Speed Magazine | January 2018 Issue

My face on page 114. Grab a copy! 🙂

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2017: What a year that was!

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” 

(Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God)

For me, 2016 was the year that asked questions and 2017 was the one that answered.

I was 25 years old and still immature in 2016 when I had to deal with my first heartbreak. Left with nothing but questions, I kept chasing for a closure and looked stupid. I had to learn people come and go the hard way.

But 2017 was redemption

The past year, I believe, is appointed by God to teach me about acceptance. It is the first thing to letting go, moving on, and growing up. It’s either you accept you aren’t the one in control or choose to struggle pointlessly.

And I’ll admit it was difficult, being the girl used to getting what she wants. So I took each blow of my 2016 issues one by one, let myself hurt intensely until I become solid. I looked at pain eye to eye til it no longer dissipates my spirit.

2017 made a woman out of the girl I was.

2017 taught me I am as strong as I want to be.

2017 not only made me smarter, but instilled wisdom in me.

2017 reminded I am a diamond some people can’t afford.

And most importantly, 2017 made me excited for 2018 – certain it can only get better.

No regrets, just love. 

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  (Rev 21:5, NKJV)

Movie Review | Coco

Synopsis

Join young aspiring musician Miguel on an extraordinary journey to the Land of the Dead as he attempts to break his Grandma Coco’s long disdain of music, prove his true talent, and ultimately unlock the real story behind generations of family history.

Running Time 2 hours and 10 minutes
Genre Animation
Cast Edward James Olmos, Alanna Ubach, Benjamin Bratt
Release Date November 22, 2017

(Source: SM Cinema)

I was never a fan of animation. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, this is the first time I’ve sat down a movie house to see one – if not for the invitation of my colleague Mae who was willing to watch it for the second time. She said it made her and her boyfriend cry. So, I thought it was a dramatic Thai film until it rolled and flashed the Disney and Pixar intros.

Oh well, I told myself I can just kill that girl the next day if the film wouldn’t be worth my 270 pesos and going home late on a Thursday.

After the first 15 minutes

I was glued to the screen. Still aware I am seeing a film I didn’t signed up for, but there is something with the narrative. It will make you interested. The cinema was quiet as Miguel introduces his life, family, and their tradition. But still, no hint of drama and I’m starting to question Mae’s promise that it would make me cry.

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Fast forward to halfway through the movie, you’ll realize you are with Miguel on his attempt to get his own way. The situation is familiar and Miguel’s character is heavily relatable. As the real conflict of the story built up, I realized this movie is exceeding my expectations. I underestimated it’s capability to highlight serious issues. To add, I didn’t see the twist coming!

Coco tackled some major elements of life: family, dreams, regret, and memories.

Family

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Miguel belongs to a close-knit family that is extremely traditional. The elders say how you should live and leave life, and although it doesn’t sound right, you can tell it’s out of love and concern. I didn’t know Mexicans are familial like that. The regard for family and women is same with us Asians. Like me, you may not share the same beliefs with Miguel’s family, but you’ll see all the details make sense in the end.

Dreams

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I like how Miguel honors his dream and believes there is no other way, but where it leads. If only more people would have that passion of a 12-year old, more lives would be meaningful. However, the movie also showed what happens when you badly want your dream to materialize, you’re willing to step on others. You become selfish and unconsciously, do things you’ll regret later on.

Regret

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It is extremely saddening. Can you think of any cure for regret? Coco featured regret in two forms: regret of a father who left his family and of a boy who didn’t listen to his elders. Suffering from regret is inevitable when you’re very much guilty of acting out of emotions. What I liked in the movie is how the characters owned up their mistakes, stayed strong, and didn’t give up until they made it right.

Memories

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“I cannot forgive you, but I shouldn’t forget you.”

-Imelda to Hector

Since the movie deals with life and death, it banked on how memories keep something (or someone) alive in a way. In the movie, you’ll realize that forgetting someone you loved dearly is impossible. They will be part of you forever, until your last breath. It doesn’t matter if they left you with a good or bad memory. If they’ve touched your soul, you’ll carry their story wherever you go, even pass it to the next generation.

I cried

I’ll skip the details and proudly say, I cried. There was this scene when all the issues build up and you’ll feel like letting out a loud “HUHUHU.” I saw how everyone in the movie house reached for tissues – even the guys in front of us! My heart really melted when Miguel was about to resolve the conflict like a grown up man. I saw Mae crying quietly also and understood why she wanted to watch it twice in the cinema.

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The takeaways

For me, the morals of Coco are:

  1. Never let yourself be bitter.
  2. Life goes on even after someone you love leaves you.
  3. Your family only want the best for you.
  4. Love is supporting the other person in chasing his/her dreams.
  5. When you realize you messed up, don’t dwell on it, be responsible, then make it right.

Good job to Disney and Pixar for coming up with an animation adults would love! How often do you cry watching a cartoon? It takes a really good script, a universal conflict, and an unpredictable twist.

Watch it!

Review | Be Organic Bath & Body Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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Be Organic Bath & Body Argan Oil Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Price: PHP 350.00
Size: 250 ml

Got mine from my favorite next-day-delivery online store, BeautyMNL. As you can see, I’m already on my second bottle. I’ve actually just purchased a Shiseido Tsubaki Extra Moist shampoo, which I had to give up since I need a sulfate-free shampoo for my recently Brazilian Keratin treated hair.

What it promises

  • Prevents frizz and restores shine
  • Helps with hair growth
  • Strengthens the hair cuticle, making each strand softer and smoother
  • Aids in moisture retention in the cortex and surface of the hair
  • Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, cdea, tea

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My personal experience

First, I like it even if others say it’s too small for the price. It’s handy and not messy when you pour out the liquid. Second, I like the clean and organic smell. It’s fragrant, but not too strong – just exactly how you would want your hair to smell like.

I pour some on to my palm and added water to make it even milder. It lathers just enough for me to massage my scalp and make sure that I clean all product residues. You’ll feel that it nourishes the hair instead of drying it out like other brands. Those with fine hair (not I) may even skip the conditioner.

My hair throughout the day

This shampoo prevents frizz, indeed. It is for this reason, I fell in love with the product, as I have a really buhaghag hair. I may have thought of trying other brands, but it’s just because I love experimenting and testing promises. See, I came back to the Be Organic Argan Oil Sulfate-Free shampoo!

Pros: Delivers its promises
Cons: They say PHP 350.00 is expensive for a 250 ml shampoo, but the liquid gold argan oil comes with a price, right?

I give this product 5 stars! Highly recommended for all types of hair, especially those with thick and wavy hair like me.

You Were Intense, El Nido (Video)

To describe El Nido, Palawan as beautiful is an understatement.

It was the ultimate getaway! I was expecting to love the sight, but I didn’t know it would be magical. Paradise, indeed! My next best trip after Seoul.

To add, I flew to Palawan with two of my bestfriends: Jorzell Virtucio and Reynalyn Elon. All we did is to ensure each of us is having a great time. We had each other’s best interest at heart!

I went back to Manila with an overwhelming gratitude. God really knows where to bring me to take my breath away.

We only paid Sulit Dream Destinations P8,888 per head, inclusive of the following:

1) Airfare (back and forth)

2) Van Transfer (Puerto Princesa International Airport to our inn in El Nido, vice versa)

3) Breakfast and lunch (seafood at the boat, on tour) for 3 days

4) Trike transfer from our inn to the sea side

This trip was worth every cent. We’ll definitely go back. 🌴

See for yourself!