I bought my first New TV at 40

I have just reached 40 a few months back and would you believe that it is my first time to buy a new TV?

Hand me downs

When we were kids, it’s our parents who buys stuff for us. That will continue for as long as you live with your parents and until your parents earn more than you do and sometime even when not. Well, in a way that was not the case for me.

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House of Lechon Manok Latest Food Concept in Little Manila

One of our favourite dining venue has a new concept, House of Lechon Manok. Loosely translated, the name means House of Grilled Chicken

The House of Lechon Manok

An original concept, compared to other brands that are available in Little Manila. House of Lechon Manok uses charcoal to grill. Their specialty is chicken, but they also have a version of Liempo,  another famous grilled meat in the Philippines. Traditionally made with pork belly, House of Lechon Manok version is made of beef.

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CURRENTLY JULY 2017 …and other updates


Mango tree in our backyard. It’s so tall that we can’t even harvest. πŸ˜›

Hello, hello, hello!! 

I’m writing this post inside my parent’s room in my childhood home with the sound of the pouring rain outside. Ahhhh, memories. 

I know its been a while. As usual, everything is a bit hectic lately. From meetup with friends and relatives to organizing the house, I am exhausted most of the time. I realized that I didn’t write June updates so I decided to do this post.  (Are there any readers left? Thank you for sticking around!!)

From now on, I’ll try to update first week of the month instead coz it makes more sense that way. πŸ˜›

July Currently…

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On Oils and Why Essential Oils?


Oils are a part of most, if not every, Filipino household. Newborns are given Aciete de Alcamforado (Camphorated Oil) and Aciete de Manzanilla (Chamomile oil) for relief of minor discomforts brought on by colds, colic, etc. 

Growing up, we escalated to Efficascent Oil which is a blend of wintergreen, menthol, camphor, eucalyptus among others. This is used for almost everything — back pains, headaches, cramps, insect bites, sprains, gas, etc. 

The ultimate “Tita” accessory would be White Flower Oil which is again, a blend of several essential oils like menthol, wintergreen, camphor, lavender, eucalyptus, etc. I have a small bottle of this in my bag, in my car, in my office drawer… anywhere you can think of. It’s just something I love to use when I feel nauseous. 

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Currently – May 2017

Currently MAY 2017

May has come and gone! So what was I up to? There’s been a lot of things happening all at the same time so blogging naturally took a back seat, again. But, we’re still active in social media — sort of. Here’s the rundown:


feeling overwhelmed. May has been a whirlwind in our household. There’s going to be a big change and adjustment for me in the next few months. And I’m not just talking about the little human growing in me. I finally did it. I fired my boss. I’ll be jobless in a few days! It makes me happy and at the same time it scares me big time. Aside from that, we had a health scare in the family (something I’d like to keep to ourselves for now). 

starting to buy newborn stuff. Since I will be leaving soon, I decided that we should buy the stuff we need as early as now. As I grabbed the newborn diaper (size 1), I looked over at Alvin and said, 

“I can’t believe we are back at one”, to which he replied, “Who knew we would be starting over at 40!”

It’s scary, this pregnant at 40 situation. 

…planning our homecoming. Yep, we’ll be staying in the Philippines for a while. It’s school break for B anyway so might as well stay there so she can meet and bond with her cousins. I also plan to deliver little snowflake there so it’s going to be a long “vacation”. πŸ™‚

…thinking of baby names. We still do not know exactly what little snowflake is. B wants a sister so they can be twins, she says. I told my doctor that I don’t want to know, I want it to be a surprise because … hey, I probably won’t be surprised this way again right? (altho, my doctor kinda hinted what the baby is… I wanted to karate chop her head. LOL)

As long as the baby is healthy, I’m ok with it. So, baby names … hmmm.

…enjoying my newest obsession. Essential oils!

It all started when I was staying with my sister in LA a few months ago. I told her I’m having a hard time sleeping because of my clogged nose … something I suffered while I was pregnant with B. I’m guessing it’s hormones, right? So, she turned on her diffuser with some oils. It helped me big time! 

Fast forward to now … 

I decided to move one level up and started using good quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. I figured, if I’m going to inhale this, might as well be good quality, right? So, yeah … I’ll probably be sharing my EO journey here as well. 

YLEO Blake

My apprentice helping with oil blends …

What’s up with you lately? πŸ™‚

Affidavit of Support – Why it shouldn’t be required for Filipinos

Affidavit of support is a notarized document that is being required from Filipino travelers on a tourist/visit visa to another country.

Affidavit of Support – What is it, really?

The document is a statement that the sponsor takes full responsibility for the welfare of the traveler. That the sponsor will bear all necessary cost to support the traveler and that the traveler will not be a burden to the Philippine government and the government of the host country.

A sponsor, usually a relative up to fourth level of consanguinity, applies for the affidavit of support from the Philippine Embassy/Consulate in the host country by filling up a form, attaching supporting documents such as passport copies and proof of residence and source of income of the sponsor and pays for the processing fee. Here in U.A.E., the cost is 100 AED at the time of writing.

Affidavit of Support and Consent or Parental Travel Permit

Affidavit of Support and Consent or Parental Travel Permit

What is the intention of the Affidavit of Support? 

The document is intended to “curb human trafficking“. A traveler on a tourist/visit visa is highly to be off-loaded without this document. It is also a source of revenue for the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.

Why it should be stopped immediately:

  1. The right to travel and freedom of movement are constitutionally guaranteed rights.
  2. It is disgrace to the Philippines because it signifies that it does not trust its own citizens. If the host country granted a visa, its a signification of trust. Banning a Filipino with a valid visa from traveling because of lack of the affidavit of support is illogical.
  3. So what if the traveler intends to find a job in the host country, The Philippines tends to benefit if the traveler does land a job in the host country.
  4. Air travel will increase, which means that more travel tax collection for the government.
  5. It contributes to corruption. Those who do not have the document are sometimes forced to use a way around the requirement.
  6. Its a waste of time and money. Sponsors will have to take time off work to be able to apply and collect the affidavit.
  7. As far as I know, no other country limits their citizen from exploring the world as a tourist.
  8. There are other means to curb human trafficking. Instead of assuming that everyone is being trafficked, use proper agency to investigate and track down human traffickers.
  9. Filipinos are caring citizens, we will take care of each other. There is no need for a document that says that we will be responsible for our visitor.
  10. It is the governments inherent responsibility to help and support their citizens abroad.

I hope this article reaches some of our lawmakers and do what is necessary.

Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below. 


To Family, To Friends, to Life – here’s to being 40

They say life begins at 40, if that’s the case, consider me reborn. Today I turn 40. Here’s to being 40 with Family, and friends.

To Family



Last year, we achieved a milestone in our family, we celebrated my mother’s 60th birthday. We are a global family, so last year’s celebration is a big thing for us. After more than 20 years, we all managed to be in one country, one place at the same time. My family wanted to celebrate my 40th in the same way but the schedule doesn’t work for everyone in the family and the cost is just not practical.

To Friends

Al Aryam Camping

The last 2 years gave more friends and acquaintances here in UAE than the first 14 years I have been here. I did not expect that social media can bring real social connection. I know more people because of this blog. I’ve met a lot of like-minded people who are very good story tellers, whether it be travel, food, lifestyle, fashion, and beauty. The one thing that is common is the passion and the love to tell stories.

Looking back at the things I’ve done

I’ve had a colorful life. We lived in 3 cities before I moved to UAE. Most of my childhood was in part of the Philippines that is considered as notorious. Lets just say that I support President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

Immediately after high-school, we moved to the south of Manila. When I look back to what I wanted to achieve when I was in high-school, I can say to myself, “well done“. I did achieve what I wanted when I was younger. To have a loving family, a stable job, a car, a house.

In fact, I am happy that I was even able to achieve more. I was able to travel to different countries. I was able to stay in high-end hotels and eat fantastic dishes.

Looking forward

Just because I have achieved what I set for myself doesn’t mean it’s enough. At 40 my goal is different. Now my goal is for my family … for my kids. I have to make sure that they too achieve their own goals, to protect them from uncertainties of life. Here’s to family, to more friends, to living longer and healthier and to 40 years more.

40th Birthday