Thursday, September 04, 2014

Strangers... are strangers.

Sometimes you wish strangers were a little bit more sensitive. But then again I guess that’s how they are – strangers. They don’t know you. They don’t know your situation, your life, what you are going through and what you’ve been through. Somehow you wish they were just a little bit nicer though. They’re not. And as easy as it is to say “move on”, it’s not any easier done.

I guess with anything and every dealings we have online (or even offline), we put ourselves out there. We open our inner most self and risk something. I chose not to reply back to this certain person and stoop down to their level. I guess I just chose to cut them off and prefer not to deal with them anymore. No need for explanations otherwise I will just put myself out there again.  It’s not like I lost anything. Better finding out now than pursue a business relationship with someone that judgmental. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top 6 Items to Remember When Traveling Abroad

Whether you're going scuba diving in Cozumel or taking to the slopes in France, it's imperative that you plan ahead.

Listed below are the top items you should be packing before heading out on your next adventure.


This one may seem obvious, but you'd be shocked at just how many vacationers arrive at the airport only to realize that they remembered to bring 16 pairs of shoes but not their passport.

Due to more rigid traveling policies, traveling to anywhere outside the United States requires a passport. If you don't already have one, apply now: passport applications can take upwards of six weeks to process. And even if you do have a passport that hasn’t expired, you’ll probably need to renew it if the expiration date is close to your travel time: Some countries require your passport to stay valid for several months from date of entry.

Pocket Translator

If you're en route to a country where the natives do not speak English as their primary language, you'd do well to invest in a pocket translator. In their pages, you'll find enough phrases to help you order food at a restaurant, find the nearest bathroom or directions should you get lost.

Better yet, if you have a tablet or smartphone device, download a translation app. Just do it before you leave because you never know how strong a foreign country's Wi-fi signal might be.


Should you be vacationing at a spot known to inhabit diseases local to the country, you're advised to receive a vaccination before leaving.

For everything else, from foreign food that you're body is not used to digesting, to everyday maladies like the common cold, pack medicine. Adventure travelers in particular are encouraged to also pack a first-aid kit, mild painkillers and hydrogen peroxide. Better to be safe than sorry.


The average American only gets to go away once or twice a year. Do yourself a favor and capture your overseas memories. Luckily, most modern phones come stocked with a built in camera and video recorder.

If you're feeling super ambitious, create a travel blog before you leave and update it while you're away. Or use Facebook like Bob Corsini has, so your friends and family can keep in contact with you, without necessarily having to call you everyday. You may even gain a following.

Money...the Right Kind

One of the costliest mistakes travelers make is that they wait until they're at the airport's travel exchange to convert their currency. Most U.S. banks provide the same services at a significantly lower rate.

Should you forget to convert, consider withdrawing funds from an ATM. Just be sure to find one that offers free withdrawals.

Contact Information

In the event that your wallet or purse gets stolen, you will no longer have access to your credit card company's number. That is, unless you wrote it down somewhere.

Before you leave on vacation, take five minutes and write down every customer service number you don't already have memorized. It could mean the difference between a minor annoyance and complete disaster.

Better yet, jot down the digits of your closest family members too. Due to the convenience afforded by cell phones, most individuals rarely bother to memorize numbers anymore. This could come back to haunt you if you don't take proper precautions.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Hotel Rush - Mantra Sale

Next month my little family is scheduled to visit the GC! Gold Coast! It is for work, but it is always too good to combine business with pleasure. Maybe a visit to the Theme Parks (little B and hubby haven't been) and also a visit to family is in order.

I am eyeing the great Mantra Hotel Sale (ends 28 July 2014 by 10 AM!)- and they have a number of Gold Coast properties to choose from!!! Too many to choose from in my opinion (but choice is always welcome!). (This isn't a sponsored post!) I am just always excited to see sales on, especially if it involves nice hotels and a potential trip for me.

I haven't been to the Gold Coast at winter, but I am guessing weather should be nice and warm. Having said that though I am still looking at an indoor pool - just in case it gets cold. Hubby and B could swim while I work. The Mantra Crown Towers it might be - they have both indoor and outdoor heated pools among other things. Hopefully the room is still available when I finalise the trip on the weekend!

From the  Mantra Crown Towers

From the  Mantra Crown Towers

Monday, July 14, 2014

High School Life Trapper Keepers

I read somewhere that Trapper Keeper (by Mead) is making a comeback as a Snapper Keeper! This brought memories of my school days.. wanting a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper and finally getting one - since everyone in my class was using this binder to keep class notes in. I remember having this particular one (see below) where I inserted different photos and handwritten notes on the plastic covering. Of course everyone else was doing this too (something to differentiate our binders- lest they all look the same!).

Now this is what the 'new generation' have. Instead of velcros - a button! I think the velcro one is better (and way more cool)!

I guess since my old Trapper Keeper is considered vintage says a lot about my generation - or how old we are now! To go back down memory lane, here is an album that I'm sure you would have had or know someone who had one : Vintage Trapper Keeper.

Monday, June 30, 2014

One step at a time - licence alert!

A lot of things in life (mainly about achieving goals) involve starting with the first step. Going steady, maybe slowly, eyes on the goal mini-steps.

This week I achieved something which i have been pushing aside, delaying, avoiding, and for some odd reason - just have not wanted to get - no matter how much I say I have wanted to. Nearly 12 years in the making (see this post).... finally got my learner's driving licence!!!! And, to think I actually KNOW how to drive (I used to be a truck driving lady in Manila!).

Ok, so that's over and done with (No less than a perfect score of 45/45 in the computer knowledge test!). Now onto the real thing - the driving test. Gulp. Big gulp. Okay, it should really be no biggie - but nearly everyone I know says everyone fails the driving test the first time around!! Triple Gulp.

I got my Migration Licence many years back (after one full year of studying law), I had a baby (but yes I thought going through labour pains would be easier than getting my driver's licence!). All these and many more I felt was easier to achieve than the NSW driver's licence.

Well hopefully this small step is the pre cursor to getting my full licence sooner than later! I don't think I can wait another 10 odd years for that!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Peninsula Paris - Celebration in the making

The Peninsula Paris preview (
I am giddy and excited about Peninsula Paris opening in August 2014! I have always believed in the brand and I am sure there are fans out there waiting for this grand opening - which is the first Peninsula hotel in Europe. For many years the Peninsula has managed to preserve the luxury brand and keep that high level of quality in each of their hotels. Growing up in Manila, where Peninsula maintains one hotel, I am always transported to another world every time I enter their grand lobby to attend a wedding or another celebration.

I have read that for the BIG inauguration, other Peninsula properties are celebrating it French style. The luxurious Peninsula Hong Kong will be having a "Moet & Spa" package which includes a heavenly spa treatment. While the Peninsula New York will be showing some classic French films on the hotel rooftop.

The magnificent Rolls Royce at the Peninsula Hong Kong (
If Peninsula can make our four legged furry friends feel special, what more US !! (Yes, they have special packages to cater to our pets at the NYC Peninsula).

Peninsula New York grand staircase (

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Finding time

Time is always lost, spent, wasted or just never enough. Of course, I know that's not true - we all have 24 hours in a day and time management is always the key.

I am finding that it is a constant choice between our many priorities in life. Really it is about simple living. Choosing to 'spend' time on what is important to us. When one is single it is not a hard choice - it all is about me, me and me. And what I want. Time seems to be abundant when we are single.

However, this changes when we have a partner, and when one has a child - and all the more if one has child-ren. It will be a struggle to find time to do things that I need to do, what more find 'me' time.

What is your me time about? If I had my way and if I had 'spare' time in my hands I would love to:

1. Sleep more!!
2. Write more often. Blog more often. Journal my thoughts, feelings and experiences.
3. Organise my past 5 years! I have slacked organising my files, pictures and other stuff. I have also a half empty scrapbook which I've been wanting to do ever since.
4. Bake more often & learn to cook proper dishes.
5. Catch up with friends more often.
6. Exercise.
7. Travel with friends(ok, this will probably take more time than I need or am ready to take)
8. Read books.
9. Learn something new or take up a new hobby. It has been a while after all since I last took up a course/skill randomly.
10. Have a massage. My ultimate 'me time' indulgence.

If you are like me, half of the time where I find myself with spare time - I end up not doing anything!! I guess because "me times" are rare and so when it happens I am overwhelmed the number of choices to do!
Photo from :

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Humans of NY - HONY

Such an interesting site/s Humans of New York on Facebook and on their website.

I read that there is now Humans of Sydney as well. But I guess it's not the same. I'm a big New York fan - even if I live in Sydney! Haha!

A lot of the features are inspiring. Some cute. Some controversial. Some even are indescribable. All too interesting to read!

Friday, January 17, 2014

You think you like it?

Sometimes we have gotten so used to something
that we make ourselves believe we still like it.
Even when we no longer do.
We still continue to take one bite after another,
because the taste is so familiar.
Even when each bite brings us closer to.. nothing.
Meaningless chewing.

Photo from
Sometimes we aspire and want something for so long that we create an idea in our mind
An idea sans imperfection and at the same time away from reality.

Sometimes we create a bubble of a big idea
that we (think) we know, completely,
Only to hold onto that bubble which ...really exists.
It exists in our mind, in our memory,
of something that once was, but no longer is.
Or of something which always just existed,
in that corner of our mind
far and protected from everything else.
And by everything else, I mean far from truth (and reality).

Just a random feeling I put into words as I was eating a big cake slice. Which I eventually just threw in the bin, because continuing to eat it was pointless. It didn't satisfy my craving, my hunger and I couldn't really taste it anymore. Maybe it was too big a piece? Maybe it wasn't baked to my liking? I know for a fact I am a chocoholic and so I tried to understand why I couldn't finish my chocolate cake slice. Sorry baker, it's nothing personal....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oh Diego!

Instead of doing the million things that I must do, I chose to google Diego Bunuel. One of my most recent gorgeous crushness. It has been a very, very long time since I've had one - And I don't blame it on having too much time on my hands because I don't have any! I rarely watch TV and if I do it is most likely when Masterchef is on, or National Geo Adventure's Don't tell my mother - which Diego hosts. I only came across his  series this year (oh, better late than never!!) and instantly fell in luuuve. Must be the charm behind his attractive eloquence. Or the eyes that talk much more - offering an ever friendly gaze to the person he exchanges words with, either in French, Spanish or English. *Sigh* more pogi points to add onto his boyish charm. His series take you to (dangerous) road less travelled cities of the world, showcasing more than the usual landscapes and more into the lives of people in these places. Apparently he's graduated with a Journo degree from Northwestern Uni, well travelled journalist, and is French-Spanish-Mexican by descent and - currently married with kids! (Shame, shame, shame, if only... haha).

Enough of my drooling and onto other important things..
Photo from Google

Photo from Google

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Judge Marie

When I first came to Australia over a decade ago occasionally I would come across Fil-Aussies (first degree or second degree migrants) who have not been back (or in case of second degree teen migrants who have never been to MNL) to Manila for many years. I would secretly always be judging them even without knowing the reason/s behind not being back home that long. I was Judge Marie back then.

Here I am now, in their shoes - shoes of those whom I used to judge. I am Marie, and last time I was back in Manila was January 2011. Three long years ago. I have my own reasons for not being back in that long period. I know I wanted so very bad to go. Every year slipped by unknowingly. I know in that time frame no week has passed without the thought of me missing home. But yes it has been that long since my last.

We all have our stories to tell. Our reasons for being, for not doing, or for staying. Somehow it took me so long to understand the awkward answer to the question I used to pose to someone else "why they haven't gone "home" for so long?" Surely it is not a simple question, and the answer is various beyond words.
Photo Credit:

Friday, January 03, 2014

Our lives are full of waiting room moments

Time stops for those who are waiting, and I am part of this exclusive club. For now. Until when I no longer have to wait (again).

Good news, bad news. Really, sometimes the result does not matter as much as the agony of uncertainty. Of course, though, good news is always welcomed with both arms open wide. While bad news is shoved to the back. And then the first step forward hurriedly taken.

Different phases in life when we are taken for a ride in that waiting wagon:

> As a toddler, our parents waited for us to roll over on our own for the first time, parents waited to capture that first step. Parents, in general, do a lot of waiting to witness 'first' milestones in their children's lives.

> As a pre-teen, we wait and wait to grow up. Wait until we finish primary school, high school. Waiting to enter university and have that bit of freedom. At school, we wait for summer breaks. Parents' promise of overseas travel, or local beach breaks. Or, we could be waiting to go back to school and see our friends again.

> Just before finishing school, we wait for exam results to see which uni we are starting our 'young adulthood' journey. We wait for the first day we start uni in normal clothes, without having to wear that checkered high school uniform.

> At uni, we are always waiting obsessively for grades to come out after exams and assessments. We are waiting for long and boring lectures to end. We are waiting and counting down the minutes until we see our bf/gf again.

> After finishing our degree, we wait and hope to hear back from 'that' dream company we always wanted to be part of. Finally, landing that dream job, we wait for holiday breaks to just get away from work and unwind.

> Going on a trip? Are we there yet? And we've only just left the house.. It is a wait to get to the destination. A 20 hour plane trip, then a couple of hours car ride to the jetty, oh and a ferry across the lake for half an hour. Finally reaching the island destination, only to catch a 15 minute rickshaw ride to your hideaway for the week?! Must be all worth it!

> Soon after getting serious with our bf, we wait for the moment he will propose. Upon getting engaged, it is the wait for THE wedding day. It can be a quick wait, as with short month long engagements...or an arduous 3 year wait for the BIG date.

> And then of course, waiting to take a pregnancy test when you are trying for a baby is another patience testing pressure point. How many pregnancy tests did you take only to get a big fat Negative??!

Our lives are full of waiting room moments. If we are lucky enough, we can have good lifelong friends waiting with us in that room. Lots of interesting conversations happen while waiting. A lot of virtues can be honed while patiently waiting. They say character is formed at these times. One undergoes a series of cycles, stages.....

First hour waiting.... Still giddy and excited. Still chatting away with your buddy.

Six hours pass..... Shuffling in your seat, bored, anxious, frustrated, tired. Keeping quiet.

Nine hours pass.... Still sitting in the same spot, tipping point, eyes rolling, numerous sighs, snapping at your seatmate. Suddenly everything and everyone is annoying.

Twelve hours pass... You are feeling excited again because you can see signs to your destination now 100 kms left.

Finally, you have arrived your destination. Bliss. No looking back at the long way here. Just soak up the joy. Worth every wait. Hmm....


New beginnings
Great starts
Hopeful thoughts
Wishful hearts

So much to look forward to this year. I am not making resolutions. I guess everyday life is a chance to be a better person. However, a new year gives that extra boost to become nicer, kinder, happier, more ambitious, more creative, more involved, more loving, more helpful, more caring, more conscientious... just more in general.

Wishing the world and everyone in it a better 2014!! Better in every aspect :) I think everyone deserves it after a very trying 2013. Cheeeeeers to a brand new chapter!!


The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...