25 November 2015



Wheeee! It's a month to Christmas! My absolute favorite season. :) Not only do I get to binge on Starbucks' Toffee Nut Frappuccinos, I get to play Justin Bieber's Mistletoe shamelessly too. Awww yeah! But aside from these, I love that Christmas means spending time with my loved ones. Ever since moving to Singapore, I realized how I took for granted the Filipinos' holiday cheer. The whole world does not celebrate beginning September, and the festivities definitely does not extend weeks after the 25th. Sadly, it seems like we're the only ones that do this.

I miss resting in the knowledge that the last week of December is more or less a holiday. I miss going on out of town trips with the family. I miss attending Simbang Gabi with my best friends. I miss the subsequent bonding over churros and life realizations after that said mass. HOW CAN THE REST OF THE WORLD MISS OUT ON THESE MOMENTS?!?!

The pang is harder this year coz this will be the first (and hopefully the last!) time I won't be home for Christmas. Long story short, due to unforeseen events, my leaves are not enough. But before you feel sorry for me, let me be the first to tell you that YOU SHOULDN'T BE. This year, I got to take a month off work and go to New York and spend some time at home, I got to be there for my best friend for two life-events, and to my biggest surprise, I get to go on another long haul trip next week. I'll be in Manila just in time for the New Year, andddd I get an extra week there too! It's not all that bad!

So, in the spirit of the holidays, I decided to "decorate" my space and give it a Yuletide facelift. Coz I have to be honest, another thing I love about Christmas is that I get to use my favorite colors (red, green, white and gold, hahaha!) excessively, in one shot, and without judgement. Cheers!!!

What about you? What are you looking forward to this Christmas?

Continue Reading

20 November 2015



Whichever part of the world you're in, when you hear the name Ritz-Carlton, one of the first things that come to mind is "luxury". I have yet to stay in all their properties, but my overnight staycation at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Millenia truly lived up to the hype. No, it was not a weekend of champagne bottles, lavish massages, butler service, and what not. They offered something better: access to great works of art and priceless views of the Singapore skyline. Best part is, you have options on how you want to take in the stunning cityscape - either surrounded by bubbles or in plush bedding. If you want to just relax and clear your head, this is probably the best hotel to do it. :) I honestly wouldn't have left the room if not for Andy Warhol. Yup, you read that right, they have several Warhol pieces around the hotel. You can even opt for a self-guided audio tour for viewing all the art pieces - not just Warhol - that they have. How awesome is that?! Sharing with you some of the visuals - together with some selfies, haha - from our recent stay. Hope you enjoy this photo diary!

The Ritz-Carlton Millenia is located at 7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799

Continue Reading

18 November 2015



I suppose it was our lucky day when we risked going to Etna East Coast Road at 7pm on a Saturday without any reservation. We got seated straight away in the last available table - they had to turn down walk-ins after us (okay, I'm being dramatic, they put them in the wait list). I know this because we were seated near the door. As guests trickled in, you'd see the manager personally greeting the regulars by name with a cheery buonasera, sometimes even with cheek kisses. I felt like I was dining in someone's living room and I really liked how the authenticity extended from the food - they have been awarded the Ospitalita Italiana Gold Seal - to the service.

The fresh burrata served with San Daniele ham, cherry tomatoes and rocket was DIVINE. Those cherry tomatoes were so fresh and succulent, probably the best I've had in my life. I got the classic ravioli whereas Luke opted for the soft-shell crab pasta which was heavily asian influenced. Personally, I prefer more traditional Italian food rather than contemporary, but that's just me. We ended the meal with their famous pistachio tiramisu.

All in all it was a vibrant meal made more enjoyable by those around and the one I was with. :) Will definitely be coming back for more burrata and prosciutto goodness!

Etna Italian Restaurant is located at 110 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455298

Continue Reading

15 November 2015



I logged onto Facebook Saturday morning and the top story was that a friend had been marked safe during the Paris terror attacks. Immediately I googled what the hell was going on and what I saw devastated me. I read reports upon reports to try to make sense of it, but the the fact is, it doesn't make sense. It's senseless and horrible and heartless. I went back to my feed and saw people expressing the same outrage and sentiments together with the now-trending hashtag #prayforparis. I scrolled and found arguments about how this is a case of selective grieving and how deeply unfair this was, and further below, a post that pointed out how rude it was to bitch at people for mourning one thing and not the other, that it's like complaining at your uncle's wake about how there are more people here than your father's funeral. Interesting posts that I should've bookmarked for reference coz now I can't find them. You see, I scrolled through quite a lot this weekend but I didn't join in on the discussion - until now - not because I don't care.

The truth is, it freaks me out. And in some way, I feel that parading it on social media cheapens its impact. I'm not saying that everyone who posted it didn't feel anything for the situation, but being the closet cynic that I am, I wonder how many have actually said a prayer with the hashtag #prayerforparis? Was it 5 seconds of mourning and 5 minutes of trying to find the perfect photo from your Paris vacation? I don't mean to rub anyone the wrong way because it IS good that we're aware of what's going on. Please, let's talk about it some more. But more importantly, let's talk about what we're going to do about it. The world is a messed up place, France, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, the terror and inhumanity is not limited to these. It's happening everywhere, on different scales and varied coverage. Are we doing anything substantial to make this world better? Or are we part of the problem?

I feel that instead of empathy and morale, social media actually promotes apathy more by giving a false sense of camaraderie. Yes, there is a chance you're raising awareness and expanding the conversation, but why stop there? I did my part, I shared/liked/whatever, there's nothing else left for me to do. But there are! There's always something more. We need a follow through for our posts. Whether it's by actually saying a prayer, donating to NGOs, or just assessing our lives and making a conscious choice to live authentically in love and light, we need to do something. Social media and our generation's connectedness should enable us to act, not overwhelm us and give us a sense of helplessness towards the atrocities our world faces under men whose evils are masked under the corrupted context of religion. After all, actions speak louder than 160 character tweets and digital hearts.

While it's true that fighting this terror with love is important (hola, Martin Luther King Jr!), we need to clear through the noise of empty shares and status updates and make sure our social profiles reflect our actual lives - even for just this once. This isn't an #iwokeuplikethis selfie that was actually number 96 in a series of 114. We're talking about the state of the world, and it deserves more than our likes and retweets. Our support for humanity shouldn't just be merely a trend. It has to become truly viral; and that involves our thoughts, decisions, and actions. 

Je suis Paris mais je ne suis pas juste Paris. Je suis humaine. 
I am Paris but I am not just Paris. I am human.

Priez pour le monde. Priez pour nous.
Pray for the world. Pray for humanity.

Continue Reading