Musings: A Rare Alone Time At The Mall

I treasure every alone time I get as it doesn't come very often. I completely understand that I need to recharge my batteries and refill my emotional tank. I'm quite surprised that Oprah believed that too when she mentioned it in several of her shows. Refreshed. Revitalized. That's what I usually am after every "planned seclusion." As much as I enjoy being surrounded with my loved ones, I also have a blast just being alone.

Call it the "only child syndrome." That means, I'm most at home with myself! As I grew up being one, I've lived in a world of never-ending imagination thanks to dad's books and of course, my favorite TV series. There I started to dream about life. Wrapped with idealistic visions and wishful far-away lands, I began to learn the value of dreaming beyond my resources and opportunities. As it turned out, it is only now that I've seen some of those dreams into reality. 

Oh no! Being in a clinic/ hospital is not one of them. Truth is, I haven't been hospitalized except for the time when I delivered my son. That miraculous event though has left me with a lower back problem. Three years ago, I was advised to go into therapy. But since I thought it wasn't that serious, I didn't follow the doctor's recommendation. Two months ago, the pain recurred and intensified which finally pushed me to have it checked once again. 

After the tests, I went down to the 4th floor to find something to eat.

I saw the Soya Bar and figured that their meals looked light enough and easy to prepare. That meant I didn't have to wait that long for my order.

After a 13 hour fast, I was virtually famished. Actually my lab tests just required between 8 and 10 hours. But since I arrived late at the clinic, I needed to extend my fast a bit longer.

After 5 minutes, the kind server brought my order to my absolute delight!

Grilled Chicken Sandwich (Php 79). A medley of grilled chicken and salsa with no mayonnaise as per request. I was pretty content with it because of the crunchy tones generated from the toast which revealed fresh salsa at the core of it. No fireworks though, but quite satiating. Perfect for breaking my 13 hour fast.

Soya  Milk (Php 40). Although I'm quite allergic to soy milk in large doses, I figured that since I'm just ingesting 40 ml worth of allergens, I would be left untouched. My prediction was right! Oh! I simply love soy for it's light, creamy and beany taste which screams good nutrition! Although there is a lot of conflicting research about soy, some say it's healthy and anti-cancer, another group says it promotes cancer in some way, I guess there's no harm in including a little bit of soy in your diet, at least if you're not deathly allergic to it. 

After brunch, I went a couple of  floors down for some R & R before the next procedure at the clinic. 

From this vantage point, I had a glimpse of my next destination: Kryolan.

There I had a one-of-a-kind play time!

To keep my spirits up while waiting for the last procedure, I took snapshots of my new blush.

Since I wasn't ready to undergo that test yet, I spent my time just loitering around. But then Piolo's photo distracted me from my already aimless pursuit.

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I never miss visiting Gong Cha whenever I'm at the mall. That day, I decided to be more adventurous by adding pearls to my fave Winter Melon Milk Tea. LOL.

As I returned back to the clinic, I sneaked into the taping of Talentadong Pinoy for fun! I caught the Floor Director, if I'm not mistaken, prepping the audience and concocting all kinds of games to keep them bursting with excitement.

Right after a short trip back to the clinic, I was all set to go home. But not until I bought some essentials...

Takoyaki as finale was not a bad way to cap my rare alone time. I just wished though that my next rendezvous won't include any clinic slash hospital again.

Footnote: Days after this post, the results came out "negative and unremarkable" which in medical terms meant "normal." Still, the pain was still there and so I was advised to go into physical therapy which I will absolutely follow this time around lest that condition interferes with our travel plans in any way. Not to mention my DVD workouts with Jillian Michaels and David Kirsch--my invisible trainers.


Play Time At Kryolan Cosmetics

During a rare alone time this week, I went to the German cosmetics company Kryolan to check out their blush. It captured my interest during my last visit, and ever since, I have really been thinking on whether to buy it or not. 

There was really no harm in trying so I went there and asked the kind beauty consultant about their bestselling blush as I've forgotten the name of the pink shade that I had on last time.

I got really excited when I saw their vanity table most especially when I saw the blush palette waiting for me like that. 

But since I had some blush on, I asked Ms. Leah if I could borrow their concealer to erase some of my cheek color. Wrong decision. Since I had powder on, the concealer became somewhat flaky on my skin for it is best to use it without any powder on, according to the kind miss. I turned to my good old-fashioned Heroine Make BB Cream by Kiss Me Japan which I bought from SaSa Hong Kong last year to prep my cheeks. 

With 24 shades to choose from, I didn't know where to begin!

As it turned out, their R9 shade was their bestseller. At first sight, I thought that it won't color much when I  put it on. I found out later that it's matt pink shade was just a sweet diversion from its rich pigmentation. Looks can be quite deceiving sometimes.

When I used my angled blush brush, the color just glided smoothly and quite intense, may I add, on first application.

Proof was that even though I took this photo near the window, with the natural light coming right through it, I can still see the vivid pink surfacing through my cheeks. I love that! It reminded me of Geum Jandi's cheeks in the hit Korean drama Boys Over Flowers.

Although I had my Kryolan lippie with me, I still asked Ms. Leah if I could see their lip palette oozing with 66 shades!

I asked her from which palette was Bea Alonzo's lip color from Magkaribal and she told me it's the LC122! It took me only one episode of watching the Tagalog soap and I've already fallen in love with Bea's lippie! I've often wondered where she got it. Alas, now I know. 

I asked the other kind beauty consultant, Ms. Annie Joy about their other bestselling shade. If I remember it correctly, she told me it's the LC001 which is another favorite among local celebs. Or is it the LC002? Any which way, the shades look so gorgeous!!!!

My play time at Kryolan was truly de-stressing to say the least. Just imagine being surrounded with such beautiful colors waiting to be explored! 

And yes, I did buy the R9 blush (PhP 680) that I've been thinking about recently. I simply can't wait to try it at home! Thanks to Ms. Annie Joy Doringo and Ms. Leah Tabligan for the kind assistance.

The Block
SM North Edsa
(Near The Face Shop)
Kryolan Philippines on Facebook

Next: Why Kryolan Lippies Are A Hit Among Local Celebs


CHERIFER Premium & 2ND Avenue Present EARTH RUN MANILA!


With the seemingly increasing effects of climate change in our daily lives, we can no longer ignore how much our planet is in bad shape. It's not hard to make its condition a little better when you know where to start. 

Become a part of Earth Run Manila brought to you by CHERIFER Premium and 2nd Avenue. Choose from 4 types of races: 3K, 5K, 10K or 21K. Don't forget to pre-register at participating registration outlets to quality for the races. For the 3K, 5K and 10K races, the fee is Php 600 while for the 21K, a fee of Php 650 is required.

Mark your calendars right now. Earth Run Manila happens on August 28, 2011 at Bonifacio Global City

This event is for the benefit of GREENPEACE.

Footnote: Thanks Ms. Milette of Solar Entertainment for the info.


ETC, 2nd Avenue & DIVA Universal Present GLAM CAMP!


In an effort to bring the word glamor to a whole new level, cable sisters ETC, 2nd Avenue and DIVA Universal have combined forces to bring GLAM CAMP to life! 

Happening from August 6 to 7, 2011 at The Tents Alphaland in Makati, every fashionista and beauty junkie is cordially invited to this one-of-a-kind shopping experience! Indulge in a plethora of fashion and beauty items to satisfy your craving for the good life. Choose from several participating brands and discover the products you've been dying to have. Maybe, just maybe, you can even complete your wishlist right there! 

Mark your calendars right now. Glam Camp happens from August 6 to 7, 2011 at The Tents Alphaland, Makati. Admission is Free.

Happy shopping!

Footnote: Thanks Ms. Milette of ETC for the heads up. More power!


Food Diaries: Flavorful Teas at GONG CHA

When we went to SM North Edsa yesterday, I saw a poster about this new store which allegedly offered the infamous Hong Kong Milk Tea. Since I have been craving for one these past few weeks, I told Bala and Tutapel that we should check it out!

Gong Cha Philippines

A rundown of the store's branches in other Asian countries really piqued my interest. Too bad, I wasn't aware of the store's existence when we were in Hong Kong and Macau. I wished that somehow I can also try out their branches in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as part of our itinerary. 

As you can see, there were a lot of customers that day despite the rains. They seemed like regulars because they knew exactly what to order, unlike me, a newbie, who had to ask what their house specialties were.

Gong Cha Philippines

For the House Specialty line, they said that their signature favorites are Winter Melon and Earl Grey Teas.

Gong Cha Philippines

And for their Milk Teas, it's the variant with Pearl Jelly that is obviously a front runner. Having heard all of this, I decided to order the medium-sized Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly for myself and the large Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Tea for Bala and Tutapel.

Gong Cha Philippines

When you look closely at the info sticker plastered on the plastic cup, you would see my name on it and the product and time of order. A far cry from our favorite Starbucks who still uses a pentel pen to write the client's name and order on the cup. On the sticker, it also shows your sugar preference-ranging from 100% to 75% to no sugar, if my memory serves me right.

Gong Cha Philippines

Before I tried Bala's order, an instructional poster greeted me by surprise. When I read it, I can't help but smile because scenes from our Tea Ceremony in Kanagawa-ken just flashed before my eyes. The intricate steps involved in a seemingly "simple" thing like drinking tea from a cup is transformed into a traditional work of art which teaches the participant about the value of patience and appreciation for the small stuff.

Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Milk Tea (Php 95). This particular variant is heavenly to say the least. The presence of Winter Melon or Kundol beautifully highlights the smoothness and creaminess of the milk tea resulting in a drink that is almost dessert-like! A reminder though that this is basically a sweet drink, considering the fact that I asked them to just put in 75% sugar. If for some reason, you're not fond of sweet things, make sure to ask for 50% or less sugar in your tea. 

Gong Cha Philippines

Milk Tea with Pearl Jelly (Php 80). The tea taste is more apparent tin this concoction which explains its bitterish undertones. But when consumed with the firm pearls, the drink becomes more fun and enjoyable. If you want a strong tea taste, then this variant is most definitely for you.

Gong Cha Philippines

I can't wait to taste other variants from their Ice Cream and Creative Mix product lines next week. Looks like Gong Cha has now become our family's favorite "fourth place!"

Gong Cha Philippines

Gong Cha Philippines


Sky Garden
SM North Edsa
Beside Starbucks

SM Mall of Asia

Footnote: "Fourth place" means one's favorite place next to the home, school/office and church. It was commonly associated with Starbucks for having transformed the way people have included Starbucks coffee and the place itself in their daily lives.