relationship status: m.u (mutual understanding)

Friday, February 14, 2020

I remember a few years ago (maybe a year or two), a friend of mine asked me something along these lines, "Paano n'yo nasurvive ni Hulyan yung MU stage? May times ba na your are unsure of the things between you two, your relationship got complicated and you have so many questions?"

Actually, at first I was taken aback dahil hindi ko naman pinagiisipan or never pa sumagi yun sa isip ko. Pero realizing that, ang hirap din kasi mapunta dun sa stage na parang kayo pero hindi or yung walang label. Kasi, most of the time, sa mga students or young adults ngayon hanggang doon lang nauuwi ang relationship or minsan nauuwi pa sa iyakan.

mutual understanding

M.U or what we call Mutual Understanding is a stage wherein a girl and a guy have feelings for each other (in fact, they know they have feelings for each other) but aren't together. So the question now is, why aren't they together?

From 2014-2016, he and I never really defined the relationship kasi wala naman talaga. I mentioned in my last love-related post "the art of waiting" that I waited for a long time before really getting involved in a relationship. In those two years, though, we took our time to get to know each other. So it was like courtship stage parin but we know our feelings for each other. We were still studying and we know na bawal muna magchange ng status to "in a relationship" bago grumaduate ng college. And so our MU journey began. To be honest, it was really hard and we rarely went out on dates. He has a principle kasi na kapag gagastusan nya ako like sa date or food or material na bagay, dapat galing sa sarili nyang pera and I was thankful for that, because it just shows how sincere he is.

There are many reasons why most people choose to stay in the MU stage rather than diving fully into the relationship. One of which might be because they want to be friends first or they want to test it out if they really are a fit. Or probably, they are just afraid of commitments. Whatever those reasons may be, having a mutual understanding with someone is undeniably really complicated.

There were times na the circumstances are difficult to handle because of our situation but those were just problems. There are a hundred reasons to give up but if you like the person talaga and if you know that he or she is the real deal, then it's worth the fight.

dating to marry

Sis or bro (yes, ikaw! ..kung sino ka man..) it's okay if nandyan kayo ngayon sa stage na yan. If you're waiting for the right time, or siguro hindi pa talaga pwede. JUST MAKE SURE.. that your relationship with the person will not just end in the MU stage. Yung Godly principle parin dapat na we should DATE to MARRY. Never date just to have fun kasi you are investing your time, money and effort with someone.

So, going back to the answer I gave my friend, I told her, "I guess, the thing is, we both had a clear idea of what we want our end goal to be. Nag-work out yung sa amin kasi we want it to work out and we had a strong foundation. We hold on to Godly principles and we pray for each other."

If you are reading this because you are in this stage of your relationship or you are confused, why don't we take this moment to pray?

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the love that You have given me. It is because of this love that I am able to share it with other people. Lord, I know that You know the situation of my heart right now and I pray that You rule over me. Guide me and show me the right way. In every decision I make, I pray that it is Your will that prevails.


Discovering Dingalan, Aurora: The Batanes of the East

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Dingalan, Aurora, Philippines

Dubbed as Batanes of the East, Dingalan, Aurora is covered with its magnificent mountains and vast sea that you just can't get enough of. To be honest, when I hear the word Aurora, Baler comes in mind first, but I didn't know that something as beautiful as Dingalan also exists in the province.

Boat from the Dingalan Feeder Port

If you are looking for a place to relax and at the same time a place to be adventurous, Dingalan might be the perfect place for you. I had the opportunity to travel to Aurora last December 26-27, 2019 together with a few of my blogger friends and it was definitely enjoyable. Our whole familiarization trip was prepared by the Department of Tourism - Central Luzon (thank you also, Ma'am Pia Manabat) and Sir Peter Lising of M.A.G Travel and Tours. We arrived at Dingalan on December 26 and stayed at Coastal Cove Resort for the night. 

Orientation at the Dingalan Feeder Port
The next day, we headed to Dingalan Feeder Port for the boat hopping activity and to see the different tourist spots the town has to offer. Make sure that you coordinate with the people in charge at the port for your ride. You can also hire a tour guide from the Tourism department of Dingalan for you to fully enjoy your stay. They usually just charge 200 pesos per destination, so if you're a group of 10, imagine just paying 20 php per destination! At the Dingalan Feeder Port, you will also be oriented by your tour guide and life vests will be provided.

The tour started with the boat hopping activity. During the time we went there, the water is a bit chaotic but nothing scary. After about an hour, you will reach Lamao Cave. We weren't able to go inside the cave but I would definitely try it the next time we go to Dingalan.

White beach at Dingalan, Aurora
After boat hopping, our next destination is the White Beach. Our tour guide said that the sand on the beach used to be white, but due to a typhoon, the white sand was washed away and replaced by gray sand. Here at White Beach, you can pitch your own tent if you want to rest or you can buy fresh Coconut Juice (buko juice) to be refreshed! There is also an area where you can play volleyball with your friends. In fact, when we went there, a group of students was having their camping and some of there were playing in the area.

Trek to Mountain View
From White Beach, it takes about 30-45mins of trekking to get to the Mountain View. For me, it was supposedly an easy trail but what makes it hard is the rocky and steep path going to the summit. You also need to bring off lotion because there are lots of insects and mosquitos in the area. Also, it is advised to wear trekking shoes so that you won't slip or hurt yourself while hiking.

Region III Bloggers trekking to Mountain View
You actually have three options: you can trek to Mountain View, View Deck or the Lighthouse. In our case, we went to Mountain View and then headed over to View deck which was close. We weren't able to go to the Lighthouse anymore since we were really tired and it would take another hour to get to the destination. After almost 45 mins of trekking, you will be welcomed by the amazing view of Dingalan.

Sir Jan of Kapampangan Traveller having his photo op at the Mountain View
The first stop was the Mountain View which already showcases what Dingalan has to offer. There's a resting area there where you can sit and breathe for a few minutes before going to the View deck. The trek going to the View deck was also challenging because it was really slippery and steep but we couldn't pass seeing the view from above.

Batanes of the East
From the view above, it really looks like Batanes. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a beautiful masterpiece after an exhausting climb. This is my second climb after hiking Mt. Ulap in 2018. To be honest, I did not expect much out of this climb, but I really was in awestruck when I saw the view. I knew then that my efforts were paid off. Though Dingalan is most commonly called Batanes of the East, truly it is still unique in its own way. 

Tired but happy feet.
If you want to visit Dingalan, Aurora, you can book a tour from M.A.G Travel and Tours by messaging their facebook page or through sms at +63 927 486 2597.

I hope you get to visit Dingalan soon! 

PS: This is in collaboration with the Department of Tourism Central Luzon. All photos are post-processed in Lightroom.

blending in is boring

Friday, January 31, 2020

I finally imported some of my posts from my old domain so I'm trying to update them and publish them here again eventually. I feel like I haven't posted any fashion-related content on my blog for so long so I decided to do one.

I want to start a new sub-category on my fashion content here on the blog so this would be the first entry for my "I Thrifted This" category. This was supposed to be in my second thrift lookbook on my youtube channel but I'm still not finished filming the whole thing so I'll just share it here with you. If you want to watch my first thrift lookbook here it is.

Recently, I've been loving the color of lavender. If my future job/work would permit me, I would really love to have a lavender-colored hair later this year! Anyway, I extremely love this top I bought from a thrift store. It's in great condition and I scored this for just 45 php! What I really like about it is its neckline and also the fact that it is a cropped top.

I've been getting a lot of compliments on these pants that I'm wearing because it kind of looks like a cargo pants which is quite trendy nowadays. I paired the outfit with my old rose-colored Vans for a comfy look. I would love to wear this on the streets of Seoul on a Spring/Summer day!

I bought three tote bags when I was in Japan and this is one of them. I. AM. OBSESSED. This one only costs around 300 yen which is roughly around 150 php!

I actually don't know what my style is, it usually varies depending on my mood on that day. This one is just a casual and comfy look, nothing over the top. I realized that maybe I should make a fashion inspiration or mood board entry soon because that would really be fun!

What are your favorite fashion pieces recently? Who is your fave icon/fashion blogger/celeb?

take me back, cebu! + tips and guide on what to do in cebu

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 Cebu, Philippines

It feels like an eternity since I last posted on my blog. Lol. But since I traveled to Cebu last November, I believe this deserves to be posted. I still feel like I haven’t really moved on because I wanted to stay for just a few more days but of course we have responsibilities, amiright?

Oh. My. Gosh., Cebu. Where do I start? 

This is actually the first time my boyfriend and I traveled by plane together. We’ve been to Baguio, La Union, Pampanga, Manila, Batangas, and Mt. Ulap together but never outside Luzon. Thankfully, we scored a cheaper flight during the Cebu Pac sale. With just less than 1500 PHP each, we were able to book our roundtrip ticket for Cebu.

Tip #1: Turn on notifications for airlines such as PAL, AirAsia, CebPac and more so you can be updated on seat sales. 

I had a really bad experience before with CebPac circa 2015 during our flight to Palawan. My brother and I, together with my Uncle and a churchmate, slept on the floor of NAIA Terminal 3 because apparently our flight got delayed and was moved the next day. Good thing though, we didn’t experience that on our Cebu trip last month. Cebu Pacific also notifies you of changes in flight schedule ahead of time on your email and even through text so be sure to put your correct contact number and email when booking. 

Believe me, there were so many epic moments during our whole Cebu adventure. I "slept" around 10pm last Nov. 6 at my boyfriend’s tita’s house. We were supposed to commute the next day at 1am to Clark International Airport but I couldn't really sleep. When sleep finally hit me, oh boy did it hit me hard, the next day at around 1:30am, I was awoken by a loud banging on the window. Alas, I was already late for our call time.

We rode a bus going to DAU Terminal, and from there we took the jeep going straight to Clark Airport. The fee was 100.00 PHP for each passenger. I was nervous that we wouldn't be able to get there on time but good thing we arrived at around 3:30am there. Our boarding time was at 4:15 am. I don't know if it's "the norm" in Clark Airport, but our baggage wasn't weighed though we were only allowed to have a 7kg carry-on bag. By the way, we also paid 150.00 PHP for the terminal fee which is fairly cheap compared to other airports.

Tip #2: Arrive an hour or two earlier at the airport to make sure you won't miss your flight.

OKAY, so we arrived Cebu at around 6:00am and we were supposed to ride MYBUS which only costs 50.00 PHP going to SM City Cebu but when we asked some of the staff in the airport, they said that we would have to wait until 7:00 am to ride so we opted to book a grab going to our accommodation.

Tip #3: If you booked a tour without accommodation, you should try booking an Airbnb. Make sure you book ahead of time so that you will be able to score great places to stay. If you want to have an extra discount of up to 2,200 pesos on your next booking, register through my link here.

Our first day was actually what we consider a "rest day" because basically, we wanted to get settled first before going to different places AND we were really tired so we rested first. Ate Cleah, who is a close friend of mine, and I planned to meet in Cebu because she was relocated there for her job and fortunately, we got to see each other! We dined at this cute restaurant in IT Park called The Pyramid. It's like Louvre Pyramid-inspired. The food was good and they have promos, too.

Oh, and by the way, we booked two joiner tours, Cebu City and Oslob, at Cebu Affordable Tour which is way cheaper (if you're only 2-4 pax) than the private tour—that is if you don't mind being with strangers, of course.

DAY 1 (of Tour)  — Nov. 8, 2019 | Cebu City

We started the tour at around 10 in the morning which was the Cebu City tour. Here's the list of the places we went to:
📍 House of Lechon
📍 Pasalubong Center
📍 10000 ROSES

OKAY FIRST, since you have plenty of places to go to, the tour guide will only let you wander around the specified locations for 30 minutes so make sure to take photos fast because the time allotted is really short.

Sirao Flower Garden/Flower Farm. This was the first place we went to and the place is Bali and Amsterdam-inspired. Make sure to take photos on the "big hand" concrete though it may look scary, just don't look down and you're good. Lol. You should also try their Bali-inspired nests!

There are stalls there that sell souvenirs and snacks. I recommend their fruit shakes, they're very refreshing! I also bought sweet corn which is my favorite.

Temple of Leah. Out of all the places we went to on the City tour, this one is my favorite! Temple of Leah is actually owned by the family of Ellen Adarna and currently, some parts of it are still under construction. This place is just instagram-worthy and you get a view of the city, too!

Props to my instagram boyfriend for taking my photos lol.

Tip #4: Bring extra clothes during your tour for photoshoot purposes! Lol. I really wanted to change my clothes but we were running out of time since I took many photos here. Anyway, you should bring two sets of clothes to change! 

Taoist Temple. I wasn't able to take many photos here because we were already tired. #oldies haha! But you should try the binoculars there, just insert a 10-peso-coin and you will be able to see the view.

House of Lechon. The ambiance was really nice and they have these cute kaldero for their rice. We actually ordered Lechon because, well, Cebu is known for their infamous Lechon but sadly, we weren't given any since they ran out of stocks. Thankfully, people from our table offered us so we got a taste of the Lechon. 

We also went to a pasalubong center but the items there were so pricey. It wasn't worth it to buy. I really don't know where to buy cheap souvenirs in Cebu but you can buy straight from the airport at Island Souvenirs, the items there are cute and affordable, too! Shirts have very nice design and they also have dried mangoes.

Sto. Nino Church and Magellan's Cross. Both of these are just in one location. It is believed that the Sto. Nino Church or the Basilica del Santo Nino is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country. When we went there, there was a mass going on so we didn't stay too long. There are some people who sell keychains here too and it's way cheaper than buying from pasalubong centers.

Fort San Pedro. Originally, this is a military defense structure built under the ruling of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. It has a museum inside where you can see portraits of Magellan, Lapu-Lapu, and others.

1000 Roses. I've seen photos of this one on instagram before and yes, it's pretty in person but I wasn't able to appreciate it more since I haven't seen it during day time. It has a cafe, but we weren't able to try it because it was already closed by the time we arrived.

Oh, and by the way, those aren't real roses but led-powered roses and I'm not sure if there are really 10,000 of them. Lol. Anyway, all entrance fees were already paid by our tour guide so I'm not sure how much is the entrance fee.

Tip #5: From my own experience, the tour was really tiring since you'd be in 9 destinations in just one day and in just a short amount of time on each location. I suggest you just create a DIY tour and choose which locations to go to. For me, Temple of Leah and Sirao Flower Garden are must-go places for IG-worthy pictures. 😉

DAY 2 (of Tour)  — Nov. 9, 2019 | Oslob & Sumilon Island

For this tour, we got up at 2AM and waited for the van that will send us to Oslob. There were only six of us in the van including the driver for the tour which was actually nice because we get to sleep comfortably (since it was spacious) during the 4-hour-ride to Oslob. 

When we arrived at Oslob, we had to walk for at least 5-min to get to the registration area. We didn't have to register, actually, because the agency already did it for us. We only had to wait a few minutes before it was our turn.

I can say that the whole experience was surreal and a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was amazing to see these big creatures you only used to see in pictures now before your eyes. Although this was a nice experience, there are long term effects for this kind of tourism and I only got to know about it after our trip. If you ever want to try Oslob Whale Shark Watching, you should read this article first.

After Oslob, we headed to Sumilon Island which is approximately 20-min boat ride away from Oslob. Sumilon is a beautiful white-sand island and the water is amazingly clear.

There's actually a sandbar, but our guide said that since it's habagat season, the sandbar is nowhere to be found. But if you visit during summer (March to September) you'll be able to see it.

We arrived at the airport at around 6 PM and we were actually nervous that our baggage was too heavy because we didn't purchase additional baggage but thankfully, we didn't have any excess baggage. Cebu was really a beautiful place and there are still places I want to visit like Bantayan Island, Kawasan Falls and many more. I really cannot wait to come back hopefully next year! 

If you want to see snippets of our trip to Cebu, watch my vlog here: 

Have you been to Cebu? What's your favorite tourist destination there?

if there's no tomorrow by jennifer armentrout — a book review

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

I am back with a book review! Recently, I forced myself to read a book because I wanted to be productive. Haha! Soooo, I rummaged through my collection of books and found this one which I haven't read before. I kind of have this habit of buying books and then place them somewhere in my room and totally forget about it. This book was purchased when I was in NBS Baguio last month. I was searching for books to buy because there was a huge sale (60 to 80 percent off) and then this one caught my eye. I actually couldn't believe it was on sale because duh it's J.Lynn!! So of course, I immediately grabbed ahold of it and went straight to the cashier.


tips to survive your (first) big bad wolf book sale

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Last February 21, I was one of the lucky people who got to attend Big Bad Wolf Manila's VIP Day. I remember discovering this event for the first time last year but unfortunately that time, I was not able to go. So, when a Big Bad Wolf (BBW) poster/ad landed on my news feed early this Feb, I immediately decided that this year I will definitely attend. So here are the things I learned and experienced during my first BBW Manila and hopefully, this would help you on your next book quest.
𝓽𝓲𝓹𝓼 𝓽𝓸 𝓼𝓾𝓻𝓿𝓲𝓿𝓮 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓯𝓲𝓻𝓼𝓽 𝓫𝓲𝓰 𝓫𝓪𝓭 𝔀𝓸𝓵𝓯

 1. Join contests! Just like what I mentioned earlier, I was soooo lucky to win a VIP pass. Actually, I was at work that time when I saw a contest update from the BBW facebook page. All I had to do was to share their post and tag a few of my friends and of course use their hashtag #ImGoingToBBWManila. They chose their winners according to who shared the post fastest. This is where I got my VIP pass! But don't worry because they still hold a few more other contests aside from that. Aside from that, during the duration of the book sale, they also have a photo contest that has generous prizes, too, so don't forget to join that also! This year, their prizes were a 700php voucher, also a 1000php food panda voucher, and *drum roll please* a bookshelf worth of books!

2. Prepare a list of what you like to buy. Of course, it'll be a better experience if you come there prepared! And it would save you some time if you know what you're looking for. Although there's nothing really wrong with being spontaneous.

3. Eat before you go inside. Before I went to Manila, I wasn't able to have a proper breakfast and even lunch because I went to the dentist before traveling. When I arrived there at the World Trade Center, it was already 3pm. I suggest you eat before going at BBW because you'll definitely feel exhausted after doing rounds at the sale. They don't allow water and food inside, btw!

4. Bring your own eco bag, backpack or luggage. The plastic bags they provide can't really hold your books for too long. You can opt to bring your own eco bag or backpack to lessen the use of plastics! Some even bring suitcases because they buy loads of books.

5. If you find something you like, put it on your cart asap. Some books, especially popular ones, are fast-selling. So if you got your hands on them make sure to hold them tight. Lol. Kidding aside, you should keep them on your cart because you can always decide what you want to buy at the cashier.

6. Wear comfortable clothes. I was so exhausted the time we finished looking around. Some people stay there for 5 hours and more and if you're one of those people who will search around the whole area, I suggest you wear clothes you're comfortable with.

7. It's okay to ask other bookworms or staff. So, when I was in BBW I saw Glass Sword on another person's cart. I have the first book which is the Red Queen so I've searched the YA section for it but couldn't find it anywhere. I regretted not asking the girl! GaAaAHhh!! We were also looking for The Little Prince but this time, we asked one of the staff but sadly, I think it was out of stock. :(

8. Look for gems on abandoned carts. This is one of the most important tips I can give you which I also got from Ate Cleah (hi ate~ lol). You need to search for books on abandoned carts!! Those are books that are specifically chosen by other bookworms so you might get some good titles from there! We actually saw Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children there which is one of the books Ate Cleah's friend was looking for.

I hope these tips will help you on your next quest for finding your favorite books! Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is still on-going until March 4 and it's open 24 hrs! On other news, Manila International Book Fair is my next target and it will be happening in September this year. I hope to see you there! To know more about my BBW experience, watch my vlog below.

Did you go to the Big Bad Wolf Manila? What did you buy? If not, what are the tips you have when buying on (book)sales?

la union took my breath away

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Traveling is one of the things that makes me super happy. I just really love being to places I've never been to before. And before going to different countries, of course, we wanted to explore the Philippines first.

Last month, Julian and I planned to go to La Union for February 9. But due to our mismatched schedules, we had to move it to February 16. We only stayed there for a day because we weren't allowed to stay overnight (strict ang parentals lol) and also we had other priorities the next day (church day). I booked a tour for both of us on Facebook. If you want to travel and book tours or even do DIY travel, you should join this group because it's really helpful.

We were asked to go to McDonald's Motorway to wait for the van at 2:00 am. After the van arrived we headed to Pangasinan for a stopover. We arrived there at around 3:25 am. I seriously forgot the name of the restaurant/diner but the beef mami we bought was super delicious. It costs about 80 php a bowl. I don't have a photo of it, but you can view my vlog below and you'll see what it looks like!

At around 6:12 am, we arrived at San Gabriel, La Union where we rode a jeepney going to Tangadan Falls drop off area. At first, we stayed inside the jeep but halfway through, our tour guide said we can ride on the top load to have the full experience. The ride was about 20 mins long (?) and my butt hurt a lot hahaha but definitely, the view was amazing.

When we arrived at the drop-off area, we trekked for about 20-30 mins until we arrived at Tangadan Falls at 7:00 am. I really wanted to swim and try bamboo rafting but it's too early in the morning and the water was so cold. Haha. We were also following a schedule so we couldn't stay there for too long.

But if you'll ever visit here someday, you should try rafting! I would definitely do it next time! The only problem is when you go back to the drop-off area, you have to trek back which is so tiring. The ~stairs~ up were too steep so we felt exhausted immediately.

At 9:57 am, we arrived at San Juan Beach, La Union. It wasn't a white beach but the sand was refined and the view was picturesque. To be honest, I am really scared of swimming at the beach. My mind is constantly full of worries about drowning and jellyfishes and what not. But I truly enjoyed my time here in San Juan Beach. I hope I get to experience watching the sunrise and sunset by the shore someday.

We had our lunch break afterward and went to Arubayan ni Ysabelle. For only 168 pesos you can eat all you want for lunch and/or dinner. They also offer a breakfast buffet for as low as 119 pesos. If you have a sweet tooth, just add 50 pesos on top of your meal and you can indulge in sweets and rice cakes as many times as you want!

The next stop was at Ma-Cho Temple which is located at San Fernando, La Union. It is a Taoist Temple to the Chinese sea-godess Mazu. You can clearly see the view of the sea on the second floor of the temple.

outfit details:
top — bikini (from a friend's instagram shop)
maxi skirt — yvanna's
hat — sm department store
eyeglasses — pacific blue (lens from EO)
sandals — my sister's

At this point, Julian and I were already exhausted so after Ma-Cho Temple, we didn't leave the van. We stayed there and slept almost the whole duration of the other places our other tour-mates went to. Lol. I believe they went to some wine shop and the famous grapes farm in La Union. We also went to Poro point, where we willingly got out of the van to take a break from napping. We ate ice cream there and afterward, went to a pasalubong center. 

We weren't able to visit Thunder Bird Resort which was one of the places I was looking forward to together with Bahay na Bato. Sadly, the tour coordinator said that we can't tour all over La Union in just a day which I understand because we're basically zombies already.

Here is a breakdown of our expenses:
Tour package - 999 pesos per pax
Tangadan Jeep Rental and Tour Guide Fee - 200 pesos per pax
San Juan Beach (Entrace & Shower) - 80 pesos per pax
Arubayan ni Ysabelle Lunch - 168 pesos per pax
Pasalubong - (optional) 220 pesos

Over all, we spent more or less 1700 pesos each. You can definitely spend less if you won't rent a jeepney to Tangadan Falls and trek for 3hrs. I hope you're enjoying your week so far! If you want to watch my travel diary on youtube, here it is..

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