Venus & Joel Getaways: 3rd Year Anniversary Edition

It’s not very often that Joel & I get to go on vacation on our own. The number 1 reason for that is that we always want to take Joaqui with us.

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If you had a kid as cute as this, wouldn’t you want to bring him everywhere, too?

But this time, since it’s our anniversary, we figured we’d have some alone time. We chose to spend our day in Batangas na lang so Joaqui could go to his Lolo naman for vacation. We went to Nayomi Sanctuary Resort and boy, the place did not disappoint.

From the lovely view to great service to the super yummy food, this’d be the place to go for a quick getaway from the Metro’s toxicity. Continue reading “Venus & Joel Getaways: 3rd Year Anniversary Edition”

So, You Want To Try Watercolor/Brush Calligraphy?

If you spend as much time on Instagram and Pinterest as much as I do, you’ve probably already come across a few beautiful watercolor art or calligraphy here and there. I’ve always admired people who can turn words into visual art so, the jack of all trades that I am, I told myself, “Maybe I can do that, too!”

And here are some of the tips I can give you guys if you want to try it, too. Continue reading “So, You Want To Try Watercolor/Brush Calligraphy?”

The Man-Made Wonder that is the Boar-Bristle Brush

Now, if you know me personally, you probably know that my hair is untame-able. For hair that never experienced any kind of treatment, just the occassional blow out, it’s a mess. But you know, I’m probably the most oblivious person you’d ever meet.

You see, I was raised by television. I grew up watching animé and there, no matter what you do, your hair will always stay the same. Whether you’re working your ass off to gather the seven warriors of the Suzaku clan whilst fighting of the evil but incredibly charismatic Nakago or simply shouting your lungs off to cheer for Rukawa, your hair always looked awesome. Miaka had a lot of misfortunes and most of them involving her getting thrown into the ground, the wall, all over the place, but her buns never got messed up. And if they did, they did so in a fabulous way.

And then came the real world shows, particularly, Gossip Girl. If you have watched even just a single episode of this show, you’d understand where my ridiculously unrealistic expectations about hair are coming from: Serena van der Woodsen.

Somehow, spending enough time obsessing about this goddess made me think that if her hair was that good, how bad could mine get?
See, this is the messiest that it got. She was supposedly so drunk that she couldn’t remember seeing Dan for the first time????? THAT’S HER DRUNK HAIR AND FACE
Do you see?? Do you see how television ruins people????? I somehow got into thinking that if my hair was decent enough when I left the house, it would stay that way. And I. I. I spent the last 20 years parading my grossly frizzy hair around like an idiot.
It wasn’t until recently that I became TRULY conscious of my looks, you see. Before, I had the occassional “Gah! I’m so ugly! I should do something about it,” moments but laziness and pop culture influence prevailed. I am now in deep regret.
Someone pointed out to me that the reason my hair looks double-dead is that I shampoo too much without conditioning. I shampoo my hair every time I shower and shampoo it twice on night showers. Twenty years of that (well not really 20 but you get my point). I also stubbornly refuse to use conditioner because it makes me feel greasy. Ajuju.
If you’re like me, I suggest you read this article. I still don’t know if all of it works but my biggest takeaway from it is the boar bristle brush. I’ve always been amazed by how blown out hair looks different from normal at nasa brush pala ang sikreto.
BWAHAHAHA. Wala lang. Ang haba haba ng intro ko yun lang naman pala point ng post ko. Haha.
Anyway, it really works!!! I swear! Try it! Worth the extra buck from synthetic brushes. :>
Check this out. Five minutes lang sya of brushing after I bought it kanina. Haha.

Sorry. This was the best kunyari-candid shot I could do–that’s how bad I am at it. #nofilter #allnatural #nomakeup #myblogmyrulz

One of the best decisions I made. At least medyo decent na yung buhok ko dyan sa pictures. Haha.
Raised by my mother as a Goody girl, I bought the one from Goody. I don’t have any other recommendations, since I have not the money, energy, nor the motivation to try other brands. You should probably just ask the sales people around kung ayaw nyo ng Goody. Hehe.
xx,
V
PS Terribly sorry for the horror story that is the capitalization of the title of this post. Which words to capitalize in titles have always been one of the many gray areas of grammar for me. Am I using gray area right?

On the RH Bill/Pre-Law/Law?? (what is a pre-law even)

Hi. New blog post after such a long time and I’m afraid it’s going to be a political rant. At magtatagalog na lang ako para hindi masyadong nakakahiya ang Pilipinas kung may makabasa mang kung sino nito.

Bale, grabe yung traffic sa may Faura kaninang umaga. Bakit kamo? Dahil sa RH Law. Yung 13++ years nang bill na sa wakas ay naging law na? Hayun. Law na, na-TRO pa. Unconstitutional daw kasi? O kung anumang bwisit na dahilan.

Alam nyo ba kung gano kahirap at kamahal magbuntis? Una sa lahat, tataba ka ng bongga. Pangalawa, stretch marks. Kung isa ka sa mga mapalad na nilalang na ang balat ay immune sa stretch marks, napakaswerte mo. Kung hindi, magdusa ka.

Every 2 weeks na check up kapag malayo ka pa sa due date mo, every week kapag malapit na. 600 pesos kada check-up, may libre or mura naman, pero mamamatay ka muna sa pagpila. Yung vitamins, nasa mga 1500 kada-buwan. Yung panganganak, swerte ka kapag normal. E kung caesarian? Tapos yung baby, magkano ang gatas, diaper, vaccine, at kung ano-ano pa? Tapos, babalik ka pa sa gynecologist mo para sa pap smear, tapos reresetahan ka ng pills or injectables or kung ano mang gusto mo. Panibagong gastos.

Pagdaan namin kanina sa may Supreme Court, may dalawang kampo na nagbabangayan: yung pro-RH at anti-RH. Syempre kampi ako dun sa pro-RH, at dahil rant post ito, ang topic eh yung mga anti-RH.

Yung mga taong anti-RH, gustung-gusto na tinatawag yung mga sarili nilang “pro-life.”

Sus. Sinong niloko nyo? Di naman pro-life ang pagtutol sa RH Law. Pro-life kayo kasi ayaw nyo ng condom? Pro-life kayo kasi yang mga hayup na contraceptives na yan e abortion din yan.

O sige na nga, payag na ako sa argument nyo. Protect the sanctity of life. Yeheeeeees. Ang banal.

O e ano nang mangyayari kapag naipanganak na yang mga pinoprotektahan nyong buhay? Salot na ng lipunan ang tawag nyo? Palalabasin nyo ng simbahan kasi mabaho? Iiwasan nyo sa daan kasi nanakawan lang kayo? Di nyo bibigyan ng limos kasi ipangshashabu lang nila?

Pag naging pulitiko kayo, nanakawin nyo yung mga tax nila para makapagpatayo ng mansion at makabili ng BMW niyo? Magtatayo kayo ng Catholic school tapos ginto yung tuition fee?

Kung talagang ang dami daming pro life sa bansang to, bakit ang hirap hirap pa rin ng buhay?

Sana kasi yang mga pro-life na yan e totoong pro-life. Hindi naman kayo pro-life e. Sa katotohanan, pro-birth lang kayo. Pro-faux morality. Pro-uneducation. Pro-inaccessible reproductive health. Anti-quality life.

Sa dinami-dami ng debate dyan sa hayup na RH Law na yan, namimiss na yung whole point nya. Ang point lang naman nyan e maging accessible para sa lahat yung reproductive health. Para ma-advise-an at maeducate yung mga tao ng tama.  RH services na accessible para sa lahat, actually, optional pa nga yan for most private hospitals. Sex education para sa mga public schools, and again, optional for private schools.

Kung ayaw mo naman ng mga yan, di ka naman pipiliin e. Ayaw mo e di wag mo! Pero hindi ibig sabihin nun, irerestrict mo yung access ng iba. Napakasama na ng ugali mo nun. Siguro, kung lalaki ang nagbubuntis, ang tagal tagal na nitong na-approve. But then again, that’s a different issue.

Accidental Post-Birthday Celebration

A little over two weeks ago, my mom had her high school class’ reunion at Valentino Resort. Beforehand, she asked me to google the place to see if it’s any good. When I saw the website and saw the amazing pools and their tempting spa services, I pestered my mom endlessly to take us.

It took time and a lot of effort to convince her to let us tag along, but in the end she gave in (as she always does). Hehe. And although it’s pretty common for resort websites to go overboard with photoshop so long as they could advertise, the *actual* Valentino Resort did not disappoint. It did not disappoint at all.

Although it can be a bit pricey, for me, it was all worth it. The place is amazing and for its age, very well-maintained. The resort is perfect for weekend getaways, for when you want to escape the city’s heat, noise, and smog-ridden air.

Their help are extremely professional and they’re really really nice and always have smiles plastered across their faces. From parking to unpacking to finding your cabanas, the staff will assist you all the way. The place is really big so these carts are really handy!

I lost count of how many trips kuya driver gave us but it was a lot!
Aside from the helpful staff, the whole place is a Wi-Fi zone, and the speed is not half bad. For this internet-dependent generation, that’s a really big plus. In fact, I think the Wi-Fi  was the perk that my mom enjoyed the most. She was all, “Na-upload ko agad yung pictures namin sa Facebook!” She didn’t go swimming, she’s not a spa person, and she didn’t get to take the tour with us ’cause she had to go bond with her high school batchmates, of course, so it’s pretty understandable.

We mostly spent the day in this pool since this was the one nearest us.

The view from here is spectacular!

Since I’m super maarte when it comes to pool water, here’s another plus for Valentino! The water is crystal clear and it’s cool, just the way I like it. Also, there weren’t much people when we went, in fact, for most of the day, only Joel, Chen, and I were swimming in the pool plus two other kids in adorable bikinis.

I loooooove swimming so much so most of the day was spent making babad on the water. Fun fact: even babies in tummies feel lighter in the water! I’m already on my third trimester so I’ve been having trouble carrying the extra heavy weight recently and swimming gave me a break from all of that. When I was in the water, I didn’t feel pregnant at all!

The resort is also a good place for another thing everyone in this generation enjoys doing: camwhoring! There are a lot of spectacular views and it feels like everywhere you go is instagram-able. They have this awesome view deck/hanging bridge!

These two kept shaking the bridge while I was taking pictures of views from the bridge so I didn’t get any nice ones. 😦 Just see it for yourself. 😉
And here’s us going crazy with the camera! I just recently discover Clone Camera so please forgive the madness. Hihi.

Yep, he has 3 pairs of the same slippers.
The only thing that made this day slightly disappointing was that we didn’t get to try their spa services since we didn’t have time na. It should also be noted that they have relatively cheap spa services! The massages and facials and spas and manicures go as low as Php250 (I know right!) Oh well, now we have an excuse to go back!
Since both my parents are Batangueños, this place really is a source of pride. Valentino Resort and Spa is located in San Jose, Batangas, and it’s just a 5-minute drive from my mom’s house. Who knew that there was paradise amid all that poultry?
I suggest everyone go here! You will not be disappointed.
xx,
V

Two people on the table next to mine and they’re not even talking. One is typing on her lap, the other, a little more traditional, is writing endlessly on her old little notebook. She looks deep in thought and in the zone since she does more writing than observing the people around her, which is a lot more than what can be said about me. Also, she’s right handed, all of these people are, which is a bit disappointing because seeing another left handed person always manages to cheer me up.

Another man is having a drink that looks like iced tea along with a chocolate chip cookie and that doesn’t make sense because cookies and pastries and cakes go best with coffee. Clearly, this man doesn’t know how to enjoy food, he just mindlessly consumes them.

A coffee shop is theoretically a good place to study in, and that is exactly what this well-dressed Chinese man in his 20s seems to be doing. He seems to mature to be still in college so my money’s in law school. I would love for him to represent me someday if need be, he seems really responsible, to be able to actually study without stopping and stalling in a coffee shop.

The lady opposite me, around my age, large headphones on, engrossed in her Dell laptop, seems to be doing exactly what I’m doing which is just killing the time. I really envy her badass headphones, I would probably learn playing this song I’ve had on repeat for two hours now much easier with those acoustics. And now I’m having an internal struggle on whether or not I should chat her up just so I could have a go at her headphones, and that’s probably a bad idea since life is not a romantic comedy–people don’t actually meet other people in coffee shops. A popular, and becoming increasingly annoying, line that’s been circulating around Tumblr, and the Internet, everywhere goes something like, “I wear these headphones and put the volume on maximum so I could shut the outside world up.” I wonder if people ever just do this to shut themselves up ’cause listening is way better than talking and just fucking things up?

It’s been half an hour since your last message and looking at our wedding ring is doing more depressing than comforting now. I’m sorry. Everything is always my fault and I’m not just saying that, it’s really true. Turning 20 in a month, becoming a mom in more or less than two months, and I’m tearing up in a coffee shop. I don’t really see why anyone would want to marry me and for you to do it so happily, even fighting just for it to happen, just shows how kind of a person really are.

Please come home early, baby. I love you. And I really hope these people around me will have a happy place they can go home to as well.

My Wedding in Low Quality Photos

Being pregnant at 19 years old is probably the mother of all social stigmas, specially in a country like the Philippines. And everyone would tell you that it’s always harder for the girl because she would be judged harder, more and more and more as the baby grows inside her uterus.

But you know what? Fuck all that ’cause I’m having the time of my life! See this instagram photo?

Also this one?

I’m at my happiest right now and no amount of gossip and judgy-ness and hate can ruin that. Also, I’m not saying that you all should just go ahead and make babies, but after the congenital scan, what with the results indicating that our future baby boy is as healthy as they come, Joel and I couldn’t be any more happier.
Pitch in the fact that I get to wake up next to the love of my life, my one great love everyday and take care of him and that my family loves him and everything is going peachy and you would wonder how one person could walk around with this many happy hormones.
Settling down this early may not have been in our plans, but we always knew that this where we’d end up. 
And to mommy and daddy, I swear I’d still make you proud. Love you both.
xx,
V