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One For The Money: 10 Helpful Ways To Manage Family Income

These days, it is usual to hear the words "poorita" and "pulubi" as a way to acknowledge financial distress. It is so surprising that many people embrace it as a fun way to accept defeat in terms of financial security and preparedness. It is part of the limiting belief that it is hard to be wealthy and truly happy nowadays.

As I grow older, I always hear other people telling their kids to just dream little things because of poverty. It really scares me to the extent that I try to dream bigger than I can imagine. Honestly, I'm more than afraid of my inability to control my spending habit compared to any other scary things in the world. It is sad to be broke and penniless. The future is bleak and everything is gloomy. Simply put, poverty is a bondage.

So what is the specific thing that you should prioritize in order to be free from financial challenges?

It's financial literacy that helped me achieve peace of mind. It's the same thing that will help you and your family to live a happy and meaningful life.

Do you still remember when you have to borrow money a week before payday? Isn't it a concrete example of being financially unstable? There is a way to eradicate such kind of life that forces you to forget being truly happy because you are strapped with serious money problems.
Since you are gainfully employed, you'll expect to receive money as a compensation of your hard work, and you are certainly aware that you are going to spend what you have received. One of the forceful secrets to keep yourself wealthy is to avoid spending that which you don't have.
Aside from the said wise counsel of financial experts, let us talk about the 10 helpful ways to manage financial income. You'll be in for a treat today!

Are you ready?

Let's begin.

1. It is important to learn how to manage money before it manages you. 

It is obviously scary for money to take over our ability to decide for ourselves. For instance, you have decided to borrow money so that you can travel to a popular city next week. By the time that you receive your salary, you need to pay a lot of bills and the debt that you incurred to cover your travel expenses. Then, someone offered you a discounted pair of shoes that you have been dreaming to own. Because of the debt that you need to pay, you're unable to buy the shoes. As a result, your buying power is lessened. You could have saved money for your travel expenses than to borrow cash to make it happen.
Always remember that financial peace of mind is not determined by how much we earn, but it is dependent upon how much we spend. - Elder Marvin J. Ashton
Husband and wife should help each other to manage family finances. It is a partnership that shouldn't be taken for granted. The attitude should be openness and trust so that contentions can be avoided. No one should allow financial instability as a reason for families to break apart. The mutual responsibility of parents to support the family should be upheld at all times.

Based on the example given above, it is easier for parents to be careful in spending money. As such, it is highly recommended to have a reliable financial plan before doing anything that can affect the family income.

2. You have to prepare and implement a budget for your monthly expenses.

The main goal of a personal and family budget is to know the available money each month and the amount to be spent to acquire all needs. You should avoid debt and the resulting finance charges. The exceptions of this tip are home buying, paying for education and making other important investments. For vacation and shopping purposes, pay with cash. Personally, I have accounts for shopping, travel and other lifestyle related necessities. In each envelope, I save P300.00 every month and deposit it to my savings account every quarter. I try to build the fund to pay for purchasing my favorite clothing pieces, to buy plane tickets ahead of my planned trips, and to support my blogging needs.

Always remember that credit cards are for convenience and identification so don't use it carelessly. Purchase used items until you have saved enough money to buy quality new products. Aside from that, you should also remember that buying poor-quality items almost always ends up being very expensive.

There are many motivational speakers and mentors who encourage each one of us to save and invest a specific amount of money every month. As such, liquid savings available for emergencies such us sickness or unemployment should be enough to cover at least three months of all important family needs.

Here is a sample budget sheet for you. 

A budget helps you plan and evaluate your expenses. You need to have a budget for specified period such as weekly, bi-weekly and monthly based on your pay schedule. You'll need to balance income with expenses and spend less than you earn.

If you believe that giving keeps the flow of wealth to your advantage, you can follow the items listed in the expenditures column by heart. Don't forget to prioritize savings and investments so that you'll no longer have to worry in case unexpected circumstances occur. In addition, don't forget to pay your insurance premium regularly.

3. Involve yourself in an insurance program for protection.

There are many kinds of insurance products and it is important to appropriately involve yourself in each one. Aside from having a life insurance program, you should have a sufficient insurance for medical, automobile, and homeowner's insurance. It is proven so many times that expenses relating to illness, accident and even death may be so huge that a lot of people have become financially constrained because of it. If you have kids, it is highly recommended to include them in insurance programs while they're young and the payment is lesser.

4.  Be sure to participate in food storage and emergency preparedness program.

There is a system to make sure that you have enough food supply at home. If you have extra cash, you can store food in your pantry such as canned goods, biscuits, candies, water, chocolate drinks and more. These items will last longer so you will have something to eat and drink if there is calamity. It is also one way to avoid panic buying.

If there is no calamity and you still have the aforementioned items in your pantry after three months, you can systematically consume the food and drink products and start accumulating new items to replace it. The cycle goes on and on. In that way, there will be no food shortage in your home.
If you have family storage, don't forget to prepare a 72-hour kit for each of the family member. It is a backpack full of food and drinks that will support your needs during a calamity within three days. Usually, relief goods and help from others arrive only in the third day if there is natural calamity such as flood or earthquake. In your kit, include fresh clothes, fresh batteries for flashlights, a power bank, and important documents in order to have an orderly living even during trying times.
Always remember that you shouldn't incur debts just to have a food storage. If you have limited space at home, learn some techniques on how to maintain a vegetable garden and start planting vegetables so that you will have something to harvest in the future. It is helpful to the family in many ways, especially in the food budget.

5. Learn self-discipline and self-restraint when it comes to money matters.

Discipline is a very important element to achieve financial freedom. The bondage of debt, worry and ignorance can be eliminated through your ability to curb spending impulses. For both husband and wife, money management skills should be developed together in a spirit of never-ending love and partnership.

6. Teach family members early the necessity of working and earning money.

The old school way of rearing children is teaching them correct principles and let them govern themselves. For example, a young child must be taught the concept of working and receiving compensation after work. It is also proper to teach trading techniques or business as a basic way to earn money. As a parent, you can assign simple household chores to your child regularly and show him or her the perks and privileges of hard work by giving compensation every month for doing the task and having planned leisure activities such as visiting an amusement park. It is good for you and the child to do it.

7. Always make education a continuing process in your life.

The nature of education is a continuing process because things change from time to time. If you're capable of completing a formal education, a bachelor's degree or education as possible, make it a priority. After that, take informal training classes and apprentice programs related to your chosen career.

In case you have talents or skills that are not related to your educational background such as painting, singing, dancing or writing, you can also attend classes that are created to develop it. Take advantage of the short courses offered by the government to enhance your knowledge and skills in a given trade or profession.

Having a continuous education is a form of investment because you can use the additional knowledge that you acquired in case of sudden unemployment and when opportunity knocks your door. It is very valuable to you and your family.

8. It is essential to a encourage family member to contribute to the total family welfare.

The specific goals of the family can be achieved by helping each other. For example, each one can contribute if there is a project such as allowing a child to attend dance classes and the family income is not sufficient to pay for it. This is possible if the whole family have a regular meeting at home. Each one should be aware of the family goals, financial status and their individual responsibility within the family.

9. Take advantage of the opportunities to earn money online.

There are legitimate work-from-home jobs that can help you increase your income. Just read the articles written by experts about online jobs in order to have a guide in doing so. If you have free time, you can participate in training classes to be able to work for international clients as a virtual assistant. For those who preferred to sign up a program to offer insurance products, you can use the Internet to inspire other people to have lifetime protection by involving themselves in an insurance program.

10. Teach children to make money decisions based on their capacity  to understand.

The concept of accumulating money for positive reasons should be taught while a child is still young. In order to inculcate the value of hard work and teach the essence of implementing a personal and family budget, it is advisable to be very specific. For example, you should say "save your money" for buying birthday presents and other items than just telling them "to save money" without specific explanation.

If a child matures, he or she will understand that having personal savings and investments is a noble act. Based on experience, my relatives hate each other because of inheritance. Obviously, there is lack of financial education within the family. If you don't want to experience the same thing, teach a young child to care for a parent or a relative whether or not they can get money or anything in return. Your children will not think in that way if they're already aware that building wealth is an individual responsibility and with the careful and loving supervision of their parents.

It also proper to teach a family member about the influence of unavoidable events on the financial status of the family. These factors involve unexpected employment, inflation, accident, disability and natural calamity.
It is true that unavoidable circumstances will periodically prevent us to reach our chosen destination, even in financial matters, but the positive effects of financial literacy can pave the way for us to go back on course and be truly happy.
In addition, it is also exciting to prepare for retirement as early as possible. It is truly inspiring to see many people who already retired before reaching 40 years old. They're able to invest money to prepare for that. They've wisely applied what they learned from others pertaining to financial literacy. To incorporate your goal to retire early as a working professional, you can find a mentor or a person who can guide you to achieve it. After all, copying the techniques of a person who is already successful is a wise move.

As proper money management is important in today's world if we are to live happily, I had shared the aforementioned recommendations for improve personal and family financial management. 

If you are able to follow all the said points that I shared in this post to manage family income, the real meaning of the words "poorita" and "pulubi" will become a thing of the past and just a way to incorporate fun in the way you communicate with other people. It is also possible to make each family member contribute to family wealth by being resourceful, self-reliant and industrious. Indeed, a family that saves together stays together.

The Importance of Financial Literacy For Every Young Professional

Ten years ago, I started working as a writer for an international website in Makati City. The pay was incredibly higher compared to the usual work offered in the business district of the metro. As my salary depends upon my productivity, I prefer to accomplish a lot of writing tasks so that I'll receive a higher pay. Indeed, I experienced being in the top five list of productive employees almost every month and was even promoted as a senior writer.

Because of the awesome job opportunities, I had a lot of extra cash in my wallet. As a result, I always enjoy shopping since I love fashionable clothes. As long as I have extra money, I visit my favorite shopping districts to buy different items. Aside from that, I travel around the country if I have free time.

Obviously, I don't have savings account at that time. I was busy spending hard-earned money without thinking about financial preparedness.

Did I enjoy life at that time?


Did I worry when unexpected expenses occur?


Simply put, I wasn't truly happy at that time.

My mother asked me to help her support my brother's expenses at school. It really affected my spending habit because it seems that I'm already out of cash even before payday. It happened for almost a year and it really made me sad.

One Monday afternoon, I dropped by National Bookstore at Makati Avenue area to search for self-help books. I started reading Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad and even finished reading The Midas Touch in just one sitting. As time goes by, reading self-help books became a habit.

One knowledge leads to another, especially when I started attending seminars about financial literacy. My friend Fe, who is a lawyer now, invited me and my husband to attend in a seminar that has something to do with selling insurance products. I didn't hesitate to participate in the said program since I want to support my husband who signed up later to be part of the team. 

I have no regrets in using my free time to discover new things in this life. If I didn't attend seminars about investing money and other financial management lessons, I wouldn't learn the importance of financial literacy. Being able to set up monetary goals for the future is a remarkable experience.

Why is it so essential to be financially prepared? 

First, we don't know what will happen in the future. There are risks present in this life such as sudden death, accidents, calamities and other unavoidable circumstances. We don't even know if we experience the need to pay for hospital bills in case a rare illness is discovered by the doctor. Last week, this exact situation happened to my friend and she personally told me that being financially prepared is a duty of every individual. It can save a precious life. There are many expenses that we need to consider such as the payment of taxes, tuition for continuous education programs, home maintenance and more.

Second, we find it hard to keep up with time if we don't have prepared for the future. Have you noticed the increasing number of people who have enjoyed traveling nowadays? What about the ability of other people to buy their favorite clothing items? The popularity of health and wellness is so enticing to experience the trend. You're in the midst of an economic development that wasn't available before. It is truly inspiring. However, you will surely feel bad if you can't afford these lifestyle perks every now and then. It is not too late to change your perspective now. Use your talent to find opportunities to have extra income and save money to brighten your days.

Third, financial literacy is one way to experience freedom in this life. We just don't realize it but there are so many things that may take away our freedom these days. One of these hurdles is the bondage of bad debt. 

If you owe money, you need to slash your income every month to pay it. Why not eliminate your debt in a systematic manner? Every month, try to pay off debts that affected your income until such time that you're only paying the things that you really need.

If you're a young professional, try to observe the people around you. There are individuals that will borrow money from you because they've already depleted their allowances because of impulse buying and other negative spending habits. This is something that shouldn't exist in the workplace anymore. 

Today, I'm no longer the same person who spend money like it's water. I've heard this line from the Korean drama, Heirs, which is top-billed by Lee Min Ho, the one when his character first met Park Shin Hye's character in the US. I learned a lot from the said story because the leading lady is really poor. She learned to adjust and withstand the tests of time.

These days, I only spend money for travel and shopping when I have already saved enough for it. Because of my unforgettable experiences when I had more debts than extra money, I learned to be prudent, self-reliant and resourceful. I became hungry with more knowledge on how to become financially literate and encourage others to do so.

I hope I was able to inspire you to start aiming for a brighter future.

How To Save Money For Travel and Fashion Expenses

The increasing number of people who embraced a modern way to enjoy an amazing lifestyle is notable. We can see inspiring posts on Facebook about road trips here and abroad. We find remarkable fashionable photos on Instagram shared by individuals who became totally stylish these days.

Travel to Galas, Dipolog City

The hype of having a fabulous lifestyle truly inspires us all but it is always accompanied with utmost responsibility. Why is that so? We need money to visit our favorite travel destinations. We also need cash to purchase fashionable clothing pieces. No wonder careful planning and preparation is necessary.

Travel Far and Beyond Without Worry

Travel is a very popular leisure activity. It is one way to discover new things. It entails numerous benefits to people who aren't afraid to visit new places. If you're an ardent traveler, you'll uncover new things about yourself, discover hidden talents, and find new strength. After all, every trip is different. In each journey, you will experience different barriers along the way. The ability to quickly solve problems is important. Equipped with memorable experiences and the strong desire to achieve another dream travel escapade, you will become braver and wiser. Your self-confidence will greatly manifest in every step that you'll take. In that way, you will become a better version of yourself. Indeed, travel is a perfect way to enjoy life.

Volunteered to help someone to have a new home after being evicted in Olingan, Dipolog City
However, traveling away from home requires you to spend money. What else can you do than spend your hard-earned cash just to step on an unexplored territory? Let us talk about this hot topic that baffles a lot of travelers and backpackers these days. I've rounded several ways to travel far and beyond without worrying about the expenses involved in it.

1. Prepare a reliable travel plan

There are times that I travel without planning ahead of time, especially if I'm very excited to do it. It also happens when friends suddenly invite me to visit a popular place. For me, this is an unavoidable circumstance.

Things are different now. Before I travel, I set aside a certain amount for it. I also prepare an envelope where I place P300.00 every month for travel allowance. I usually do it after I paid my bills and insurance premium every payday. The difference is really notable since I can now pay for tickets in advance instead of purchasing it a few hours before my trip. If I buy tickets a few weeks before departure time, I can save cash because the price is usually lower compared to last-minute purchases. In case of trips that don't require plane tickets, I can still have spare cash for fare expenses and even hotel accommodation.

I also contact the people that I know in a certain place that I want to visit, especially those who initially offered free accommodation in exchange of the same thing when they travel to the place where I live. It is a mutual agreement that helps me save money.

2. Take advantage of discounted hotel accommodation and plane ticket promo for your trip

As usual, I check discounted plane tickets and hotel accommodation in advance so I will no longer worry about the said necessities. I also consult other travel bloggers for tips on how to save on lodging, tour guide fee and fare around the area where I want to explore on my own.

3. Read the travel experiences of other people and learn from them

For those who are frequent travelers, it is highly recommended to read travel blogs and magazines. The pictures are usually enticing for you to embark your own journey. Aside from that, you can read tips on how you can save money while enjoying a vacation. Many bloggers provide an estimate of their expenses so you can have ideas to set a budget. It is easier to prepare for a trip with sample computation of the expenses than just relying on guesswork.

4. Secure a travel insurance

Travel insurance is a contract that will protect you by having coverage in case of medical expenses, cancellation of trip, accident, lost of luggage and other related expenses of a local or international traveler. Obviously, there are risks involved in visiting places here or abroad so securing a travel insurance is advisable for backpackers.

It is true that we often neglect the opportunity to secure a travel insurance. If you're guilty of this, just think twice. If you want to be prepared all the time, you can even find an insurance product that has coverage of travel accidents and other related expenses.

5. Work on a sideline job to earn extra cash for travel expenses

Personally, I write articles for my clients from across the globe so I can save money for travel expenses. I also maintain my blogs so I can collaborate with brand marketing representatives for promotion of products and services. In that way, I can save extra cash for travel allowance. Some clients even offer free hotel accommodation in exchange of blog posts. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you have to build a solid online portfolio as a writer or engage in other means to collaborate with the stakeholders in the travel industry.

Legends Resort, Siquijor, Philippines
How To Be Fashionably Responsible

One of the most exciting ways to enjoy life is being fashionable all the time. Since looking good and feeling better are the common ways to achieve success, you will always prioritize it in your life. The people who work in an industry that requires anyone to have a pleasing personality need to be knowledgeable in styling. Even before that, when you're preparing for a job interview, you need to look presentable by having appropriate makeup and wearing comfortable clothing items.

I visited Shangrila Hotel in Makati City to attend Sinag Year 3 Awarding last December 2016
Even though we need to prioritize being stylish, we need to consider a lot of things. For instance, there is a need to prepare enough money for clothing expenses. Sometimes it is even better to buy skincare and makeup products to have a complete personal beauty and fashion maintenance. So how do we make sure that this is attainable in a regular manner? Let us take a look of the tips and tricks to save money on beauty and fashion expenses.

1. Save money for shopping purposes

How do you prepare money for shopping? I'm not really shopaholic, but I tend to shop really hard at times. In other words, I really shop at least once a month. For me, it's alright because I only do it at my favorite thrift stores in the metro. If I travel outside the metro, I check my favorite second-hand stores to find chic pieces. During special occasions such as birthday, Christmas Day and New Year, I buy new items for my wardrobe collection and beauty essentials.

Just like my technique to keep a travel fund, I keep another envelope for shopping purposes. Inside the said envelope, I keep P300.00 every month. This is very thrilling because I know that I have something to spend for purchasing clothes after a few months of saving money.

Here's another awesome idea that I learned from attending blogger events. These days, you can enlist yourself as a financial advisor so you can offer insurance products to other people during your free time. If you're able to bring in people to buy insurance products, you will surely earn commissions. As a result, you can live brighter by having extra cash for your fashion and travel expenses.

2. Use your closet as toolbox

Many fashionable people share that it is wise to shop your closet. You should arrange it in accordance with your clothing preference. But before doing so, take time to identify your personal style so you can segregate your wardrobe into three kinds such as basic items, luxurious pieces and vintage collection. By doing so, you can have an idea what you need to buy in your next shopping escapade.

3. Shop wisely

It is really wonderful to shop smart to build your wardrobe. If you love to shop online, beware of the marketing tactics telling you to immediately buy a clothing item because "it is the only one left" for you. It is highly recommended to consult your list and prioritize buying the pieces that you really need to add in your closet. Aside from that, bring only the money that you prepared for shopping and leave your cash and credit or debit card at home.

Don't fall in love with the clothing pieces and fashion accessories that you can't afford. If you're really aiming to buy a specific product, try to find discount codes first before filling up your cart with a lot of items. In that way, you can control impulse buying and end up purchasing what you really need for a makeover.

4. Get inspiration from your favorite style icons

In most cases, preparing for work is not easy if you failed to prepare for it beforehand. Look for inspiration in the right places and create a fashion guide based on your personal style. For example, check the posts of your favorite style bloggers and collect sample photos of their styling activities. Based on their outfit preferences that you really favor, buy similar clothing items so that it will be easier for you to create your own styling options.

For all of us, having a splendid lifestyle is really something to achieve nowadays. It is also wise to start saving while you're still young and able to earn money. I've learned that younger people can save a lot of money on investments and insurance expenses compared to those who are older than them.

Sunset Boulevard, Dipolog City

Based on the above-mentioned tips, there are three qualities necessary to enjoy a meaningful lifestyle and these are being resourceful, becoming self-sufficient and to be industrious. As we enjoy the fruits of our labor by traveling and being stylish, we can live life to the fullest.

How To Revamp Your Denim Skirt Styling

What is your simple styling option for a denim skirt? Mine is just a shirt with collar and a lightweight denim skirt so I can easily move around during my tour. The shirt is Burberry and the skirt don't have a known brand, but it's really awesome. I just donned my favorite pair of red heels for an instant boost to my simple look.

The word revamp, as used in this article, means giving a new and improved form or appearance to a work of art or any styling project. In this styling episode, I preferred a girly yet edgy look because it's all that I have in my closet when it comes to denim styling. As you know, "style what you have and save money while looking fashionable," is my mantra. After all, there are tons of denim materials that you can choose to recreate such look.

We've been looking at the latest photos of our favorite fashion magazines and we discover amazing styling options for denim fashion. It's perfect to inspire you to wear the trend. Even though denim is a little bit expensive, you can score chic pieces at second-hand stores if you're resourceful.

Outfit: Shirt, Burberry London shirt with zipper, Denim Skirt, Red Heels

If you are in a hurry and you're about to leave for a travel escapade, you can include in your packed wardrobe pieces a lightweight denim skirt so that it would be convenient for you. It is equally stylish and functional as the usual denim clothing item. Every backpacker wants to have a lightweight luggage for a comfortable trip so this is a remarkable option. 

Just like any denim pants, you can easily pair a lightweight denim skirt with a blouse of your choice. You don't have to iron it because the nature of the fabric is soft and manageable.

So if you're planning to revamp your denim styling, don't forget to be creative and try other materials of the same kind in order to have a fabulous look. After all, you can always be happy if you take advantage of stylish and functional clothing pieces.

Korean Drama Hwarang Favorite Scenes

The upcoming Korean drama that will be shown in local television next month is very exciting. I've read a lot of positive comments from fellow fans of the show that is entitled Hwarang. Although there are negative comments about it, we can't ignore the charm of the characters that made this project attract fans from the Philippines. This is the same Korean television series mentioned by Anne Curtis when she was interviewed about her favorite Korean TV shows. Are you ready? Let's talk about the beautiful knights.

Hwarang, a famed Korean Drama, is becoming more popular these days as it will be shown via ABS CBN this coming November 2017. The said TV series, dubbed as The Poet Warrior Youth, was originally shown in KBS2 from December 19, 2016 to February 21, 2017 and top-billed by Park seo-joon, Go A-ra and Park Hyung-sik. As an avid fan of the show, I'd like to share my favorite scenes of Hwarang, especially the parts that are really spectacular and fascinating. I'll focus more on the lessons shown of each scene, the emotions involved and how it could possibly resonates with the viewers. With screen-grabs of each scene, I wouldn't want to tell-all in order to give way to those who haven't seen the entire drama yet.

But before talking about my favorite scenes, let me share with you the top three characters that made the story shine. Moo-myung, the nameless boy who was called Dog Bird. He became so enamored with Aro who is a half-breed, having a half-lowly and half-royal status. She's the sister of a very close friend named Sun-woo. Later on, he used the same name to be able to protect Aro. The most interesting character is played by Park Hyung-sik, who is the faceless king of Silla hiding under the name of Ji-dwi, and later on became a strong leader of his people. 

1. The Sword Dance is the first thing that comes into mind if I remember Hwarang while reading about my favorite Korean dramas. If you'll see the scenes where they practice the dance for an upcoming presentation in front of the queen, it's really hilarious and entertaining. To the tune of Even If I Die, It's You, the Sword Dance is really awesome.

2. The scene wherein Moo-myung or Sun-woo told Aro that "If you'll die, I'll die, too." There was a scene when Aro got hit by an arrow released by Sookmyung, the sister of the faceless king. It is a common scenario of a heroine in danger and the hero comes along to save her, but it gave a strong support to the story-line that the two will eventually fall in love no matter what. Aro often shows off her doubts that Sun-woo is really her brother, tells her close friend that she has mixed feelings towards her sibling, and later on will know that she's right that the Sun-woo he knows is not really her brother. 

If you also noticed the way her character is portrayed, that she's subdued in most cases, maybe it's because the focus of the story is really the friendship and strength of the beautiful knights. She was able to help make them shine though, especially when she was hired to take care of their medical needs inside the Hwarang residence.

3. The moment when the beautiful knights have chosen a king for the future is really breathtaking. It is obvious that the known king, formerly called Ji-dwi, isn't confident that his comrades will not support him.

4. The scene wherein one of the beautiful knights died is heartbreaking. He left a letter stating and quoting what he learned as a Hwarang that "Even a rough path becomes a path." He mentioned that his half-breed brother is only protecting him as a sacred bone. When all of them gathered in front of his coffin, their leader even mentioned, "Never lose a friend."

5. If you will see the scene where the faceless king saves Aro, you'll be extremely emotional. It was a life and death situation for Aro since the queen regent ordered that everyone who sees the face of the king will die. 

6. The grand entrance of Hwarang to save their comrades who escaped from their enemies is spectacular. I find it very captivating, especially when Su-ho and Ban-ryu became close friends, since they're shown as enemies at the start of the story.

7. The scene wherein Su-ho is staring at the queen regent is mesmerizing. We know that she's a womanizer, a playboy who is so popular among girls in town, but we couldn't believe that he will eventually fall in love with Ji-dwi's mother. The queen regent love his loyalty to the royal family during the time he was asked to guard her. 

8. During the preparation for the show, an event to make the people happy in front of the queen regent, Ban Ryu was caught in the dilemma of staying loyal to his comrades or following the wishes of his adoptive father. He can't disobey his adoptive father because his biological father will also bear the consequences, but he can't betray the other beautiful knights and the woman he loves who wanted him to perform at the show, so that was really hard for him. 

9. Ban Ryu's presence is astonishing. Why? His character is so mysterious, strong and independent. After all, he was only acting to please his adoptive father, who wanted him to be the next ruler of Silla in any way possible. He taught us the importance of being responsible and loyal by strategically helping his fellow beautiful knights to retrieve the stolen goods that were stored in his adoptive father's home. Ban Ryu chose love in the end and it is really fascinating for all of us.

I know that many of you are really excited to watch the show on TV here in the country and reminisce your favorite scenes of the Korean drama. After all, Hwarang is all about camaraderie, true love and patriotism. Even though there are flaws that we can notice here and there, the show is still memorable for me. I can even smile at the remarkable scenes involving the beautiful warriors. How about you, fellow fans out there? 

The Art of Dealing With Insensitive People

One way or another, we meet people as we go along with life. Since no one is an island, we should mingle with others and socialize with them. We just don't exist for ourselves. But there are instances that you won't approve the actions shown by other people. You'll feel offended even at the thought of tolerating them for the sake of peace and camaraderie.

What if you can't take it anymore? Will you keep silent? Or choose to show your angst?

I want to share these questions because every time there is a misunderstanding, these things will matter to the endpoint of our relationship with others. We want peace and happiness so our choices should be tailored to achieve these things.

However, this is not an easy task. After all, you're dealing with people that have different backgrounds in life.

So we should learn to deal with difficult people. There are individuals who are insensitive that they don't even know what they're doing.

Let me share with you the art of dealing with people.

Patience is key. This is very important in an environment that is full of insensitive people. Just think of it as a battleground and your weapon is patience. Add humility in your jar of a happy lifestyle and you'll find it more encouraging. If insensitive people exist, we can't do nothing about it anyway.

Always remember that we have control of our feelings and it is safe to choose tolerance all the time. Once you will start to listen to the suggestions of your prideful heart, things will go astray.

Take time to listen first before reacting to any negative statement. Maybe, the person who mentioned it to hurt you is well-known for being an insensitive person. You're already a winner if you will choose to be humble all the time. There's nothing that you can get for acknowledging the evil deeds of others. Always be on the bright side of life.

Lastly, take note of the things that happened between you and the insensitive person. Even though you chose to tolerate the action during the first time it happened, you will need to prevent any repeat offense against you. If it will ever happen again, avoid the person and stay happy. Stay calm, gorgeous! Love.

Blog Giveaway October 2017

I've never hosted a giveaway in this blog so I'll start doing it this month. I'm not so busy now so I have time to handle this activity for my followers and readers.


Mary Faith Alfanta won this giveaway but she wasn't able to contact me so I'm going announce another winner.

It's Iris.


1 (one) Winner to receive the following items:

1 Knitted White and Black Blouse
3 iWhite The Original Nosepack [Watsons]
1 Shawill Green Lover Lasting Color Lipstick
1 Ever Bilena Autumn Breeze Matte Lipstick

I'm going to host this giveaway through Rafflecopter.
This giveaway is open to those who have Shipping Address in the Philippines.
The submission of entry will end October 14, 2017, Saturday. Philippine Time.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also check this giveaway on my Facebook Page. Thank you and good luck, Karenezines. 

The Loaded Bolds By Color Sensational Maybelline Lipstick

The Loaded Bolds by Color Sensational Maybelline Lipstick has been reviewed by a lot of beauty experts and beauty bloggers last year. Since I've been looking for lipstick products in bold and vibrant colors and I found my favorite pieces, I've decided to feature The Loaded Bolds Maybelline lipsticks.

My Choices

I chose the Fearless Purple and Fierce Pink for my everyday use. I'll just choose one product to wear each day, especially if I'm not in the mood to wear the classy red lipstick.

Reasons of Choosing the Colors

1. I want to try vixen in purple look, especially during boring days. If you want to add a little drama to your look you can just use the Fearless Purple lipstick.

2. I want to bring out the fire in fuchsia, especially if I feel like I'm not in the mood. During these days, I try to balance the day by wearing a hot pink lipstick with a twist of red such as the Fierce Fuchsia.

Top Three Benefits of Using the Product

1. The Loaded Bolds by Maybelline deliver one-stroke intensity. Each swipe is so bright and colorful that you'll only have to apply a few strokes to complete the application.

2. The Loaded Bolds by Maybelline leave a creamy finish. Each product is perfect for those who don't moisturize their lips on a regular basis. Sometimes my lips look dull and sickly so I use a product with a moisturizing effect.

3. Each color of The Loaded Bolds Maybelline Lipstick is highly pigmented. When I was doing the video for my Karen Ezine YouTube Channel, I have to erase the swatches so many times before the final cut and I discovered that the product is long lasting. I have to use soap and a reliable makeup remover to have clean results.

How To Use/Apply the Lipstick

First, prep your lips. I usually use a lip balm which is also a Maybelline product. It is light pink and has a little dewy effect, just perfect before applying a lipstick.

Second, apply the lipstick in the center of your upper lip. I've learned from my research that a quick swipe can be done just by following the contours of your mouth.

Third, finish it by swiping the product across the lower lip. Be careful not to smudge your makeup and have a clean look.

I'm a fan of Maybelline makeup products, especially their lipsticks. If you're a lipstick lover, share your favorite products in the comments below. Let's talk. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Take care!

Look Chic and Stylish This Fall With Obsessory Clothing Pieces

We are all ready for the season of smart layering, Autumnal hues and fabulous outerwear. As always we find inspiration from our favorite style bloggers across the globe.

I'm in the mood to amp my style this fall so I shared my inspired styling tips and tricks for Obsessory blog a few days ago. My fashion ideas are really close to my heart as I love experimenting when it comes to wearing clothes and accessories.

Link to the article that I wrote for Obsessory | Three Stunning Fall Looks By Blogger Karen Lopez

Aside from the tips that I wrote for Obsessory followers, I would like to share these three dresses that caught my attention lately while browsing the popular online shopping website. These are chic items that will inspire you to look more polished yet stylish this fall.

1. Be Ladylike with a Pink Lace Up Dress

Zoey Lace Up Dress, Velvet by Graham and Spencer, £29.78

It's more inspiring to wear a lace up dress when your goal is to show off a feminine-looking style this fall. Wear a Zoey Lace Up Dress if you're bored with pieces fit for minimalist styling. 

2. Look Young and Pretty with a Classy Dress

Kylie Dress Young, Fabulous and Broke, £77.44

For a quick night out with friends, it is hard to ignore a classy yet trendy look. A black Kylie dress is interesting because it will make you look fresh and stunning. It has a lovely bias cut that will highlight one's physique. 

3. Pick a Dress With Attractive Autumnal Hues

Helena Dress Novella Royale, £107.22

It is also highly recommended to choose a dress that reflects fall colors to avoid monotonous attire. For a more attractive look, wearing a Helena dress is an awesome preference. It isn't a boring outfit since the design is unique.

This is written for Obsessory.com and for all fashion lovers across the globe. Always remember that great things come to those who shop smart.

Brunch at Altissimo Cafe in Dipolog City

Eight days after my arrival in Dipolog City, I got a chance to enjoy brunch with my friends. I've always wanted to roam around Mindanao and nearby areas so I can review amazing dining places. This is my first stop.

Since there are popular restaurants near our place, my friends and I started our week by visiting an awesome dining area.

Altissimo Cafe is the perfect choice for the gathering since I've been looking for a place to eat delicious homemade ice cream.

It is also enticing to try their delectable offerings such as well-cooked baby back ribs and the chicken and burger combo that comes with fries.

Even though I'm already full, I got excited to order more servings of strawberry ice cream because it really tastes good. 

We had a remarkable brunch at Altissimo Cafe because the food tastes good and the ambiance is cool. It is also very affordable. We only paid less than P600.00 for everything that we ordered. 

I'll definitely come back to review the other items on their menu and order more flavors of their homemade ice cream. If you're interested to know more about this restaurant, you can check their Facebook Page. They're serving breakfast meals from 6am to 10am. That's really awesome!

Radiohead and Hans Zimmer Announce Unique Collaboration For Blue Planet II

The world is excited to witness an amazing creation that will reveal our deep love for nature, especially the mysterious breadth of the ocean. Radiohead, one of the most-acclaimed rock bands in the world, and Hans Zimmer, one of the most successful movie and TV composers of the planet, collaborate with each other to produce an exclusive track for the forthcoming BBC natural history landmark Blue Planet II. 

Blue Planet II
At midday (BST) on September 27, 2017, the piece will be featured in a five-minute prequel upon its release globally by BBC Worldwide. Inspired by the sounds and musical palette of Blue Planet II, Radiohead and Hans Zimmer are recording an orchestrally re-imagined of the Radiohead song Bloom, from their 2011 album The King of Limbs, at London's iconic AIR Studios with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The project, which will also present Radiohead's Thom Yorke re-record the vocals, is being produced by Russell Emanuel of Bleeding Fingers Music. It is the company that also crafted the BAFTA & Emmy-nominated score to BBC's Planet Earth II.

This globally exclusive introduction to the show, which is narrated by series presenter Sir David Attenborough, also features many awe-inspiring shots and highlights from the new series, including the several exclusive scenes that will not feature in any of the seven episodes which are set for UK broadcast on BBC One later this year. The show Blue Planet II will be scored by Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and Dave Fleming for Bleeding Fingers Music.

Aside from that, a short tease of the prequel and re-worked track, entitled (ocean) bloom, will be released online on Tuesday September 26, 2017. On September 27, 2017, the full prequel will make its debut in stunning 4K at the World Premiere of Blue Planet II at London's BFI Imax.


Thom Yorke of Radiohead commented on the project: "Bloom was inspired by the original Blue Planet series so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song and reimagine it for this incredible landmark’s sequel. Hans is a prodigious composer who effortlessly straddles several musical genres so it was liberating for us all to work with such a talent and see how he wove the sound of the series’ and Bloom together."

Hans Zimmer says: "Bloom appears to have been written ahead of its time as it beautifully reflects the jaw-dropping lifeforms and seascapes viewers are introduced to in Blue Planet II. Working with Thom, Jonny and the boys has been a wonderful diversion and it’s given me an interesting peek into their musical world. They’ve been incredible to work with and I hope everyone likes the track."

"Blue Planet II’s Executive Producer James Honeyborne added: "This collaboration between an iconic Grammy-winning band and an Oscar-winning orchestral composer is simply mouthwatering - and (ocean) bloom doesn’t disappoint. It’s an incredibly powerful companion to the scenes we’ve spent years capturing. What a great curtain-raiser to the upcoming series that we just can’t wait to share with everyone."

Bleeding Fingers’ Chief Creative and CEO, Russell Emanuel added: "It is such an honor to be bringing together Hans and Radiohead, who are at the top of their fields. As a longtime fan of Sir David Attenborough’s work, my team and I at Bleeding Fingers are so excited to be producing the music for Blue Planet II and can’t wait for the world to fall in love with this particular piece, just as I have."

Hans Zimmer
Blue Planet II will take viewers on a revelatory and magical journey into the greatest, yet least known part of our planet – our oceans. The seas are by turn tempestuous and serene, exquisitely beautiful and bleakly forbidding, and are the lifeblood of the planet: driving our weather, regulating our climate and ultimately supporting all life on Earth. In recent years, our knowledge of what goes on beneath the waves has been transformed. By using cutting-edge breakthroughs in science and technology to explore this final frontier, Blue Planet II will reveal the astonishing characters, otherworldly places and extraordinary new animal behaviours.  Warm and compelling stories about marine habitats and their characterful inhabitants will build people’s emotional relationship with our oceans and bring a new perspective to this little-known world.

Broadcast in 2001, multi-award winning The Blue Planet was the BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s unprecedented look at the world’s oceans, the scale and breadth of which had never been seen before. Twenty years on, the Blue Planet II team have spent four years mounting 125 expeditions, visited 39 countries, and filmed off every continent and across every ocean.

Blue Planet II, a 7x60’ will air in the near future on the BBC Earth channel in Asia. In Asia, BBC Earth channel is available in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam. In the Philippines, BBC Earth is available on Cignal ch 245.

Blue Planet II is made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC America, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow, and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual.

San Jose, Dipolog City

Nature is one of the reasons I travel far from the metro and it always excites me to be near it. I meant the real thrill in the countryside when all you can see is the rice field, the birds flying here and there and the deep blue sky. So when I was invited to speak in a funeral service, I thought it is time to touch base with natural beauty that I missed so much.

We planned our trip to San Jose, Dipolog City so we can serve our sister who just passed away. We had a whole day of service and I've learned a lot from it. The trip isn't that smooth as we have to find the way to San Jose. The rain even greeted us later on, when we're on our way out of the place.

Thinking about the days I had to enjoy nature, this was the closest to it, and one of the most inspiring. I usually travel with only one goal and that is to write a travel post. But this time around, I got the chance to serve and mingle with others. The family of the deceased seemed to notice our willingness to serve that I can see them smile with gratitude. Although we weren't able to catch up with the service, we still visit the burial site and gave our condolences.

There was a small area that lovely flowers bloom without ceasing. It's really beautiful. I wonder what's beyond the place that it meant something else for me. I imagine a hidden kingdom that we can't see because the place is really mystifying, knowing that it is very far from the national road.

I've also noticed the animals roaming around the place. It isn't really a forest because I can see small houses scattered in the area. There are people living nearby. So I can see dogs wandering around. 

On our way home, I can't help but smile upon seeing little huts amidst beautiful flower gardens. I wonder how I can get hold of seedlings so I can plant the flowers at home. I'm so in love with some wildflowers that bloom in the said place. That was really awesome.

After our trip to San Jose, Dipolog City, we dropped by a friend's home to have late lunch. Every trip has a story about good food and great company so I wound't miss sharing it here.

If you're planning to visit Dipolog City and you're looking for an awesome place to stay, I'd like to recommend the following:

Find the best price for your accommodation so you'll have a memorable travel experience.

Did you like this post? Then pass it on your friends. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter and Like my Facebook Page. Take care.

10 Delightful Restaurants Near BGC for Young Professionals

One of the most unforgettable places that I've explored is Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Philippines. I've stayed in one of the neighborhood apartments near Iglesia ni Kristo, just down the lane that is popularly known as Staff House. Sounds familiar? Yes. It's one of the favorite residential area of many young professionals that work near BGC and Makati City.

To support my travel adventure, I've applied to one of the job offerings that I saw through Job Street that time. Fortunately, I was hired last April 27, 2015 and worked for TaskUs as an email support representative. Essentially, I've explored the place and visited many dining places located near it. My friends and I usually visit all of these favorite restaurants after work or even after training sessions. To inspire you, I've prepared this blog post about the 10 restaurants near BGC for young professionals.

If you're preparing to visit Manila and you're planning to explore nearby cities, just check this travel deals for Manila Hotels in the Philippines for your accommodation arrangement while planning your trip.

Millennials, get ready for reminiscing the awesome dining places near Bonifacio Global City.

1. Aracama Filipino Cuisine

Just located near our office at twenty four seven, Aracama is truly an amazing restaurant. When it comes to showcasing delicious regional Filipino cuisine, this chic dining place gives it all. One of the most unforgettable moments that I have here is to stay on its spacious grounds, enjoy an event organized by Sun Life Philippines and savor their delicious snacks. 

2. Mercato Centrale

This shouldn't be included here because I should create another post for this one, but I can't really treat it not as delightful as those regular dining places located near BGC. We usually flock to this place when it is open during Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and it is open to the public at around 6 pm to 3 am. Mercato Centrale in BGC is perfect for night shift workers who want to enjoy delectable dishes, snack and drinks near the office.

3. Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes

The sole purpose that I visit this place is their tasty lasagna and it always give me the reason to smile. It has other delightful offerings, too. Good food and coffee? Banapple Kitchen have it all for you. I'm also in love with their mango shake. The place is well-decorated and the store concept is remarkable. Banapple Kitchen is truly admirable.  

4. Cabalen Restaurant

When I was a kid, we used to enjoy fiesta celebration and it is so inspiring to me wherever I go. I love good food and I want it all. To celebrate such feeling, I usually visit Cabalen Restaurant and enjoy dining in a fiesta setting. I just can eat all that I can.It is located at Market! Market! Fiesta so it is very accessible and convenient for everyone. Cabalen Restaurant is a popular eat all you can dining place so you really have to try dining at this place.

5. Ayan's Italian Diner

Many young professionals in the area where I live talk about this place. My friend Jit first invited me to dine here. I've tried their bestseller, the Carbonara, and I really love it. I've heard some of my friends just set time to visit this restaurant after work. The hype isn't imaginary. Ayan's Italian Diner is just a small restaurant located at Sampaguita Street, Makati City. However, you will have a taste of delicious Italian food, local dishes with a twist and tasty snacks at an affordable price. No kidding! Before I left BGC for a countryside tour, I usually have my breakfast here with my husband. It's totally amazing.

6. Tatang's Boneless Lechon at SM Aura Supermarket Area

If I walk the streets of BGC in the afternoon to go home, I usually drop by SM Aura for window shopping. My way is the supermarket because it is convenient to go outside and go home. But before doing so, I usually drop by the small food court area and order Lechon Sisig for early dinner. It is so delicious that I invited my friends to dine here. SM Aura is a wonderful place and it has good food for everyone.

7. Max's Restaurant at Market! Market!

I've been looking for a popular dining place that serve delicious food for lunch and Max's Restaurant is my primary choice. They have well-cooked chicken and side dishes that you'll love to munch during break time.

8. Seafood Island at Market! Market! Fiesta

Have you tried boodle fight dining set up? Seafood Island is the best place to try it because their food presentation is customized for that setting. I'm a seafood lover so I really enjoyed dining here. My friends dine here in groups so it is absolutely fun, memorable and affordable for everyone. Here, food and adventure go hand in hand because you've got to choose your style of food preparation that is not ordinary. 

9. TGI Fridays at BGC High Street

For special occasions, we flock here to celebrate the ups and downs of life. It is a bit expensive but we love the food and the place - perfect for dressing up and dine here in style. TGI Fridays is a place to enjoy life after work.

10. Kenny Rogers Roasters at Market! Market! Mall

During weekends, looking for an amazing place to dine is a challenge, especially if you have tried almost all places in the area. But when I categorize the search into affordable and healthy food option, Kenny Rogers Roasters Roasters is a number one choice.

There are other delightful restaurants near BGC in Taguig, but these are the popular ones in terms of affordability, accessibility and quality of food preparation. Obviously, these are for young professionals who want to enjoy good food and great company with friends and loved ones. Work isn't boring because of these places since we know we have somewhere to go after completing our daily tasks in the office.