Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Little Braver

Because I'm finally done watching the Korean drama Uncontrollably Fond...

Sharing this beautiful song from the official soundtrack.



When it gets hard
I get a little stronger now
I get a little braver now
And when it gets dark
I get a little brighter now
I get a little wiser now
Before I give my heart away

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Throwback: Sights and Scenes Around KNU

Even though I live in a tropical country, the months of December to February are pleasantly cold. And speaking of cold, I am currently nursing cough and cold. It's a bit crazy here, actually. There are days when it's rainy and so cold, then suddenly, the next day, the sun is shining so bright. As a consequence, my immune system is kind of lost and confused. He he.

I remember I still haven't finished up posting about my trip to South Korea last August. Sorry for being slow in the blogging department. So, here it goes:

After a day of exploring Busan, I traveled to Daegu the next day. As I said in my previous posts, Daegu will always be my home away from home. Every time I go to South Korea, I always make it a point to visit Daegu. And the first on my list is none other than Kyungpook National University (KNU), my alma mater during my Master's. The following are some of the sights and scenes around the campus.

KNU's North Gate

Went to my former laboratory. Finally got to meet my professor again.

This used to be my daily path from laboratory to the apartment.

Just couldn't resist taking a pic of this beautiful rose

KNU's Global Plaza

Manicured lawn and old-style Main Admin. Building. Such a lovely, lovely sight!

Even if it's already months, I still feel like all these just happened yesterday. And I'm suddenly missing KNU.

I still have lots of pics and I'll try to upload them next time.

Meanwhile, I'm off to buy myself some multivitamins.

Have a great and blessed week ahead dear readers! =)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Supposed to be posted on January 3

Today is the third day of the year. It also marks the end of my holiday vacation at home for tomorrow I will be traveling back to Los Baños where I work. For me, every vacation means spending time with family but the hardest part is leaving again. But, such is life my friend. I feel sad but I don't want to be overcome by it. Okay, so before I start being too emotional, let's move on to other things. Let's talk about my favorite topic, that is -- how time flies.

Last time I check it was 2016 and now, we're in 2017. With the new year comes several resolutions in different aspects of our lives. But I don't want to do that this year. I actually don't want to expect much. I felt tired with my last year's major goal (which up to now is still hanging in the air) so I just don't want to pressure myself too much this year. I just want to take things slow and easy. I just want to live in the moment. 

One thing that I would love to do this year though is to focus on my health. Hopefully I could eat healthy and nutritious food more often and avoid skipping meals during the weekends. I also would like to exercise more and to be able to continue swimming. Gosh, I definitely miss swimming! I also would like to have a consultation with an OB/GYN because every time I have my period, for the last 12 years, I always have dysmenorrhea during the first day. I take pain relievers but I think now is the time to really see what's wrong. There's probably a hormonal imbalance but hopefully nothing serious. Also, I'd like to have a good state of mind, free from emotional clutter. And now that I'm getting older (I'll be turning thirty tomorrow by the way), I want to avoid being aggressive when it comes to dealing with unsuitable situation and people. I am hot-tempered and sometimes I can't control that so hopefully, this year, I would be able to minimize the damage. So yeah, that's all. 

Happy New Year guys!
Throwback to spending Christmas with family and relatives in 2016. Oh, hello self-timer!

My 95 year-old grandma



Sunday, January 1, 2017

Here's a random thought realization on the first day of 2017:


If you want to marry, marry someone who complements you, your attitude, and the things you believe in.

And if you don't find him or her in this lifetime, do not settle for less. Live life to the fullest even if you're on your own.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Bonjour

After a day of hopping in and hopping off in buses and going to different places, a well-deserved and hearty meal is a must for a tired traveler like me. For my second and last night in Busan, I had dinner with my roommate, a fellow solo traveler who is from France.
doing some saranghae pose the shop owner taught us

She is a vegetarian and I, well, I was craving for bulgogi (meat). She had soup and veggies while I had some chit chat with the shop owner bargaining for this and that. In Korea, if you go to bulgogi restaurants/canteens, there is a minimum amount of meat you can order. But since I was the only one eating bulgogi, that minimum order was too much for me. I think that minimum order can serve up to three people. After some discussion using my rusty Korean speaking skills, we came to an arrangement. In the end, I paid 20,000 won for my order. If I convert that to Philippine peso, it's about 1,000 pesos...Yes, 1000 pesos for just one meal! It's way expensive for me but then again, I was in Korea, so I'll just let it pass.
Having too many meat and being a slow eater, it took about two hours for me to finish (and I still got a few leftovers). But it's also nice because I got to talk to my newfound friend. We talked about so many stuff, from our personal lives to our perception of Korea and Koreans to politics. Since she only had a very light meal, we went to a nearby restaurant. We, then, continued our conversation over a glass of mekju (beer). And hey, I seriously missed the beer in Korea! It's light and refreshing.

It's almost midnight when we decided to go back to the guesthouse. It was a beautiful day indeed - being able to see Busan and meeting a newfound friend!

P.S. We exchange some phrases in our local language and I learned something new, French is so difficult! I don't know where they get a particular sound and how they execute it. Is it from the throat??? I know I sound silly but French is just a different level of speaking for me. Anyway, Bonjour!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사)


It was my third time going to Busan but it's my first time visiting the the breathtaking Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. It is located on the coast of the north eastern part of Busan. Since most temples in Korea are located in the mountains, rarely do you see a temple along the shore, so this is one of the very few finds. Even if you're not a Buddhist, it's perfect for people who just want to reflect. However, please take note that there are a lot of tourists coming here so you just have to find a spot if you want some peace and quiet.


Along the way, I found some people stacking beach stones.


So here's the view from afar. According to the site Imagine your Korea, the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was first built in 1376 by the great Buddhist teacher Naong during the Goryeo Dynasty.



wishing well
They say one of your wishes will come true. Got two, so I'm really hoping one of them (or both) will be granted in the near future.





Haesu Gwaneum Daebul
Haesu Gwaneum Daebul (Seawater Great Goddess Buddha), Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, Yongwangdang Shrine, Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum (enclosed in a cave), and a three-story pagoda with four lions can all be seen looking out over the ocean. The four lions symbolize joy, anger, sadness, and happiness. The main sanctuary of the temple was reconstructed in 1970.

Here are some more lovely pictures:
view from the top





















Since I'm alone and shy of asking other people to take photos of me, I just placed my cam somewhere and put on the self-timer. Haha!


























Monday, December 19, 2016

Skin Care (Updated)

Hi guys! I still have entries from my trip to Korea but let me just put this up first, my updated skin care routine and other products that I'm planning to try out.

When it comes to skin care, I'm definitely one who will embrace it with arms wide open. I have problematic skin since I was in high school. I probably hit the jackpot when it comes to how problematic one's skin is. So, here's why. I have the following skin type:
  • Combination (oily) - normal to dry on the cheeks, oily on the T-zone which means having big pores in this area
  • Sensitive - easily gets irritated/redenned when exposed to sun and different products
  • Acne-prone - breakouts occur during my period, when I'm stressed, when I didn't get enough sleep, or when I try a product that doesn't suit my skin

Right after graduation in 2008, when I got my first job, I started consulting a dermatologist. She gave me some products for the treatment of acne (pictured below). It's consist of Acne Facial Wash, Antibac Toner, Atibac Cream, Acne Cream, and Acne Spot Remover Cream. For several years, I've been using those products plus doing some facial and peel. My breakouts were not gone completely but they were controlled. From having several big pimples at a time, it was lessened to one or two (usually happens before or during my period). I used to have an Acne Facial Wash but it was changed to Acne Soap since my dermatologist got a different supplier. Fast forward to 2016 and I'm still using those products. It's not continuous though. In 2011 and 2012, when I was studying in Korea, I stopped using those products in favor of other products found in the world of Korean beauties.


At present, I feel that those products prescribed by my dermatologist are not completely effective on my skin anymore. I was thinking maybe the bacteria causing my acne developed some resistance. So, I decided to try other products. I heard this from a friend, the Maxi-peel exfoliating solution. Whenever I get a pimple, I used the Maxi-peel and apply it directly on the pimple. It helps dry out the pimple. Sometimes, I also apply it on my whole face to exfoliate dead skin cells. A word of caution though, if you have sensitive skin, do a skin test first to see how your skin will react and dab only a little whenever you use it.

For sun protection, I got this product Hamilton Superblock SPF 80 from my dermatologist. I'm not a fan of sun screens because they make my face red and oily due to the chemicals in the ingredients. I also hate the icky feeling during hot and humid days. However, I need to use it to protect my skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Last weekend, I bought Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum (P3,000) and Repairwear Laser Focus Eye Cream (P2,950).  


I've been dying to use the Pore Refining Serum because of my large, visible pores. I used it for quite a number of days but I haven't seen the results yet. Hopefully, I'd get to use it regularly, and after some time, maybe a few months, I'll write a review on that. As of now, it feels more of a primer though. After application, it leaves my skin feeling smooth and prepped for other products.

Clinique's Eye Cream is my favorite among all the Clinique products that I used. I bought one last year and I used it all up already. Thus, I got another one again. Being in my late twenties, now that I look in the mirror, I notice I have a few lines and crow's feet whenever I smile. I can see that it's also in the genes, both my parents have fine lines around their eyes, so as an armor for the aging process, I am using an eye cream now. It feels light whenever I apply it in the morning and at night. I am not seeing some dramatic effects but somehow, I feel that it's working. My crow's feet are not gone but my skin around the eye area looks healthy and no new lines are showing.
And now, we've come to these two products, Origani Erda Manuka Honey Peel and Day Cream. I also bought them last week in a weird circumstance. I was in Glorietta mall shopping for some Christmas presents when suddenly, a sales lady started talking to me and tried their product, the Manuka Honey Peel, on my hand. I was reminding myself to say "No." and just go away but I'm a sucker for skin care products. After application, she rubbed it and there were some clumps on my hand. She said that those were dead skin cells. But later, after reading some reviews and applying it to my face, I find that those clumps were just the product itself and not dead skin cells like they were claiming it to be. Oh well, so much for their marketing strategy! Anyway, after removing the product on my hand, they compared my hand with the other hand. It's skin was brighter compared to the hand where the product wasn't applied. Then, she put on some moisturizer to both hands and the hand where the manuka honey peel was applied absorbed the product easily compared to the other one. 
A foreign lady then started talking to me. She said she studied about skin care (I forgot the term, she's not a dermatologist but something like that, more of a skin care guru) and that my face is very sensitive and that I have to use organic products free from chemicals, etc. Ultimately, she convinced me to buy the Manuka Honey Peel, which by the way is very expensive (P6,700). I wouldn't buy it, really, but I don't know. Maybe because of all the talking and the application on my hand and her giving the Day Cream as a free gift (yes, she got me into that) plus a free facial (which I have yet to redeem).

I've read the reviews and all of us have the same experience on how the sales persons do their job into convincing people to buy their product. They are really pushy and really talks you into so much crap. Oh, they also tried on their eye cream on me. They said that it's working on me (but when I looked at it, there's really not much change) and the foreign lady offered me this: if I buy the two creams (worth a freakin' P20,000), she'll give me the Manuka Honey Peel plus Day Cream plus Night Cream plus Mudpack Soap as gifts. It's very overwhelming, all the free items but sorry not sorry, I don't have that big amount of money to spend on skin care products. Even if I said I can't buy that because it's very expensive, she offered me half the price for the two creams but all the free items will not be included. Seriously, it's still big, P10,000 for two creams!!! After saying that I have to go several times because I still have to meet my friend (which by the way is true), only then did I got the chance to get out of their stall. Geez what an experience! Not a good one though.

Okay, so for the products itself. Well, the packaging looks luxurious. The bottles reminded me of Lancome. I tried on the Manuka Honey Peel and after the application, my skin feels smooth. It's to be used once a week only. But I think I used it twice already. Then, I applied the moisturizer. What I like about it is that in the morning, well my T-zone is oily as usual, but looking at my whole face, it looks pretty okay. It's not as oily as compared to when I used Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I still have to use these products for a longer time and by then, I hope to write a comprehensive review.

By the way, on the first instance of using, I got a pimple the next day. However I'm not sure if it's because of the Origani products or Clinique's Pore Correcting Serum because I used them at the same time. Note to self and to others: Using new products at the same time is not advisable. Think of it as an experiment, you have to use only one variable at a time to see its effects.

Whole gang's out! The Clinique repertoir! Hahaha! I got a gift set of travel packs (P1,200) which I'll be giving to my mom as a gift. By the way, I love the travel-sized chubby stick and the mascara.

Here's a parade of all my skin care plus some make-up products. Also included are Philosophy's Hope In A Jar Oil-free Gel, Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Foundation, Clinique's Even Better Foundation samplers, Nivea Lip Balm, Maybelline's Baby Skin Pore Minimizer, Missha's Lip Tint, and Sudocrem Moisturizing/Healing Cream.


So after several years, here I am still searching for the elusive holy grail product/s. Hope you continue to join me in my skin care adventures and misadventures. Any tips for my skin type would be greatly appreciated. =)
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