Sunday, November 30, 2014

Skinny vs Fat

Today, I'd like to tackle a topic very close to me: health.

Why is it ok for people to tell skinny girls that they're thin and they need to gain weight, but it's socially unacceptable to tell fat girls that they're fat and they need to lose weight? When you see photos of thin girls on the internet, you get comments like, "You need to eat.", "Maybe she's anorexic.", or "Companies and magazines are setting unhealthy standards for young ladies." Then you see people agree. BUT, when you see fat girls posing, you get supportive comments, like "You go girl.", "Be proud of your curves.", or "This girl represents REAL women." Ansabeh?! So if I'm not real... then what am I?

Photo: pixton

There's also that concept of an "ideal weight", which is based on height, age, and gender. There are many ideal weight calculators out there like this and this. But does it take into account your body fat? Your bone structure? NO and NO. I'm pretty impressed with this concept because even though it leaves out important factors, a lot of doctors and health institutions rely on this computation to determine if a person is over or underweight. But is it really accurate? I don't think so. Excluding their bone structure, Person A and B might have the same weight. Take into account their bone's weight, then they may end up with different total weights because one might be big-boned, while the other may be small-boned. Right? Person C might be "underweight", while Person D might have the "ideal weight". But take into account their fitness level and body fat, Person C might turn out to be healthier.

Honestly ladies, being thin should never be your goal. If you really love yourselves, never mind those ideal weight calculators and make it your goal to be FIT, HEALTHY, CONFIDENT and most of all, HAPPY. :D


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Travel diary: Melaka/Malacca

As I've said in my post here, I will share with you our unforgettable 3-day trip in Malaysia.

We arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal before 1am. Their airport was pretty easy to navigate because all the signs had English translations. Passengers were required to purchase taxi coupons from the taxi counters. Be very clear and specific with your words to ensure you get the correct price. Aside from the quantity, your bag's weight also affects the fare price. Our taxi fare to Melaka/Malacca (3 passengers with 3 medium bags) was MYR240 or around P1,082.

We were lucky to have a driver that understood English. Our driver, Satya, was very friendly, which was a good thing because he kept us awake the whole time. It took us around an hour and a half to get to Melaka. Obviously, we were pretty early for the regular check-in time. Good thing our hotel was very accommodating and didn't charge us extra even if we arrived almost 10 hours before our check-in schedule.

We stayed at 1st Inn Hotel, which we booked through Agoda, for only P2,010 per night. There were 2 double beds, CR with hot water, free towels, free water, TV... everything "basic" that you need. No toiletries though. :D

You might think it's not much, but really, this hotel was a Godsend. It's near everything we wanted to see. It was also near money changers, and some small shops that sold pasalubong, toiletries, food and spices. Plus, the receptionists were very nice. Such a steal!

Anyway, here are some more photos from our Melaka/Malacca adventure.
We had our breakfast in Selvam, which served cheap Roti with different fillings! I had the Roti Pisang (Banana) at RM 2.50 (P33.83 at that time). Unfortunately, when my parents went there early this year, Selvam was already closed. :(

The Malaysia Crew :D

Did you know that Melaka/Malacca and George Town were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008?

Melaka River by day.

Almost all buildings in Melaka had this color.

 We went there on a holiday so most shops were closed.

 Hello Kitty rickshaws/trishaws. Wonder how long it took them to finish designing these...

Photo: Jean Q

Jonker Walk/Street is very popular in Melaka. It has various shops selling food, souvenirs... wigs, even!

And it was there that we found the Chung Wah Chicken Rice Balls! The looong line was sooo worth it!!! The chicken rice balls were just perfect! Forgot how much this was but it's definitely easy on the wallet! I would go back to Melaka just for this.

Photo: Jean Q
 Durian Puffs. Not a fan.


After... Kept this because I love the chaos in the photo.

Melaka River at night. We took the Melaka River Cruise for RM15 (around P203). It was ok. I recommend spending your money on more chicken rice balls instead! :D

We couldn't help iiit! Since Chung Wah was already closed, we went to Baba Fred Nyonya Home Cook instead. Preferred the chicken rice balls and spicy dip of Chung Wah, but I liked Baba Fred's chicken better.

Next up: Kuala Lumpur!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Driver's License Renewal

It was my birthday last month... And that meant... LICENSE RENEWAL! I know you’re probably thinking these things: HASEL, BUONG ARAW KA DUN, SERYOSO KA BA. Haha! I know, I know. But license renewals don’t need to be these things if you only come in early. Yup, you read that right! So to help you out on your LTO journey, I’ll share the step-by-step process as well as some tips you might find useful. I always renew my license at the SM North LTO Office because it's the nearest one from our house. Not sure about the specifics in other offices, but I think it's more or less the same.

First things first. What should you bring?
  1. Your current/expiring license
  2. License receipt (for safety, but not required)
  3. Black pen
  4. Money - P600 should be enough if your license is still valid
  5. Water and candy to tide you over - not sure if food (as in burger/sandwich, etc) is allowed
  6. Book or a smartphone (Candy Crush, anyone?)
Step 1: The early bird gets the worm seat. (9:40am)
Not sure about how other offices look, but the SM North office was very cramped so you might want to go earlier so you can have a seat. I arrived at 9:40am and there were very few seats left. All LTO satellite offices are open from 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays, except holidays.

Step 2: ID submission. (10:00am)
The windows were numbered so it'll be easy to know which one you'll need to approach first. Or so you'd think. Window 1 was empty but almost everyone seated were filling out some sort of form. I had to ask someone where to go first. Turned out there's this small table on the left corner where you submit your expiring license. I hope they put up a notice next time. Once you've submitted your license, you wait for a few minutes to be called. Mind you, there's always a LOT of waiting in government offices so best to follow step 1.

Step 3: Pay up. (10:10am)
The guy from step 2 gave me my license back and asked for P100 for the medical exam. He also gave me a number and 2 medical forms to fill out. They're not carbonized because according to the guy, 'naghihirap na kami'. Haha! He's a chatty old guy who greeted me a happy birthday when he saw my license. :)

Step 4: Medical exam. Not. (10:20am)
The same guy called out 5 succeeding numbers for medical  exam and asked me to sit on a separate bench.

Step 5: Real medical exam. (10:25am)
The doctor called out my number for the actual medical exam which lasted for, like, 5 minutes max. She just asked me to step on the weighing scale, threw a few questions like 'Have you always been thin?' and the like. Then she asked me to read the optical board and that's it! No more drug test, by the way. Yey to that! :D

Step 6: License form. (10:30am)
The doctor asked me to submit my medical form, license and receipt to Window 2. Window 2 officer gave me the license form to fill out. You just have to give back this form to Window 2 once you're done.

Step 7: Photo op. (10:40am)
Window 1 was the photo op window. Now, my tip is to always be prepared. Who doesn't want to be pretty in IDs? Before, I always ended up looking like an escaped convict. But now that I know better, my ID pictures look so much better (and I look so much happier in them too!)! The trick is to fix your hair and add color to your face, be it your cheeks or lips. Their cameras serve up washed out/bland pictures (which have NOTHING at all to do with us by the way) so these are important. Flash your most disarming smile and you're good to go!

Step 8: Pay up! (10:45am)
Window 3 officer asked me to pay P418 for my license.

Step 9: Photo finish. (10:50am)
Window 2 officer gave me my license and receipt, and I'M DONE!

Can I just say, I'm so relieved they scrapped the drug test because it was a waste of time and money. It's not even effective! I mean, obviously, if you're an addict and you wanna pass a drug test, you simply don't take drugs before the test and it'll turn out negative. I don't understand how this didn't even cross their minds. Or maybe it did, but they still pushed through with the test because it's another money-making medium. Anyway, I digress.

I finished my renewal in less than 2 hours and paid a total of P518 for my license that's good for 3 years. I hope your LTO experience is just as efficient, if not more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shake It Off

Just came from Bacolod and I can't seem to get this song out of my head. My LSS for the week is T-Swizzle’s Shake It Off. Love Taylor and the way she can put her thoughts into words… and music.

Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off.

And since “haters gonna hate”, there were some negative feedback in the comments section, like what’s the point of the video, she’s trying too hard, etc. I think the song and video are both cute, fun and meaningful. It just shows how you can’t please everybody and that there will really be people who are going to put you down or will not like you, no matter what you do. So what should you do? Just be yourself, do your thing, and shake it off. For as long as you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes, that is.

Have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Travel diary: Malaysia in 3 days

I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVE traveling. Every time I travel, I always learn something new about myself, my companions, and the world - cultures, traditions, cuisines, governance, fashion. Because of this, I made it a point to travel at least once or twice a year. Last year, I was blessed to have been able to visit Puerto Princesa, Hong Kong, Boracay, and Malaysia.

Our Malaysia trip last October was supposed to be a couples trip: me and my boyfriend, and J (check out her blog here) and her boyfriend. Unfortunately, we found out 2 months before the trip that my boyfriend had to attend a wedding in the US at around the same time. *sigh*.

In this post, I'll share with you our itinerary, my budget, and some tips. I'll also post some photos of our trip in my next posts.

Ticket. We bought our roundtrip tickets from Cebu Pacific at P3,897, inclusive of 15kg baggage allowance. This excluded airport fees: travel tax P1,620 and terminal fee: P550. Such steep prices, considering we don't have ample CCTV cameras at the airport, huh?

Day 1: Melaka/Malacca
Day 2: Kuala Lumpur: Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL, Dining in the Dark
Day 3: Kuala Lumpur: Be Tourist Tour, Batu Caves

Budget. I carved out P20,000 from my savings, but only spent P18,323, all-in. This already included my airfare, hotel and airport fees! So happy I was able to stay within my budget and even had a few savings. Ooohhh, the power of frugality, self-discipline and a go-for-experience-and-not-things mentality. The exchange rate at that time was MYR1 = PHP13.53.

  • It's better to exchange your Philippine Peso (PHP) to US Dollars (USD), then USD to Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). The conversion rate is much better. Best to also exchange your PHP to USD in the Philippines and your USD to MYR in Malaysia.
  • Before traveling, I always make it a point to research about the country's weather. In Malaysia, you can be sure that the weather is almost always hot with occasional rains. Thankfully, it didn't rain when we were there but best to be prepared as well. I suggest packing these essentials:
    • Sunblock (super important if you don't want nasty sunburns!)
    • Off! Lotion to fight mosquitoes
    • Cover-ups such as cap, sunglasses, cardigan (light enough to lug around when you're touring but thick enough to keep you warm indoors)
    • Comfortable footwear (I always bring my trusty Converse or Keds)
    • Water bottle (major tipid tip!)
    • Vitamins and medicines (mostly for headaches and stomachaches)
  • Research, research, research! Print out maps and addresses. You might also want to research estimate fares since there are cab drivers who target innocent tourists. You should also research must-try dishes and restaurants, and must-visit places so you can make the most out of your trip.
  • Fill your water bottle at the hotel before you leave so you don't have to buy outside.
  • It's always a good idea to talk to the locals. You can learn so much history you can't get from Wikipedia. They're also your best source on must-try (and dirt cheap!) restaurants. These are sometimes hole-in-the-wall restaurants you won't normally see on the internet.
  • Don't be afraid to try new things or taste new cuisines. To be perfectly honest, most of my favorite dishes from this trip didn't look appetizing (or clean) at all. LOL.
  • ENERGY! Every single second is important so always make the most of your vacation.

Watch out for my next posts on our Malaysia trip!