Shiny, Happy People

“No regrets, just love.”
—the great Sandra Pineda, er, Katy Perry

Cheers from team OK! Philippines (clockwise from left:  Kabbie, Red, Fran, Sandra, Frances, Lana, Joanna, Mary Love, Jay and me) one last time.






Le sigh.

P.S. You can read more about OK!’s final staff shoot on Frances’s blog (click here and here).

Photos by Mitch Mauricio. Hair by Marie Tan and Jay Aquino. Makeup by Myrene Santos for MAC and Cherry Pacheco. Shot on location at Mango Tree, Bonifacio High Street Central.

Grateful (and great-ful)

I have to admit: I’ve accomplished far less than what I had planned to do this 2012.

My plans to take up swimming classes? Pushed back again and again for various reasons—i.e swimming money became digiperm money; fear of the ugly swimming cap (true story!). That little side business? A lot of ideas, yes. Just never found the time to actually execute them. My writing project? Got started one rainy day but haven’t touched the file since.

Plus, there’s a stack of unread books by my bedside table, folders upon folders of unwatched shows and movies in my USB drives, a notebook of still unchecked to-do’s and unfulfilled life plans. They’re mostly trivial, my so-called life plans, but still. I really thought 2012 was the year that I was going to learn how to do more than dog-paddle.

But while I’m not exactly where I had imagined I’d be, I can honestly say that—well, except for the incapacity for swimming—I’m closing the year in a very good place. And I attribute this to two life-changing events that happened in the last quarter.

The first—also my personal high—happened on the day of my 27th birthday. On October 14, exactly eight years and eight months since we first started dating, Mr. R asked me, on bended knee, to be his yaya wife! =) I won’t detail how it happened but I will tell you my favorite part, which he denies: He cried! It was the most surreal, heart-melting moment of my life. We plan to get hitched in early 2014, just in time for our tenth anniversary (‘cause we’re cheesy that way).

The second event, I saw it as a tragic blow at first. OK! Philippines, the magazine I’ve been working for for the past four years, was folding. More than losing my job, I mourned over losing my work family—the crazy awesome OK! staff whom I love to bits. TO BITS! I cried for days, moped for weeks, and up until now, would get pangs of sadness whenever I’d pass by our old aisle or see a Hollywood report that we could’ve written about.

But then I learned to deal with it. Sabi nga ni Mareng Marilyn Monroe, ‘Sometimes, good things have to fall apart so that better things can fall together.” True enough, on OK!’s last working day, I found out that I scored a spot in another big title, Good Housekeeping Philippines, and was given the opportunity to be part of another amazing team. Plus, I landed a slew of rakets along the way! It’s true what they say: When God closes a window—you know what’s next. You just really have to trust that He’ll open those doors for you.

So, yes, I am very grateful—for these two events and all else that happened this year, like learning how to wakeboard, seeing two of my closest friends get married, meeting and touching Ian Somerhalder, and becoming a chihuahua grandmomma. Life has dealt me a pretty good hand, so I really have no reason to complain.

With that, here’s to 2012—its highs and lows, all the new people, experiences, and blessings that came with it, and everything else in between (armpits burned via IPL included, haha!). It’s been pretty darn awesome, and I could only hope that 2013 will be even better.

Happy New Year, everyone!

The Recap

Every summer has a story. Or if you’re lucky, stories! Here, my top 7.

Went Wakeboarding in CWC, visited the famous Caramoan Islands, climbed up and down a sea cliff, and rode the habal-habal for the first time. With Lhen. In dripping beachwear. For P10.

Completed my first managing editor stint for K-Zone’s Boredom Busters Book 3. Took a lot of work but was so worth it in the end. The book’s still on stands if you haven’t grabbed one yet for your younger sib/nephew/niece/self. And yes, I just had to sneak that last sentence in.

Traveled with the muther and visited Taiwan, which I didn’t realize was so near the Philippines (Hello, geography). Went gaga at the Shi Lin Night Market and got overenthusiastic about the pandas and penguins and giraffes at the zoo. Didn’t spot the F4 guys anywhere, though.

Made a ton of new friends in Boracay and attended my first frisbee party, which shocked the Maria Clara in me. That is all I’m going to say about it. On this blog anyway!

Went on a road trip with fellow beauty writers for Orly’s Feel the Vibe Summer Collection (my first beauty junket, too). Destination? The beautiful Pico de Loro. Loved the resort, loved the company, loved the nail polish.

Met, interviewed, shook hands with, touched and sniffed Ian Somerhalder a.k.a. top 3 in my guys-I’d-like-to-be-locked-in-a-room-with list. And saw Queen B in the flesh! Thank you, Penshoppe. Zac Efron next, please.

Got reunited with my adorably kulit cousins fromCebu. The highlight of their stay? When Sabine and I beat the manhood out of Enzo and Kuya on Wii Sports’ Bowling. *evil girly laugh*


Giveaway Alert! Just Because It’s (Still) Summer

You’d probably think it’s crazy for me to say this given the DEATHLY HEAT we’ve all been experiencing, but I’ll say it anyway: I love summer. I’m a sucker for all that it stands for—beach trips, mango shakes, golden tans, the excuse to wear short shorts anywhere, and even classes letting out (less traffic for us to deal with!).

I particularly love this year’s, mainly because of the trips I’ve been on so far (which I haven’t found time to blog about yet, hihi!).  I hope to do so soon, but in the meantime, I feel like giving a toast to summer and travels with a fun giveaway! (After all, who doesn’t love freebies?)

Up for grabs: A 50ml bottle of Escada’s Limited Edition Sexy Graffiti Eau de Toilette!

So chic and cute—and in my fave color, too! (Random thought: Can you spot Ian Somerhalder in this pic? Haha!)

I love this scent—it has a fruity floral fragrance with a touch of mint. Delicious and sexy, it’s the perfect perfume for a night of cocktails with the girls or a stylish party in the city (It’s actually inspired by summer memories in New York City!). Very Gossip Girl, if you ask me!

Want it? Here’s how to join!

1. Like OK! Philippines on Facebook.
2. Post this on your Facebook wall and tag three of your friends. And oh, don’t forget to tag OK! Philippines, too, so we can see your entries!
I love summer! @Friend1 @Friend2 @Friend3 @OK! Philippines #summerscentgiveaway
3. You can post as many entries as you want until 12 noon of Saturday, May 19.
4. The lucky winner will be randomly selected and notified on Saturday night.

———-UPDATE! Deadline’s extended until 12 noon of Monday, May 21. Go go go!————–

That’s eeet!

This is the first time I’m doing this on my blog (and it won’t be the last time! *wink*) so I’m excited to see what happens. Hope you’ll join! Good luck! =)

Escada Summer Fashion Fragrances are exclusively distributed by Rustan Marketing Corporation and are available in all leading department stores nationwide.

Long Weekend-er


…to be productive for just one day—just ONE—out of the five-day holiday
…to start taking things out of your closet with the objective of a major clean-up, but end up stuffing them back in—in the same disorderly (sometimes worse) manner
…to eat breakfast at 11:30 am, lunch at 3:00 p.m. and dinner at 9:00 p.m. No one’s keeping tabs.
…to not finish the traditional Good Friday procession again. Let’s just say it’s part of tradition.
…to be at the mall on Black Saturday. Just to get some air.
…to feel just a little bit sorry for yourself when you put that dress back into the rack because you’ve maxed out on your spending rights for the day.
…to be afraid to look at your Piggie (expense-tracking) app because it only makes you feel bad about yourself.
…to not feel embarassed when your mom walks in on you watching Game of Thrones while a raunchy sex scene’s unfolding. (Side note: My mom’s reaction? “Bomba yan ah!” To which I casually replied, “Hindi puro ganyan yan. Maganda yan!”)




Yesterday, during Easter mass, the priest told us, “Instead of complaining and saying, ‘I don’t have everything to enjoy life,’ we should say, ‘I have life to enjoy everything.’”

This line struck a chord because true enough, I’ve been worrying a lot about life—and my spending/saving habits—a lot lately (That’s what happens when you turn 26 years old and start googling, ‘What’s the decent net worth of a 26-year-old?’).

Plus, just the previous day, I was in Forever 21 sulking, wishing I could buy ALL the pretty outfits that caught my eye (See item #6 in previous list). Super babaw, I know, but I’m sure if you’re a girl, this has happened to you, too. (Aaaaand admit it, it doesn’t seem so babaw when you’re in there, surrounded by such beautiful things!)

So anyway, here’s me, saying sorry for being such an ungrateful human being (I know I’m far more blessed than what my mind has me thinking sometimes) and promising to be more appreciate of what I do have… which is actually a lot!

I hope the Easter season has you feeling grateful, too, no matter what state of life you’re in. =]


Orange You Glad

The team had its anniversary issue staff shoot two Fridays ago (OK! turns 7 this April!) and we couldn’t resist squeezing in a few cray-cray shots just for kicks.

From left to right: Art Director Red de Leon, Features Editor (and expectant mom) Joanna Mendoza, Editorial Assistant Sandra Pineda (our newest team member!), Assistant Publisher Mary Love Siy, fish-faced me, Managing Editor Lana Chan (who’s channeling Rooney Mara, BTW), Editor-in-Chief Frances Sales (also preggy and glowing!), Fashion Columnist Jay Santiago, Associate Fashion Editor Kabbie Rodriguez and Beauty Columnist Nichole Mercado.

You may recognize the gorgeous Nikki (far right)—she’s The Picky Dresser (Her fashion blog is absolute fabulosity!).

Clearly, we’re riding the tangerine bandwagon (It’s the color of the year!). Too bad Red, Joanna, Lana and Jay already changed into their own clothes when these wacky pics were taken.

Anyway, you can see the final shots (where we looked pretty respectable, haha) in our April issue in a few weeks—it’s also our Will and Kate wedding anniversary special, BTW. In the meantime, the March issue is still out in case you haven’t bought a copy yet. Heehee. It’s our first flip-cover ish (but still at P140!) so you cannot not have it.

Emma Stone + Ryan Gosling + Hunger Games! (3 of my fave things on the cover!) And oh, we have an interview with Papa Zac Efron inside, too. <3 And then when you flip the magazine over, you have this:

I’m sooo proud of this I could cry. Ha! Introducing the very first issue of OK! Glam! It’s a 10-page fashion and beauty shopping special (*chest bump, Kabbie!*)  and I’m excited for every one to see it. Tell me if it made you want to shop, shop, shop, ’cause if it did, then it means we did our job. :]

Happy Sunday!

Staff photos by Keith Dador. Hair by Muriel Vega Perez and Hyatt Laurel. Makeup by Tatin Yang and Byron Velasquez for MAC. Styling by Kabbie Rodriguez.

I Heart Summer

Kicked off “Summer of 2012″ with a four-day trip to Camarines Sur last week with the Kaladkarin Gang (the awesomest travel companions in ze world!). Currently sunburnt and seadrunk. Will regale you with stories of our (mis) adventures as soon as I recover. :]




“If you don’t take a chance, you never really have one.”

Found my “Dreams and DO-ITs” notebook today and realized that I’ve barely made a dent on my long-term to-do lists like ‘books to read,’ ‘movies to watch,’ and ‘dreams to fulfill’——i.e. grow boobs (haha), write a novel, and start my own business.

So here’s me promising to sleep and procrastinate less, and to stop wasting SO MUCH TIME playing Temple Run.

I’m claiming 2012 to be the year when I finally make things happen.

Wish me luck!

P.S. Ticked off my to-do list today: Change my blog’s theme. Baby steps!

The Final Two (taken at two shoots!)

And finally, the last two photos for my 30-day challenge… which I managed to complete in SEVENTY-FOUR days. HAHA! This MUST be some kind of record.

Anywaaaay, I’m so glad I had two shoots this week (the source of these photos!). Here we go!

Photo 29: Black and White

Gorgeousness even in B&W!

Can you make out who that is? It’s YouTube sensation-turned-recording artist Marié Digby! We were lucky enough to book her for a beauty shoot for OK! Philippines and OMG, she’s the sweetest girl ever. No airs, no diva attitude, nothing—just a super down-to-earth girl who’s sooo easy to work with. On top of that, she’s beyond pretty! I can’t wait for you guys to see the final photos in the magazine—in the January 2012 issue pa, though. Hehe (which is why I can’t post more pics!). But I promise to do a detailed behind-the-scenes entry once the issue hits the stands.

While waiting for that, though, do grab a copy of her latest CD called Your Love. It features new singles (and a duet with Sam Milby!) plus my fave Marié song, “Say It Again.”

Loooove her!

Photo 30: Self-portrait

This week, we also had our annual Christmas staff shoot!

The theme: Harry Potter (meets Gossip Girl meets Glee? Haha!)

Sinong chumu-chubs? Haha! Photo by Mitch Mauricio (shot on location at Café 1771, El Pueblo), makeup by Cherry Pacheco-Uy, hair by Marie Tan, styling by Kabbie Rodriguez (outfit from Forever 21). This is just a ‘just-for-fun-solo-shot’ that’s not coming out in the mag so might as well post it here! What’s coming out in the mag is our super cute group photo a la Team Gryffindor (which explains the color combinations!). Watch for it on Frances‘s ed’s note in the December issue, which comes out in two weeks!

Call me biased but methinks it’s our best staff photo yet—and most memorable, too, since during our shoot, something magical happened: Our associate fashion editor Kabbie got a movie-like proposal from her longtime boyfriend Mitor! Aaah, I love happy endings!

You can read all about that adorable proposal here on Kabbie’s blog. I swear, suuuuuper kilig! =) Congrats again to the lovely lovely couple!

And speaking of congratuleyshens, aren’t you gonna congratulate me for finally finishing this blog challenge? Haha, FAIL man when it comes to sticking to the “30-day” requirement, SUCCESS naman in making it to the finish line. So I guess this makes it a… SEMI-SUCCESS?! Regardless, I’m still happy I took on this project. Hirap but fun!

Happy Sunday! =)

Label Love

Happy purchases: My pretty customized bands from The Bead Shop!

Didn't take me long to figure out which two words I wanted!

The second word’s pretty self-explanatory (that’s been my label since my skinny schoolgirl days) while the first can be best explained by taking one look at me. Ha! If you don’t get what I mean, let’s just pretend the word describes my totally mischievous personality. =P

Back view: Gotta love these snaps!

I love that they come with automatic snaps which make them super easy to wear and remove (read: no buckles!).

There were a lot of different styles with all sorts of words available but I wanted my own labels so I had to wait for three days for customized versions. For these, I paid around P295 a piece—that includes the additional charge for having the metal plate personalized (around P50, if I remember correctly). You can also choose the colors of the bands, the font (only two choices though: all caps or small letters) and even the size of the band and the metal plate.

My friend Ade got the thicker versions (click here), which are cute, too! I think hers are among the ready-made styles.

I think I need one more. Or MORE! =)

Now I’m hooked and I want to get some more, in all sorts of fun words and colors! I’m thinking these would make pretty awesome gifts, too, yes? If only there’s a cheaper supplier. Heehee. I have a pretty good idea about where I can get the bands, the problem is finding someone who does engraved plates like these.

If you have any ideas, please do share!

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