Café Review: Pet Lovers Café

I’ve read about pet cafés featuring cats and have wondered if going to one would really be such a nice experience no matter how cute the featured pets may be. Somehow, I can’t seem to reconcile food and furry creatures running around in one small area, especially when pets are now banned from food establishments in certain areas in the south. Moreover, even if I, myself, am a pet owner and used to bring our Boston terrier Quinn with us when dining at certain restaurants, I do not relish the thought of finding pet hair on my food or drinks. (I guess that must be one of the reasons such city ordinance has been enforced.) To satisfy my curiosity, however, Big ‘n Lil Sis and I visited the first and only pet café in San Pedro, Laguna: Pet Lovers Café.

The first thing I looked for when we entered Pet Lovers Café was their pets, of course. There was a small fenced area where a Yorkshire terrier was sitting quietly, and this was the first thing I noticed upon entering. A group of students nearby was crowding on a Shih Tzu, while a pomeranian was standing on a stool by the counter.

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Pet Lovers Cafe_Lil Sis and Angel_SAHMotsari

Continue reading “Café Review: Pet Lovers Café”

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TravelBook.ph celebrates 4th anniversary

Travelbook.ph, the leading local hotel booking website in the Philippines, is turning four!

In celebration of four exciting years in the business, TravelBook.ph invites you to explore and see the beauty of the Philippines in the coming months with their ongoing exciting promos: Win a free trip to Japan for two in the Konnichi-wow: Free Trip to Japan and avail of highly affordable deals on hotels and resorts with Super Summer Sale.

In addition to the anniversary, TravelBook.ph is also celebrating huge milestones. In just four years, TravelBook.ph grew exponentially in the e-commerce industry. Its number of bookings has increased to 200% since they started offering affordable hotel reservations in March 2013. Today, over 3,200 local hotels and resorts are listed on their website, providing more opportunities for Filipino wanderers to travel around the country and support local tourism.

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TravelBook.ph dares to brave that extra mile and achieve even more by further establishing their brand as the only online travel agency (OTA) that promotes local tourism, highlighting the unique perks and services they offer to Filipino travelers, including attractive discounts, convenient payment options, exclusive reward points, and the TravelBook.ph mobile application.

TravelBook.ph will soon also be releasing the TravelBook magazine, the company’s official free publication that aims to inspire Filipinos to visit local destinations, meet new people, and immerse themselves in the country’s rich culture.

Indeed, the Philippines is undeniably full of wonders that are meant to be appreciated as well as explored. As they celebrate their fourth anniversary, TravelBook.ph encourages you to go out there and explore the amazing places in the Philippines and gain memorable travel experiences like no other.

To start booking hotel rooms, go to https://www.travelbook.ph/philippines/?affid=1492. ❤

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Workshop Alert: Monetizing on Video as a Platform

Are you a mommy blogger who wants to earn more through vlogging? Do you have a teenager who loves going on adventures and sharing his/her experiences through social media sites? Or, maybe you have a younger child who wants to be the Next YouTube Star? Then come with your kids to Monetizing on Video as a Platform on 1 April 2017 (Saturday), 1–5 PM, at Pen Brothers in Makati City.

Monetizing on Video as a Platform is a 4-hour workshop designed to help aspiring vloggers not only to understand the content landscape, but also to learn how to create a successful content strategy, earn money through YouTube, and start generating ideas for their own YouTube channels. Participants will have the opportunity to learn directly from famous YouTubers/Adobers Lloyd Cadena and Mich Liggayu, with Dennis Lim as the main speaker.

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Dennis Lim

Dennis Lim is the head of ABS-CBN Corporation’s Digital Media Services. He has 17 years of outstanding record of accomplishment for providing digital and online strategies in the ever-changing digital landscape. He is an expert in developing end-to-end video-on-demand and IPTV solutions, with a demonstrated ability to manage a successful online video streaming service.

Tickets to Monetizing on Video as a Platform worskhop are priced at only PHP1,500.00 each. Get a savings of PHP500.00 if you avail the Bring-a-Buddy promo or pay only PHP2,500.00 for two tickets. To register, please visit http://manilaworkshops.com/events/youtube101.

Monetizing on Video as a Platform is the first workshop collaboration between Manila Workshops and Certified Digital Marketing (CDM), in partnership with Globe MyBusiness, Alfox Printing Services, and PenBrothers. For more information, you may contact Veni at mobile number 0927 281 6651 or email at veni.anabo@manilaworkshops.com.

Café Review: Wagamama Cafe

Wagamama Cafe is probably the biggest café you’ll find in Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna. We first visited it on a weekend early this year, but didn’t get the chance to actually dine there because it was full then. We planned on coming back, especially that we have seen how the customers (of diverse age groups) seemed to enjoy their time there, playing various types of board games. Moreover, the owners and the staff seemed very nice and accommodating; one of them even went after us when we left and offered to reserve a seat because the customers on one table were about to leave.

It wasn’t until this March, however, that we were finally able to come back to this café, which has already started becoming popular in the area. We were there at around 2 PM and it wasn’t crowded yet at that time, although some of the tables were already filled. The biggest group, however, wasn’t there to just hang out or grab something to eat. Apparently, they were students rehearsing for a school play and eating didn’t seem like their priority. We, on the other hand, went there to do some brainstorming and to evaluate our progress in homeschool over (good) food and drinks that we couldn’t wait to try.

BigNLilSis at Wagamama Cafe

The interior. I liked the interior of Wagamama Café; it was cozy. There’s plenty of space to move around compared to the other cafés in the area. If I’m not mistaken, they could probably sit up to 40 people. A big portion of the place was well lit, but the area that seemed to have been converted from a bunk bed (sorry, I’m not really sure what to call that area) was rather dim, especially the nook nearest the counter. We wanted to stay there, but I had difficulty reading the documents I had brought with me because of poor lighting and the table provided was too small to accommodate the food and drinks we ordered and still have some space for my notes.

We decided to stay on the couch, which was more comfortable, especially that the wooden chairs didn’t have cushions. We were planning to stay there for 1–2 hours, so it’s imperative that we were seated comfortably, not to mention my companions were kids, ages 13 and 10.

There’s also an old bookshelf on one side of the place that would have really made me feel at home, except it contained a sparse collection of reading materials. I wish they would fill it with more books (and magazines) on various subjects. At first I thought that maybe the books were with the other customers, but everyone else was either chatting with each other if not using his/her laptop or mobile phone, especially that there’s free WiFi.

We thought we would also find some gameboards on the shelf, since that was one of the reasons we were lured to come back to this place. We saw groups of friends and families playing gameboards the first time we dropped by (on a weekend), but there was none this time, and we didn’t bother to ask the staff about them anymore. I guess the bookshelf was placed there just to serve as a decor (and a secret door to their storage room) and not really to hold many interesting books, and that made me a little sad.

I was also hoping that at that time of the day, we would be able to have some peace and quiet, especially that it was a school day, but I was wrong. Aside from the noise coming from the group of students rehearsing and other customers whose voices were trying to compete with all the other sounds, we had to deal with loud music, plus the grinding noise from their blender. I had to ask the staff to lower the volume of their sound system, but they seemed deaf to me. So much for holding an important meeting there with my girls!

We decided to stay, anyway, especially that we’ve been really wanting to try the food and drinks at this café. Besides, there were insteresting decals and writings on the walls that we, especially Big Sis, enjoyed reading and taking photographs of.

Service. Since we already had an initial contact with their staff (and café owners) from when we first dropped by, I was positive that we would have a nice experience when we finally dined there. Unfortunately, things weren’t the same when we came back.

I didn’t find the person who attended to me at the counter to be that friendly or accommodating, for one. Okay, maybe she was a newbie or was just plain distracted. When I asked for more information about their offerings, including best sellers, she just pointed to me the printed menu near her, plus the one written on the board behind her; no other information was offered at all to entice me to try a particular dish or drink. I also had to repeat my order several times because she couldn’t seem to get it right, plus she overcharged me, so I had to ask her to recompute everything and give me a receipt. Oh, did I mention that she seemed more interested in chatting with her fellow staff?

Further, she seemed very displeased when I asked for a receipt. She looked at me like I was from the outer space or something. They don’t give any; hence, I didn’t get any. She simply wrote down the items I had ordered on a small piece of paper with the total amount, which I no longer bothered to take.

It didn’t take long for me to realize either that their food and drinks were expensive,  considering the fact that they’re located at a village in a suburb (and is most likely still quite new in the business). And that made me wonder more why they’re not giving out receipts. Were they trying to avoid paying (the right amount of) taxes? And why give me that look when I asked for one? Doesn’t the law state that I could have for free everything I bought if the establishment failed to issue a receipt? Some establishments would even point that out to their customers! I was really tempted to leave then.

Anyway, it took 20–30 minutes before all our orders were served (one by one), which was pretty long, especially that they didn’t have many customers at that time and it looked like we were the only ones who haven’t gotten served yet. It’s a good thing the other crew were nicer and more attentive, like the one who busts and brings the food to the tables. I guess that somehow balances things when it comes to service?

Food and drinks. We tried their pesto pasta with grilled chicken (PHP129.00), cheesy French fries (PHP155.00, for sharing size), and a slice of chocolate cake (I can’t remember if it was PHP80.00 or PHP90.00 per slice). If you’re not really hungry like our group was, you can say that their food serving was good for up to two persons, even up to three, depending on your appetite too.

The French fries was good—Big Sis nearly devoured it all by herself—but didn’t seem plenty enough for its price. We found their pesto pasta rather bland in taste and that’s just disappointing, since Lil Sis and I love pesto pasta and we make them at home from time to time. The cake looked yummy, but the taste was just okay. Even Lil Sis, who has a sweet tooth, didn’t take more than three forkfuls of it. Unfortunately, I can’t really say that there’s anything special about any of the food we tried – something that would really make me or Big ‘n Lil Sis say wow! or let’s try that again when we come back.

Except for the fries, which wasn’t really that much to begin with, I ended up eating most of the food we ordered, and had a difficult time finishing them too. Guess why?

We also sampled two of their frappés, of course. They may be pretty to look at, but unfortunately, they were too sweet for our taste. Moreover, there was too much whipped cream that was so thick and won’t blend with the drink at all, plus the ice they used had formed into a chunk that we really didn’t have much to drink after a few sips. At PHP129 to PHP139 each, that’s rather steep, especially that we weren’t really able to enjoy them.

All in all, we spent more than PHP600.00 for our food and drinks. And, no, I don’t think it was worth it. Two family pan pizzas plus buffalo wings for the same price eaten in front of the TV would have been more satisfying, I think.

On the other hand, Wagamama Café has a wide selection of food and drinks. They serve cakes, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and rice meals along with hot and cold drinks among others. I’m sure you’re bound to find something that you’d really enjoy; we probably just weren’t lucky to find one that we truly liked the first time we dined there.

Cleanliness. The café itself was immaculately clean. The tables and chairs were spotless and properly arranged. Almost as soon as one gets disarranged, someone would put it back into place. Their restroom was also clean. The outside of the café, however, was a different story. There was uncollected garbage leading to its entrance when we went there, which was a sore for both the eyes and nose. I wish their staff would also pay attention to this area. Although garbage collection may be out of their control, they could have used bigger trash cans with lids to keep all the trash neatly in one place.

Location. Wagamama Café is conveniently located along Pacita Avenue at Pacita Complex 1 in San Pedro, Laguna. You’ll find it on the left side of the street if you’re entering the village from the National Road of San Pedro City; it’s about four blocks away from Jollibee Pacita/Westlake Hospital. It’s housed in a two-storey white building and has a parking space right in front of it. The café was rather easy to spot because of its huge signage, too.

So, would I go back to this place with my family? Maybe, but only to see if there has been any positive changes since we last visited. It’s not something that I’m really looking forward to try again in the near future and I certainly don’t want to spend another PHP600++ for the same amount and kind of food and drinks that we didn’t  really enjoy. 

Is it a place that I would recommend to others? Only if they’re looking for a seemingly cozy place that is not too cramped (on a weekday) and would look good on Instagram. I can’t say it’s a nice place to hold meetings, since their music is too loud and the staff seemed impervious to the fact that people go to cafés for quiet conversations/meetings, relaxed atmosphere, and/or good food and refreshing drinks that are supposed to be tastier yet more affordable than family restaurants and are served quite faster.

As I read other reviews about Wagamama Café online, I noticed that their very loud music, “expensive yet substandard quality” food and drinks, and inattentive staff were among the common complaints. On the other hand, everybody seems to agree that the place really looks nice and cozy, and yes, there are some who actually loved the  place too.

With some improvements, I believe Wagamana Café can become the go-to café for families and barkadas in the area, especially with its size, location, and ambience. (Their staff and owners just have to seriously consider their customers’ reviews.) ❤

Finding a good LASIK surgeon

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My husband is one of those people who needed to wear eyeglasses from an early age, but refused to do so. Unfortunately, his eyesight had gotten worse over the years and eventually, without eyeglasses, he would only see silhouettes of people and objects. This made me worry a lot about him, especially that he’s miles away from us. I would fear him accidentally breaking or dropping his eyeglasses and I would simply not be there to be his guide. To help him cope in case such incident would take place, he actually kept three pairs of glasses.

With the technological advancements in the field of medicine, however, and after hearing countless stories of improved vision through LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) surgery, we decided that he too would go through the same procedure to improve his eyesight. And so, our search for the right doctor began months before he came home last December, although I could not say that it had been an easy task.

Where we started

My mother-in-law recommended her own ophthalmologist, who practices at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and St. Luke’s Medical City, and is a graduate of Harvard School of Medicine. With her glowing recommendations and the doctor’s impressive educational background and years of experience (I looked him up online), I contacted his clinic at once to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, I was told that he won’t be available in December. Apparently, he goes to the US and spends Christmas there every year.

A friend from the church also recommended a young ophthalmologist who performed LASIK surgery both on her and her husband a few years back. However, every time I would try to set an appointment with him, I would be told a different clinic address for the surgery. Somehow, from Asian Hospital, the machine got transferred to a small clinic at Alabang Town Center, then to another clinic at the Mall of Asia. I didn’t think that was a good sign, although I believed in my heart that he was a good doctor too, especially judging by one of his patient’s recommendation and condition now.

And then I met another doctor who was a neurologist-ophthalmologist and practices the profession both at Makati Medical Center and Asian Hospital. I was easily at ease with her, especially that she offered information that I never even thought of asking. Impressed, not to mention the fact that we’re not getting positive signs from the other two doctors, my husband and I considered her. She was also recommended by a couple of friends from the church, but I later on found out that they were her patients for other cases and not for LASIK. That being said, although I wanted her to be the one, especially that she’s a churchmate too, and be done with the search, I had a nagging feeling that we had to look for another one.

The real dilemma

Two to three weeks before my husband’s arrival from Singapore, I started finalizing his schedule. It turned out that his relatives, particularly his mom and sister, were also getting anxious about it. They kept telling me to check on this particular doctor or so, do some thorough background research on the ones I’ve already shortlisted, etc. until I started having this nagging feeling that there might actually be someone out there more competent to perform the surgery, too.

I began looking up articles on how to choose the right physician to do LASIK surgery on you, things one should know both before and after LASIK surgery, including checking out online the profiles of the ophthalmologists listed in the online directories of eye clinics, including certain hospitals. I actually called up the medical institutions to get more information about some of these physicians, particularly on how often they perform LASIK surgery in a week or month, and I asked for referrals from the hospital staff, too. I even talked to some of the doctors themselves. I finally came up with a new list.

Digging through the pile

It’s amazing how much I discovered when I started researching! I learned that not all ophthalmologists can, will, or should perform LASIK surgery. From the articles I’ve read online, I realized that in other countries, particularly the US, one must have a license in LASIK surgery. Here, in the Philippines, however, the regulations do not appear to be that strict when it comes to LASIK surgery. Doctors who practice general ophthalmology may perform LASIK surgery, but those who specialize in cornea and refractive surgery are the ones who are most likely to be experienced in performing LASIK surgery. Continue reading “Finding a good LASIK surgeon”

Unboxing: Nu Skin ageLOC Body Galvanic Spa

I’ve been using the Nu Skin ageLOC Galvanic Spa II since 2012, though not consistently. My husband got one for me after learning that the way its gentle galvanic currents work is somewhat similar to electrotherapy (or that’s what we thought, at least). At that time, I was still recovering from having peripheral neuropathy (read about it here), and we were open to try stuff that could help me get back to being healthy and start looking more like myself again.

To make a long story short, the ageLOC Galvanic Spa II worked for me, giving me benefits other than what it claims to offer. For one, the other half of my face no longer looks lopsided.* Moreover, at 38 years old, I still do not have deep lines on the forehead, around the mouth, and near the eyes.

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About two years ago, a client gave me a brand new ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa. She’s a renowned dermatologist (a celebrity doctor on UNTV Channel) and she got the product for free from a certain promo at Nu Skin. Since she already has a (huge) machine at her clinic that could supposedly do the same job, she decided to give this beauty gadget to me.

I thought that was generous of her, although she probably gave it to me because she realized that I had given her such a huge discount on a certain product range that she had bought from me. Anyway, I thought I’d rather sell it, since I already have an ageLOC Galvanic Spa II, which could also be used for the body.

I never really got around to try and sell it, however, since I’ve been working from home for several years now and recently, I have also started homeschooling my children. Hence, my ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa remained unopened, safely tucked away at the back of my dresser drawer. This morning, however, someone I have told in the past about my intention to sell the gadget asked if it’s still available and whether I was still willing to sell it. She requested for some photos of it too, proof that its seal has not been broken. Apparently, she had met someone who seems interested in buying an ageLOC Galvanic Body Spa. So after so many months, I finally took it out of the drawer.

It was while taking photos of the box that I saw the note saying that batteries were already installed in the gadget, and I panicked. Seriously, how could I have missed that, and why would the manufacturer do that? Yes, they may include batteries, but why install them right away? Anxious to make sure that the batteries are still good–there’s no leakage–and after sharing with my husband my new dilemma, i.e., in case the prospective buyer decides not to buy it because I was about to open the box and break the seal, I finally went ahead and unboxed it…

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Now that I’ve seen all its contents, I think I might just keep this beauty for myself! After all, I’ve heard so many rave reviews about it, and coming from Nu Skin, the leader in anti-aging science, you can bet it would help me achieve the figure I wanted to have again before hubby comes home in December if I start using it regularly soon. Besides, like I said earlier, Nu Skin ageLOC Galvanic Spa II has worked for me; this would only complete my collection then!

On the other hand, I’m still open to buyers. It’s still practically brand new and unused, you know? But hurry, please, or I’ll end up using it myself–then you may have to pay me to let you try it!  😉

*This is based on my personal experience upon using the product. I do not claim that if you have the same medical condition, you would also get the same results, although I would encourage you to try and use the product in the hope that you might get the same results too. Note that Nu Skin ageLOC Galvanic Spa II is a beauty gadget that is meant to erase wrinkles from your face and make you look up to 10 years younger, and not a medical tool. Please take the time to follow the links (by clicking on the underlined words) in this post for related information.

How to be HAPPY at WORK

[PR] Happy at Work is a signature learning event produced every year by Salt and Light Ventures with the objective of helping both employees and employers build a healthy and happy workplace. It became a weekly column in Inquirer Libre entitled “Happy@Work”, with its first 12 published articles now compiled in the book Practical Wisdom to be Happy at Work.

Happy@Work column

Written by Boris Joaquin, who gives regular tips on how people in the workplace can find purpose and fulfillment in their jobs, Practical Wisdom to be Happy at Work confronts some of the daily issues and concerns employees in the workplace have. The topics range from  how to overcome Monday blues, dealing with stress and restlessness at work, to finding joy at work.

Join in the official book launch of Practical Wisdom to be Happy at Work by Boris Joaquin on 17 September 2016, Saturday, from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the 37th Manila International Book Fair, Meeting Room 5, SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

To reserve seats in this FREE event, you may text Angie at 09173114338 (limited slots available).

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SAHMot-sari just got nominated!

SAHMot-sari is happy and excited to be nominated for the Liebster Award, thanks to Jamie of The Juneau Home.

Liebster is a German word for dearest, which can also mean sweetest, kindest, beloved, sweetheart, etc. The main purpose of the Liebster Award is to help new bloggers connect, encourage and support each other, and build a sense of community. There are rules for the Leibster award, but they can vary with each nomination.

liebsteraward2The rules are as follows:
  • Thank the blog that nominated you and link back to them
  • Answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you
  • Tell readers 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers to receive the award next
  • Give your new nominees questions to answer about themselves when they post their nomination

The Liebster Award is supposed to be a fun award, so if you’re nominated, I hope you enjoy it too instead of feeling pressured to keep it going. I think it would really be nice to keep it going though! In my case, it took many weeks to finally complete the lists, so I’m just posting this now. Lol. Anyway, let’s work together to highlight and credit favorite new up and coming blogs within the blogging community, shall we? Continue reading “SAHMot-sari just got nominated!”

6 Things I learned from buying a foreclosed property

Like many Filipino young couples (who got married financially unprepared), my husband and I first lived with our parents and did not move out until our eldest child was ready for school. We thought it was the perfect time that we started planting our own roots, even if we were still struggling financially. Despite my mother’s insistence that we stay with her and Papa much longer, or at least find a place that is much nearer to them, I knew we just had to move out and mature. (Too bad we couldn’t find a decent place to rent near them.)

We rented a house somewhere in Laguna. I wasn’t exactly happy with this decision, especially that we were going to live across my in-laws, and that does not really count as leaving and cleaving, does it? Anyway, I still tried to be optimistic and chose to see it as a new adventure, if not something that I had to do for my husband and daughters. I never visualized my family and me staying there for a long time anyway; I had always wanted to live in a brand new house.

We had been renting the place then for nearly a year when we received a letter from the housing agency, GSIS (Government Service Insurance System). It turned out that it was a Notice of Foreclosure/Invitation to Buy and that means the place we were renting was a foreclosed property, which we were not aware of until that day. We showed the letter then to our landlady, who had no plans of buying the property, so we made our own offer to GSIS, with my parents-in-law guiding us on what to do.

So now we have our own house and lot. What’s next?

If you ask me, the huge and probably the only benefit of buying a foreclosed property is being able to purchase it at a much lower price. For instance, our 180 square meters lot with a 2-bedroom bungalow house of 120 square meters floor area, cost us around PHP1.1M only. We were required to pay 10% downpayment upfront, while the monthly amortization of about PHP 5,500 only is payable in 30 years.

If you would go house hunting now, you’ll find that a property of that size at a gated subdivision would easily cost you around PHP5M at more or less PHP30,000 monthly amortization, depending on the number of years to pay, but usually no more than 15 years. So, ours was a good buy if you think of it that way, right? Yes, of course, but don’t be so quick to get online and start scouring for foreclosed properties on banks and government housing agencies’ websites yet. Do consider first our own experience from buying a foreclosed property and the things we learned.

1. Total amount of unpaid real estate taxes

You already know that properties are foreclosed because the original awardee (or owner) was not able to pay the required monthly amortization for a certain number of years. Given that fact, you may safely assume that the annual real estate tax also goes unpaid. Whereas GSIS maintains verbally that we were starting on a clean slate or a new record, our local city government apparently declares that we cannot start on a clean slate unless all unpaid real estate taxes from past to present have been settled. And, guess who’s going to pay them?

We were required to pay around PHP40,000 for more than 20 years of unpaid real estate taxes (both for land and building) before we could pay our own real estate tax (i.e., from the time we owned the property). Imagine how surprised I was that instead of paying only a year’s worth of real estate tax, which should be no more than PHP1,000, I was told to pay 40 times that amount! Anyway, the following are the things that you could also do if you’re faced with the same situation: Continue reading “6 Things I learned from buying a foreclosed property”

Makeup epiphany

I’m no beauty blogger or makeup expert, though I wish I could be one. Truth be told, my 12-year old daughter knows more about makeup and how to apply them than I do. I have owned a lot of cosmetics during my college years, thanks to my late mother, who was an Avon lady. I would either get the stuff for free or at a huge discount; however, that still didn’t mean I became an expert at wearing makeup. Come to think of it, it’s probably because I never wanted to look like I was ever really wearing makeup, and achieving that look was a struggle for me.

Choosing the right lipstick color alone frustrates me. I had once given up on finding the right shade and brand. Each time I would visit a cosmetic shop at the mall to buy one, I would come home disappointed to find that the color that seemed to suit me while I was buying it actually looked different in the natural light. And then I would no longer feel like using it. Lipsticks eventually made me feel depressed, instead of making me feel prettier and ready to take on the world. It was only recently that I started wearing lipstick again. I would apply any color, even when I would only be staying home the whole day, just to get used to wearing lipstick again.

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From the dozens I used to own, these are the only lippies I’m keeping now. I got the Mary Kays at a very low price from a distributor I met at The Beauty Chronicles, while the Macs were gifts from my husband. Yup, he actually went to a cosmetics shop in Singapore and bought them for me! The other lipsticks I bought myself based on the recommendations I’ve read online, whereas the lip balm and lip gloss were gifts from my sister and niece, respectively.

Recently, after attending the free seminar entitled The Beauty Chronicles at CCF-Alabang, I seriously thought about makeup and (having a new) wardrobe again. I must be in senior high school when I last attended a seminar like this, so I was really glad I came and I wish my girlfriends, especially fellow moms, were also with me. I realized that many of the things the speakers shared I used to practice myself. However, over the years that I have been a full-time homemaker, I have somehow decided that those things (except wearing lippies) were no longer applicable to me.

At The Beauty Chronicles, women were taught how to put on makeup properly and were given practical tips on how to save from shopping clothes and skin care products as well as how to be fit without spending a fortune at the gym. Thanks to the very knowledgeable resource speakers, I also learned about the 5-year wardrobe plan. It simply means that you need not buy clothes often; you just have to keep pieces that match your skin tone and body shape, and then you can mix and match them or accessorize to transform into a new look or to match an occasion. Amazing, right? If we would only intentionally fill our closets with just the necessities and learn to mix and match, I bet we won’t get easily drawn to payday sale campaigns and save much on clothing alone.

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Professional makeup artists and reputable makeup companies were invited to provide the attendees a free makeover and products at huge discounts. I, myself, got a makeover from Satchi, Director of Canmake Philippines.

More importantly, I was reminded what it really takes to be beautiful. Indeed, no amount of makeup, accessories, or stylish clothes and shoes could make a woman feel and look good inside-out unless she has Jesus in her life. As the Bible says:

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

As a woman, I am certain that this verse is talking to me, reiterating how I should conduct myself, what I should value the most, and what I must teach my young girls to value as well. As I meditate on it, I also realized that I have been seeking my husband’s praises more than anything else. I don’t really care what others think of me; all I wanted was my husband’s (and daughters’) confidence in me. When I’m not getting them, I tend to be irritable and neglectful of my duties as a mom and wife.

If you are like me, let’s agree now that the answer to our dilemma has just been spelled out. If we want to be praised, especially by our husbands, we ought to be that kind of woman all the time–a woman who fears the Lord. Our husbands may have first noticed us because of our good looks, but they would only continue to regard us well by being a woman after God’s heart. If both our husbands and ourselves fear the Lord, how could our marriages not be blissful?

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With one of the women I look up to, a friend and a mentor, a fellow mom (without a helper) and a successful businesswoman who fears the Lord. (Photo grabbed from Women2Women Facebook page)

Now, if you happen to be single, know that this also applies to you. Don’t be fooled by men who flatter you because of your pleasing appearance. Make sure that the man you are attracted to holds women who love the Lord with the highest regard. And, by the way, trust me if I tell you that on top of having a God-fearing future husband, a future mother-in-law who is also God-fearing is as equally important. It’s not uncommon, especially here in the Philippines, for mothers-in-law to come between their children and children-in-law, and sadly, some marriages (slowly) disintegrate because of selfish matriarchs who could not let go of their sons and would not regard their daughters-in-law as new members of their own family. Besides, who are the first people we call on when we need help in caring for our kids, but our own mothers and mothers-in-law?

So, fellow moms, shall we also agree now that when we become parents-in-law ourselves, the only time we would come between our children and their spouses is to build them up instead of magnifying their flaws and keep them apart? Let us do our best to teach and model before our children what it means to fear the Lord. By God’s grace, I’m sure we can do that. ❤

P.S. If you want to learn more about Women2Women or view more photos from The Beauty Chronicles, please visit their page on Facebook.