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Sumptuous Lunch at Makati Shangri-La Manila December 2016

The Sun Life Philippines Thanksgiving Lunch for Media and 2016 Sinag Awarding at Makati Shangri-La Manila was a successful event. It was held last December 14, 2016 at the popular hotel in Makati City.

Obviously, I'm very pleased with the Strawberry Timbale on Almond Crisp, Vanilla Sauce served during the event since it's so delectable. It's not too sweet - perfect for me. It's eye-catching and one of the best things we had during the event.

Strawberry Timbale on Almond Crisp, Vanilla Sauce

I had so many things to do at that time but I made sure that I attended the event. It was my first time this year and I learned a lot.

For the main course, the tasty Blackened Lapu-Lapu Steak, Potato Timbale and Baked Vegetables was served to the guests. I really liked it.

Blackened Lapu-Lapu Steak, Potato Timbale and Baked Vegetables
Before the event started, I roamed around the lobby of the hotel. I used to do this every time I visit this place. By looking for the restroom, I dropped by their awesome holiday decoration.

Aside from that, I took a photo of my favorite part of the lobby. That's the staircase near the entrance. I'm so in love with this corner of Makati Shangri-La Manila lobby.

Here are the winners of the Sinag Award 2016 Digital Category. Congratulations!

I had so much fun. I'll continue supporting Sun Life Financial Philippines since I really love the way they increase awareness on financial literacy across the country.

Tag Media and Pinoy Blogger Christmas Party 2016

The year-end party with Pinoy Blogger and TAG Media & Public Relations was very successful as it was attended by more than 50 bloggers. Although it was a busy day for me, I still attended the party since I want to meet my friends there.

I was so lucky to meet again Pauline Cueto since I've been planning to collaborate with her for my upcoming book. I really need someone of her age to cast amazing melody to the story of my novel.

Daiana Menezes and Pauline Cueto
Obviously, I had so much fun during the party. My partner and I won the banana eating contest. Even though I was not proactive in joining all the games, I still had a chance to cooperate with other bloggers. 

Aside from meeting Pauline Cueto for the third time, I had a photo opportunity with Daiana Menezes who is promoting her latest show, The Fiercest of Them All, which will be aired soon through GMA Network.

The guests also love the food and drinks at the venue, which is Misono Japanese Restaurant at Jupiter Street, Makati City. I had a chance to cook Dakgalbi with the chef of the restaurant.

Here are the things that I got after the party. I wasn't lucky enough to bring home the major prizes but I'm really grateful for all these things. Thank you TAG Media and Pinoy Blogger for the opportunity to enjoy the Christmas Party.

How To Accommodate a Guest Despite Having a Busy Schedule

My place isn't a queen's lair so it's obviously simple and small. My husband and I decided to rent an apartment near Bonifacio Global City in Taguig so I can go to work quickly and safely without going through the horrible traffic in the metro. It's also my studio for blogging and book writing. One day, a friend of mine told me that she needed to stay in my place since her friend didn't confirm about the plan to stay in Quezon City. Well, I approved the request since my husband is away to manage the family business and I was alone.

We had so much fun! So how did I complete the task to be the host despite my busy schedule and well-set budget? It's simple. I stayed true to my stock knowledge in accommodating a guest for less and without stress. Here are things that I prepared to make it a reality.

1. Think about food preparation and other related necessities.

Obviously, one of the most important things to prepare before the arrival of the guest is food and drinks. I just tweaked how I usually spend my allowance and made sure that we will have something to eat and clean water supply. Since I'm really busy, I really don't prepare food at home. I just have a rice cooker and I purchase food products in my favorite supermarkets. I prepared a menu for the 4-day stay of my friend. I also prepared drinking water and snacks for both of us. It was easier than guessing what to buy for daily meals.

2. Choose a minimalist style at home.

Lately, I've been thinking about having a minimalist interior design at home to save space and to have a perfect studio for blogging. I rearranged the place before the arrival of my guest. For easier organization, I have five sections of the place such as pantry, dining, bedroom with closet, bathroom and study area. I have no other things aside from my personal belongings and work paraphernalia so it was easy for me to clean and organize the place.

3. Have a mental note of possible activities.

Before my friend's arrival, I already have an idea of her plans for the travel escapade. Based on her schedule, I planned an itinerary and matched it with my own work time. As a result, we were able to have a city tour and dinner together before I attended to other activities in the office and for my blogging duties. It was also the time that our team participated the TaskUs Lip Sync Battle. I was part of the video and live presentation. By the way, we won! Thanks to the support of our friends. Imagine my busy schedule at that time.

Aside from that, I took photos of my boss for the TaskUs Dress Your TL Contest wherein I also helped in styling her as a mafia prior to the pictorial. With all these activities, I was lucky to have perfect timing to take care of my guest at the same time.

4. Offer guidance about anything.

You'll always be remembered because of the things that you share to others, especially passing on wisdom. It's my favorite part of the hosting process. While I provide guidance for my guest, I also learn from her. I want to share my experiences to share lessons and inspire my guest. In return, I was able to see love and life from the perspective of a millennial. Isn't it amazing?

5. Take photos to keep the memories.

We had a lot of photos during her stay in my place.We also had tons of pictures at Venice Grand Canal Mall at McKinley hills. At that time, the Gondola Ride isn't available so we just roamed around the place for picture-taking opportunities.

Lastly, we had a peek of the holiday decor at SM Aura. It was an awesome concept, which is bringing the forest alive for all the guests. The Christmas lights and festive ornaments completed the look for all of us to see and enjoy.

Eight Tips for Maintaining Friendships In a BPO Setting

We know that working in a BPO setting is well-known nowadays. Many people work as call center agents or email support representatives because of its amazing benefits. Obviously, business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines has created meaningful jobs for millennials throughout the country. It's the same reason I'm part of it and has maintained friendships with other people despite its ever-changing culture.

So how did I maintained friendships with my peers in the BPO industry? Here are five fresh tips to highlight your connections with other people in the workplace. To give you a sample of my real-life experiences, I'll feature my friends in this blog. We had dinner at TGI Fridays Restaurant in Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley, Taguig, Philippines. Since Day 1, they're my close allies at the company where I work as Email Support Representative.

1. Be friendly. 
I know that this is the foundation of every friendship built within the BPO industry. Basically, I'm talking about genuine friendship since it's something that can't be bought anywhere. It's rare and priceless. 
At TaskUs, I have a circle of friends. They're my real friends in the office. Even though we rarely meet, we make sure that our communication is solid. If you have friends within the company, it will boost your self-confidence because they're your mirrors telling you that you're doing great.

Dinner at TGI Fridays in Venice Grand Canal, Mall McKinley, Taguig, Philippines with Jules and Ymarie

2. Develop genuine interest with other people.
Sometimes we tend to take for granted the presence of other people within our circle of friends. It's not bad to be selective, but it's also a good thing to make everyone feel accepted.
By developing genuine interest with other people, you'll spreading good vibes that's helpful in dealing with stressful circumstances. It's one way to give something good and receive positive impact by doing it.

3. Use social media to remain connected despite changes in schedule and team assignment.
Social media remains a valuable tool in maintaining connections with others. It bridges the gap between misconceptions and assumptions within a social circle.
In the office, social media usually unites people for a common cause. Just a warning though, don't overuse it to avoid contentions.

4. Participate in group activities within or outside the walls of the office.
If you have tried reaching out and it seems that you're being seen-zoned, don't neglect your responsibility to participate in meaningful group activities. It's not only a perfect way to get close to your peers, it's also an avenue to show your talents.
We've heard so many times that people in the office who help each other reap success easily. It's a powerful testament to a long-standing tenet that no man is an island.

5. Be wary in choosing close friends.

It's not really important to be really popular in the office. It's better to build close connections that will help you ascend without hurting others. Obviously, communication is key.

6. Familiarize the best ways to deal with office politics.
There lies a dark web of mystery in the corporate world that only the strong and wise can understand. People may use you to promote their own self-interests. Don't fall a victim of this kind of game.
Remain firm to your objectives for being part in the program. Keep your dreams away from those who doesn't believe in it. Don't squeal little things that make up your whole world. Guard it with your whole heart and mind. 

7. Change your expectations and don't make assumptions.

There are people in the BPO industry who don't conform to the system. They're untouchable. Why? If you're going to engage them to your own world, you'll be exposing yourself to a more dangerous battle. The deadly effects of insecurity will haunt you even to your waking moments. Don't sleep with hatred in your heart. Sometimes you need to change your expectations just to avoid unnecessary conflict in the office. Don't assume that everyone will believe in you.

8. Be honest.
Honesty is not only the best policy, it's also a useful tool in keeping yourself in the right position to aspire for success.
Be candid in the office, especially in dealing with people who don't support you. Although they'll try to sabotage your positive intentions, they'll find it hard to tarnish your image.

Gondola Ride at Venice Grand Canal Mall in McKinley, Taguig, Philippines
There are myriad ways to maintain close relationships in the office. Just be quick to spot the individual interests of the people around you to stay focused. It will protect you from being taken advantaged of at work.

Do you have other tips for maintaining friendships in the office? Let's talk about it in the comments below.

Dinner In The Dark and Night Safari at Zoobic Safari With Zoomanity Group

We know that travel is very popular these days. It's even more popular with those who have access with technology because of easier ways to find information about popular travel destinations. Through the Internet, it's easy to plan for a weekend getaway nowadays.

As a blogger, writing about amazing vacation is an exciting task. For me, it's the best gift for being so passionate about sharing my own travel experiences. No wonder I accepted the invitation to visit Zoobic Safari again with my fellow online influencers.

Last time, I visited the popular theme park to celebrate World Animal Day 2016 at Zoobic Safari with Zoomanity Group and other guests. It was a memorable experience since I was able to witness the blessing of young animals that are part of the zoo at the said travel destination.

This time, we had a chance to experience what it would like to be blind through a special dinner event called "Dinner in the Dark" by Zoomanity Group. It's a unique experience for me since I had an opportunity to live in total darkness in less than an hour.

It's not really easy to be blind. Honestly, I didn't feel anxious when we were blindfolded to enter the dining hall. At that time, I was imagining the kind of food and drinks they will serve us. It's a good thing that a blind woman named Rosette guided us inside the dining hall. Her husband gave a short talk after dinner. Before eating, I used my sense of touch to have an idea of what they served us. We ate paella valenciana, hardinera, breaded onion rings, and a dessert. It was memorable.

Aside from the exciting Dinner in the Dark, we had a chance to tour around the petting zoo. We've seen miniature horses, donkeys, a monogamous otter roaming around its den, a white umbrella cockatoo, a liger, snakes, lizards, iguanas and other amazing animals.

We had also a chance to experience the Night Safari, which is really spectacular and has given us a chance to love nature even more. It was the highlight of our travel experiences and I'm grateful that I participated in this event. I had so much fun!

Zoomanity Group, one of the leading companies in the park industry, will host series of Dinner in the Dark for the benefit of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines. This exceptional event will create awareness to all of us what it is like to lose our sense of sight and appreciate it even more. Guests will have a 30-minute orientation before the dinner which will be held in different Zoomanity parks and restaurants. During the dinner, the participants' sense of sight will be totally diminished then their other senses will take over and will be heightened. Wonderful scents and sounds, and beautiful music, will be expected as well.

Catch this special dinner offer from 5-8 PM (including pre-dinner orientation) on the following dates:

November 5 Residence Inn in Tagaytay
November 12 Zoobic Safari in Subic
November 15 Misono Restaurant in Jupiter Street Makati
November 17 Jinsei Japanese Restaurant in Vivere Hotel
November 21 Midori Japanese Restaurant in Alabang
November 24 Metro Ruins in Metropolitan Makati
November 26 Zoocobia Fun Zoo in Clark, Pampanga
December 3 Zooper Cruise, Pasig River Cruise

For tickets and more information, please contact the Zoomanity Group at (02)889-9824-28, (02)8957142, 0915-890-4728 or email zoomanitygroup@gmail.com.
Have you been to Zoobic Safari? Let's talk about your experiences in the comments below. Stay safe! :)

Musical Instruments and Cocktail Drum Kit For Music Jam

We know that music helps us to relax every now and then. It is a natural pain reliever. Many people love to communicate with others through singing and dancing. No wonder, it's really important to have the best musical instruments such as a cocktail drum kit, which is a 4-piece kit with pedal. Sometimes it is also essential to read reviews about musical instruments to prepare for shopping. Since there are amazing products to choose from, all we have to do is to select the best items.

TaskUs Lip Sync Battle With Andoy

The #TaskusLipSync Battle at #LizardbearLair is now open for everyone to support their favorite video. This is an activity in the company where I work as Email Support Representative. If you've heard about TaskUs at Blog Ex 2016 where I met Pauline Cueto and the company won for Best Social Media Campaign, this is the same company that I'm talking about. 

For now, I would like you to support our video entry to TaskUs Lip Sync Battle for Cluster Cluster Anne Rhie. We had so much fun in completing this video. Hopefully, we will win the battle. Cheers! 

Christmas 2016 In The Philippines Preview

Lunch at Yoshinoya

Window shopping on the way to High Street

At SM Aura entrance

More food :)

We know that Christmas season is one of the most exciting parts of the year. It's a season of giving and making other people happy. Well, it's not just the gifts but also the time that we spend with our loved ones and other people. Before my birthday, I've decided to remember this year as the start of the time that I'm really living my dream. I met a lot of interesting people, including celebrities who inspire us to be better. Success is something that can be duplicated so I really believe that finding inspiration everywhere works for all of us. You just have to believe in it and do your part. 

This year, I'm going to participate with the #lighttheworld campaign of our church. We have an activity that will help us show compassion and share blessings to other people. I'll document how I participate in the activity here in my blog.

How will you celebrate the holiday season this year?

Jeans and T Shirt Combo for Modest Fashion Look

We know that wearing jeans paired with a t shirt is a basic fashion uniform. The best way to show off such a simple outfit is to be yourself. In most cases, style lovers wear it as a dress down attire for ease and comfort while completing usual weekend tasks.

Every fashion lover keeps a few basic pieces for off duty styling these days. Usually, we buy jeans to match our shirts in different colors. However, one of the most easy-to-style-item is a white tee. Here, I'll show you jeans and t shirt combo for modest fashion look using a chic piece from Zoomanity Group.

This look is so simple that I effortlessly show off the style during photo shoot at Greenbelt in Makati City, just a few hours away from popular Manila hotels, considering the traffic and other factors. Since I want to add a little height, I wore a pair of pink and white wedges for the look. It's a simple way of showing an illusion of being taller.

Searching For Music Store Online

We know that shopping for musical instruments is not an easy task, especially if we want to buy the best product out there. If we want to see samples of the product, searching for it in our favorite shopping malls is the first step to do. However, it is really not easy to find the best one if we just rely on shopping there. No wonder it's also a very essential step to look for musical instruments at a music store online that has everything that you've been looking for.

In looking for your favorite musical instrument, there are tons of resources in the Internet. By searching online, you can find a reliable music store that has amazing products in store for you. Don't forget to check reviews about the product to make sure that you'll get the perfect item.

It's also highly recommended to check other online stores that offer second-hand items, just in case you're in a tight budget. After all, great things come to those who shop smart. There are many shopping havens online that sell used items from music lovers. It's a great way to save cash while shopping.

Aside from that, you can check your local shopping districts for new products. Some artisans display their latest creations there. Sometimes you can score a discounted item. Well, just in case you're not fond of shopping online.