Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kanin Club

What's for dinner tonight?
Fried tilapia
Pork Barbecue (look at all those oil...yummmm....)
We ate at Kanin Club Restaurant tonight.  Everything was very good.  I like the taste of the Pinakbet and the fried fish was also good.  I was surprised to see that the pork barbecue was not in sticks, but the taste of this dish was heavenly.  It was the right kind of salty and a little bit sweet.  All in all, Kanin Club did not fail me.  As always the case for this restaurant.  And the price, bang for your buck!  All these food plus iced tea and 1 serving of halo-halo for only Php 1092.70!  It satisfied the tummies of all four of us.  Good job, Kanin Club!  I'll be back soon.  :-)

Thanks for reading and drop by next time for another installment of Real Products...Real Experiences.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Places to visit in Guanghzou

Hi everyone!  I recently went on a trip with the family to Guanghzou, China.  It was my first time in Guanghzou and I really don't have any idea what the place has to offer (since I haven't had friends or relatives who have been to this place).  We had kids along with us, so the itinerary was mainly focused on kid-related activities.  Here are some of the places we visited (and I would definitely recommend these sites to you):

1. Guanghzou TV Tower or the Canton TV Tower...I didn't know that Guanghzou was previously known as Canton.

The Canton Tower is the world's tallest TV tower to date (standing at 600 meters).

Pictures taken from the observation deck located at +454 meters.

The white structure is the Guangdong Olympic Stadium where the  2010 Asian Games was held.
The Canton TV Tower gives you a great view of the city.  I suggest that to each and every city you visit, try to go to the highest peak or highest building so you can see the whole city from above.  It's really a nice experience (only if you are not afraid of heights...ha ha ha).

2. Chimelong Safari Park
The Chimelong Safari Park is a very nice place.  It houses different kinds of animals and houses Asia's largest safari, at 25,000 square meters.  You can either ride a train that takes you through the safari or bring your own car and drive through the safari.  It beats Singapore's night safari by a mile and it also beats one of the drive-thru safaris that I went to in Florida and the safari ride in Animal Kingdom (Disney World, Florida).  The kids in our group loved loved the safari ride.
     The African Animals Show

     The White Tiger Show

Inside the safari

Pictures taken inside the safari

The best attraction in Chimelong Safari Park is definitely the safari ride.  You can either ride a train that will take you around the vast safari, or you can drive your own car thru the safari.  The animals are not caged.  They roam around freely.  For carnivorous animals, they are surrounded by a body of water that keeps them in their rightful place.  You can even feed some of the animals.  This safari is the best-ever that I have seen (although I have not been to Africa yet).

Aside from the safari ride, there were multiple animal shows that you can see.  I got scared watching the White Tiger Show.  The tigers kept on growling and they didn't seem happy performing for us (I guess it's because they were whipped when they don't follow).  It was hard watching them get whipped for not doing tricks.  I pity the tigers.  Some of them even had scars on their behinds (probably from the whipping they get if they don't obey their handlers).  So sad...How I wish they just free them into the wild.  Haaay...

3. Chimelong International Circus

Chimelong International Circus is the world's largest permanent circus.  Performers hail from different countries such as USA, Columbia, Africa, and there are even performers from the Philippines.  This is a must-see if you are in Guangzhou.  The stunts, acts, costumes, lights and sounds are world-class.

These are the 3 places that I recommend that you see when you visit Guangzhou.

That's it for today.  Hope to post again soon.  Thank you very much for dropping by!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Human Heart Nature 3

Here's another Human Heart Nautre Review (read my other reviews here and here).  This post will be about 4 products from the Human Heart Nature line.

1-2. Human Heart Nature Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner

Human Heart Nature Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner
The shampoos and conditioners of the Human Heart Nature are my least favorite products from their line.  This moisturizing shampoo and conditioner are really not moisturizing at all.  Yes, it makes hair a little bit soft but it does not work to de-frizz or to make hair shiny.  I actually like shampoos and conditioners from Sunsilk and Dove (especially the one with nourishing oil care complex).  You see, I really have dry hair.  My hair is relatively straight but with frizz.  I really want to use Human Heart Nature products because I want to be pro-poor, pro-Philippines and pro-environment.  So, I'm trying to make these products work for me.  I ordered their hair serum and hair mask.  Maybe these products will work so I can continue to use their shampoos and conditioners.  I'll blog about it once I've tried them.  Stay tuned...

3. Human Heart Nature Cleansing Oil

Human Heart Nature Cleansing Oil
This one is actually a keeper.  This cleansing oil really does its job.  It removes make-up and waterproof mascara with ease.  The best part of this product is that it uses sunflower oil (which is touted by Human Heart Nature to be a miracle worker for the skin...allegedly nourishes lashes, removes under-eye hyperpigmentation and lessens stretch marks).  It moisturizes your skin and cleans it as well.  You use it on your face before washing and wipe off all the make-up/dirt with either a cotton square or tissue.  What I do for waterproof mascara and eyeliner is to dip my cotton swab in the oil and swipe it on my lashes and eye area.  It really makes removing mascara and eyeliner a breeze.  I recommend this product as an all-around make-up remover.

4. Human Heart Nature Deodorant

This deodorant works as a deodorant and nothing else.  Don't expect antiperspirant effect when using this deodorant.  It definitely will NOT stop underarm perspiration.  The smell is not overpowering (it actually does not have a scent but it works in removing unwanted odors.  I really want to continue using this just because it's 100% natural but I have a problem with underarm perspiration.  I don't smell bad, it's just that in this tropical climate, you really need something for sweaty underarms.  I'm still re-thinking if I'm going to re-purchase this item.  I have a relatively dry underarm (I don't sweat that much) and I don't have underarm odor even if I don't put deodorant (yup, don't judge me, but I've tried going a day without using a deodorant...I just stayed at home that day).  If I can live with sweaty underarms, then I can live with deodorant (or not).

I just purchased a few more items from Human Heart Nature and I'm waiting for the delivery.  I'll try the products out first for maybe a month, then I'll write another review.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Big Chill Drinks

Hi guys!  Let me share with you what I had for lunch's the Fantastic Five drink from the Big Chill.  It was a very busy day today.  I had an early breakfast, a midday snack and had this drink for lunch.  I wasn't hungry when lunch time came around, so I settled for this drink.

Fanstastic Five Drink

The drink is made up of juices from 5 different ingredients: carrots, oranges, watermelons, grapes, and apples.  They put the ingredients through the juicer and serve it with a little ice.  The good thing about this drink is that they don't add sugar.  It tastes really good and it's good for the body too.  I love this drink.  :-)

Another Big Chill drink that I like is their Power Breakfast.  I've talked about the Power Breakfast in passing in my previous post (read it here), but here's the in-depth review.  The Power Breakfast is made up of blended bananas, oatmeal, cashew nuts, wheat germ, low-fat yogurt, and non-fat milk powder.  They put some sugar syrup and crushed ice to the drink.  Since the bananas and the milk powder give the drink some sweetness, I ask the server to use as little sugar syrup as possible.  The end result...a very yummy, nutritious, and filling drink.  This drink lives up to its name of being a Power Breakfast.  When I don't have time to eat breakfast at home, I usually pass by the Big Chill kiosk located inside my office building and buy one of these.  I sometimes drink this as my lunch too.  Especially if I know that my next meal would be a few hours after lunch time.  It tides me over until my next meal.

Power Breakfast

I love the drinks from Big Chill.  They are yummy and made from fresh fruits and vegetables.  What's not to like, right?  Nutritious and delicious.  Drop by a Big Chill store near you and taste the goodness for yourself.

Talk to you soon!  Thank you very much for dropping by!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The tropical girl's guide to winter dressing part 2

Hi guys!  Here is the low-down on what outfits I came up with using the items listed in part 1 (read it here).


Without outerwear
With outerwear
The elements: ribbed sando, black thermals (top and bottom), brown shirt, black blazer, black jeggings, 1 long socks, 1 short socks, brown boots, black coat


Without outerwear
With outerwear
The elements: ribbed sando, white sweatshirt, black thermals (top and bottom), navy blue blazer, light-colored denims, 1 long socks, 1 short socks, black boots, maroon down jacket


Without outerwear
With outerwear

The elements: ribbed sando, black thermals (top and bottom), white long-sleeved shirt, black sweatshirt,  black blazer, black waterproof winter boots (I had to buy something like this because we will be walking on snow), maroon down jacket


Without outerwear

With outerwear

The elements: ribbed sando, chambray long-sleeved shirt, cream sweatshirt, black jeggings, socks, brown boots, black coat...I didn't use thermals anymore since this outfit and the last 2 outfits were for Guangzhou, which had warmer temperatures (around 4 to 15 degrees Celsius).

I failed to take pictures of the last 2 outfits.  I'll just enumerate the elements...


The elements: Ribbed sando, white sweatshirt, white long-sleeved blouse, navy blue blazer, black jeggings, 1 short socks, black boots, black coat

The elements: Ribbed sando, striped blue and beige sweatshirt, navy blue blazer, light-colored denims, socks, brown boots (no more outerwear...this was my going home outfit)

I hope this post helps other tropical girls out there who will brave winter in another country.  If you want to be fashionable and look as if you're wearing different outfits in pictures, a scarf is a good piece to bring.  There are many different ways to wear/tie a scarf.  This link will teach you 25 different ways to wear/tie a scarf (click here).

Until next time.  Stay warm and healthy.  Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The tropical girl's guide to winter dressing part 1

I come from a tropical country and visiting a country with full-on cold winter is hard for me.  My body is not acclimatized to a very cold environment and I don't own winter clothes.  Good thing the Philippines now has stores that sell winter clothes.  But how do you dress for winter when you've lived your whole life in a tropical country? This blog post is a guide on how to dress for winter.

My family has been craving for cold winter trips to places near the Philippines since 2009.  We usually head out after December 25 and be back for before or on the day of December 31.  Last 2009, we were at South Korea, 2010 at Shanghai-Harbin, 2011 at Japan, and 2012 Beijing-Guangzhou.  I may not be an expert in fashion, but I think, or I claim that I may be an expert in winter dressing for a tropical girl's body.

Here's the down-low...I get cold easily.  I wear a cardigan or shawl when the air conditioning is set at 25 degrees Celsius.  When we were at South Korea, we were blessed with snow (it was the first time I've seen actual snow and not slush on the streets).  The temperature then was around -2 to 2 degrees Celsius.  Our next trip to Shanghai-Harbin saw us in extreme weather.  Harbin has Siberian weather.  The temperatures there reached -23 to -13 degrees Celsius.  Japan last 2011 was not that bad, with temperatures ranging from 2 to 10 degrees Celsius (at least not a negative Celsius anymore).  But the coldest I've experienced was not at Harbin but at Beijing, China.  We were at Tiananmen Square and the temperature was only at -7 to -3 degrees Celsius.  But the wind was very strong.  It even picked up snow from the ground and threw it on our face.  Even if the temperature was not that severe, the wind was very strong!  Imagine walking through a huge place without protection (there were no walls that can protect you from the strong wind).  The wind chill factor was over the roof.  So, having survived all these winter temperatures, I can probably say that I'm a bit of an expert in winter dressing for a tropical girl's body.

Back to the things you would need...

1. Multiple solid colored sweatshirts (for a 6-day trip, I brought 4 sweaters).  You can buy these kinds of sweaters in different department stores all over the Philippines.  You can put sweaters on top of each other or on top of button-up blouses (for a preppy look).

2. Long-sleeved blouses (I only brought 2)

3. Blazers (I brought 2...1 navy and 1 black...although the navy looks like a black)...again, blazers could be bought in any mall all around our country.

3. 1 shirt (I used this during our departure...over black thermals, so it did not come into contact with my skin and did not become dirty...hence, you can double this shirt as sleepwear)

4. 2 kinds of jackets (your outerwear will always be seen in pictures...better to have 2 different types in 2 different colors so that in pictures there will be variety).  The maroon 1 is from Uniqlo and can be stored in its own small bag.  It's very lightweight but with 90% down, rest assured that it will keep you warm.  There are multiple shops that carry down jackets.  Just make sure it is at least 80% down so that it can keep you warm in very cold weather.  The black outerwear is from H&M but there are similar ones in Mango, Zara or Terranova.  Just make sure it has lining for the much needed warmth.

5. 2 pants---the light blue one is jeans and the black one is jeggings.  I suggest bringing 2 different colored pants so that you can mix and match your outer wear with the pants, making at least 4 different outfits altogether (which means that your clothes look a little bit different in pictures).

6. Accessories - shawl, scarf, bonnet, gloves, and boots

The key in dressing up for the winter is layers and thermals.  I'm sure you'll find thermals in Marks and Spencers and Terranova.  I was given Giordano black thermals bought in Hong Kong.  The good thing about the Giordano thermals is that it is thin (it doesn't add bulk) but it is very efficient in keeping you warm.  The minimum layers that I go for (for 0 to negative degrees Celsius) is 4.  The first one is a thick sando (the ribbed one which you can buy in any department store), second layer thermals, third and fourth layer are sweaters/blouses/blazers.  The last layer is of course your outerwear.  As for the bottom part of your body, layers is also the key.  Again, thermals should be the closest to your body, layer with either another tights/leggings or long socks.

Another tip is to make sure your feet and hands are warm.  For below zero degree temperatures, I suggest using gloves that have fleece inside.  The regular knit ones and the ones that are made of leather or suede will not be enough.  You can buy nice wool gloves with fleece at Uniqlo for less than 500 pesos (by the way, the Uniqlo jacket was put on sale last November for 1999 pesos).  You can buy boots at reasonable prices in Payless Shoe Source, Charles and Keith and even your regular department stores (SM, Robinsons, Metro).  But for zero degree temperatures or if you will play in the snow, I suggest buying boots with thick insulation such as fleece inside them.  I bought mine in China for 1200 pesos.  It's even waterproof.  I don't know if they sell these kinds of boots here in the Philippines, but they definitely have them in Columbia and Merrell.  But shoes from these stores are very expensive.  You could check out the winter shop in Cartimar.  According to a friend, they have winter clothes and accessories at reasonable prices.

That's the first part of this guide.  I know it was a long one, but I hope it will be helpful.  I'll post my winter outfits using the clothes seen above in another blog post.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Spa

Welcome to my little space in the worldwide web!  Today's blog post will be about The Spa.  I was fortunate enough to be gifted with certificates for The Spa.  For this Spa experience, I chose to have the traditional hilot massage.  I had a cough during that time, so I thought it would be a great idea to have a hilot do my massage so she can remove my cough (channeling old non-western medicine to cure me).  I did not make an appointment but they accommodated me anyways.  My schedule was for 8 pm and it was just 6 pm.  I didn't want to spend 2 hours in the wet floors and the lounge, so I decided to go malling first and eat dinner before I have my massage.  At 7:15 pm, I went back and was ready for sauna, warm pool and reading magazines in the lounge...not to mention drinking lots of the soothing and delicious ginger brew.

The Spa has a very nice ambience.  The smells, sounds and sights are definitely soothing and relaxing.  The problem that night were the very noisy ladies that were using the warm pool.  I tried using the sauna but their noise can even be heard through the closed door of the sauna.  Alas, I stayed at the lounge for the rest of my wait for the massage (which was not that long anyways).  I couldn't take pictures of everything since I was shy about going around with my phone (besides, I'm sure The Spa staff wouldn't be too happy about disturbing the privacy).  Here are the pictures that I took...

My towel...
Inside the dressing room
Sitting area...for meditating
This is what's in front of the sitting area.
The ambience
The receiving area
Now let's talk about the traditional hilot massage.  It was soothing and relaxing (sorry for the repeat phrase...I can't think of any other words to describe the massage).  The massage was soft and the strokes were long.  The masseuse used warm oil for massaging.  There was also a big sheet of plastic with either warm oil or warm wax that was placed over the back.  It was hot at first but quickly became cold (probably because of the cold breeze from the air conditioning).  All in all, the massage was nice but not awesome.  I prefer the Shiatsu/Swedish massage that they offer.  But since this massage is free, I couldn't complain.  Anything that's free is all good to me.  :-)

Thanks for dropping by!  Until next time on Real Products...Real Experiences.