Saturday, December 15, 2018

Spotify Wrapped: Which Songs Shaped Your 2018?

Spotify has been a part of my life ever since it came out and I use it practically everyday: when I work out, on road trips, and when I'm feeling "certain kinds of moods". I don't really pay much attention or keep tabs of what I listen to on a daily basis, so finding out what my year has been like through Spotify Wrapped is always fun.

If you're a Spotify Premium subscriber, as well, you might want to check it out to find out what your past 365 days of Spotify music has been like.



The slideshow starts with the first song that you listened to in 2018 and the first artist that you discovered. It seems fitting that I started the year on an emo note coz, well, that's me.


It is then followed by a quick quiz where you guess how many minutes you listed to Spotify in 2018. I guessed correctly: 5,270. Apparently, that's 74% more minutes than last year.


Not surprised that my favorite artist of the year was Panic! at the Disco. I was, after all, prepping for their concert by listening to them for months non-stop (which I was able to attend a few months 


Other top artists were of course, my all-time favorites Incubus and Ed Sheeran. And I also went through a musical phase coz of 'The Greatest Showman' (I mean, come on. Who didn't?)


My favorite part about this slideshow, though, is the part where they put all of your favorite songs of 2018 together in a playlist, so you can listen to your top 100 tracks of the year.



They also curate a playlist called 'Tastebreakers' for you, where you can find a group of artists and songs that Spotify thinks you might like based on the music that you listened to in 2018. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how spot-on Spotify can be when it comes to this. Besides, who doesn't love discovering new amazing music?

Just click on 'For You' in the app to find these playlists.

Of course, Spotify also offers you the chance to share your 2018 on various social media accounts; but since I loved the slideshow so much, I decided to blog about it instead.


Would love it if you shared your top songs of the year with me. As mentioned earlier, I LOVE discovering new music, so please do send some over for my enjoyment! :D Love you, guys!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Find the Perfect Belle de Jour Planner for 2019

I've been a Bella (a Belle de Jour girl) ever since I moved to the Philippines almost a decade ago. I was in love with their convenient and useful planner (there was only one back then). I had even subscribed to their BDJ Box back in the day and religiously attended all of the BDJ events I could attend.

This year, they've got a wide array of planners for you to choose from - with styles that will suit any lifestyle, but all of which aim to help you try, dare, succeed, experience, and live. Check them out:

Belle de Jour Power Planner

(Php598 to Php980)

The Belle de Jour Power Planner is a fun one, filled with worksheets about lifestyle, fashion, career, and finance so you can get to know your mood, strengths, priorities, and goals better. It also has a pocket sleeve where you can keep your cards, bills, and receipts.




Navi Journal

(Php598)


Love to travel Then the Navi Journal is for you. Instead of just sightseeing on your trips, the Navi Journal challenges you to really immerse yourself in every place that you visit and take parts in its traditions and festivals. It also comes with a packing checklist, a bucket list, and a list of must-see places.

Everything is Possible

Php598


If you want to meet your goals this 2019, get the EIP planner, which hopes to empower you to reach your goals this coming year.

Focus Journal

(Php498)


Focusing is never easy nowadays, especially in this fast-paced world we currently live in. The Focus Journal hopes to help you find clarity and calm this 2010 with sheets that will help you write down your thoughts and worries, and discover your real purpose and desires.

Essentials Planner

(Php380)


Are you a minimalist? Then you'll love the designs of the Essential Planner, which is ideal for both bullet journaling and creative journaling. Although I wouldn't consider myself a minimalist in real life, these are my favorite BDJ planners this year as I can get as creative as I'd like with them.

Quest Journal

(Php280 to Php480)


If you're the type who likes getting creative, you might want to consider the Quest Journal, as well. It comes in different colors of the same classic design and has refillable and interchangeable notebooks to suit your lifestyle as needed.

Gameplan

(Php180)


Choose your inspirational quote and stay on top of your game. Each of these planners is good for three months and is filled with dotted space for bullet journaling and timestamps to plan your days by the hour.

They also have notebooks and stickers and other items that will turn your 2019 into the most organized and most fun one of your planner life.

Want to win your BDJ planner of choice? Join the Rafflecopter contest here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 7, 2018

Game of Thrones Fans Will Love This Limited Edition White Walker Whisky in Manila

Calling all of my fellow Game of Thrones fans and all of my fellow alcohol aficionados! For months, I've been waiting for the announcement that the Johnnie Walker Game of Thrones-inspired White Walker whisky would make it to our shores. And now, winter is definitely coming to the Philippines if only in the form of this bad-ass drink.

I went to the launch of the White Walker whisky here in Manila last night. It was held at Run Rabbit Run in Poblacion and my geeky heart was once again incredibly happy.

Before even entering Run Rabbit Run, an Iron Throne was outside for us to take photos on:



Empty bottles of the new White Walker by Johnnie Walker were also on display at the registration booth. Drawing inspiration from the winters North of the Wall, the bottle's icy white and blue design is the perfect backdrop for the iconic Johnnie Walker Striding Man now fashioned in armor to fit in among the ranks of the Night King's forces.


How cool is that bottle? Wait til you stick it in the freezer!!! Thanks to temperature-sensitive ink technology, fans will be reminded that "Winter is Here" from an unexpected icy reveal on the bottle when frozen.

The whole place was Game of Thrones-inspired!

Even the food had a royal feast fit for the show!

Naturally, the drinks were Game of Thrones-inspired, as well. Before introducing the new drink, we got to try the following at the ground floor of the bar:

The refreshingly delicious Black Wild Fire made with Johnnie Walker Black Label, grapefruit juice, lime soda, a grapefruit slice, and dill.

The super strong Red Throne Highball made with Johnnie Walker Red Label, ginger ale, tonic water, and rosemary.

Upstairs, they had prepared a super cold room for us complete with smoke machines, cotton in place of snow, and ice sculptures with White Walker bottles stuck in them.

So cool!

This is where Nico Bolzico told us more about the new White Walker by Johnnie Walker.


Known for their icy blue eyes and led by the Night King, the undead army of White Walkers is amazingly captured in this limited edition whisky that evokes their icy world.


Created by whisky specialist George Harper and a small team of expert blenders at Johnnie Walker, this innovative whisky is best served directly from the freezer at 1.5 degrees and develops layers of flavors as it warms to room temperature. It is definitely an entirely new experience (or at least it was for me).


On the second floor, we also got to try cocktails mixed by the sixth best bartender in the world!!! And boy were those drinks to die for (pun intended). Called the Night King's Sour (made with White Walker by Johnnie Walker, blue curacao, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and white grape juice), it was one of the best cocktails I've ever had in my life. Not exaggerating!


It was actually so good, I had five glasses of the cocktail. Not exaggerating. Don't worry, though, as Johnnie Walker always makes sure to "drink responsibly". As such, glasses of water were passed around during the event to ensure that everyone had fun and no one went home feeling like death (pun intended again).


Cesar Gangoso, Marketing Director of Diageo Philippines, explains that "White Walker by Johnnie Walker was created in celebration of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, and is the perfect gift for Game of Thrones fans or anyone who appreciates great Scotch whisky."


Have any friends or family members who are Game of Thrones fans> This is the perfect Christmas gift for them, whether they drink or not, because the bottle in itself looks absolutely amazing. I gave my bottle to my dad as an early Christmas gift and he was so in awe of it.

White Walker by Johnnie Walker will be available until supplies last starting on December 10, 2018 for Php1,299 at http://www.spiritsbyjohnnie.com and all leading supermarkets nationwide. We heard that it was sold out in S&R mere hours after its early release there, so make sure you get yours as soon as you can!

For more info, like Johnnie Walker Philippines on Facebook and follow @johnniewalkerph on Instagram

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

'Alita: Battle Angel' is the First Trailer in a While to Get Me Super Excited

I don't get to watch movies as early as I want to anymore. Heck, I just watched 'Bohemian Rhapsody' last night. And while it was HELLA AMAZING (more on that later), I feel the need to rave about a trailer that I watched during the previews that really caught my attention.

As you probably know if you've been following my blog for a while now, I'm bit of a sci-fi geek. I love movies like 'Gattaca', 'Artificial Intelligence', and 'Minority Report' because I like dreaming about a glorious feature - or at least one with a 'wow' factor. So, the minute this trailer came on, and I saw that girl Alita on the big screen yesterday, I had already decided I was IN LOVE with the movie that it was to be.

The trailer aside, the names behind the film also made me sit up and listen. James Cameron, Jon Landau and Robert Rodriguez? We are set for one hella memorable cinematic experience with 'Alita: Battle Angel' in 2019, I'm tellin' ya! Mark my words!


'Alita: Battle Angel' is apparently based on a manga by Yukito Kishiro. It is set in the 26th century, 300 years after the Great Wars when all but one of the great Sky Cities fell and technology was set back centuries.

The story revolves around a cyborg girl named Alita whose cyber core was discarded from the Sky City and rescued by a grieving father (played, by the way, by CHRISTOPH WALTZ!!!) Alita is then repaired with a new doll-like cyber-body and she is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. She's like those adorable yet ultra expensive dolls with big eyes that Krissy from krissyfied.com collects (I don't know what they're called haha), but a cyborg version of them, making Alita all the more awesome.

Anyway, the sci-fi theme aside, it looks like it's going to be a great father-daughter film, too - one that will most likely put me to tears.


In case you haven't seen the trailer yet, you can watch it here:


'Alita: Battle Angel' will be coming to Philippine cinemas next year courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Jamba Juice Has 7 Exciting Promos to Celebrate 7 Years

Man, Jamba Juice has been in the Philippines for a while now. I should know this because they have always had special mentions in my blog, thanks to my absolute obsession with them. (Here's a sample mention of Jamba Juice in Alabang Town Center back in 2012.)

Since then, all of the Jamba branches near my place have closed (I miss you, ATC and Southmall branches! *sniffles*), but that doesn't stop me from getting my Jamba fix whenever I get the chance, particularly when I pass by one in Cavite, when I'm shopping in BGC, and when I go to Shinagawa for my lasik surgery checkups.

Count it: it's been 7 whole years! (Syrena was just 1 year old back then! *sniffles*) And to celebrate its 7th birthday, they are happily presenting #7DaysofJamba headlined by 7 exciting offers for 7 days (yes, 7 is the magic number here!). #7DaysofJamba starts on Sunday, November 11 and lasts until Saturday, November 17! Who's excited? :D


To kick things off, Jamba Juice is giving away a free reusable bamboo straw if you buy a 22oz smoothie or larger on November 11. On November 12, you can get a free boost for every 22oz order.

On November 13, celebrate with a friend... and the Booky app! Use Booky to order two 12oz smoothies (of the 7 all-time favorite blends), and you'll just need to pay 177 pesos!

On November 14, it's Rewards Day, where you can use 50 Globe Rewards points and only add an extra 50 pesos to get a 12oz smoothie. And on Thursday? It's Buy One, Take One, baby!


As for the weekend, you can get a 12oz Classic smoothie via GCash QR and only pay 7 pesos! On Saturday, you can get two 12oz Holiday Dreamin' smoothies for only 200 pesos.

That's not all, either. If you join any of these promos, you'll get a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy watch. How awesome is that? In fact, even if you don't join the promo, you can still join the contest by ordering any 30oz smoothie or by posting your personal Jamba party photos on Instagram with @JambaJuicePH and #7DaysofJamba :D


For more details on each offer, like Jamba Juice on Facebook today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Parenting on the Move: Celebrating a Perfectly Imperfect Parenting Life

Whenever I see new mommy bloggers on social media, I always wonder how they always seem to be so put together. I still remember what it was like when I first had Syrena. Not only were there challenges left and right, but the newness of everything was also very daunting, especially for 22-year-old me.

This is why millennial parents like Isabelle Daza-Semblat rely on help and advice from family members and friends. She has also become very proactive in finding the best products and services for her child, making 'parenting on the move' much more bearable.

Parenting on the move refers to enabling parents to still pursue their own goals and passions even when they already have a family. Doing so doesn’t mean that they’re selfish. In fact, if you are happy and fulfilled on your own, it’ll lead to becoming a better parent to your child. Parenting On The Move is not about being perfect; it is actually about celebrating a perfectly imperfect parenting life.

As she juggles many roles - being a mom, wife, businesswoman, digital influencer, host, and actress, Belle has become more conscious of the products that she uses. Here are some of her current favorites: Pigeon and Quinny.


Pigeon


Being the No. 1 Baby Care brand in Japan, Pigeon has over 60 years experience in the industry and been at the forefront of newborn skincare technology. The brand has developed the Natulayer technology which is a layer of ingredients that mimics the natural coat of protection found on the baby’s skin in the womb.



Included in Pigeon’s Newborn Pure collection is the Newborn Pure Body Wash, Shampoo, Lotion, Oil, and Protective Cream. Making use of natural ingredients, these products contain 0% paraben, formaldehyde, and alcohol. It is also pH balanced to ensure that it is safe and gentle for baby’s skin with the added dual moisturization of Natulayer.


Quinny


Developed in Europe, Quinny is a premier lifestyle juvenile brand with a proud tradition of over 25 years in stroller mobility. The brand is dedicated to creating beautiful, seamless mobility solutions that adapt as a child develops and grows, offering the ideal solution for the present while keeping an eye on the future. 



Quinny products that Belle also enjoys using are the Quinny Moodd and Zapp Flex. An iconic stroller that offers a comfortable and stylish ride from birth until 3½ years old, the Quinny Moodd also offers intelligent features, like quick automatic unfolding and easy folding.



Meanwhile, designed to make parents’ lives easier, the Zapp Flex is a highly maneuverable, lightweight, and comfortable solution. It is one stroller with endless possibilities: with its versatile reversible seat you can let your younger child face you for enhanced bonding moments, or turn the seat forward to give an older child a view of the streets ahead: the stroller features multiple recline in both rear and forward-facing positions

To better discuss the ups and downs of being a parent, Belle together with Richwell’s Maye Yao Co Say, Pigeon’s Yuta Hagiwara, and athlete couple and Maxi-Cosi and Quinny users Janice and Japoy Lizardo all took part in an engaging discussion over high tea for the Parenting on the Move event held last October 18 at McKinley Rd, Forbes Park.

Belle shared the different challenges, struggles as well as her wonderful experiences in parenthood as she is a first-time mom. She shared how she and her husband, as Parents on the Move, are 100% a PARENTEAM. It was a unique event where Belle’s favorite Pigeon and Quinny products were featured and explained in a “house tour” format.


Together with other parents who have generously shared their own experiences in parenting on the move and being satisfied users of Pigeon, Maxi-Cosi, and Quinny products, it wonderfully shows how, with HIGHLY RESEARCHED and TRUSTED BRANDS, enables today’s parents to love their family and pursue their passions, because these brands did the needed extensive research for them.

Make sure to like the products on Facebook and Instagram: Pigeon Philippines, QuinnyPhils, Maxicosiphils.

To learn more about living a perfectly imperfect parenting life, follow the newly launched Facebook and Instagram accounts of parentingonthemove.

Friday, October 12, 2018

You Can Rewatch Marvel Movies on the Big Screen This Week!

Hello, my fellow geeks!!! I've got some awesome news for you today! To celebrate 10 years of amazing Marvel movies (yes, it has been that long, guys!), this is currently ongoing:


Give a very warm welcome to the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Movie Marathon aka the movie marathon of awesomeness, which will be running in Philippine theaters starting today until October 21! During this week of awesome, 16 films spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe will be available in select Philippine cinemas FOR ONLY 100 PESOS PER MOVIE. How freaking epic is that?

You can also get a special bundle ticket for all 16 movies at only Php1200 and get a limited edition poster in the process!

For the launch last night, I of course dressed up coz that's how I roll, reviving last year's Loki cosplay:


He called me a puny god.


The movie marathon will include 'Iron Man', the first film to kick off the MCU, as well as all of this year's releases, 'Black Panther', 'Avengers: Infinity War', and 'Ant-Man and The Wasp'.

Most of the MCU movies are on the list, though I'm still left wondering as to why 'Iron Man 2', 'Iron Man 3' and 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' aren't? My current theory is coz, well, Iron Man movies (except the first one) actually kinda suck. Hahaha. Peace tayo, Iron Man fans!


For last night's movie marathon launch, we got to watch 'Avengers: Infinity War' in IMAX and I have got to say: IMAX really is such a different experience. Everything looks downright amazing and the feels of the movie get to you all the more. It makes me wish we had an IMAX theater nearby that offers the marathon.



You can catch the Marvel marathon at the following cinemas: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM Davao, SM Seaside, SM Manila, SM Sta. Mesa, SM City Fairview, SM Aura, TriNoMa, Centrio, Glorietta 4, Gateway, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Manila, Robinsons North Tacloban, Robinsons Pavia Iloilo, Vista Daang Hari, Vista Pampanga, Vista Bataan, Power Plant, Greenhills Promenade, Festival Mall Cinemas, and Eastwood Cinemas.

I can't wait for 'Captain Marvel' and the second installment of Avengers 4 coming out next year! For now, like Marvel Philippines on Facebook for more updates on your favorite Marvel superheroes!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Casual can get so lonely.

I was never a "good girl" nor do I pretend to be. I enjoy casual sex so much more than the drama that comes with serious relationships; but sometimes, I have to admit that that cycle can get pretty lonely. And so I end up allowing myself to fall for men I originally had no intention of falling for to begin with.

The casual hookups are usually pretty dreary if not downright disappointing, I must admit; but every now and then, I'll meet someone who truly blows me away in one way or another, who stuns me with the depth of their eyes or the signature way that they kiss or their strange quirks in bed or the passion with which they talk about something that they love. It's like seeing something I've seen before, but through entirely different eyes.


And then when these extraordinary people move on with their lives, of which I was merely a blip in their systems; it's like I'm left with a void that suddenly gets even deeper when I meet someone with the same unique eye color or the same quirk, or when I visit a location someone had so intimately described to me.

Imagine feeling that much for someone that may have just been around for a few weeks, sometimes even just a night. Imagine that feeling and then amplify it by a million. That's how fucked up I get after a more serious relationship.


See, I don't mind the single void that gets deeper when something reminds me of someone. What I mind is the million cracks that appear around that void that turn into even more voids. And the worst part is that those voids appear because of things that I had originally loved, things that I was originally very passionate about.

You share all of these private things about you with one single person for months and months on end, and they become a shared experience; and when they leave, you're suddenly left with this hate for your once-favorite movies, your once-favorite songs, and your once-favorite guilty pleasures.


That's why it's so hard to find joy in anything after a serious breakup. The things that used to bring you joy now bring you tears and you no longer have anything to hold on to. You have to build a whole new life without that extra cuddly stuffed toy that you would steal from each other on your bed, without that book that he read out loud to you stored on your bookshelf, without that playlist that you used to listen to before going to sleep.

And let's not kid ourselves: it never gets better. Certain songs will always remind you of certain moments. Certain scents will always remind you of certain nights. And certain places will always remind you of certain memories.

So how do you cope? You drink until you pass out so you don't lie awake thinking while staring at the ceiling. You kiss until you can do it with your eyes closed without thinking about the past. You date until you once again reach that point of vulnerability where you fall for someone without having intended to.


And then it all starts all over again.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Album 'Malibu Nights' by LANY is a Shot Through the Heart (Times One Million)

It's been a while since an album has made me... feel things. Like really feel things. Like how the Backstreet Boys' self-titled album made me long to watch them live. Or like how Boyz II Men's album 'Cooleyhighharmony' made me feel like my puppy love high school relationship was the real deal. Or like how the 'Queen of the Damned' soundtrack really made me feel understood.

This morning, when I turned on my Spotify, I was notified that there was a new album "I might like", LANY's new album 'Malibu Nights'. While I like LANY's songs that I hear on the radio, I've never actually exerted any extra effort to really get to know them as a band or to delve further into their music.

Today, I decided to listen to the entire album on Spotify during my 4am run. Wrong. Fucking. Move.




In 'Malibu Nights', Paul Klein sings about love and longing amidst the loss of a lover after a heartbreak. And the lyrics are so on point, I got so lost in them to the point where I started visualizing all sorts of suicidal scenarios while standing gobsmacked under the bright lights of a 7-11 down the street.

I forced myself to keep moving, but the more I moved and the more I listened, the more I started imagining myself buying a pack of razors or maybe a bunch of sleeping pills and whiskey, depending on which song would come on. (I have a mental problem, but don't worry... It mostly just involves me imagining these things. Like a lot. But I don't actually do them.)

LANY really shows raw vulnerability in the songs in this album and all of the lyrics are realistic, relatable, and downright heart-wrenching.



The song 'Malibu Nights' itself talks about the alcohol-drowned spiral one goes through after a breakup, where everything feels empty, including your walls, your life, and yourself. It goes deeper than that, though, with lines that ask things like, "I feel my body giving up. Can I hold on for another night?" It sounds so simple, but to me, it's incredibly relatable given my fragile mental state. All of the songs are amazing, though.

From 'Thick and Thin', depicting a picture of a petty argument gone wrong (man, would I love to hear someone do the girl's side of this song); to 'Taking Me Back', 'Let Me Know', and 'If You See Her', beautifully painting a picture of the desperation we feel after a breakup; to 'I Don't Wanna Love You Anymore', basking in the pain and reminiscing about the good times; to 'Valentine's Day', perfectly showcasing our failed attempts to move on; to 'Run', which naturally not everyone will be able to relate to... BUT I DID. Lol.

'Thru These Tears' is the only song in this album that actually has a relatively positive connotation to it - like there's hope at the end of the tunnel; but still, it hurts to listen to it.



The album is brilliant if you're a masochist like me, but I still need to let out this PSA: Do NOT listen to this album if you're currently going through or have just gone through a breakup. I repeat: DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH OR HAVE JUST GONE THROUGH A BREAKUP. It will ruin you. It will leave you lying on your ceramic tile floor for five hours listening to it on loop as you stare at the ceiling and ponder on your newly-broken relationship's life. You have been warned.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

4 Basic Tips on How to Take Cute Photos of Your Pets

Of course your pet is cute any day of the month and any time of the year. However, you gotta admit that it can sometimes be a major pain in the butt to try to take his/her picture... amirite?

Well, that's a problem that Fujifilm recognizes, and with that realization comes the Fujifilm X-T100, which aims to help you capture precious moments of your beloved pets with quality photographs and amazing videos. Some of its cool features include a high magnification electronic viewfinder, a horizontal tilting rear LCD screen, and an extended battery life of up to 430 frames.



The Fujifilm X-T100 proves that you don't need expensive equipment to capture the awesomness of your pets; you just need the basics. Here are some basic tips to help you out:

Know your aperture.

If you want to blur out the background, widen your aperture. If you want your background to stay in focus, use a smaller aperture. Or, you know, just use the Fujifilm X-T100. Its electronic viewfinder will easily help you see how your chosen aperture affects your photos.

Make sure you have a fast shutter speed.

Since animals tend to move around a lot, it is important to have a fast shutter speed to get sharp photos of them. Fortunately, the Fujifilm X-T100 has a phase detection autofocus system and an autofocus algorithm that makes it focus faster and more precisely.


Choose a good location.

Of course, where you are matters, too. Regardless of the location that you choose, though, you can rest easy knowing that the Fujifilm X-T100 has a built-in pop-up flash and native ISO of up to 12,800. So whether the lighting is great or kinda sucky, bring it on!

Get to know your pet better.

Before planning a proper shoot, try to get to know your pets' camera mannerisms better. Are they playful or curious? Are they scared or malambing? Getting to know them better will also help you figure out how to let their unique personalities shine in the photos. Experiment with your pets' angles, too. Who knows? Maybe they have a "good side" just like you!



Once the photos are ready, you probably won't be able to wait to show the world. Well, you can transfer photos from the Fujifilm X-T100 instantly, thanks to its built-in WiFi and Bluetooth technology. It's also compatible with the Fujifilm Instax SP-3 printer, so you can print and share images more than ever before.

The Fujifilm X-T100 is available in Dark Silver, Black, and Champagne Gold. It retails at Php39,990. Visit Fujifilm's website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram for more updates!