Feb 28, 2017

OPPO F1s: Summer Destination

Summer is near! And obviously, a great way to enjoy it is to hit the beach and go beach bummin'. It is exactly what I will do this March as my officemate and I booked our way to the world's famous beach- BORACAY. We are excited to the max with the great adventures awaiting for us there!

It'll be my first time in Boracay so I want to spend more on fun activities and food! We quite have the idea already of what activities to do without us spending so much money and go back broke. Nah uh? I don't want that to happen. 
But before I go into the 'activities' in detail I'd like to share the preparation (booking, ticket, and accommodation) we did before the trip which will happen in a week's time.

With the plethora of airfare ticket sales nowadays, summer destination such as Boracay is only at every Juan's fingertips. However, as it sells like pancake, booking ahead of time is always a wise  thing to do for any wanderlust.
Ours was booked August last year, which was a good deal for we spend only around Php1, 800 for a roundtrip ticket to Caticlan, Boracay.

We were a bit indecisive on this as we don't have a clue of which station in Boracay would suit our taste. But it was always good to ask, so we settled for  Station 3, which is more serene and less crowded. 
For booking I found booking.com very useful and also cited some sales in MetroDeal, but I didn't book it there as someone told me that some of its for sale items are unreliable so I had to confirm with the hotel's hotline. So I booked directly to the hotel's customer's service, and it was way more convenient and trustworthy.

Below are the tentative activities that we will squeeze-in for our 3 days, 2 nights stay in the island.

ATV Ride (Cost: Php1,750)
Our first day is the day we'll be arriving, so getting wet right away isn't what I imagined. So first thing's first, we'll do the ATV ride on the roads of Boracay. Maybe getting around and being familiar with the place will be a good thing to start the adventure.

     Photo credit: www.myboracayguide.com

Helmet diving (Cost: Php1,500)
I don't know how to dive, so this kind of activity is a good option for someone like me who would like to hit the bottom of the sea but don't know how to swim. And I read from a blog that it costs around Php1,500.

    Photo credit: www.myboracayguide.com

Glass bottom boating (Cost: Php800)
Yet if we don't really want to get wet, we can prefer to watch the great biodiversity underwater on a boat with a good viewing glass floor at Php800.

    Photo credit: www.awanderfulsole.com

Parasailing (Php2,000/2pax)
I'd like to take a picture of Boracay Island from above but I think this activity is optional as it is very expensive. But I believe, if ever I will push this through I'll be alone because my company wouldn't want to try it.

    Photo credit: www.willexplorephilippines.com

Zorbing (Cost: Php380-500)
If we will still have time, zorbing will be a great way to do an exhilarating activity without giving us a heart attack, as my judgment of the activity being extreme is on average. And a video of us rolling over will be fun to see right after! :)

                               Photo credit: www.discoverphilippines.com.ph

Food galore
I also heard from a friend that Boracay is filled with Korean restos, so will try to hunt korean restos that serve good korean dish and also fill our stomach with sea food!

Night life
Also prominent for its many night life activities, maybe we'll try to have a glimpse of the island's night life and watch some fire dancing by the beach, get in a bar for a while, frolic along the coast, and who knows, meet some nice strangers :) 
I would love to try pubcrawl too but I think that will be on my next visit. 

And syempre! one thing that should not be missed is - swimming in Boracay's pristine waters!

Yet capturing these moments is what makes it more fun and memorable. But for a less bulky and less baggage weight, I think a good smartphone will do than bringing my DSLR. A quick grab of a smartphone can do so much for travelers nowadays, and such would be OPPO F1s smartphone. Dubbed as a Selfie Expert phone, I will no longer bother people for letting them take a nice shot of me as I can do it myself without a blur. OPPO F1s boasts of a 16mega pixel front camera, also designed for a low-light setting. It is a perfect handy cam! And YES I will need one, if they will give it to me this time. :)

*Prices indicated are estimates and may vary according to season.

Feb 22, 2017

Living in the City when you are single and not rich

I have no picture of those skyscrapers, instead I got this picture of the houses I see every time I open our apartment door.
I remember telling myself before to not live in Manila anymore, but here I am enjoying the city life for almost a year now. How I ended up here was by personal necessity (and by weird turn-of-events) which makes it non-negotiable.
My first experience in the city wasn't really bad except for the horrible traffic everyday. But with the new administration, gradual improvements are being made, like rerouting public vehicles that cause traffic. Such on-the-road improvements are still ongoing, so until they are done I can't say that traffic is resolved . But as long as there's progress, why not?, we might be close to realizing it.

But how does a typical person who is used to a serene and soulful lifestyle enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city? I am not exactly that kind of person but perhaps some of the things I do alone can get you around living here for long.

Enjoy your own company with mall visits
"Take advantage of malls" 
I enjoy being in the mall and watching random events in activity centers. Perhaps, I make a visit twice a month just in time to replenish my personal necessities. It is also a place good for window shopping and trying some stores I've never been to.  But be mindful you're not exceeding your budget limit though. You still need to control your shopping or you'll end up not enjoying mall visits at all.

Watch good movies as past time
"Spend time watching in cinemas"
I always take note of the movies I want to watch.  I do watch it alone in cinema if need be or just copy when it's already available. But it is a more satisfying experience to watch movies in cinemas, because the feeling can never be the same with watching it on a laptop. Especially if that movie is really worth it.

Film festivals are also great way to watch movies for free. They always have it annually for Korean and Japanese films. Last year was my first to attend a Japanese film fest and it had me blabbering about how nice the movie was after watching it for free. Yet movies for screening might not be for everyone, so I suggest reading reviews of movies you are planning to watch beforehand.

 Eat in fancy bistros
"Experience good food"
Not everyone has a luxury of eating in restos featured in magazines or those owned by famous TV personality turned businessmen. The best thing about being in the metro is, these places are actually nearby. Once in a while, I take time to try fancy restos I have never been before. Of course, it is quite expensive, so I do it rarely. But take time to budget a little for a new kind of food experience.

Try to be fit and healthy with plenty of activities available
"Try to be fit and healthy"
I don't claim to be fit but I think this is one of the things someone has to do. Here, parks are everywhere, and a lot of people jog or do some sports. The only thing that hinders is time and the willingness to do it (and I am guilty of it). Yoga classes are everywhere too and I heard that it can get as low as Php1500 a month.
But I say, take advantage of the fitness facilities available everywhere because it can be more expensive elsewhere. Don't be like me who is very lazy when it comes to waking up in the morning to jog, now I got 6kg heavier (and it sucks!).

Enjoy the perks of online shopping
"Do stress free shopping"
Being in the metro is a great advantage for a person who loves online shopping as they offer free deliveries for orders within Metro Manila. One time, I ordered a poetry kit for a friend as a gift and I only paid the amount worth of the kit - no delivery fee. That saved me at least Php150. Same with the advocacy shirt I ordered recently. Sometimes laziness gets in the way that suddenly going to the mall is a very tiring thing to do. So we just opt to browse the net and shop for what we need. Available perks like discount coupons also pop up sometimes  so that can save you some.
Not all sites though are reliable, so get to know online shopping sites that are trustworthy before making a purchase.

Open bank accounts as much as you want
"Save for your future"
All kinds of banks are everywhere, and that gives you a very good motivation to open an account for savings. It is also very convenient now as they are leveling up with their online services, that means you can check your account status and make payments online.
With an array of unique services each bank offers, you can do a study of which one fits for you. Bank of the Philippine Islands offer a savings account without balance deposit, and that is just what I want so I got one for me.

Take advantage of credit cards
"Do cashless payments"
Mind you, I don't like credit cards really, until I found out how to use them efficiently. When I got a hold of one, I now rarely withdraw large amounts of cash. I do the shopping with my credit card, and monitor my spending with it. So every time my salary comes, I allot the money I owe my card. It is of great help too when I purchase stuff online. The attitude you need with credit cards is control. If you have that you are safe from debt.

Have the freedom you want
"Embrace freedom"
As I live alone, but I basically live in an apartment where there are two of us renting yet living our separate lives, I get to exercise fully authority to myself. Though my Father visit me sporadically, he gives me the space to live my way. Coming from a family who is discreet about personal lives and not PDA, I got used to keeping things to myself. So I don't really share family matters with people unless I am personally attached with them and  really very close.
Also, when you grew up from a community where everyone knows almost everything you will appreciate the privacy and freedom that I am talking about.
So far, I was able to try things without worrying too much about what people might say because  I am far from them anyway and I don't post on facebook that much.

But before anything else, It is also good to remember that as singles we also have priorities, sometimes it is our families. So set your priorities straight before doing things impulsively. That was my mistake before and now I am learning. :)

Feb 16, 2017

OPPO F1s: Valentine’s Dream Date

My years have always been me masterdating - basically doing things on my own most of the time. It never really mattered being alone as long as I am happy and crossing out things on my bucket list.

Yet of course, for 24 years of being single (ehemm), it also occurred to me what will my first official date be like. An ideal date for me has to be something worth it, fun, and memorable. So if the right man comes along and things align to where I want it to be, this is the kind of date that I picture --- a karaoke date on a valentine's day. 

For me, Karaoke Date never goes out of style. It doesn't matter if we are out of tune or trying-hard singers because the fun that comes with karaoke is always guaranteed plus we can serenade each other with our favorite theme songs. To make that possible, the first thing that we'll have to do is to scout for a good and decent karaoke place that serves good food and has an updated songbook, and where we can spend 5 hours or more singing (because we are supposed to be hardcore karaoke fans). Doing karaoke outside is better than at home because all the facilities are available and we can have our own space which saves us from disturbing neighbors.

And yep, a surprise from my date is a given, lets say, a ticket to a movie I love to watch and a Malagos dark chocolate, Why? because I love dark chocolate and Malagos is a local chocolate exporter that should be patronized hehe. Then, we'll be singing all the songs we want in duet and in solo, and laugh so hard at our weird gestures and faces. There is no better way of capturing those crazy and candid moments than an OPPO F1s phone, just like these:

The candy filter of OPPO F1 can make this kind of shot into a piece of art and, of course, instagrammable.

It's nice to keep the phone around so candid moments like this won't be missed. 

Aside from being an selfie expert phone with its 16MP front camera, OPPO F1 is also built for low-light setting, so we can still take clear pictures in limited lighting without worrying it'll be blurry. 

I also want to use its mono filter to make a dramatic and classic feel to our pictures. And I will definitely use the mono filter to add more emphasis and detail for our creative shots like these: 

It might not be the quiet and serious kind of date, but the fun that we get from doing the thing that we both love is already something special. But for now, I'll have to wait for him. Well, I just hope he really loves to sing and take selfies too!

Photos taken from www.pinterest.com

Feb 12, 2017

I am now an RD subscriber!

Little dreams do come true.
I first got a hold of a readers digest magazine when I was in high school. It was a luxury for me then. As a student who barely had an allowance to survive the week of commute, money for buying good-reading materials is definitely off the list.

My good high school friend knew I have become fond of reading so she brought the magazine in our class. Aware that I got hooked to it, she brought more issues of '80s and '90s scavenging them from the dusty old hidden corner of their house.

Obviously the magazine was never mine to keep so after three days or so I had to return it in exchange for a new one. She was very kind to me even, letting me borrow 2 to 3 issues at once.

We both graduated and that stopped. I also got busy acing my college years and never had the chance to procure or borrow one. But those little desires of the heart come eventually some time in one's life. My boss where I work at is fond of the magazine, subscribing herself to it for more than 20 years now.  This perked up my urge I have forgotten more than 10 years ago. With my boss' support, I am now officially subscribed to it and enjoys digesting every story there is in each issue.