bench, and Penshoppe; jewelry stores like Broadway Gems, EMO, and Unisilver Time; eyewear stores like Executive Optical and Ideal Vision as well as wellness like Novagen Eye, and amusement centers like Worlds of Fun and Quantum will also enhance the shopping experience.

Mall goers can enjoy eating out options from major national and international chains like KFC, Bo’s Coffee, Gilligans, Classic Savory, and many more.

For customer convenience, the mall has allotted multi-level parking with more than 400 slots. SM Center Sangandaan’s design team includes DSGN Associates, mall designer Robert Meckfessel; Don Lee Builders; CH Perez, Construction Manager; and EDD Construction, Project Managers.

SM Center Sangandaan is among the four new malls SM Prime Holdings Inc. opened this year. The two other SM malls that recently opened are SM City San Mateo in Rizal last May 15, SM City Cabanatuan in Nueva Ecija last October 9. SM Seaside City Cebu is expected to open on November 27, 2015.

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THE VOYAGE COLLECTION FROM THE BODY SHOP

The Body Shop invites you to let your sense travel the globe with its Voyage Collection. Infused with fine natural ingredients from all four corners of the globe, these are inspired by nature and created by experts who pour in their memories and inspiration into drop.

Take a scent-sational journey with fragrances that transport you on a scented journey: Japanese Cherry Blossoms, Indian Night Jasmine Atlas Mountain roses, and Italian Summer Fig. These are all crafted with the finest Community Fair Trade alcohol.

All fragrances contain 100% organic essences and globally sourced natural extracts. The fragrances contain 100% Community Fair Trade alcohol made from sugar cane obtained from the CADO co-operative in the Cotopaxi province of Ecuador. The fragrances can be worn alone or combined to create a truly individual scent.

The Voyage Collection is available at The Body Shop stores in SM . The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all The Body Shop stores nationwide.

 

 

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The Body Shop® was founded by entrepreneur Dame Anita Roddick, when in 1976 she started selling around 25 hand-mixed naturally inspired products with minimal packaging from one small shop in Brighton, England.

 

Over the years Anita and The Body Shop® have run campaigns against human rights abuses, protecting animals and the environment and shown commitment to boosting self-esteem, winning the support of a generation of consumers.

 

Dame Anita was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2003 for services to retailing, the environment and to charity in recognition of her success in these key areas.

 

Sadly, Dame Anita Roddick passed away in September 2007. As a company we are committed to carrying on her legacy, and living the same values she strove so hard to achieve.

 

We believe true beauty comes from the heart. For us, beauty is much more than a pretty face.

 

We make our products with love and care. We source some of the finest raw ingredients from the four corners of the globe. We harness the skills of artisan farmers and add our expertise to create effective products that are wonderful to use

 

We trade fairly so communities benefit as well as you. We never test on animals, and all our products are 100% vegetarian. We campaign with passion on issues close to our heart, because activism is in our blood. We always keep people, animals and the planet in mind. So when you shop with us, you are choosing… BEAUTY WITH HEART

 

 

 

 

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THAT 10 WHITE LIES

Because Monday came in like a wrecking ball leaving me in state of shock, I feel like writing today’s prompt to jumpstart my thoughts. This morning ritual somehow prolong those good weekend vibes to help me start my week off right.
So while I am sipping my hot coffee and trying to decipher which deadline to beat. I decided to scan the newspaper for a while and come across an article about the lies people tell to themselves and how they work wonders in their coping up mechanism. While I don’t totally agree with it, there is some truth to what the author is conveying. The author claims that white lies or make believe narratives or stories, are ways of reminding ourselves that the misfortunate event is temporary and we have the power to change it. Like past pains can be rewritten as battles won, not scars collected. Nostalgia can be enjoyed without giving up anticipation of the future.
Well of course, I am not saying that we should all lie or use make-believe stories to move on and cope up. I just wanted to point out that there are inevitable times when white lies are necessary. These lies or ‘make-believe’ stories could be a way to make us feel better about a ‘NO-NO’ move or perhaps a temporary reason for doing things to keep us sane.
Because everyone’s guilty of making poor choices once in a while, I am no stranger to these little (big) white lies. I usually have classic lines to make me feel better whenever I indulge into something. These white lies sometimes justify my poor choices, convince myself that I will do better next time, or serve as a way of venting out, just to laugh through a rough day or week. Here are the top ten lies I tell myself.
1. Just one more look (and I will end trying all the outfits I have in mind)

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2. Just one bite (and I will end up eating the whole desserts)

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3. Just one more sip (and I will end up awake all night, drinking 5 cups more)

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4. Just one episode (and I will end up watching ten episodes)

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5. Just one more page (and I will end up reading 15 chapters more)

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6. Just a scribble (and I will end up writing a novel)

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7. Just this once (and I will end up missing the red flags)

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8. Just few kilometers (and I will end up with leg cramps)

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9. Just few more laps (and I will end up with 20 laps more)

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10. Just five more minutes (and I will end up over sleeping)

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If I can outgrow the white lies or the make-believe stories I tell myself, I think everything will be different. But for now, these white lies are narratives to keep me going; perhaps an escape to the humdrum place I know.

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SM LAUNCHES ITS FIRST VANS STORE

VANS

SEPTEMBER 29Vans ®, the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand, recently opened its newest store at the 2nd Level of SM Mall in Valenzuela City.

The newest Vans ® store is the first concept store in SM that brings exciting retail experience to shoppers as it exudes an all American feel reflecting Vans’ signature ‘Off The Wall” Style and creative self-expression.

“Vans started out in The SM Store” shares SM Center Valenzuela Assistant Mall Manager Emmanuel S. Gatmaitan. “We are very thrilled that the company (Vans) has expanded its iconic footwear legacy and global skatingboard based brand by opening its first concept store here in SM Center Valenzuela” Mr. Gatmaitan added.

Apart from the wide assortment of Vans’ low-tops to high-tops shoe selections for women, men, and children. The store also houses a large array of Vans merchandise that range from the style #44, old skool, slip-on sneakers, SK8- Hi Pro, Disney Vault Collection to iconic Vans t-shirts, hoodies, accessories and hats as well as backpacks.

Because Vans ® has evolved from a sportswear staple to a fashion and lifestyle statement, the iconic brand strives to progress originality, while continuing to support individuals in sports, music, and arts through special events and activities.

Reveling its newest location, DJ RON POE will warm up the in-store celebration with exclusive house music mixes on October 3.

Check out the latest from Vans store to ensure you’re decked out for every occasion. Visit SM Center Valenzuela today!

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DENIM DAYS AT SM

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Denim is looking hotter than ever with trends changing the way we think about jeans and jackets.

From high street slim-fit flares to Alexa Chung’s collection for AG Jeans, and Saint Laurent’s festival ready thigh high skimming short, there is so much to offer this season. On the catwalks, Stella MacCartney played it cool with retro-wash dresses, Isabael Marant Etoile caught our eye with mid-wash style, and Burberry’s feather-lined denim jacket has been the trophy of the trend.

At GTW by SM, denim receives a style overhaul this season in every incarnation possible – think dresses, dungarees, jackets, tunics, shoes, and skirts.

Trendy teens can mix styles and play with colors to give denim a whole new attitude. Skinny, slouchy, dark wash or faded – whatever way you like to wear denim, we’ve got it:

  • Bohemian. Pair your all-time favorite denim jacket with a floral dress or printed skirt, and you’re music festival ready.
  • Double Denim. Celebrities like Alexa Chung have been seen wearing two pieces of denim at the same time. A light blue denim top paired with navy skinny jeans will make you look effortlessly cool.
  • Denim +. Do denim with other pieces – lace skirts, floral printed girly dresses, blazers, and whites give denim a fresh new look.
  • Denim One. Be one and done in coveralls and rompers that celebrate all that is young and fun.

The fun and the fab GTW by SM denim collection is available at The SM Store. Styles may vary per store. Shot at Satchmi, SM Mega Fashion Hall.

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Photography by: Raymond Celestino

Hair and Makeup: Shasha Tagud

Location: Satchmi, 4/L, SM Mega fashion Hall

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THE BODY SHOP LAUNCHES OILS OF LIFE AND SPA OF THE WORLD

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Bringing Together the Most Precious Ingredients from Around the World

 The Body Shop brought together the most precious ingredients from around the world when it launched its Oils of Life and Spa of the World lines at SM Makati.

Hosted by Bianca Valerio, the event had a nature setting – mini gardens, blooms, and even wood crate boxes as if to emphasize the fact that these ingredients were sourced from the most exotic locations. There was even a mini-spa to get a revitalizing experience with The Body Shop’s new skincare collections.

To create its Oils of Life, The Body Shop searched the world and selected 3 precious seed oils known for their revitalizing and repairing properties, and infused this in its recently launched skincare range.

The Oils of Life’s three precious seed oils have been infused in highly sensorial textures to bring new life into your skin: Black Cumin Seed Oil from the Egyptian Nile Valley, which is known for its concentration in antioxidants;

Camellia Seed Oil from the evergreen trees from China, which is naturally rich in nutritive oleic acid; and Rosehip Seed Oil from the Andes Foothills of Chile, which is rich in Omega 3 and 6.

And when you choose Oils of Life™ skincare, you help plant seeds and make a positive difference. In partnership with World Land Trust, The Body Shop aims to plant 1 million seeds of native tree species in degraded areas within seasonal dry forest in the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest. The planting will be followed by monitoring and maintenance actions to promote regeneration of forest cover.

The project will take place over a two-year period and will commence in August 2015. Seeds will be collected for storage and preserved for planting, and later in the year, the plantation site will be prepared for sowing. This is in line with The Body Shop’s commitment to help protect the earth’s varied biodiversity and to help preserve and enrich life on the planet.

Escapism, on the other hand, starts at home with the Spa of the World collection, whose ingredients were discovered from different parts of the world, where the most treasured ancient beauty rituals, cherished for their precious effects on skin.

Infused with the finest natural ingredients, Spa of the World’s refined textures and delicate fragrances will take body and mind on the ultimate sensory spa journey. Making you feel so good, inside and out.

The Body Shop’s Spa of the World has three uplifting body rituals: the Relaxing Ritual, which is the perfect way to de-stress, unwind, and reconnect body and mind; the Revitalising Ritual, which invigorates and energizes mind and body; and the Blissful Ritual, a sublime ritual to indulge in.

The Oils of Life and Spa of the World ranges are available at all The Body Shop stores. The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all The Body Shop stores nationwide.

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The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good. With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to be focused on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights and Protect The Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals and are 100%. vegetarian. The Body Shop has been in the Philippine market for eighteen years with over 55 strategically located stores nationwide.

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AFFORDABLE BRITISH FAVORITES AT SM MARKETS

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From Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton to David Beckham, Harry Potter, the Mini Cooper, and the Beatles; not to mention biscuits, spreads, and afternoon cups of tea; the world has truly grown fond of everything British. And now, for the first time ever, shoppers will have the chance to enjoy food and other merchandise imported from the UK on a daily basis because Tesco’s great British favorites are now available at SM Supermarket and SM Hypermarket.

“I am pleased that many of Britain’s favourite Tesco items are finally available for Filipinos to enjoy,” says British Ambassador Asif Ahmand. ” In the UK, Tesco is a household name and long-established brand. We would like to congratulate SM for successfully bringing Tesco to the Philippines.”

Tesco, the largest retailer and purveyor of Britain’s favorite food and lifestyle brand comes to the Philippines for the very first time giving Pinoys the chance to experience British living at home. Tesco’s wide selections of items embody the British lifestyle everyone from housewives to working moms and dads to their kids embrace. Tesco products ranging from snacks, sauces, beverages, baking needs, beans and condiments, to personal care, kitchen items and home aids can now be found on the shelves of select SM Supermarket and SM Hypermarket stores as Tesco’s sole distributors.

“We are looking forward to introducing a great range of Tesco products to customers in the Philippines,” enthuses Tesco Senior Commercial Manager for International Retail Luke Elliot.”We are excited to be able to offer the best of Tesco, and we believe SM is the perfect partner to reach out to Filipino families.”

Some must-try products from the Tesco line include milk chocolate oaties, tomato and chili pasta sauce, and reduced sugar strawberry jam. The British brand is not just unique but practical and budget-friendly enough to be included in shoppers’ weekly grocery lists for everyday use.

“We’re very proud to exclusively carry great selections of Tesco products as part of our already wide range of offerings,” says SM Supermarket President Joey Mendoza. “Tesco is a very practical brand; it’s great, it’s very useful, and affordable to everyone. It will surely be loved by Filipinos and we’re happy to be the only store where people can find their Tesco favorites.”

Initially, Tesco items will be available at SM Supermarket Makati, Aura, Megamall A and Mega B, North EDSA, Southmall, Pampanga, and Cebu as well as at SM Hypermarket Mall of Asia, Pasig, Clark, and North EDSA branches. With Tesco at SM Markets, everyone can live as the Brits do at home. All it takes is a visit to your favorite SM Markets store!

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12 TIPS ON STAYING INSPIRED

staying inspired

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ENCHANTED

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Forest

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It is not an artist’s job to please anyone, but  to bravely do the work that they are most compelled to do. It is the public’s job to bravely seek out and appreciate the work that resonates with them.

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MORNING ROUTINE

My routine every morning, after I have finished my coffee and read the scripture, is to post inspirational quote that speaks a hundredfold to me on my instagram. These inspirational phrases may be simple but it can turn my whole day around, inspire me to succeed, galvanize my dreams, and embolden me to take action. That’s why today, I decided to post 10 of my favorite inspiring words that have been useful in getting new perspective. Enjoy!

We make the world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

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Beauty is the harmony of purpose and form.

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Be who you are not who the world wants you to be

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Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly, It is your masterpiece after all.

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There is no elevator to SUCCESS. You have to take the STAIRS.

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Keep some room in your heart for the UNIMAGINABLE.

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Never miss an opportunity to see something beautiful.

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God has the perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patient and faith. But it is worth the wait.

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Logic will get you from A to B. But imagination will take you anywhere. 9

Keep calm and trust God.

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WHAT IF

MRT

Yesterday was intense.

It was a multiple coffee kind of day that even my coffee needs a coffee. My fingers never stop typing words; I was able to finish 3 articles and edit 2 reports. My brain tricked me that I have lots of energy so later that day I attended an event.

As the day finally comes to an end, I was completely exhausted. My energy sapped out of me. Last stop before heading home, I visited a little café few blocks away from my work place to grab a medium Caramel Macchiato.

COFFEE SHOP

Thursdays for me are always the best day to visit this local café because the crowd is a mix of working and artsy people who seem productive even when they’re just hanging out. I also loved the place; the interior of the café is eclectic with mismatched couches and chair as well as vintage objects on modern shelves. Because of the absence of Wi-Fi, the café in vibes an atmosphere of a traditional coffee shop as it encourages conversation and some old fashion newspaper and book reading.

So while having coffee yesterday and catching up on my reading, a man sitting adjacent to the counter commented: “Seems like you found your little nook here”. Before I could react, he jumped up from his table with his coffee and moved to join me. He was tall with neatly cut hair, stubble beard and small kind eyes.

Though without invitation, he sat down and introduced himself as “Ivan”. He looked at me keenly as though he knew me a long time ago. So I racked my brain for a minute or two, trying to recall his name and where I met him; but I could not remember anything at all. I stared at him and with an effort, I went on innocently, “You resemble the man in an advertisement…umm”.

As if he read my thoughts, he said quietly, “I’m Ivan your friend in pre-school, remember?”

That revelation left me speechless, I never thought that time would come in which I’d see myself literally playing the part of Sara (Kate Beckinsale) in Serendipity. Well, to get you started, Ivan was my close friend way back in kindergarten. His family moved in the United States when we were in sixth grade. The night before he set out, he proposed to me and promised to write and return. But he never did. So seeing him again in a secluded local coffee shop after more than twenty years of not hearing from him is kind of surprising.

Digital-vs

Well, Ivan and I talked about life and what we are doing; I have learned that Ivan is well traveled as he is a pilot in one of the best airlines in the world. He showed me a couple of pictures he’d taken in places he had been to. We talked about his work of how challenging and exciting it was but at the same time tiring because of the unpredictable work hours, long duty periods, and circadian disruptions as well as insufficient sleep. He also told me about his daughter of how beautiful she was with big blue eyes and jet black hair but he never mentioned about his wife.

Our conversation was natural, deep and insightful skipping the necessary pleasantries. There was still this effortless chemistry like the kind we had when we were kids.

STEAM

As the antiquated café turns dark and vaguely disquieting with the flickering light of the table’s votives, Ivan asked me a question, “What do you think of the phrase “what if?”

His question made me introspective. Not sure of why he would ask me that question but I answered if from a point of view of a writer. As I continued, “For writers, the phrase “what if” is the first step to generating story ideas like an intriguing question that opens up to infinite possibilities transforming the mundane world into imaginative realm…”

As I was about to end my excruciatingly long hypothetical explanation on the phrase “what if”, I threw back the question to him and he simply responded, “I was thinking, What if we ended up together? What if I did write to you and pursue you instead”

PHONE SLIDE

There was a long silence that neither one of us wanted to break. Both of us turned quiet and reflective. What is good about face to face conversation is you hear the inflection, and you see the emotion. I could tell from the way he said things that he had been wallowing in hatred for so long that he had forgotten what love felt like. He must have a failed marriage or is separated or in the process of separating. I am not sure but one thing I am sure is his marriage is on the rocks.

As if planned to happen exactly at that moment: the cafeteria played Nora Jones’ don’t know why, right on cue, I asked him: “Do you remember what you used to say to me whenever I flunked my exams?”

He answered with a faint smile, “Yeah… that things happened for a reason and there is always a chance to make things right.”

I nodded and  continued “Well, like in a writer’s point of view, “What if”, is a phrase that opens doors of possibilities. We can get carried away because of the promising adventure and compelling angle of story but part of writing process is also to choose the right possibilities and save the story from being wrecked”.

He quickly picked up with a comment, “If it is meant to be. It will be.” I nodded. He also nodded with unspoken agreement.

As the cafe is about to close, Ivan and I bid our goodbyes.

“I hope my daughter will be like you because I named her after you” he said proudly.

I smiled “I hope she grows up to be a woman with vision and better than I”.

As we parted ways and I watched him disappear in the pavement. I remember our conversation nearly word for word and then, I realized that what we had at the café was one of the absolute best and deepest conversations I have had. ‘What if’, two beautiful words with endless possibilities but these words also serve as a precaution if it calls one to sell your soul for one fleeting moment. Well, I have proven that we don’t meet people by accident. People are meant to cross our path for a reason. And sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us to be a better person.

One thing I have also realized is that “Serendipity” happens just like how serendipitous our meeting was.

COFFEE

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ON THE GO WITH SALVATORE MANN BAGS AT SM

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With today’s hectic lifestyles, more and more modern men are discovering the cool convenience of carrying a bag. Gone are hands full of keys, wallets, and tech stuff; as well as overfull pockets as men navigate their busy schedules – work, weekends, the gym, and nights out – with a sleek and stylish bag.

And they can build a bolder look Salvatore Mann’s latest collection at SM.

The backpack is back with designers updating this iconic style in perforated textures and embossed details. Once a 1990s throwback, it’s today’s IT Bag in a variety of rich colors and creative graphics. An unexpected way to accessorize a suit, a backpack is also great for a minimal sportswear inspired look.

There are also smart and unobtrusive leather folios, a classic that shows you mean business; as well as totes to suit every taste, and duffle bags that make perfect gym and weekend getaway mates.

Salvatore Mann Shoes and Bags are exclusively available at The SM Store.

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STYLE IS FOR EVERY SIZE WITH PARISIAN PLUS

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Style is for everyone with Parisian Plus that comes in sizes 9.5-12

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Walk on the wild side with zebra-printed Roxy pumps

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Black Ranae pair has heels with laser-cut details

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Explore the fashion jungle with animal print shoes by Parisian Plus

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Rozy pumps in animal-print with ankle straps

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Casual taupe Noah sandals

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Go into neutral territory with Parisian Plus’ selection of sandals

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Ultra-versatile black Sanvi sandals

Style is for everyone and every size with SM’s Parisian Plus collection. The iconic shoe brand has a line for ladies with shoe sizes 9.5-12, making it possible for them to be on-trend and comfortable at the same time.

After all, there is nothing to be embarrassed about one’s shoe size, and Parisian Plus allows one to step out in style with flattering and fab designs. You’ll also be surprised how Parisian Plus’ wedges and chunky heels can actually make your feet look smaller, as most high heels do. Or how bows, buckles, lace overlays and other accents can make your feet look more petite.

Walk on the wild side with animal printed pumps; while laser cut accents will give your look a modern edge. Step in neutral territory with earth-toned sandals; and slip on ballet flats for those casual days.

Parisian Plus is exclusively available at all SM Stores nationwide.

Get connected with Parisian Plus through Parisian Shoes and Bags on Facebook and @SMParisian and @SMShoesandBags on Twitter and Instagram. #SMParisianPlus

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Be fun and fab with Parisian Plus’ ballet flats

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Add a pop of color with coral Ozara sandals

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Style is for every size with Parisian Plus

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White Uma platforms are surprisingly flattering

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Burgundy patent Rhian wedge

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Green film festival for students at SM malls | mb.com.ph | Philippine News

Green film festival for students at SM malls | mb.com.ph | Philippine News.

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BE BAGNETIFIED

Bagnetified

Proven by a number of famous dishes like lechon, crispy pata and Ilocano’s original deep fried pork belly meat, “bagnet”, Filipinos love pork. And because we know your cravings, SM City Marilao, brings BAGNETIFIED, the first bagnet chain of restaurants in the Philippines that expertly concocts Ilocano’s cuisine.

Specializing in infusing well-love Filipino food with Bagnet, every dish in BAGNETIFIED will surely fill you with happiness and make you fall in love with Filipino food all over again.

Take your pick from their hearty menu, tried-and-tested dishes to the traditional menu with a twist. Gorge on BAGNETIFIED’s most popular dishes like Bagnet Sarap, a must-try pork cuisine seasoned with rich distinctive all-original Bagnetified flavor; Bulalo Bagnetified, the popular beef soup dish that is complemented by Bagnet; or Kare-Kare Bagnetified, a traditional Filipino stew with a twist of Bagnet in thick savory peanut sauce.

Other must- tries are Chicken and Bagnet Adobo and Crispy Pata, and vegetable Bagnetified dish, Chopsuey Bagnet. Bagnetified also offers value meals and almusal meals that come with generous portions in reasonable price. Apart from the Filipino specialties, Bagnetified also serves up traditional Pinoy refreshments such Sampalok smoothie, Kamias smoothie and Lemon Dalandan juice.

BAGNETIFIED is located at the 2nd floor of SM City Marilao. Hurry! Eat Bagnet to your heart’s content. Visit SM City Marilao today!

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LOVE IS A VERB

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LOVE IS A VERB…

It’s an action requiring your involvement and your active participation. Y0u cannot sit back and expect the world will serve it to you. You cannot expect that your relationship will continue to provide love while you are not putting in any effort. Love has to be earned and must be continually fought for.

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MY CITY, MY SM, MY CUISINE COOKBOOK WINS 2 GOURMAND AWARDS

1.The My City, My SM, My Cuisine cookbook received two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards during recent ceremonies in Yantai, China.  It was honored with a Prestige Award by the International Jury, and placed Third in the Local Cuisine Category.  In photo, Gourmand Awards President Edouard Cointreau with SM Senior Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon during the awarding ceremonies. The book is a compilation of the My City, My SM, My Cuisine campaign in partnership with the Philippine Star, and was published by SM through People Asia.

 The My City, My SM, My Cuisine cookbook received two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards during recent ceremonies in Yantai, China. It was honored with a Prestige Award by the International Jury, and placed Third in the Local Cuisine Category. In photo, Gourmand Awards President Edouard Cointreau with SM Senior Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon during the awarding ceremonies. The book is a compilation of the My City, My SM, My Cuisine campaign in partnership with the Philippine Star, and was published by SM through People Asia.

The My City, My SM, My Cuisine cookbook recently won two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards during recent ceremonies in Yantai, China.

The book was honored with a Prestige Award by the International Jury, and placed third in the Local Cuisine category, qualifying it to be among Gourmand’s Best in the World.

Founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards is sometimes described as the Oscars of Food Awards. It celebrates cookbook and wine publishing, and features many renowned chefs every year.

This year’s awards drew more than 12,000 entries from 205 countries. “It is a big success to be in the list,” says Gourmand Awards President Edouard Cointreau. “The quantity and quality of entries has reached a new high this year.”

“A total of 205 countries participated in the Gourmand Awards,” he adds. “All the books listed are truly excellent in very different ways.” If Mr. Cointreau’s name sounds familiar, he was born in the family of Cointreau liquor on his father’s side, and Remy Martin and Cognac Frapin on his mother’s side.

A celebration of Philippine regional cuisine, the book is a compilation of the My City, My SM, My Cuisine campaign that SM spearheaded from 2012-2013 in key cities around the Philippines where SM has malls. A joint project with the Philippine Star, the campaign had more than 20 stops in SM’s host cities as far north as Baguio and as far south as Davao.

Published by SM through People Asia, the book has a special focus on heirloom recipes, a treasure trove of culinary gems from prominent families from each city. In Clark, Claude Tayag and his sisters Doren and Carmen shared their wonderful stories, and their prized family recipes – Patang Mole, Begucan Babi, and Claude’s Dream

Some of these families had heroes for ancestors, and their descendants happily shared the favorite recipes of General Emilio Aguinaldo, Dr. Jose Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and Mariano Ponce; as well as that of food historian Mila Enriquez.

Food is also culture, and the book also highlights community cuisine from the Cordilleras, the Aetas of Olongapo, the Manobo and Maranao of Davao, the T’boli of GenSan, as well as Barangay Iponan from Cagayan de Oro.

The My City, My SM, My Cuisine book is available at Kultura Filipino stores at SM Aura Premier, SM Makati, the SM Mall of Asia, and SM Megamall.

The Prestige Award of by the International Jury qualified the My City, My SM, My Cuisine cookbook to be among Gourmand’s Best in the World. This year’s awards drew more than 12,000 entries from 205 countries.

The Prestige Award of by the International Jury qualified the My City, My SM, My Cuisine cookbook to be among Gourmand’s Best in the World. This year’s awards drew more than 12,000 entries from 205 countries.

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WRITING

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There is one thing you should know about writing. It will inevitably lead you to terrible places, as you cannot write about something if you have not lived it. Though the most important things to bear in mind is this: you are there as a tourist and must always remain one. There was a very specific reason why you were blessed with the ability to translate your sentiments into words- it is to bring voice to suffering and torment. But do not be too indulgent with your experience of these things- despite how addictive suffering can be- how easy it is to get lost down the twisted path of self-destruction. You must emerge from adversity, scathed but victorious- to tell your story and in turn, light the way for others.

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– Lang Leav-

Clean Slate

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MINIONS MANIA AT TOY KINGDOM

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This soft and cuddly Cro- Minion plush buddy is the sweetest thing to hug.

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Rock n’ Roll Stuart. Meet Stuart the Rock Star with his electric guitar that plays cool rhythms. A must for music lovers with guitar strumming action, interactive talk mode and dialogues inspired by the original movie voice.

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Minion Bob with Teddy Bear has a Bob plush figure that’s interacting with his friend Teddy Bear Tim. Join in the fun by squeezing Bob’s left hand and hear him talk or give a big hug to make him sing. Both have cheeks that glow.

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Minion Kevin Banana eating action figure. Aside from being fond of bananas, this Kevin figure also speaks minion sounds with a press in his pocket. Move his head in many ways for lots of funny response.

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There are many reasons to love this cuddly Gone Batty Minion Plush buddy styled with spooky-fun Dracula costume.

The despicable squad is back! And as they hit the theaters and star in their very own film, Toy Kingdom brings the adorable Minions to life with toys inspired by their much- awaited self- titled movie.

Kids can join in the fun with toys inspired by the film’s main characters- Kevin, Bob and Stuart, the brave trio that saves the entire clan of minions from extinction by finding the most despicable master of all time.

There are cuddly action figures that speak delightful minion words, and make fun moves like dancing, bouncing, singing and silly laughing; as well as plush buddy minions to hug and hold. There’s more fun ahead with collectable pocket size play sets with minion surprises inside.

Minions’ toy collections are available at all Toy Kingdom Express outlets in SM Department Store, as well as Toy Kingdom stores in most SM Supermalls. Also visit http://www.toykingdom.ph.

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Join micro sized Kevin, Bob and Stuart in their time traveling adventures inside this Micro-Minions playset- Egyptian Minions.

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Eye Matie Minion plush buddy to have and to hold.

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Micro Minions playset- Bored silly minions. Pocket sized Kevin, Bob and Stuart are depicted in their most boring yet funny looking state. Features a tiny play area with a backdrop inspired by the scene in the movie.

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The little yellow men love the city life as this Micro Minion playset- NYC Minions reveals. Micro sized minions included.

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THAT ONE GIRL WHO GOT AWAY

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I could have fallen in love with you if:

You don’t realize how good looking you are

You employ old fashioned terms of endearment

You do not bat an eye when I spontaneously launch into a different voice or accent in the middle of a sentence.

You have enormous dreams

You distract me from my “real” life

You know how to listen

You are self- deprecating, but it comes across as funny, not uncomfortable

We cannot stop laughing around each other

You fall in love with me a little with tenderness

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A DAY IN A LIFE: 157 of 365

I can’t believe it is June and that we are half way through the year 2015.

I remember when I was a kid there was this feeling of excitement and anticipation when the month of June comes in simply because it means going back to school; like a chance to start fresh again and learn (Yeah, I am one of those geeky students way back then). Well, as I get older (ehem), the month of June still brings a renewed vigor and a sense of purpose.

Because the year is not over yet, the sixth month of the year is the perfect time to look over my goals; like seeing what is attainable or picking some small changes or additional challenges that I might want to accomplish. So today, I have made myself a 30ish goal or month bucket list to motivate and inspire me to move forward and follow my dreams. Below are the lucky 10 that made the cut.

  1. Keep a life in tune with God’s willGod's Will
  2. Start each project with clean slateClean Slate
  3. Walk the walk. Talk the talk.walk the walk
  4. Pay debts. Tithed every monthdownload5
  5. Run to be fit not to be skinnyRun
  6. Wake up early, meditate and watch the sunriseSunrise
  7. Invest in something besides retirementRetire
  8. Read the Bible and 3 more booksWINDOWS
  9. Travel and write storiessavedownload4
  10. Learn new skilldownload7

My list falls into five major themes: Spirituality, Health, Life/Organization, Work and Finances and I am hoping that I will be able to cross them all out by the end of June.

So what is your 30ish bucket list?

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THE BODY SHOP CELEBRATES 19 YEARS IN THE PHILIPPINES

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The Body Shop at The SM Store Mall of Asia also showcases the shop-in-shop complex.

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The Body Shop’s new shop-in-shop design at The SM Store Makati makes shopping more convenient and beauty-ful.

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At The Body Shop in SM Makati Store, one can discover a World of Ingredients — sourced through the Community Fair Trade .

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The Body Shop’s Tea Tree range, which is known as the perfect regimen for clearer looking skin, and is clinically proven to clear and hydrate. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree products are made from high quality Community Fair Trade organic tea tree oil inside distilled from hand-picked leaves, as well as tamanu oil extract which is reputed to help generate new tissue and improve the healing process for skin.

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The Body Shop’s Gift Sets are perfect for skin and body pampering.

The Body Shop celebrates 19 years in the Philippines with a new store concept and exciting beauty deals for its customers. It also celebrates its being part of the SM Retail Group.

It will be remembered that Dame Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick in Littlehampton, England. The beauty brand pioneered corporate activism and was built on a philosophy that business can be a force for good.

With its brand expression, Beauty with Heart, the company continues to be focused on five core values; Against Animal Testing, Support Community Fair Trade, Activate Self Esteem, Defend Human Rights, and Protect the Planet. All products are created using the finest ingredients sourced from the four corners of the globe, which are not tested on animals, and are 100% vegetarian, hence its being known for cruelty free beauty.

As it celebrates 19 years in the Philippines with over 55 stores strategically located nationwide, The Body Shop has expanded its reach by opening its first-ever Shop-in-Shop concept store in the newly renovated The SM Store Makati, making it more accessible to all beauty enthusiasts.

The brand is housed in a 22.5 sqm space, that showcases the latest Pulse Shop-in-Shop concept for easy shopping. Its lighting is condusive for browsing products, and its spacious layout makes it convenient to shop for the best skincare and beauty favorites. With accessible bays for product varieties, each highlights bestseller items and cult favorites from bath and body, down to make-up, skincare, & fragrance.

The Pulse Shop-in-Shop concept aims to provide consumers not just a unique, interactive and memorable over-all beauty experience, but at the same time allows the shoppers to experience the brand values and products that are derived from the finest natural ingredients around the world, making every shopper feel good about themselves. This Shop-in-Shop concept may also be found at a 15.4 sqm space at the SM Store at the SM Mall of Asia.

As it celebrates 19 years in the Philippines, The Body Shop is treating everyone with exciting deals until June 3, 2015. Everybody can enjoy The Body Shop’s Big Sizes and Fruity Deals at 40%, as well as Selected Gifts at 50% off.

The Body Shop now accepts SM Advantage Card for points earning and redemption, SM and Sodexo premium pass in all The Body Shop stores nationwide.

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The Body Shop’s Lip & Cheek Stain is now at Php395. This dual-purpose liquid stain gives lips and cheeks a hint of natural-looking color. It is made with natural ingredients from the Community Fair Trade, marula oil comes from the Eudafano Women’s Co-operative in northern Namibia.

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The Body Shop’s iconic Big Sizes – 750 ML Shower Gels, 400 ML Body Butters, and 300 ML Body Scrubs – are at 40% off until June 3. Relax, refresh and recuperate with The Body Shop’s cleansing shower gels that lather up in the bath or shower to leave skin feeling clean, fresh and gently scented. After bath, enjoy the deliciously scented body butters that will help keep skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated for up to 24 hours.

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The Body Shop’s Japanese Cherry Blossom Gift Set is at 50% off. A skin-softening body lotion infused with Japanese Cherry Blossom, this romantic, captivating blend of floral and hinoki wood accord was inspired by a spring day in Kyoto. Other selected Gift Sets are also on 50% off.

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Get fruity with these Juicy Deals at 40% off – Almond, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Blueberry, Raspberry, Early-Harvest Raspberry, Lychee and English Dawn White Gardenia infused in shower gels, body lotions, and body butter, as well as eau de toilette, and body mist fragrances,

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THE CULT FASHION I AM LOVING

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When it comes to dressing for the hot season, I like to keep it easy and simple. Currently, I am obsessing on two of the hottest runway trends; crop tops and jumpsuits or ‘onesie’. Now these trends hit it big in 2014, and even though it has been a year, crop tops and jumpsuits aren’t going anywhere. In fact, these trends are working their way into the fashion zeitgeist and are sought after by runway and Hollywood personalities like Kendal Jenner, who donned goth-glam inspired crop-top-skirt combo in the recent Cannes Film Festival and Taylor Swift, who rocked white cut-out jumpsuit in 2015 Billboard Music Awards. I don’t know if it is just me but these trends exemplify fashion resilience as they were able to spring back from 80’s and 90’s cult fashion to our contemporary. So without further ado, here are two of must-try fashion trends this summer and why I am digging on it.

♦ CROP TOP ♦

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As far as I could remember, crop tops were popularized by Madonna when she wore a mesh crop top in one of her music video in 1980s. By the mid-1990s, crop top are back in fashion as pop singers like as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera sport the look in their concerts and every day street style. Today, crop top is making waves again. This trendy style has evolved in a major way from cult fashion to teenybopper style to a chic fashion staple. Though there is this big misconception about crop tops that there is a specific time and place for wearing it because it exposes your midriff; showing too much skin. I am convinced that crop tops could be sophisticated and easy to pull off. It is actually one of the most flattering summer pieces because it draws the eye to the thinnest part of pretty much every woman’s body. Contrary to what many of us think, crop tops could be worn anywhere in any time of the day given the right separates. My favorite way of pulling off this trend is by pairing it with high-waist bottom and overalls. It gives a subtle glimpse of skin without being overly sexy.

 

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♣ JUMPSUIT ♣

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I call this functional one-piece garment as my lazy-girl-secret-to-looking-chic-in-a-snap. What I love about this trend is that it comes together so easily especially when you are rushing to throw something on. It is so easy to pull off and offers a surprising marriage of sophistication and ease that you would not expect from dresses or tops and bottoms or any ensemble outfit. This garment of convenience is a perfect choice for that unexpected weekend look by pairing it with sandals or ballet flats. It could also be a versatile modern wardrobe for an evening out by dressing it up with heels and statement accessories. The beauty of this trend is that there is no wrong way to wear it because it is literally just one piece. I guess the only down side of this trend is when you have to use the bathroom because you have to remove the entire garment. But overall, this onesie is absolutely chic.

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ARE WE THERE YET?

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I am not really fond of kids but my five year old nephew is an exception to the rule.

His name is Banjoe and we often call him ‘Jab’. He is not an average kid because he has a very beautiful mind. His advanced intellectual prowess, language development, extensive vocabulary, strong memory and unusual reasoning power never fail to amaze me. He can also talk about such complex issues as ethics, morality and religion.

The other day while we were heading to get to the church, Jab asked about why is there traffic? This question was apparently followed by probably one of the most irritating questions “are we there yet?” Though I am not yet a mom, parents of small children will agree with me that sometimes the incessant ‘why?’ questions kids ask drive us nuts. So I decided to ask him and see what drives Jab to ask these questions time after time when going to the church or somewhere else?

Me: Jab, why do you keep on asking questions, “why is there traffic” and “are we there yet”?

Jab: Are you angry at me?

Me: No, just asking.

Jab: I asked because … ummm… we are always taking this way. There must be other way around… ummm… I just don’t want to miss my Sunday school because my teacher said that we would have fun today.

Me: so what way are we going to take then?

Jab: The small road near the cemetery. We took that road last Sunday. It is less crowded there.

Appalled and humbled by his reasoning, his way of thinking, his passion; curiosity and desire to take different route to accomplish something completely blown me away.

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I learned a great deal from this situation. As irritating as it may seem, sometimes we need to ask this question to ourselves every once in a while. The question ‘are we there yet?’ could be a metaphor for evaluating and assessing our progress on the project we wanted to get done or goals we wanted to reach, the passion we wanted to pursue or the dream we wanted to fulfill. We all have desires and dreams but how exactly are we going to get there is the question that you and I need to probe deeper. We need a plan. This may involve getting out our comfort zone, taking a different route or a different approach and making it work with the right choices. Just like what an old proverb says, ‘A dream without action is just a wish”.

So, are we there yet?

BANJOE

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THAT 10 WEIRD THINGS

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While having coffee with a friend yesterday, we came across the subject of creating and developing characters for fictional stories. We all know that creating or developing characters is arguably the single-most important part in writing stories because they are the heart and soul through which the story is told. Well, of course, elements like plot, setting and theme, may play important role but these factors are secondary to the characters that your audience or reader can connect with on an intellectual or emotional level.

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My very good friend Miguel, who is a professor and a writer, gave interesting insights on how to develop characters in the story and how they could come alive for your reader or audience. He said that great characters are built layer by layer through actions and discovery. It is not just about describing their reactions on certain scenarios or their feelings on certain things, but it should expound and rationalize the choices they make based on the cumulative actions and interactions that are of course created by the overriding effect of core desire, ambition, goal or driving need. These overriding elements could be the sum of scars and memories and ruined dreams that have left characters with resentments, fears, habit, weaknesses and inclinations that would perhaps explain their personhood. For instance, you character may want to finish studies despite his disabilities or his being economically disadvantage. The core desire, ambition, goal or driving need will somehow give structure and elicit layers of emotions while justifying their thoughts and every word of dialogue spoken.
He also added that what makes character in the story believable, captivating and unique is their vulnerability, contradicting traits, their secret as well as list of their personality quirks. These elements will keep readers enthralled and contribute to the character’s layers of personality as the story progresses.

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Miguel’s trivia on developing and carefully crafting fictional characters was very informative. But what really caught my attention was how secrets as well as the list of the character’s personality quirks make each character real. I believe we would all agree that those dark and deeply hidden secrets make characters compelling. Character’s secrets could also be the main drive as it becomes part of the puzzle of a story that must be unraveled. The same is true with the character’s personality quirks; in my point of view the most compelling characters are those who appear to be internally consistent and yet are capable of surprise. Why it works? Our senses and mind by nature are tuned to focus on irregularities. Things that don’t quite fit or are constantly changing, happen to pique our curiosity.

While the element of surprise or personality quirk is the simplest to write, it is the hardest to develop because we don’t know what makes unique trait any different from the rest. So as an attempt to develop a list of personality quirks or traits that I might find useful in developing my story character, Miguel decided to do a simple exercise by running down 10 things that he find weird in me. These traits according to Miguel make me unique. It also set me apart from the rest of the pack. So here goes my top ten personality quirks based on Miguel’s observation.

  1. My favorite color is BLACK and because I am so loyal to my color of choice I can’t write in blue ball pen.

  2. Comfortable being alone but could not sleep alone in a room.

  3. Loves splurging on things but instead of using it I just sort of hang them in my closet or display them in my room like the artifacts you see inside a museum.

  4. Certified dessert girl who could go on a full week eating desserts and sweet treats only.

  5. Have a massive ticket collection of trains, planes and bus from my various travels as well as restaurant receipts from various coffee shops.

  6. When I love a book, I would read it over and over again until I could recite the character’s lines and identify the page that the character’s line may come from.

  7. Could be mistaken as the cold one because I love cold weather and rainy season. This also explains why I hate summer and beaches.

  8. An ardent feminist and debater who believes in advancing the rights of all women.

  9. Changes mind in a blink of an eye, makes multiple plans or takes off suddenly without a moment notice.

  10. One thing that makes me really happy is coffee.

Flabbergasted, Miguel’s list of unique traits came as a huge surprise to me because I didn’t know any of these strange facts did occur in my life but I have to agree that the list defined me as a person. It helped in digging deep and learning who I am.

Because creating characters that leap off the pages, lives and breathes are always the goal of every story writers, this exercise is a fun and creative way of fleshing out people’s personality. It also adds depth and dimension to any characters that you are developing or writing.

So whenever you are developing a character for your story it is best to insert personality quirk because it helps in creating resonance and deeper appreciation of what makes that person who they are.

Also, don’t forget to celebrate your so called weirdness because it makes you a LIMITED EDITION.

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HER WORDS

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Love a girl who writes,

     and live her many lives;

     you have yet to find her,

     beneath her words of guise.

Kiss her blue inked fingers,

     forgive the pens they marked.

    The stain of your lips upon her –

     the one she can’t discard.

Forget her tattered memories,

      or the pages others took;

      you are her ever after-

      the hero of her book.

– Lang Leav

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IF BEING IN LOVE WITH JOE IS WRONG, I DON’T WANT TO BE RIGHT

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I’ll tell you a little secret. I am in a committed relationship with Joe. A lot of people would not understand or agree with the choice I made. But I am head over heels in love with him. I don’t know when and how it started but all I could remember is the indecent proposal that when he kissed my sleepy lips, it awaken every cold and bitter morning I have had. Ten years and still counting our love affair gets even better.

Why have I fallen for Joe is still a question that lingers in my mind. Perhaps it was the way he romantically wooed me with strategic spontaneity or how he engaged me into deep conversation and thinking. It could be his taste, his aroma and the sense of excitement and exhilaration each time we meet up. What I am certain is that this love will last. It makes me feel all warm on the inside. It increases my heart rate, filling me with gladness and joy. Let me define to you my love for Joe.

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  1. Joe orchestrate my mornings

Mornings are not just the same without Joe simply because I am not a morning person. Getting up early is such an ordeal but waking up with Joe and his rich aroma makes me want to watch the sunrise and the softness of the morning. The scent of a freshly brewed Joe is invigorating that in between sips the world stand still. I notice the rising sunlight filtering through the tree branches and how the blades of grass sparkle with the suns’ beam. I hear the birds chirping beautiful melodies as they usher in a new day. Mornings do not seem bad at all. Waking up with Joe is the best part of the morning.

  1. Undeniable connection

My relationship with Joe is characterized by our deep connection that I don’t need to utter a word for him to understand what I am feeling at the moment. He doesn’t ask silly questions, he understands. He exactly knows when to be hot and when to be cold; when I wanted deep conversations and when I wanted silence. He knows the perfect blend that will quiet my busy mind, giving me a moment of time and space to recharge while pondering the thoughts I have in mind.

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  1. We are together

Together we conquered tests, thesis defense, awkward dates, early morning dilemma, and afternoon pick-me-ups. We go together like peanut butter and jelly, shove and pail, nuts and bolts as well as cup and saucer. I also realize that being together makes me a better and more pleasant person.

  1. He allows me to be me

It doesn’t bother him when I am all grumpy and grouchy because he is fully aware when I haven’t had it yet.

  1. His place

His abode’s signature quiet ambiance, smooth jazz music and cozy couch is definitely the place I love to hang out, see friends, find conversation, get some work done or simply watch the world go by. His place is also conducive for writing and squeezing out the creative juices in me.

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As I continue my attempt to understand my feelings for Joe. I have concluded that he is the basic, fundamental requirement of my existence. No wonder, I love coffee every day, and twice as much on weekdays. Yup, I have heard of the bad sides of drinking too much caffeine. Yet for some reasons coffee has made itself indispensable in my daily routine. I am utterly and completely in love with coffee and if being in love with Joe is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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Well, writing this post over the last hour has made me crave for another cup of coffee today. I cannot wait to enjoy another cup of Joe in caramel macchiato.

Joe is definitely the love of my life.

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10 TECH RELATED CHORES THAT WE ARE TOO LAZY TO DO

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  1. Organizing Photos
  2. Uploading photos from our smart phones
  3. Deleting photos
  4. Saving files with proper file names
  5. Checking our mails and inboxes
  6. Backing up files
  7. Scanning for virus
  8. Upgrading our OS
  9. Defragmentation
  10. Installing APS

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LIGHT AND BRIGHT WITH THE BODY SHOP’S MOISTURE WHITE

Nighttime is bright time with the Moisture White Shiso Overnight Triple Boost Serum. With its nourishing, lightweight brightening formula, it delivers three unique boosting actions while you sleep: an intense boost of brightness with the Shiso complex; a deep boost of translucency, which helps neutralize potential darkening free radicals and prevent further discoloration; and a plumping boost of deep hydrating moisture for a radiant, light-reflecting appearance.

Nighttime is bright time with the Moisture White Shiso Overnight Triple Boost Serum. With its nourishing, lightweight brightening formula, it delivers three unique boosting actions while you sleep: an intense boost of brightness with the Shiso complex; a deep boost of translucency, which helps neutralize potential darkening free radicals and prevent further discoloration; and a plumping boost of deep hydrating moisture for a radiant, light-reflecting appearance.

Everything is light and bright as the The Body Shop launches its new Moisture White collection, a skin regime and cosmetics line that’s developed for and tested by Asian Women.

Moisture White products use Advanced Shiso Complex, a selection of natural ingredients such as shiso, liquorice, and aloe vera for soft, luminous, and bright skin.

The Body Shop conceptualized Moisture White for those who are concerned with skin pigmentation as it treats and prevents pigmentation, and further brightens the skin.

The best part is that there are products that work for day and night.

During daytime, the Moisture White Bring Compact Foundation creates a flawless looking complexion with a multi-dimensional luminous finish. Infused with fine, light-diffusing mica pearls this will bring a radiant glow to your skin.

This multi-purpose product containing a foundation and a highlighter provides a soft focus effect to help conceal pores, imperfections and fine lines. When applied using the delicate sponge, it fuses with the skin to hide imperfections in a flawlessly even coverage that look sensationally smooth.

Likewise, make nighttime bright time with the Moisture White Shiso Overnight Triple Boost Serum. When the body is at rest, your skin has more energy to regenerate itself and repair daytime damage.

Build your day brightening regime with a nightly serum that works while you sleep to offer 24 hour brightening to help reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation and uneven skin tone.

The new Moisture White Collection is available at selected The Body Shop branches. All SM Advantage Card members can now earn and redeem points in all The Body Shop stores.

The new Moisture White Bright Compact Foundation is enriched with whitening Shiso and Vitamin C and formulated with ultra-fine spherical beads. The ultra fine spherical beads can be found in both the foundation and highlighter and contribute to the velvety feel and application, and as well as the smoothness of the powder.

The new Moisture White Bright Compact Foundation is enriched with whitening Shiso and Vitamin C and formulated with ultra-fine spherical beads. The ultra fine spherical beads can be found in both the foundation and highlighter and contribute to the velvety feel and application, and as well as the smoothness of the powder.

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PLUVIOPHILIA

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My love for rainy days stems from the fact that I never had birthdays without rain. On every eve of my birthday, my parents and sisters would usually be busy preparing for my big day and I would sit at the windowsill near the front door staring up at the dark grey sky and tracing lightning bolts as rain starts to pour in. My birthdays are always characterized with thunderstorms, scattered rain showers and lightning bolts. It comes so strong that a lot of times it doused my guests and damped their spirits to revel my big day.

While a lot of my guests loathe rain, I never felt happy when it pours down. There is this unspeakable phenomenon happening in me that when it drizzles down I feel empowered and very much alive. I find comfort and peace at the kind of music raindrops make. I love the smell of the petrichor; of how withered from the last summer stirred in a wet air like a scented aromatic perfume.  I get excited wearing sweater and sipping a hot chocolate or freshly brewed coffee while watching the rain pour down. Likewise, it keeps my mood buoyant as the coldness of shower mist spread through my room beckoning me to return to my bed, rolled myself in a warm blanket and read.

Growing up, it dawned on me that rain will always be a part of me. It has actually been a part of my every first and life milestones; I got first job as a writer after braving the storm and being drench in the rain. My first romantic date was when a guy I liked asked me to go out with him while thunderstorms and lightning roared behind my ears. My first international travel was during an extremely inclement weather that I have to wait at least 8 hours in Detroit, Chicago for my connecting flight to Dulles International Airport in Washington.

Perhaps a coincidence, but rain occupies a very special place in my heart. I always thought of it as a blessing, a metaphor and a versatile symbol that teaches me of the truths of life.  The literal and figurative implications and meanings of rain convey realities that are very applicable in our everyday life. I have discovered three and here are they.

1.      An opportunity to appreciate beauty in the ugliest days- Many of us looked at rainy days as “less than days”. I would not contend on that because a rainy day has its own inconvenience. Traffic is worse. Just getting in and out of the car is a major challenge. Having an umbrella would not guarantee you dryness. To top it off, everything is grey and flat-out depressing. But looking at the bright side, rain is beautiful in its own way. You encounter small act of kindness as stranger share an umbrella with you. It gives you a sense of relief from the heat of the sun. More importantly, it reminds us that after the rain there is always a rainbow that prompts us of God’s promises.

2.      Force us to go out of our comfort zone- Rain forces us to go out of our comfort zone and to do the unimaginable. I mentioned earlier that I got my first job as a writer after braving the storm and literally being drench in the rain for a final interview with the Director of the Company. I learned a great deal from this experience. It always reminds me  to go out of my comfort zone.  If I followed my natural instinct to stay at home that day, do what will make me comfortable and wait for the rain to stop, I would not land on my first job that opened doors of opportunities and connections.

3.      Quiets restless soul – When it rains, the wind is also making its presence known in subtle, gentle ways. If we just clear our minds we could see how the wind makes tree limbs sway back and forth; each dancing its own distinctive dance bringing harmony and peace. This scenario reminds me of that still small voice. Though it is subtle, it is powerful enough to heal, to mend, to love and to guide us in the way it should be. Apart from the wind, the rhythmic sound of the rain reminds me of inner peace. The music that rain creates appeals so much in my brain that it quiets by busy mind and a lot of times it helps me to fall asleep easily.

Rain is a lot like love. It resonates that it opens and enlivens our heart making it feel like being home.

I am a lover of rain. A pluviophilia.

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NEW THINGS TO LOVE AT THE BODY SHOP

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An overnight mask that helps your skin bounce back to youth. A fragrance that changes the rules by using the sensuality and warmth of spices blended with musk to approach femininity differently. A seductive Forbidden Flower Collection that turns on the heat for Valentine.

These are some of the new things to love at The Body Shop as it introduces its Drops of Youth, Red Musk Fragrance, and Limited Edition Forbidden Flower collections.

Drops of Youth, which is made from edelweiss flower stem cells sourced from the Alps, replenishes your skin in the most natural way. Left overnight without washing off, the lightweight pliable mask moulds itself like a second skin. In the morning, skin feels smooth, hydrated, and pumped; and looks younger and fresher.

Red Musk, The Body Shop’s most unconventional scent to date, breaks the rules by turning up the heat on the codes of feminine fragrance. This all-spice fragrance combines the sharpness of pepper, the warmth of cinnamon, and the softness of tobacco.

The Limited Edition Forbidden Flower collection lavishes your skin a most enticing body care and fragrance line inspired by the poppy flower.

Known for its values about protecting the planet, The Body Shop products are never tested on animals thus making a policy on Animal Testing. While these products also carry a value on social change, The Body Shop has a Community Fair Trade (CFT) program, where high-quality natural ingredients are sourced out from the four corners of the globe to bring benefits to smallholders and artisans.

The Drops of Youth and Red Musk collections are available at The Body Shop stores nationwide, while Forbidden Flower Collection is available at selected The Body Shop branches. All SM Advantage Card members can now earn and redeem points in all The Body Shop stores.

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THAT UNOFFICIAL GIRL

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There was this trend in my life that is somehow funny and poignant at the same time. I was this girl whom single guys dated before they got married or engaged. Now don’t get me wrong, these guys are single or at least they claim they were. The funny part about this trend was- I was never sure of how these guys define the word “single”  because they give me confusing definitions of it: (1) single with options, (2) technically single with past baggage, (3) pretending to be single and hoping the target wouldn’t find out, (4) single-wanna-have-fun and (5) single after thought, these are the ones who got stuck in problematic relationship, waiting for that right timing to let off the hook.

One thing I am sure about this trend, it started with these single guys asking me simple question “why hadn’t you found love yet” followed by seemingly curious question “what do you desire in a romantic partner”. As simple as these start-up questions maybe, the ending questions are complex with ostensibly complicated goodbyes or no closure at all.

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Well, I never intend to be that last girl whom these single guys would check out before they popped the question “will you marry me” to their significant other but somehow it happened and I had been that unofficial girl. I would be hypocrite if I tell you that it didn’t hurt me. It did- a lot. I felt frustrated when I realized that my love life looked nothing like the romantic comedies that I loved; drowning in a drizzling storm of text messages, mixed signals, ambiguous interactions and missed connections.

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Because of these interesting encounters I have had in the dating field, I had an epiphany that dating is a fruitless waste of time rather than hopeful quest to find the one. Here are the reasons why:

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  1. The Endless ShoppingThere was this guy whom I dated for about seven months. He was very intelligent, has a very good personality and good values, which I found very appealing. Months of dating, I blurted the tough question of where our relationship is heading to or “what are we” and he gave me an ambiguous answer like we should not put labels on the stages of our dating. This was apparently followed by a long silence. A friend of mine told me that the reason might be was he is still keeping his options open; like he is still ‘toying’ of the idea that there is much more out there. Well, true to what my friend told me, two months after, I saw this guy with a new woman who seems to won the “genetic lottery”. His insatiable appetite for that ‘endless shopping’ is honestly quite disappointing. I know that possibilities are endless. I mean you might meet someone lovely today, but you may meet someone even more wonderful tomorrow- so it is like we better keep your options open. I find this mentality of ‘while you are still technically single, why not expand your options’ offensive and upsetting. A lot of people treat dating scene like window shopping– comparing products, brands and prices, but never committing to a purchase. It is like a big marketplace that makes people less likely to see the value of the person in front of them, because they are always looking over their shoulder for something better… because probably the ideal one might be just around the corner.3
  2. The Game of Thrones- I don’t know if single-20-something woman could relate to this but when you reach the milestone age 30, chances of getting a date is very slim not because there is scarcity of men out there but because they see you as their competition or probably some well- crafted target that once you have fallen to their trap it is their greatest achievement. Naturally, when you entered 30, in one way or another, you had accomplished most of what you are set to do. It could be that you have finished your graduate studies, landed on stable job or perhaps you are that strong economically independent woman that you treat men as a complement not as a need. As I go along dates, I have realized that men are devoted players with phobias to committing to independent women.  I don’t know if they have this irrational fear of being emasculated or in Filipino term “under the saya” or a man being boss around by a woman. But the reality is when woman outperform man chances are meaningful relationship will never developed or if it does flourish there would be a lot of problems down the road especially when it concerns their ego. What ultimately turns me off is that a lot of men have these hook-up philosophies of trying to be that “superior” being that you have to chase them, beg them, need them and please them, when all you wanted is to get to know them better and work things out.1
  3. The Superficiality and false awakening– The ugly truth about dating is its superficiality. It is always about that fake ‘perfect’ version of reality, the best foot forward, society’s rigid standard on gender and the dating rules to abide with.   I understand that it is arbitrary to question rules or the power of presenting your best self but if these factors are astutely followed then one petty mistake means the end of what could be a meaningful relationship. These mistakes could be an innocent slip of the tongue or a different take on issues or a little misunderstanding early on dating scene. Following dating rules make me extremely confused and exhausted.  Another thing that really turned me off is the notion of men awakening women’s emotion without intention of getting serious with the women they are dating.  Well I had a few dates with men who truly impressed me to the point I have fallen for them only to find out that their well-crafted pick-up lines are plotted and designed to enchant their selected targets such as me. It is as if I’m the elusive catch that only the bravest and most cunning wins. If successful and was able to seamlessly execute the plan or they have tally up their scores, then here comes their ultimate getting out excuse of “we are just hanging out” or “I don’t know you are that serious, we are just checking things out”. The sad thing about this; you don’t deserve an explanation, nor do you have any right to get upset because basically you are also trying to discover as much as you can about the person you are dating without getting too serious. Unknowingly, you play the game. The hardest part was you lose.

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This trend in my life comes as a blessing in disguise because it ultimately helped me to focus on becoming a better person. Right now, I am thinking of things I want to accomplish and commit in. I am not desperate to date just to fit in on society’s definition of being happy. I am happy on my own. I enjoy taking walks in solitude, watching movies and dining alone as well as spending hours in bookstores and coffee shops with me, myself and I. Frankly, I don’t find it awkward to say that I am 33 years old and still single. I actually find people’s reaction to my being single, hilarious.

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Yes, I kissed dating goodbye not because I’m not interested in getting married but because I am disappointed with the whole process. Don’t get me wrong, I still yearn to be with a man that would looked at me in millions ways and loved me in each but I also believe that there is much more to life than waiting and looking for the one.

Perhaps, in God’s perfect time, Mr. Right and I will cross path and tie the knot. Or maybe happy ending does not include a man; maybe it’s me on my own. Well, whatever God’s plan is, I am entrusting it all to God because it is always the best.

As for the men I dated, I sincerely thanked them for reminding me what butterflies feel like and for making me look forward to what is to come.

I kissed dating goodbye because there’s a lot more to life than dating.

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STATEMENT SOCKS: THE FASHION PIECE FOR MEN MAKING A STATEMENT

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Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade is now on his third collection with Stance Socks. Snoop Dog is teaming up with Sweden’s Happy Socks for a sock line that is totally chill. Former US President George HW Bush, who has been photographed wearing designs of lavender and orange as well as varying combinations of red, white, and blue, wore cotton candy colored socks during the dedication of his presidential library.

The statement sock- whether distinguished by bright blue or a bold pattern or both at the same time – has become the to-go fashion accessory for guys from Wall Street, where “Friday socks” is a thing; to boardrooms in Chicago where this unexpected flash of bright fabric shows a sense of humor, personality, and style in a work-appropriate and sophisticated manner. In Silicon Valley, where everyday is a Friday, a Bay Area buyers says that start-up guys favor socks decorated with “words like bacon and beer” and also “anything with ninjas”.

According to the US market research company NPD Group, socks have become a statement piece, and sales growth in the category has outpaced that of the broader apparel market for the past two years.

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“Wearing a patterned sock in the office is a small statement saying you are more than a navy suit,” says Doug Moss, VP and General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, who has watched the trend grow over the past few years. “It also communicates that you care about your appearance and aren’t afraid to personalize your look.”

At SM Accessories, statement socks make a big impression in stripes, dots, paisley, pastel, and novelty prints in three lengths – formal, anklet, and invisible.

Fun. Bold. Hip. Add a little sass to your step with statement socks. The collection is available exclusively at the SM Accessories section at selected SM Stores nationwide.

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THE DESSERT GIRL INSIDE OF ME

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I love sugary packaged snacks, drinks and pastries. This was the reason why my friends call me the ‘Dessert Girl’. I must say that my love for sugar and poor diet took a toll in my body that I gained as much as 198 lbs. at 5’ feet and 2” inches tall. I could vividly remember how every day was a constant battle to look at the mirror because all I could see is the width of my hips, bloated face and chunky arms.

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It was in November 2007 that I decided to make a 360 degree turn to become healthy and lose weight for good. There are two events in my life that motivated me: One, the realization that I was forced to buy my clothes in the “Plus” size and “maternity” section of department stores, and two, the death of my father, of which become my ultimate wake-up call.

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Standing 5’ feet and 2” inches tall and probably a size 12, I am often mistaken as pregnant, I can recall how I was asked if I was pregnant when I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong being pregnant is beautiful but false pregnancy identification is the lowest form of female torture. Every time I would be mistaken as pregnant, I would laugh it off and try very hard not to be offended because I want to get the message across that I am comfortable with my body. To make matters worse, there would always be weird set of reactions like “I’m sorry Ma’am, I thought you were” and a suggestion that is equally offending “Ma’am you could try in the plus-size section”. Though I am used to it, the fat girl inside of me wasn’t. My self-esteem was so low that I wanted to lose weight immediately so I starved myself and tried every fad diet. Well, it actually paid off. I was able to shed few pounds but also gained it exponentially.

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Perhaps, the turning point of my life was the death of my father. It became my wake-up call to take a look on my overall well-being and start switching to healthy lifestyle. He was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 2. It was an acquired disease due to obesity, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet that include too much consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, sugary packed snacks, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids. My father’s death was my ‘ultimate’ wake-up call. I was thinking that my father could have lived longer if his diabetes was prevented.

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Because I have large amount of weight to lose, my journey to being healthy was not easy. I have this love and hate relationship with fitness and to being healthy. Every now and then the fat girl inside me whispers in my ear to just give up; that it is easier to slacked off, be lazy and eat. It takes large amount of patience, determination and discipline to be able to loose and keep the weight off. Really!

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There are numerous advices and tips about fitness and losing weight. I have to admit that it is quite confusing to have many guidelines. It is like hearing a lot of voices in your head and at the end of the day it wears you out. So I decided to trim down into six points that are easy, sensible and manageable. Here are my six golden rules that help me to lose weight and maintained that loss for years.

  1. CHANGE OF MIND AND OF HEART– This is not something I can easily put into words but the most important factors that influence weight loss are your mind and heart. You should put your mind and heart into it. There would be lots of changes and challenges in losing weight and to be able to do and survive those you need the right attitude and motivation in order to make it effective and lasting. Bottom-line; to change your weight there should also be a change of mindset and of heart.
  2. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME– I took it slow and steady. I realize that the slower I lose weight the better I am in keeping it off. I tried to get used to the changes and major lifestyle adjustment such as cutting sugar consumption because I wanted to switch to healthy lifestyle. The key here is it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you keep on going. The major changes will soon be your lifestyle and chances are you will be able to keep the weight off in a long-term. So don’t rush. Take one day at a time.collage3
  3. KEEP A JOURNAL- this is very helpful to me because I was able to figure out what food I am taking on a daily basis and the calories that each item I ate is worth. The act of writing it down helps to raise awareness about the food I am eating and my lifestyle. For instance, when I am skipping breakfast, I tend to eat a lot and crave for sugar packed snacks. But when I have good breakfast, I keep the hunger pangs at bay. Also, when I am stress, I tend to eat a lot of junk food. Writing down helps me to figure out solutions to these problems and how to cope up with stress eating. Keeping a journal also help me to understand portion sizes that encourage me to eat mindfully and to stay on track.collage
  4. EAT HEALTHY- When I decided to lose weight, I knew changing my eating habits was the most important at the start of my journey. I cut the sugar packed cookies, pastries and sodas. I started eating a healthy and balanced diet. I put color in my plate by adding greens, oranges and reds. I learn to love eating fruits and vegetables.DSC_0318
  5. TRAIN DIRTY- My mantra is to train dirty! Sometimes I envision myself like I’ve been picked for the hunger games! Seriously, find the exercise that you love and you will never have to drag yourself to commit on it. Every Thursday and Friday night, I slipped on my running shoes and run few kilometers and on weekends I do swimming and hip-hop dancing. I do these things because I love ‘desserts’- I’m kind of sweating it out. And also, if you still look cute and pretty after exercising then you are not getting the benefits of exercise. As an old saying goes, ‘You should look like a pig to be able to look like a fox’.collage_20141121212509702_20141121212602959
  6. REWARD YOURSELF- A piece of cake will do after all we are perishable item and we should enjoy life’s simple pleasure.collage

 

 

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PERSONAL MUSINGS

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“God is using your present circumstances to make you useful for later roles in His unfolding stories”

 

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“Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go”

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“A strong woman loves, forgives, walks away, let go, tries again and perseveres… No matter what life throws at her”

 

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” Time won’t make you forget. It will make you grow and understand things”

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: WHAT I WOULD TELL MY 20 YEAR OLD SELF

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I am fond of sharing and posting old photos of myself via social networking sites and image-sharing communities such as Instagram. This activity known as “Throwback Thursday” or hashtag “tbt” allows me to relive the events in my life that were worth living over several times.

Synonymous with the Throwback Thursday originator Matt Halfhill of NiceKicks explaining what Throwback Thursday means; “It is allowing yourself to take a break from the news and have a moment to celebrate what happened in the past. We human beings become products of our past experiences — just the same as shoes.” I have to say I share the same opinion.

My Throwback