Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila: First Look and My First Paint and Sip Experience

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Last Saturday, I was invited to have a first look at Citadines (CDC) Millenium Ortigas Manila and their Paint + Sip activity.

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
Citadines (CDC) Millenium Ortigas Manila is located at Lot 4 Block 1, Ortigas Avenue Ortigas Center.  The location is very prominent since it is at the very heart of the busy ortigas district.  It is just across Robinsons Galleria

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
What I found interesting about Citadines (CDC) Millenium Ortigas Manila is that it is a 32-storey building with mixed-used development: 96 units of Residential Condominium (starts at P 110K/sqm) and 290 units of serviced apartments (starts at P 115K/sqm) managed by The Ascott Limited.  The Serviced Apartments comes with  meeting rooms with business service, self-service launderette and fitness center.   The Ascott Limited will also facilitate the common areas.

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
There are 4 types of units available for the Residential Condominiums occupying the 25th to 30th floor: Studio, 1-Bedroom, 1-Bedroom Deluxe, 1-Bedroom Premiere and 2-Bedroom.  While the Serviced Apartments occupying the 4th to 24th floors has 5 types of units with an addition of 3-Bedroom. The latter also has a few upgrades like having a synthetic granite counter top instead of synthetic stone counter top and a carpet flooring for the master bedroom.


Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
As you can see, the units are already fully furnished with their uniform interiors.  It comes with a living and dining area, kitchen, bedrooms and toilet and bath.

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
The walls are polish finished while the floors are matte finish so it's not slippery when wet.

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
Doesn't this make you feel like you're in a five-star hotel?

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
Among the common areas is the Resident's Lounge...

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
which overlooks the Infinity Swimming Pool

Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
and it also has a good few of Ortigas Avenue.

Paint + Sip
Citadines Millenium Ortigas Manila
I have to admit that I was lured in by their Paint + Sip activity because it is the first time for me.

paint
The instruction was pretty simple.   Start with the lightest color so I drew the outline with the lightest color I could mix and then just shaded as fast as I cold because I was running out of time.  I wish I could have allocated more time for this activity but I was late for my own birthday party. =(  It was a great experience but I bet I can try harder next time.

paint

So it was twice the learning and twice the fun for me.

Should you have any inquiries about Citadines (CDC) Millenium Ortigas Manila just email them at inquiry@cdcholdingsinc.com.

Love Rocks Concert: Legendary Love Songs by Dan Hill and J Michaels This Valentines

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MANILA -- SINGER/SONGWRITER DAN HILL APPEARING AT “LOVE ROCKS!” CONCERT FOR VALENTINE’S 2017 AT RESORTS WORLD MANILA

Grammy winning International Artist DAN HILL returns to Philippines for a Night of Legendary Lovesongs, Tuesday 14 February 2017, 8:00pm at Resorts World Manila, Newport Performing Arts Theater.  J Michaels will also be returning to NPAT as co-headliner and host of this Valentine’s “Love Rocks!” concert series.

“Sometimes When We Touch,” which Dan co-wrote with legendary songwriter Barry Mann, turned into the “mother of all covers,” most recently having been recorded by boxing champ Manny Pacquiao.  Originally earning Dan a Grammy nomination for best male vocal performance, the song enjoyed renditions by singers from every continent, in every style, and was translated into several languages.  Dan later received his Grammy award for co-producing an album for then-little-known Canadian artist Celine Dion.
Other hits that he wrote and recorded include “Can’t We Try,” “Never Thought (That I Could Love),” and “I Fall All Over Again.”  In more recent years, he has concentrated heavily on songwriting for other vocalists and continues to enjoy live engagements in Canada, the US, Southeast Asia, and elsewhere.  “Intimate,” Dan’s latest studio CD release, has earned tremendous reviews worldwide.  A special version of “Intimate” was also created for Dan Hill fans in Asia, to include songs he wrote for and were recorded by other artists: “In Your Eyes,” “I Do (Cherish You),” “Seduces Me,” and more.

As lead Vocalist, Manila-born J MICHAELS is an international recording artist and longtime showman who effortlessly shows incredible versatility in musical styles.  THE J MICHAELS BAND serves as back up band for the internationally-acclaimed “Love Rocks!” Concert series, pairing world class concert and touring musicians with multi-platinum and Grammy artists.  J Michaels has shared the stage with legendary rock artists like Ambrosia, Benny Mardones, Stephen Bishop, Jimi Jamison, Yvonne Elliman, Michael Johnson, and Terry Sylvester of the Hollies, among others.  His online music videos, filmed on location in various countries, have quickly gained popularity with over 1.5 million new views in 2016, earning him fans worldwide, including many in Philippines.

This Love Rocks! concert is presented in cooperation with Events by WEG Inc., BluRock Productions Inc., Grand Leisure Corporation, and SEC Events, Official Residence New World Manila Bay Hotel, Official Media Partners: Fox International Channels, UNTV, Retro 105.9 DCG-FM, 105.1 Crossover, RJ100, Wish-FM 107.5, and The Philippine Star, with special thanks to: Zoomanity Group, Misono, and Yoshinoya.

Tickets available now at all TicketWorld outlets, Resorts World Manila Box Office, and Online at www.ticketworld.com.ph.  Additional Philippine cities on this tour include Cebu/Mandaue and Cagayan de Oro, to be officially announced at a later time.

#          #          #
Media contact:
09174308904 Lance Romel
www.facebook.com/thejmichaelsband
www.danhill.com

My Reflection for 2016

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2016 is probably the fastest year of my life.  Everything was in a rush.  It was only on the month of December that I got to slow down, reflect and meditate.  Being a really deep and philosophical person, I find that as a necessity.

Health
2016 is the year where I can say I am almost fully healed from Eczema and I can function
normally except I have to use gloves to wash dishes and do laundry.  I have gotten used to
cooking my own veggie meal every day.  And, I still get to try eat whatever I want in
between.

I have realized the expense of health with my daily veggies and supplements.  But, it’s still
cheaper than buying steroid creams or worse getting hospitalized for a graver illness
someday.

I am still a stress eater but I can now easily detect and lessen stress and negativity in my
life.

Relationship
After my hideous skin has cleared up and I now have the time, there’s no excuse not to visit
Ex (three years and half after I broke up with him) and Lychee.  The encounter was intense
as expected.  Memories of our 10-12 years of being with each other every single day that I
thought I have forgotten is still there.  It was painful and sad.  There probably more feelings
that I could not identify.  But, what I could discern is that there is still respect for each
other even if he has already moved on happily, found himself a new relationship and a
course in life drastically opposite of mine that I doubt we’ll ever encounter each other in a
normal circumstance.  We were both wishing each other to have a better future.  It was a confirmation of self-forgiveness and forgiveness of each other.  There was no need for words.   We both knew we made our fair share of mistakes and those taught us a lot for the future.

It was very relieving for me because over the years I always knew we were different and
the only thing keeping us together is our belief in commitment and purpose of relationship
which is to serve the other.  We’ve gotten so used to compromising that we were denying
the fact that we were settling.  We were so eager to please and serve each other that we hardly
fought over anything anymore. 

It gave me a new perspective when it comes to relationships.  I used to think that as long as you communicate and have a common interest then it will work out.  But, it’s actually respect, trust and appreciation that is more important.  And, you can only do that despite the ups and downs and all the failures and mistakes that will be committed if you’re within the same mindset and have the same values.

It’s kind of ironic that I found this biggest loss to be the biggest gain I ever had in terms of
learnings and growth.

Although in the brink of 2016-2017, I think I'll also add here that during random talks with shobe.  I've discovered that I was a bit pessimistic when it comes to relationships.  While I'm very understanding and highlight strengths and overlook flaws in others, I don't apply this type of positive reinforcement in intimate relationships.  I thought it's because of the depth and honesty involved that I point out flaws directly so we can both grow.  But, I now realized that my approach shouldn't be any different. 

Identity
I’ve read from a Psychotheraphy (treatment for those who have experience trauma) article
that destiny involves our personality… our mindset.  Through our mindset, we have a choice
on how we adapt and react to external factors and stimuli (including our environment and
genes) called fate.  Like everything our mindset as well as common interests are constantly
changing.  Therefore, I am an eternal student of life.  What I think is right today may
not be right tomorrow and my wants now can be irrelevant tomorrow.

The amazing thing that I discovered with fate is that the answer can be just before us but
we fail to recognize or appreciate it unless by some twist of fate an event happens or a
person presents in a way for us to comprehend.  So let’s see what my learnings and change
of mindset are from the happenings of 2016:
1. Everyone is different.  Everyone is unique.  We have our own quirkiness and weirdness.  But, people tend to follow the trends and try to blend in.  I am now comfortable and in complete acceptance with my way of being a divergent.
I have found an internal happiness and inner peace with myself.  Instead of blending in,
I compensate my way of dealing with others with empathy, respect and sincerity.

Thank you family, friends and pets for accepting me for who I am.  I can never feel
lonely while being surrounded by your warmth.
2. I have discovered the beauty of simplicity and minimalism.  I had so many wants in the past which I no longer want now.  This made it easy for me to find happiness in my day to day life.
  • I no longer crave for sweets and junk food.  I now enjoy the wonderful feeling that vegetables give to my body.
  • I can easily compromise many things just to please others and avoid petty arguments.
  • I would rather earn less for a stress-free life.
  • I can forgo free trips and eat outs just to use the time to do some chores at home or to spend the time with the family.
  • I’d rather have wisdom than knowledge.
3. I’m still as ambitious and passionate in everything I do but for a different meaning.  I’d like to believe that with everything I do with sincerity, I am distributing a fragments and bits of my being… my heart and soul…
  • I don’t want to be defined by my profession.  I will do it efficiently and sincerity but not for distinctions and monetary gain.  I need the stable pay to support my mom and buy quality dog food for my 8 dogs. 
  • I will still continue to do my hobbies:
    • Events photography (http://picsisphoto.blogspot.com):  I was not able to expand on my knowledge and expertise in this field this year because of my busy schedule.  But, I will continue to work on this seeing how this is important in family events.  And, I am also happy to please clients as I help them preserve their memories.  I think in this avenue my weakness is my lack of observation skills and perspective to be more creative.  That’s why I also try to add more creative shots of day to day life in my personal Instagram (@stacyliong) but I’m having a difficult time with it.
    • Lifestyle Blog (www.crumpylicious.com): I’m still the same person who hate routine and loves to explore and learn new things.  This is my memoir of events I’ve been to and lessons I’ve learned.  I’m not as active as in the past but this still serves it purpose.  I will continue this as I enjoy reading my previous posts and recalling my memories.  It has come to my attention that in our life time, we can only recall memories a few times in our lives.  In which case, I’d rather have triggers like these posts so I can recall them whenever I want.
    • Food Blog (www.tsinoyfoodies.com): I’m still a foodie.  But, my preference has shifted from enjoying quality more than quantity.  I used to devour until my tummy will burst.  Now, I just want to try and taste more variety.  I now enjoy small courses of fine dining than being stuffed in an eat-all-you-can meal.  If I can choose between a free extravagant meal as against sharing a simple meal with family and friends, I’d choose the latter. (Yes I’m actually quite sentimental)  So, it’s quite easier for me to recall and write when I’ve dined with the latter.
    • Food Instagram (@tsinoyfoodies): I’ve always considered myself to be an analytical and whole picture kind of person that’s why I took up accountancy.  My blogs are all mostly informative because of that.  Thank you followers for appreciating my improvement with my food photographs.  I never thought that I could expand my artistic side.  And, this is the proof of that. 
    • Travel Blog (www.traveltripsters.com): I used to think that I like travel so much. I am always jealous whenever I see my friends travel posts in social media especially if the shots are awesome.  Like food, I realized that I only like it once in a while and in the company of loved ones.  I can’t be a frequent traveler because I’ll miss home.  So I will still travel and continue to update this with my travels but travels taken on my own time and on my own leisure.
    • Legal Blog (www.philippinelegalguide.com): I’ve been really lazy in updating this.  Now, I have a lot of files and notes with nowhere to go but the trash.  I intend to transfer some of them here for preservation purposes.  Anyways, my memory is not as good anymore so I better to keep some of them here and it also helps others.
    • Charity Work: I have declined all opportunity as a volunteer photographer in the NGO which I’ve been participating.  I hope I can allocate time to do more next year.
    • Gardening: I’ve done a nasty job here.  During my review, most of my plants died. =(  Maybe I’ll just leave this hobby to shobe who does better in crop plants.
 4. I’ve learned, relearned and strengthened certain values.
  • Respect: Being appreciative of the littlest things, I can’t help but admire and respect others.  To the elders, I’ve mastered obedience as it naturally follows respect. This is also my motivation for doing my household chores regularly and efficiently.  (Yes, I'm finally giving order to my disorganized life)
  • Patience: I am happy that my patience has expanded even more. 
  • Empathy and Understanding: 
    • Having gone through so much and yet I was able to cloak it from friends and family because I did not want to scare them or worry.  If it happened to me, of course it happens to everybody as well.  I’m sure everyone has a tough story behind their seemingly irrational behavior.  Thus, I am not more complacent and understanding as ever.  I always give anything the benefit of the doubt.  As a result, I now find myself being rarely pissed off or irritated which is perfect for my good health and eczema.  Because of my eczema, I have come to believe that it is our human nature to be good.  Otherwise, even our body will complain from the negativity and stress. 
    • After all my failures and all my flaws, I had a hard time forgiving myself which took a toll on my body.  That’s when I realized that as long as we are alive, we can move on and improve.  Therefore, whether it is with ourselves, we should highlight and strengthen the good things.  And, we should not define ourselves and others with our flaws because that what life is all about: to weed out the flaws and improve.  As we grow, those flaws will eventually vanish (hopefully in our memories too).  We should then live in the present, forgive and enjoy the better future.
    • Moreover, I’ve come to learn that the heart like every muscle in our body requires exercise for it to be efficient.  So I have no doubt that I will become wiser, more empathic and understanding in the years to come. 
  • Discipline: All my life, I never had the discipline to conform to regularity.  Just late this year, I’ve come to appreciate the art and meaning in conforming to regularity as a means of survival and self-improvement.  I found this to be an essential element of maturity, efficiency and aging.
  • Openness: Siblings call me the topper for always trying to supersede their ideas with mine.  Now, I’m less stubborn and more open.  Not entirely but I’ll get there. =))
  • Thankfulness: I’m very grateful to have my family and friends.  I don’t think I can ever ask for a better life.  Contentedness is easy to achieve because I was born in an already comfortable status.  As to all the events that have happened, I’m kind of glad they happened the way they did.  I value my personal growth in all aspects more than anything and I’d like to believe that I’ve grown so much because of the things that happened. I
  • Generosity:  When I was sick, I realized how much of an illusion owning something is.  I don’t even have control of my very own body.  Thus, I’ve become less materialistic and less attached to things.  I’ve come to enjoy having the power to give than to receive.  (Easy as it sounds this didn’t come naturally to me as a person)
So I think that sums up 2016!  Looking forward to 2017.  No doubt, that will be a big year for me.

Your Name: My Movie Review

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I have great expectation with "Your Name" because Makoto Shinkai has a preceding reputation for making great animations.

your name
The movie partakes a body swap fantasy.  First, it is taken lightly and quirky as the two casts deal with the changes. Then, it transforms into an innocent adolescent love capturing the hearts of everyone along with them.  Just like Taki who never wanted to give up, the audience are also hoping and believing along with him especially when he said  “I’m always searching for something, for someone."

Although set in the modern world where they use their cellphones as diaries, it also displays traditional Japanese culture and beliefs.  The fantasy is wonderfully interwoven that it drags you in so much that you forget about logic and possibility for reality.  It makes one believe in destiny, fate, the sacredness of time, and great bonds like love.  There are also relatable advises such as “Treasure the experience.  Dreams fade away after you wake up."

The songs are modern by RADWIMPS but the lyrics are poetic and meaningful. 
  • Zenzenzense (前前前世 "Previous Previous Previous Life")
  • Supākuru (スパークル "Sparkle")
  • Nandemonaiya (なんでもないや "It's Nothing"
Overall, Your Name is a must watch and an unforgettable and emotional cartoon that you will remember for a lifetime

Trampoline Park: Fun Jumps and an Injury

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Little sister has been wanting to go to the Trampoline Park every since she found out about it.  So once the entire family is free, we went there as walk-in.

trampoline park
I was expecting it to be big but it has this simple facade.

trampoline park
There's a counter with a rate board.

trampoline park
Rates are higher on the weekend but we didn't mind.

trampoline park
Socks have to be like these so we bought some for 150 php.

trampoline park
We waited in this area.  Around 10 minutes prior to our schedule, there was an orientation on the TV screen.

trampoline park
We also prepared by removing our shoes and wearing the required socks.

trampoline park
This illustrates the layout of the trampoline park.

trampoline park
There is also a waiting area on the second floor with more fans.

trampoline park
Yes, the entire area is not air-conditioned so prepare to sweat.

trampoline park
The park looks big but there are also lots of customers so you have to wait for your turn on some parts.  And, there was a portion where they closed the lights and turned on some disco lights.  We hated that part because we didn't feel safe and we couldn't take photos either.

trampoline park
But, some parts are not as popular.

trampoline park
The most popular part is the basketball.  I tried it but my form was awful.

trampoline park
My mom and sister tried the dodge ball.

trampoline park
I think this part is the second most in demand.

trampoline park
You can have lots of cool shots here.  But, careful not to fall like that.

trampoline park
You can also jump sideways.

trampoline park
Don't force yourself to jump some more when you're tired.  Little sister got injured that way. 

trampoline park
It took awhile before we were able to call the attendants because they were busy jumping.  My other sister is a doctor so she instructed the attendants on what to do.  They did not seem prepared.  Brother carried little sister to the car.  Good thing its just minor sprain (we had an xray after to confirm) and it healed after a week or so.

Overall, we all enjoyed the Trampoline Park.  Just don't push yourself to hard.  My mom who is a senior citizen loved it.  But, she was very cautious and we were all very attentive and present where she was.

Trampoline Park
The Portal, Mayflower Street, Greenfield District, Mandaluyong,
Metro Manila, Philippines

My 5-Year Eczema Story: Finding the Cure (Part 2)

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I began researching about eczema and discovered about GAPS diet and leaky gut since if you ask for medical opinion, they will only say that it is incurable and you the only remedy for managing is the steroid cream (the cream is very expensive!  I ended up spending around 3,000 php/month).  (see part 1 if you haven't) I also sought help from a friend who is into alternative medicine but most of the food suggestions were inaccessible or expensive like organic duck eggs.  I bought natto and prebiotics and resorted to making vegetable juice for months.  It’s funny how times of difficulty could push us to learn things.  Before this, I have never made anything in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, my effort was not as fruitful since I later discovered through my bowels that I having a difficult time digesting raw vegetables.  I was also suggested to have sunlight from 11-2 pm but it also didn’t work and just burned my skin. 

After washing the blender often, I also discovered that I was allergic to all dish washing soaps and laundry detergent.  It caused my hands to have various slash wounds out of nowhere.  I only used Perla soap or gloves to wash the dishes.  My family was in disbelief as they have never heard of such.  But, I pushed on and the hand wounds disappeared one by one.  I also shifted my soap to baby soap and used baby shampoo which eased the eczema in my body.

eczema

Lower Body Update 2 (Warning! It's a bit disgusting)

The eczema issues just kept on as time went on… To mellow it a bit, I used everything I’ve researched on the internet (mostly earthclinic.com), Apple Cider Vinegar Spray, Epsom Salt with Apple Cider Vinegar Baths (this made me very dehydrated and I felt my eyes drying but this also toned down the ooze because it kept my skin dry), Honey (external application), Virgin Coconut Oil (I believe the 2 Table Spoons a day made me fat so I applied after half a year, I applied this externally) and sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 Teaspoon).  Because of these remedies and mummy-style cling wrap, I became capable of sleeping. 


Photos (Click at your own risk)
 Because I was so hopeless, I documented by photo my eczema from August 2014 until May 2015 and kept a diary of what I eat so if I do conquer it I can inspire others like me.  (The photos I’ve decided to post are when they are dry after my Epsom baths so it’s less disgusting)  During these months, I questioned a lot of things like Why Me?  I felt ashamed that I used to tell Ex to eat healthy and I’m the one who is ill.  He drinks coke every day.  And, most of the time eats hotdog, Maggi and rice for lunch.  I believe I ate a well-balanced meal - same as my family who don't have eczema!  I began to back track the things I’ve done and the things I could have done better.  And, at some point, I realized that stress is one of the main cause of my eczema so I spent most of my time reflecting about life, my existence etc.  It just hit me that all my fears are just illusions of my mind.  Everything is a matter of perspective.  (It is this that motivated me with photography.  Check out my IG as my visual memoirs if you have time)    I could no longer afford to be angry or irritated so I had to reexamine every argument I could remember (most of it were petty arguments between Ex and I).   Throughout the process, you know I couldn’t find one argument where I did not misunderstand his good intentions.  I think that one of the biggest lessons I got... with understanding and empathy to sense warmth in ever living being, it is difficult to trigger my negative vibe and therefore, I was no longer emotionally triggering my eczema.  I know people say that we could not live on the past and past is past.  I get that.  But, during those times, I also realized that as long as we are alive... life goes on regardless of how we want it to... So even if I can't go back to the past, it made me feel that I want to survive so I can go on and pay them forward. 

After months of staying away with sugar, I actually felt good.  I no longer had pessimism and mood swings.  You can do your own research on gut bacteria and its effects on the brain and behavior.   This experience has thought me that even the little lest things should not be taken lightly.  In fact, it is these little buggers (and maybe cancer) that are almost invincible.  Sometimes, we humans think too much of ourselves.  (I know I once have)  Yet, we are just temporary like everything else...  we don't even own our bodies.  But, I’d like to think our soul will live on when we die so perhaps our purpose is to gain wisdom that goes along with our soul.  Otherwise, what's the point of living?

On October 11, 2014 early morning, I was rushed to the ER for diarrhea.  Since 12 am, I had 20 watery stools and 2 vomits.  My skin turned pale and I felt inflated.  I was nauseous and had heart palpitations of 70 heartbeats in a minute.  I was given 2 bottles of 100ml cipoflaxin as lactate since they found bacteria in my stool test.  I also had an electrolyte imbalance.  I had ultra low sodium and potassium so I was given iv supplements of sodium and potassium.  I felt that my Apple Cider intake and Epsom slat baths contributed to it so I stopped from this point. 

After my recovery, I began to change my diet to chicken bone broth soup with cheap vegetables from the market like Saluyot, Bitter Gourd Leaves with onions, garlic, tumeric and ginger.  I began taking Centrum Multivitamins and Fish Oil together with my probiotics (any brand I can get from Ebay).  I also ate banana almost every day.  I also tried making sauerkraut and had been successful only once.   On some day, I have kimchi (if I managed to buy some).   My bowel movement became regular from this diet so I continued this for a year or so with cheating whenever I went out for food blogging or with family.  Although I had maps of eczema still at this point, I was already raging with positivism that I think nobody could tell anymore.  I also noticed that my skin is responding to sunlight.

On January, 2015, I went to a beach trip at Grande Island Resort and had an acupuncture session with Dr. Philip Niño Tan-Gatue.  The beach I’m certain helped.  While, the acupuncture prevented it from spreading.

It was a slow recovery.  By some miracle, on June 2015 (before I began my review school year) my eczema healed.  There were only visible bruises but I already wore regular clothes because I'm always for comfort.  My friends would joke that I was battered and I just laughed it off.  I was so proud and happy with the bruises after all I’ve been through. 

By my graduation (on January 2016), most of my scars have lighten up.  I can now eat regularly.  I can sneak in a couple of sugary foods.  I am no longer allergic to anything again.  However, if I get exposed to stress (like my recent bar review) or detergents whenever I am in a hurry to clean up the dishes, my hands get slash wounds and the bruises get darker.  I always take that sign to slow down.  I couldn’t avoid getting slash wounds on my left hand for the past few months and I kept on getting flu from sitting down too much so a  month before my exam, I bought Alive Multivitamins and Spirulina which I took together with my regular Fish Oil and Probiotic. They helped me prevent having a flu but the slash wounds wouldn't go.  Lucky for me, there was none on my right hand which was my writing hand for the exam. 

So that sums up my 5-year episode with my eczema.  I’m not fully healed from this auto-immune disease but I’m pretty sure I can be!  And, since eczema is common... I hope my realizations and discoveries help you guys too!