Travel and Lifestyle Blog by Ruth dela Cruz. A blogger based in Manila, Philippines.

Snaps @ruthilicious

January 30, 2012

Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Scrub & Soap Review and Weekly Giveaway

(See below for weekly winners!)

Nope, Im not going full-time as a Beauty Blogger. But when this package arrives at my doorstep, I know I have to make a review on it. You want to know why? Because I have an exciting announcement at the end of the post. So stay tuned.

I love beauty products and anti-aging goods. I use eye cream, moisturizer, sunblock, body lotion, a different hand cream, body scrubs, foot scrubs and what-nots. However, due to hectic schedule, I sometimes just forget to use most of them and just use the basics. So when I got the package, I know it is time to connect with my inner self and do a little pampering.

[Giveaway!] Kikay Giveaway (ends on 2/18/2012)

I got some nice stuff to giveaway, and I am gonna make this easy for all to join  (and for me to pick the winner). Thanks to Rafflecopter!

First things first, the prizes:

There will be three (3) winners for this give-away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest is open to Philippine Residents only! Stay tuned for more giveaways!

Join other giveaway!

Soyami Bloggers Night with Marc Nelson and a Quick Look at Flippish.com Launch Party

After the Soyami Bloggers Night event last Wednesday, I decided to try to be more healthy. The night was not just an awarding of the Soyami Blogging Contest winners, but also a celebration of healthy lifestyle. It was held in Tourne' in The Fort Strip, and as soon as I arrived in the venue - here's what greeted me.

Kiosks and tables offering healthy soya drinks and Soyami chips, 
and Fitness First free work-out sessions too!

It was my first time in Tourne' but I had read good reviews about the place. This is the restaurant that focuses on offering Slow Food (opposite of Fast Food). Chef Sandralyn Hataway even prepared special menu for us during the event.

January 25, 2012

A Gift from Accessorize!

The greatest gifts are those which are unexpected! It was a normal day - businesses had resumed, Christmas lights were turned off, and people had already listed their New Year's resolutions. Normal day that it was, I got this twitter update:

A message from Bloggers United (that group of bloggers who come together for a cause - and now they are more powerful than Voltes V and Bioman combined!). And I read and re-read it right, Accessorize has something for us!

January 24, 2012

Who Wants to See Avril Lavigne and Get Beautiful Skin?!

"Katy Perry kissed me!!!". Well, actually not me, but that must be what Ivan Dorscher is thinking after the historic moment. Too bad I missed Katy Perry's concert. I just read my Facebook feed with envy as more and more friends and contacts upload their pictures with Katy Perry. Some of them were lucky to meet her, others  have that ID under their neck which says - Photographer. 

I read some tweets saying that Katy Perry's skin is flawless and blemish-free. No doubt in my mind. I know her secret. She uses Proactiv. Now here's another secret, there's another international pop star who uses Proactiv and she is also coming to Manila!

She has been the voice of the youth through her songs - but one thing she never talked about on her songs is her issues with acne. I so understand how she felt then. I too struggled with acne and break-outs; but they are all gone now! The rock princess is encouraging people to Be Proactiv with acne, being an endorser since 2010.

January 23, 2012

Arriving in Beijing, China & a Good Rest at Holiday Inn Express Hotel

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Kiong Hee Huat Tsai or Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) and Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)!

Holiday Inn Express, Beijing taken using my Dell Streak ;)
It is the perfect time for me to start my series of blog posts about my trip to Beijing. It has been 5 months since we landed back to Manila but only now have I found the great motivation to click on New Post and open my photo album entitled Beijing 2011.

As you know, Facebook and Twitter are not accessible in China. I was a bit disappointed and sad as soon as we landed but after a few days, I realized it is nice to be disconnected with the "world". I felt like I was on real vacation with no access to my work inbox and Facebook. Plus, there weren't much Filipinos in Beijing that time, so we really felt like tourists in the area.

The trip to Beijing is one of the best times in my life. The day before our flight, I attended an event where I won a Dell Streak! (Wohooo!!). Most of all, I never realized I would have this chance to see and be in one of the Seven Wonders of the World. 

How Would a Woman Use the End of the World Survival Kit from Axe?

I got a message from a friend last week - telling me that the End of the World is near, and that he has a Survival Kit for me. I hurriedly prepared to work so I could meet him. It was nice of another friend to actually get it for me. Here's what I got.

It says that I should only open this in case of emergency. Define emergency.. Is it being stopped by a hot guy on your way home? I need to know what's inside. So I opened..

January 22, 2012

I Attended a Scandalous New Year Dinner

Last Thursday, my schedule allowed me to attend the Chinese New Year Dinner at Mango Tree Bistro (it is actually a Thai Restaurant) in Trinoma. The invitation said that we need to come in Red Oriental Chic attire. I don't want to stress myself over clothes, so I decided to wear the (ever reliable) red multi-way top. I came with the place packed with guests in red attire. I told myself that this is going to be one chic dinner!

Everything went okay. The hosts were very accommodating, starting from the registration until I was seated to a table with other group of bloggers. We just actually insisted that I share the table with the group, and the host and staff happily said yes.

More food were served on our table.


January 19, 2012

What Type of Bed Do You Sleep On?

Does my blog title sound like survey monkey? Well it is not a survey and not a personality test. I just thought of it after a long yawn and I suddenly thought of my bed. Yay, just realized I will not be sleeping on it for a month as soon as I travel to another country for my assignment.

This is not my bed.. I just found it at dominic wilcox

Do you think it would be nice to wake up on this bed? A rocking bed!
All the beds in our house are customized. We asked the carpenter who did our kitchen to make us frames for our bed. We then went to Caloocan (one of the best places to go to when buying furniture) and buy (yes you got it!), Uratex foams. We made a very easy decision, we will buy Uratex because it is the same brand we had then for our beds. What is nice is that all the foams that we bought even came with 5 year warranty (and that warranty had already lapsed last year); but the Uratex bed that we have in each room is still as good as the first time we bought it.

January 18, 2012

Great Buys of the Week: Accessories from Bijoux de Lou

It is funny that almost a week had passed and I haven't even checked my payslip, yet here I am unwrapping my online buys.

Bijoux de Lou is one of my favorite Multiply Stores (although to be honest, it is my first transaction with the store). I love browsing through the Multiply albums and the items always make me exclaim "Wowanthat!" - as in Wow! I want that!  The store sells different vintage and "whimsical" items from necklaces, lockets to funky and unique bracelets and rings. At some point in time, I got addicted with vintage necklaces, that I even bought a lot from Ebay in US. Although I love shopping and buying accessories, I only buy the stuff which I can afford, and to be honest, Bijoux de Lou's accessories are quite pricey. Until the word SALE screams on the site's every album! I checked all the albums and finally chose my orders. I originally wanted this:

...and a Marilyn Monroe bracelet (I don't have a copy of the picture, it has been removed from the site).

January 16, 2012

Why Am I (Suddenly) Hesitant to Go on Assignment to Indonesia?

It is less than two months, and I will not be surprised if one day I will find myself heading to the airport and boarding a plane to Indonesia (no, actually to Singapore). The original itinerary I received is that I will land in Singapore first, spend two hours there, then take the plane to Jakarta.

Picture from Expat Service Blogspot
To be honest, I am not excited at all. I got some personal obligations that I need to attend to while on assignment, and I just found out last week that due to assignment proximity, I will not be able to attend to it.  I wish I could just share everything in here, but this is something that I cannot share to even my closest friends. When I posted a status message in Facebook, it was funny that my friends thought I were pregnant.

There are actually very few people who can understand. I have a few regrets on how I chose my preferred geography during the application. I thought that placing Asia as my second choice will enable me to attend to my personal obligations, but it looks like it was such a bad idea. Second, I just thought that to be assigned in Asia, or South East Asian country is too close for comfort. Somehow, I have already explored some culture in other Asian countries, and reading the booklet that was sent to me makes me feel like I was reading a nursery book. I am not saying that there is not much to learn and discover in Indonesia. It is actually a very interesting country. It reminds me so much of Philippines because it is also an archipelago. I just thought that it would have been more meaningful if I would be assigned to a country with really different and diverse culture. I honestly hate myself for feeling this. When I submitted the application, I told myself that I will accept whatever country of assignment that will be offered to me.

January 13, 2012

What I Received in the Mail the Other Day?

I didn't receive a death threat or a bomb. The courier and Mailroom (Department) of our office informed me that I have a package from Australia and I know for sure that it is from the partner travel agency assisting us in completing our travel documents.

To tell you honestly, I am getting more scared and nervous each day. I cannot feel any hint of excitement in my system regarding the assignment. First, it is not even a vacation and second, I got tons of things to accomplish before I leave.

January 9, 2012

IBM Phils Appoints First Female President and Country Manager

When I checked the Society Background of Philippines in one of the travel sites I was reading the other day, it states that in the Philippines has equal treatment for both men and women. Women can voice out their minds, vote during election and lead an organization. 

Girl Power is what I thought of when I received this release. IBM Philippines has appointed a new President and Country Manager. Just 8 days ago, it was officially announced that Ginny Rometty will head the IBM Corporation. Now, we have a new femme leading the IBM Philippines. Read more below:

IBM today announced the appointment of Mariels Almeda Winhoffer as the President and Country General Manager for IBM Philippines. She succeeds James Velasquez who has been appointed Director, Maintenance and Technical Support, IBM Global Technology Services IBM ASEAN. The appointment will take effect immediately.   

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Ms. Alemda Winhoffer started her career in IBM 26 years ago most recently serving as Client Advocacy Executive for IBM Corporation, where she reported directly to the Chairman and provided support for global client engagements. 

January 8, 2012

What's Up with My Life, Plans for 2012 and Some Announcements

I miss blogging. I really do. I started the year with so many tasks in my to-do list. I am even using two planners. One is for work, and one is for personal.

The first few days of the year is challenging my time management skills.

Work: Well, since I moved to a new role, I started my training the other day. I was a bit hesitant to accept the new role, but I have to accept it; not because I need the job - but more importantly, people think I will do good in the role. So I have to do good. I am actually amazed at myself. I am starting to appreciate and embrace the process, the policy and each new things I am learning about the role. What is challenging though, the new role calls for weekly meetings, and more meetings. Sometimes, you will have 5 hours of scheduled meeting in a day, which leave you with less than 3 hours to do your work.

Finance: Status of my finance is a mess! I have yet to reconcile how much I have saved last year and assess how I can save more by cutting down on my expenses and finding more ways to earn money. I have missed my HSBC credit card due date (yesterday!). Ouch! BDO internet banking was down last night. Anyway, I have decided to deactivate my Citibank Credit Card (because they refused to waive my annual fee! Hehe), so I will just keep the new card they gave me - Citibank Titanium Card - which looks fancier. My relationship with BDO Credit Card is still going strong. I loooove BDO. I never find it hard to request for waived membership. I have been meaning to write a blog post about credit cards, but this blog knows - I don't have time. Bottom line, I love BDO. They even reversed the penalty fees they charged me the one time I missed my due date.

January 5, 2012

IBM Five in Five: Smart Tech Predictions

I don't believe in predictions. Technology sometimes scares me (seriously). Why am I sharing these things? Well, IBM released yesterday its Five in Five. It is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.

The IBM Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.

What is surprising is some of the IBM Five in Five is suddenly taking root. Take for example in 2008, when IBM predicted that consumers would be talking to the web - and the web would talk right back. You see, the web is now talking.