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Skincare routine

Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist these are only the products that work for my skin and since not everyone has the same skin type it might not work for others. The products I’m gonna show you are not paid nor advertisement. 

I started doing skincare routine when I was in college. I’m a late-bloomer thanks to my cousin who teaches me how to take care of myself and be lady-like. Ever since then, I became so addicted to skincare products because I’m too lazy to put on make-up everyday that I can even go to work without it. My thinking is if I have good skin, I don’t need to enhance or cover up the flaws of face.

My current skincare routine is here! Most of the time when I found products that works for my skin I stick with it cause I don’t want to explore and harm my face with changing of routines every now and then.

1. Dove facial wash

You need to wash your face 2x a day every morning and before you go to bed. What I love about this product is, it’s really light and not harsh to my face. It also gently exfoliate your face while you wash so after you use it. You can feel your face so glowing and soft. It can be found in any drug store in Japan.

2. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

I bought this one in Costco but it is also available at Amazon. I love this product because it doesn’t have any scent and light in your face. As you notice, I love products that are light-weighted and not-so oily when you put it. It also not harsh to my face this one also helps me to prevent my acne and lighten dark spots for some reason.

3. Biore Aqua Rich Sunblock

Most of us only apply sunblock when going to swim or beach but we didn’t notice in our everyday life when we step out of the sun. We are also exposed to harmful UV rays that can cause early wrinkles. You need to apply sunblock every time you go out to protect your skin from it. I love these cream type because just small amount of it can cover up your whole face. It can be found at any drug store in Japan but I bought mine at Costco.

4. Lush Honey Lip Scrub

When it’s winter, it’s so hard to prevent not to have chapped lips. Recently, I tried this Lush lip scrub. All you have to do is take a small amount of it and circularly rub it into your lips and voila! you can feel your lips so soft and looking kissable. That small tub can go a long way, it can be messy when you apply it but it smells so good like sugar and honey it’s all organic.

5. Lush Mask of Magnaminty

This mask is all over the interrnet. I already tried most of the lush masks and I can tell why netizens love this particular mask. It can prevent acne and lighten dark spots. When you apply it, you can feel relax with the minty smell of it and the coldness from it that cover your whole face. It also has some I don’t know if it’s oats or something but all organic that also helps to exfoliate your face without harming your skin. After I use it,  I can feel my face so smooth, soft, clean and glowing.

6. Cure Natural Aqua Gel

I use this product to exfoliate at least 2x a week. This is my ultimate go-to exfoliate. This is really top-seller among Japan’s skincare products. It can cost 3,000 yen but it can lasts for 3-4 months depending on your usage. You can use it in your face, elbows, knees or underarm to exfoliate and remove all the dead skin cells and dirt. I’m using this for 5 years already and it never fails me.

There you have it! For beginners, always remember the steps of wash, tone, exfoliate and moisturize. You have to be really committed to achieve flawless skin.

xoxo

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Summer Paradise: Coron, Palawan

Hi, Readers! I’m MIA for quite long cause I came home to spend summer time with family and friends. I want to share to you what happened to my well-deserved vacation and budget tips on how to travel without being broke. So the adventure begins! YAY!

I went to Coron, Palawan together with my college besties. We’re planning this trip for 2 years cause our broke-college-students-dilemma put us on hold. Now that we’re employed, finally we made it to Coron! It’s always been in my bucket list to travel Coron cause of the stunning pictures that I saw on the internet and blogs saying how majestic the rock formations of this beautiful island is. Truly I was not disappointed, Palawan is a paradise.

We’re group of four all girls and stayed at Momita’s lodge for 3D2N for only Php3,500 each including tour, accommodation and daily breakfast. I surely recommend Momita’s for anyone who wants to travel on budget.

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We took this picture inside Momita’s lodge.

I didn’t managed to take a picture of the whole room cause we got too excited but as you can see, it’s really wide and spacious. It has 2 double beds, 1 single bed, fully air-conditioned, 2 ceiling fan, 1 stand fan, 4 towels, 4 soaps and private bathroom. Momita is the owner of the lodge and this is also what the guests called her. She is really nice and welcoming I can see my grandma to her. She offers variety of rooms depending on your budget and how many persons. You can search her website online at www.mommitaslodge.jimdo.com  for more details.

Day 1

1st Stop: The Hunt for Food

We have ample of time to roam around the city before our tour begins..

So we decided to look for restaurant cause we’re really hungry fresh from our 30mins flight from Manila to Busuanga..

One of the many restaurants that are flocked together at the city of Coron. We choose this place cause this is the nearest to our lodge and the food looks appetizing.

Stingray in Coconut Milk

What makes this restaurant different is they served stingray in coconut milk. This is the first time in my entire life to eat stingray. It tasted like Bicol Express but the texture of it is like shredded tuna meat. All in all, it’s delicious worth a try!

And of couse, the undying love for Pork Sisig! Nothing beats the authentic Sisig back home. 2 cups of rice please!

2nd Stop: Mt. Tapyas

Momita only told us that we’re hiking 721 steps to the peak of Mt. Tapyas. We didn’t bring anything not even money cause right after hiking this mountain we’re going to Maquinit Hot Springs and there will be no lockers to put your belongings. So being the vigilant us, we decided not to bring valuables. It was a really bad move not to bring money cause we’re really exhausted and thirsty after hiking, good thing our tricycle driver is really nice. He lend us money to buy water. Thank you, Kuya! lol

On the way to city tour and Mt. Tapyas

We take pictures in between to ease our tiredness..

and to make everything worthwhile lol

3rd Stop: Maquinit Hot Springs 

This is my first time to actually bath into a natural hot spring. The view and scenery is therapeutic and the soil is really red. That’s when you know it is all natural. The warm water is so relaxing and it has pebbles underneath like a massage for your tired feet. This is a must-see if you die for a scenery like this especially, if you’re too fed up with the city life. There are also cottages in the place and grill joint where you can eat and drink.

The hot springs are divided into 3 parts: 1 big pool and 2 smaller pools

The path on the way to the hot springs

4th Stop: Where to dine for Dinner?

After a long day, we came back to our hostel just to fix ourselves and look for dinner. We landed at Carl’s BBQ just along the city of Coron. Their food are delicious, really affordable and serve in platters. Their ambiance makes you feel like you’re really in an island and good for groups and family.

We ordered crispy pata, calamares, baby back ribs, mango shake and bucket of beer for only Php1,265. Traveling in groups really shrink the expenses cause it is always divided by how many of you. I’m so sorry didn’t managed to take a photo of the food due to hunger.

While waiting for us to be seated, we asked the waitress to take a photo of us. I love the people of Coron they are just so accommodating.

They have different types of cottages to choose from. They have tree house set-up, long tables, and this cabbana style cottage.

Our first day ended full of laughter until you’re stomach hurts. It feels so good to just laugh like that again, can’t remember the last time we experience it. Also to catch up with my friends cause didn’t saw them for too long and we have many stories to tell. True friends are indeed gold.

Day 2: Island Hopping

The day we’re waiting for! We are all excited about this tour cause we can finally see the majestic rock formation, clear water and priceless scenery. There are places you can’t go without life vest, aqua shoes and mask and snorkle. They are just being careful cause of the 2 tourist died at Coron recently.

1st Stop: Twin Lagoon

I am so excited cause I can finally see and experience the beauty of it. The place I’m always dreaming about is right here in front of me. The pictures has no justice how atonishing the place is.

They have improvised stairs in between the rocks for you to go to the next lagoon. It is quite steep and the rocks are really sharp so be extra careful when using the stairs but it’s just a few steps.

Twin Lagoon has different water temperature vary from warm to cold. Amazing isn’t it?

On the way to Twin Lagoon

Look at those rock formation. Amazing God!

2nd Stop: CYC Beach

It’s a small white sand beach with clear turquoise water where you can swim, drink and eat ice candy cause locals sells them in their boats

The view is jaw-dropping

 

That clear water says it all

3rd Stop: Kayangan Lake

This is the controversial lake cause this is where the 2 tourist died. I heard from the locals it was temporarly closed but luckily, it is opened again the time we visited it. You have to hike in order to get to the lake, it is quite long so be prepared. But the hike is always worth it cause of the stunning scenery. Tour guides doesn’t allow the tourist to enter the lake without life vest.

The entrance to the hike..adventure begins!

The view that will welcome you when the boat dock at the entrance of Kayangan Lake

A photo in the actual lake. Clear water and rock formations are love.

4th Stop: Sunken Japanese Wrecks

It was a Japanese war ship during the WW2, I was mesmerized by the beauty of this ruins. It is amazing how something so destroyed can be this beautiful. Truly, nature has its own way of healing itself.

 

No filter photo of the sea. Be amaze!

That is the shipwreck surrounded by many marine life. The beauty of ruins another no filter photo

5th Stop: Coron Reefs

This was our last stop for our Island Tour and definitely the most beautiful one. It feels like I enter into a ‘whole new world’. It is a long trail of mesmerizing coral garden with shades of pink and blue, alive corals that are breathing, a home of many marine life. Philippines is so beautiful, I’m craving for more. All credits to the Most High, our world is beyond beautiful.

It was so beautiful that I actually forgot to take pictures because I was so busy just enjoying the moment and appreciating all beauty in front me. I’m sorry.

Day 3: Last Day/ Souvenir Shops

Filipinos definitely won’t forget ‘pasalubong’ for loved ones. Before our morning flight, we decided to roam around the city to look for possible souvenirs to take back home.

 

The mandatory t-shirts and keychains in every souvenir shops.

Also the ref magnets, but I love this wood type.

 

So that’s how our Coron Adventure ends. If you want peace, nature and sightseeing definitely, Coron is for you. The island is really small, it’s like a size of a subdivision back in the city. You can finished the city tour within a day. In terms of safety, we traveled Coron all girls we go out until midnight walking around the city and we didn’t experience any danger at all. The locals are really nice, polite and helpful maybe because you can notice that the major livelihood of the people are their tourism. So they really take good care of their tourists and guests.

Also Coron is really budget-friendly and affordable, I’ll show you the breakdown of the total expenses I had:

  • Airfare from Manila- Busuanga vice versa via Skyjet: Php5,319
  • Tour and Accommodation (Momita’s Lodge): Php3,500
  • Pocket Money: Php3,000
  • Total: Php11,816

My entry for Hana’s Travel Bucket List: Coron, Palawan, Philippines CHECK!!

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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How to deal with homesickness?

Time check: almost 11PM and I can’t sleep due to homesickness.

Living abroad sounds fun and exciting until you have to deal with homesickness. I believe all immigrants can relate. This is the toughest battle we have to face.

When you scroll down on your facebook timeline and see your friends hanging out without you or receiving video calls when they go out, for a while you can forget the thousand miles distance from them at the same time you want to cry cause you miss them. It makes you realized how your life has been changed since then.

When you crave your local food or homemade meals and you can’t do anything about it. There will be no grill joint at the street corner, no more midnight snack lugawan, 24/7 Panaderia that serves hot pandesals, fresh coconut juice and taho early in the morning.

Even the hot weather cause I’m really getting tired of snow and winter. Missing my tropical home. I know you can feel me, right?

Most of the people who know me are amazed how fast I adjusted my life here, but they have no idea what’s really going on inside my head. So, how I deal with days like these?

1.Reminiscing the good old days

You can say I’m masochist but yeah, when I’m feeling down and missing home I always browse old photos. Those photos means a lot. Old but golden, the good times and happiness where we’re just having the best time of our lives and we don’t care about tomorrow. Photos that will make you smile no matter what’s going on with your life.

2. Calling my grandparents or love ones

Talking to my grandparents always makes me happy. They raised me, so when I’m feeling sad I always talk to them they are the only one who can give me warm and fill my heart too cheesy but true.

3. Watching favorite shows, anime or kdrama

I consider myself as an ambivert. I like going out with people but I need alone time cause it exhausts me, most of the time I watch my favorite shows to uplift myself. Sometimes, reading my favorite book also do the magic. Just do whatever makes you feel great and happy.

4. Good food, Good bath, Good sleep

The three combos that can solve anything. I know you get me.

So there you have it. The best advice I could give is only you, yourself can make you feel good. Always remember why are doing these? Who are your inspirations? Never lose of that sight. Life is tough and much tougher away from home but always remember why you started.

You are entitled for all of those emotions. It’s healthy to release it once in a while, but don’t be stuck there. You have to keep going and don’t let life defeat you. After all, living in a strange land is not that bad. Have a mindset of this is actually an adventure, a roller coaster ride so might as well, enjoy it while it lasts!

P.S. For all immigrants, I’m so proud of you.

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FAQ: Why your hair is so straight?

 

‘Is your hair natural?’

‘What shampoo are you using?’

‘Why is it so shiny and straight?’

‘What do you do?’

Most people asked me those questions when they first met me in person. Well, I got it from my Mama. Thanks to her genes, I saved myself from hundred of bucks for salon lol kidding. But on serious note, I just want to share what I do with my hair to keep it beautiful cause every woman is crazy about her hair. Admit it, girls like the saying goes hair is our crowning glory.

(These Don’ts with my hair are just my personal preference and common sense. I don’t have any scientific reasons or proof for it but the results are pretty good.)

DON’TS:

1.Hair Dryer

I don’t use hair dryer or blower for the reason that I’m so lazy. My arms are getting tired from it cause I have a long hair it takes forever to dry. So instead, I just stand in front of our room heater and let the hot air flows through my hair. (win-win situation! lol) but seriously, I also think it is damaging to use hair dryer everyday it will cause dry hair eventually.

2. Combing hair when it’s wet

I don’t comb my hair when it’s wet cause wet hair tends to be frizzy and tangled. I only use my hands most of the time to comb and don’t force your hair when untangling. It will just cause unnecessary hair loss. I wait for it to dry to finally comb it using brush, you will notice it is easier to untangled.

Trivia: I only comb my hair when going to bed. lol too lazy!

3. No hot water

Using hot water to hair is a crime unless, you want to go bald. Since, living in Japan where there is winter I notice that hot water is damaging. So, what I did was I washed my hair first using lukewarm water not hot water that is 40 degrees. No matter how cold, I endure it.

4. Wrap your wet hair using towel

We usually wrap our hair with towel after showering, but I noticed that it makes my hair more tangled. So, after showering I just let my hair down even though the water is still dripping from my hair. The results are it’s easier to dry and comb.

5. Wash your hair everyday

This is my dirty little secret, I don’t wash my hair every Saturdays for the reason that I’m so lazy and I know that I don’t have work the next day. So it’s fine lol. But, I think washing your hair everyday is drying and I don’t use hair conditioner everyday cause I don’t have time. I can only use hair conditioner every weekends or when I don’t have work.

6. No to hair bleaching

I only use Liese Prettia product of Japan when I want to dye my hair. I’m scared of using strong hair dyes or hair bleach cause I know it’s too damaging. Liese Prettia doesn’t cause much damage to my hair, I’m using it for 4 years now and my hair is still fine. But this year, I plan to stop dying I want my natural black hair back.

That’s it! Nothing special or extra effort. I  don’t use any hair products, just shampoo and conditioner. Maybe it just all runs down on how you take care of your hair for it to be beautiful. I take pride to my hair cause it’s important to me. So for everyone who’s asking me read my blog, people! lol

‘Have a nice hair day!’ xoxo

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