Archive | August, 2014

Blessing

30 Aug

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Last February 9, 2014 was Blessing’s Big Day 🙂

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Beautiful bouquets everywhere! 🙂

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Blessing’s beautiful gown was designed by the super talented Julianne Syjuco 🙂

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Hand-sewn details and beading 🙂 Amazing 🙂

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The calm before the storm 🙂  Here was our blushing bride, Blessing 🙂

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Blessing reminded me so much of a beauty queen 🙂 Very poised and graceful 🙂  Here is celebrity hairstylist, RJ,  finishing up Blessing’s loose updo 🙂

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Pretty hair accessory 🙂

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Here comes the bride! 🙂

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Me and Blessing 🙂

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Blessing’s mom… Such a sweet lady, I love her 🙂

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Julianne getting Blessing ready! 🙂

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Thank you so much once again, Blessing, for sharing your big day with us! 🙂 It was such a pleasure to do your hair and makeup 🙂

You were glowing and I could feel the love and joy that day.   All the best to you both!  I’ll be seeing you around, Blessing! 🙂

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Au Naturel

28 Aug

Discover the nourishing traditions of our country with locally made organic beauty products.

            I have always been a big fan of products that were lovingly made at home. Whenever I would visit weekend markets, I’m always drawn to goods that are all natural, unique and locally made. Although, I admit I still enjoy shopping in department stores for beauty products. But I will always have a special place in my heart for homemade and local discoveries.

           One of my favorite all-natural beauty products is called The Heart Shrine Oils. I discovered this at The Yogi Fair. This body oil is based on premium organic virgin coconut oil, infused with camia, sampaguita and ylang ylang. The creator, Chaya Go, says that all ingredients are sourced locally and every bottle is mixed by hand and in small batches at home. “It really is a kind of cottage industry. We do not rush to create large batches but instead we take time to create things by hand, allowing the flowers to steep in the oils. It’s a slow craft and to make the oils in itself a therapeutic practice,” shares Chaya who is also a yoga teacher. The Heart Shrine Oils are best enjoyed as an after-bath moisturizer. I also use it on my face every night and my hair to keep it shiny and less frizzy. I noticed my skin glowed every morning and my breakouts lessened noticeably. (www.facebook.com/theheartshrineoils)

          Another local brand I was so glad to discover is called “Simoy ng Haraya”, which means whiff of imagination. Lala De Leon, the owner of Simoy ng Haraya, was looking for something to focus on outside her stressful job. She was fascinated with natural ingredients and essential oils and this pushed her to study aromatherapy. In fact, she is currently working on her clinical aromatherapist certification. Simoy specializes in perfumes, soaps, reed diffusers, yoga mat sprays and balms. She uses local ingredients such as sugarcane alcohol, citronella and lemongrass in some of her products. However, Lala says, it’s inevitable to get some ingredients from other countries. I also love how she named her products using Filipino terms like “Alaala”, “Unang Halik” and “Tiwala”. My favorite Simoy ng Haraya product is their 4-in-1 nail care fix that’s made for dry, brittle and discolored nails. It’s a strengthener, whitener, conditioner and anti-fungal oil with vitamin E, lemon, tea tree, lavender and rosemary essential oils. It really does strengthen my weak nails. (www.facebook.com/simoyngharaya)

          My love for homemade products is probably because of the influence of my childhood friend, Isabel De Dios, the creator of Sparrow Fresh, a new line of skin care products that are chemical and preservative-free. These are only available upon order to ensure freshness. She wanted to shift to a more organic lifestyle. She would make body scrubs and moisturizing massage salves at home and I would gladly try them.   “They are skin food sans the carbs”, Isabel says. She uses ground organic rice, sea kelp, wasabi powder and sesame oil to use as an exfoliant, which she calls her sushi body scrubs. Her creamy cocoa massage salve is made with natural beeswax, cocoa butter and olive oil, which may be used as a body moisturizer or for massage.   I use her sushi body scrubs twice a week on my face and body and I noticed a smoother and brighter complexion after every use. (Instagram: @sparrowph, sparrow.fragrances@gmail.com)

          It is just so amazing what wonderful things you can make from a simple flower or plant. And I will never forget what Chaya told me, “Our islands have long held healing and nourishing traditions using what the flowers, fruits and trees provide us. It seems but natural to love once again what is abundant all around us.”

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1. Simoy ng Haraya 4-in-1 Nail Care 2. Sparrow Fresh Body Scrubs 3. Simoy ng Haraya Foaming Hand Wash 4. Heart Shrine Body Oil 5. Simoy ng Haraya Ginhawa Natural Foot Mist

Photography by: Nico Nuyda

Kristina: A February Bride

28 Aug

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It was a beautiful Saturday morning on the 8th of February this year 🙂

(I know, super late post… Hehe!)

It was Kristina’s big day!  Her wedding preps were in Acua Verde Beach Resort in Batangas 🙂

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Special thanks to my wonderful assistant makeup artist that day, Ham! I miss you!!!

You were such a big help, thank you, Ham! 🙂

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The bride all dressed up and ready to go…  I made the makeup very fresh and natural with some bronzer on the cheeks, perfect for a beach wedding 🙂

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I love beach weddings.

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Congratulations once again to one of my beautiful February brides, Kristina! 🙂

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Market Market in Vietnam

27 Aug

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One of the places I had to go back to several times when we were in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, was the Ben Thanh Market.  It kind of reminded me of our typical “tiangge” in Greenhills.  The difference was I pretty much memorized what they sell in Greenhills already because I’m always there.  Haha!  But here at Ben Thanh, I had to look carefully at each stall and check out the local goods! 🙂

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Looks familiar, right?  Parang nasa Greenhills lang 🙂

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“Like a moth to a flame…”  – Dante.  This is the line I always hear Dante saying to himself when I start approaching stalls that sell cute things… 🙂  Haha!  Well, “That’s the way love goes…” – Janet Jackson.

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Was tempted to buy a tea set… But I drink coffee more than tea.

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Beads! Beads! Colorful beads and things!!! 🙂  (“Like a moth to a flame…” – Dante)

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One of my great finds at Ben Thanh! 🙂 I couldn’t leave this crocheted doll behind…  SOOOO ADORABLE 🙂

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Aside from all these trinkets and cute Vietnamese dolls and souvenirs, there are also so many stalls selling candies, nuts and other snacks I have never really seen before.

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Lots of dried fruits 🙂

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And oh my goodness… coffee everywhere!!!

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There is also a wet market at the back 🙂

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Food stalls in the center selling drinks with all sorts of beans and jellies and Vietnamese food.

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We did spend most of our time at the coffee bean stalls.  The beans smelled so good and fresh!

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Out of all the coffee beans, we chose to take home “Weasel”.

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Lots of it 🙂  They smelled like chocolate 🙂

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While waiting, the coffee lady made me try some sampaloc candy!  OMG 🙂  I’ll take some!  I only bought 1/2 kilo.  I wish I bought more!  It was the best sampaloc candy everrrr….

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While waiting for our coffee beans, sampaloc candy and dried fruits to be packed, picture muna! 🙂

I really enjoyed seeing the local Vietnamese goods here in Ben Thanh.  Medyo nataranta ako.  Haha!

Ok, fine, I am a moth.

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A Home Away From Home In Vigan

4 Aug

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Last May 14 to 16, 2014, I had an on location shoot for Style Weekend Magazine in Vigan City.  It was my first time to go there and I was so excited.  I’ve always wanted to go here.  I know this is such a late post but I was reminded about this beautiful place because of a recent post by @peterjuan who was in Vigan with my handmade Batman! 🙂 Hehe…  I truly loved Vigan 🙂 It was so worth the eight-hour road trip!!!

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All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go 🙂

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Arrived in Vigan City during sunset…

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Check out our home away from home in Vigan 🙂 There were just too many pretty things to see in this hotel! We stayed in Hotel Luna, a very charming Museum Hotel, the first of its kind in the Philippines.  This used to be an old mansion just like a lot of the places here 🙂

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Check out their lobby…

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So many beautiful things to see 🙂

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It really was like being in a museum! 🙂  These artworks were in the dining room 🙂

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Then outside, in the middle of the hotel, is where the pool is 🙂

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The extension of the coffee shop.  Look how pretty this hotel is 🙂

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I felt like I was little orphan, Annie, inside this beautiful mansion 🙂

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This was the view from outside the rooms 🙂

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Loved our room 🙂

 

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And this… the highlight of my bathroom experience.  Haha! 🙂

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They served us excellent meals.  But I was only able to take my breakfast during the first day.  Haha! 🙂  Breakfast, my favorite meal when out of town because I don’t normally eat breakfast at home 🙂  Of course, there’s Vigan longganisa in the mix!

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And my perfect sunny side up 🙂

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Coffee.  Black.

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When we arrived inside the hotel, we were looking for places in the hotel to shoot in…  And we had such a hard time choosing because every corner of this hotel is photogenic! 🙂

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Thank God for sunny weather!

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Loved the ceilings inside the coffee shop.

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And this was the view from the rooftop of Hotel Luna 🙂

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Meet these gorgeous ladies 🙂  Valerie, our fashion stylist for this shoot, and Anna, our model 🙂

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It was an all girls team! 🙂  Loved working with such talented and funny ladies! Meet Miss Helen, our hairstylist from L’oreal Professionel,  Mau, our photographer, assisted by Kat and our dearest Clara from Style Weekend 🙂

I will be posting more behind-the-scenes photos of what went on in Vigan but for now hope you enjoyed this little tour of Hotel Luna.  There is still more to see in the hotel which I haven’t included yet.

Thank you so much to the staff of Hotel Luna for being so accommodating and helpful, especially regarding our important concerns such as where to find Vigan empanada and longganisa, etc! Hehe… 🙂

We loved the hotel and would highly recommend Hotel Luna if you’re planning a trip to Vigan!  Class talaga! 🙂

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Have a great week ahead, my friends! 🙂  Happy Monday! 🙂