Monday, June 23, 2014

A little too coffee





Made another vector-y lettering today. It has been my craze lately to create vector interpretations of quotes I can randomly think of. 
I had always been fond of doing lettering stuff since I was a kid and little did I know it will take more than a pen and paper to actually develop a thought into something (digitally) nice. 

Graphic Design isn't that hard after all. Just start from scratch, turn it into a couple of concepts, do a little abracadabra in the adobe suite and create an artwork straight from your vision. 

For starters like me, all you will basically need are a few things including: 
1. a Laptop 
2. Photoshop or any editing software you are familiar and capable of using.
3. and Ideas. (a lot of them)

So there you go. A coffee quote, teal background and a few vector coffee beans. 
Not bad for a beginner, right? (wink, wink!)



A photo of my iced mocha creation. #inspiration



Much love,
Fayemos

Friday, June 20, 2014

CHALK TALK: Things I learned in Kindergarten

Graphic Design by yours truly. ;)

Hey friends! Just a quick update we have here. 
Since I've been busy lately trying to connect with my little brother, I've pondered really much on the value of having (and appreciating) education.

Being a college graduate while constantly teaching my younger brother Kinder stuff is no joke. I have to talk real slow. I have to use both my hands in explaining things. I have to make up characters and build a story just to expound what I mean. I need to constantly remind him that sleep is much more important than watching Thomas and Friends. (and) I have to wake up extra early. 

Unconsciously, I'm learning myself from my little brother as well. I've learned that  reading can actually save your life; Being too colorful is messy; and in life, you don't need a lot of friends to have fun- all you need are a few true ones and you're good to go.

You see, whatever our reason maybe, as long as we live, we can't escape the learning process. And it's a positive change. We learn, re-learn and unlearn. It's even a fun experience. And although not all are privileged to go to school, it's not a hindrance in learning. We learn everywhere. 

So while studying or plainly living, we should appreciate the knowledge we get from this world. We may not know everything, but at least we can grasp a piece of it. Just like in kindergarten, we don't really have to take life so seriously. There will always be a lot of errors but we can fix them or at least accept them and do better next time. We don't need to be afraid of making errors. Instead consider them as another opportunity to learn even further. 

In life, you have to take fun seriously and appreciate whatever learning you have to live it better. The choices are all up to you. Remember, even kindergartens make choices. As much as possible, just choose the right ones and own up to it.



Much love,
-Faye

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TOP 10 MILK TEA PLACES IN BACOLOD


From the City of Smiles (and Sweets), Bacolod, I've come up with a list of the top places to have your milk-tea cravings fixed. Aside from Iced coffees and milk-shakes, milk-tea has been a go-to drink for people in Bacolod. Whether just for thirst-quenching or chilling purposes, there's a lot of reasons why milk-tea became a hit in 6100.

---

So, in no particular order, here's the top 10 milk tea stations you don't want to miss out. 



1. TREAHOUSE
 Prices start at 85php for their classic milk teas.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word(s) "milk- tea", is wintermelon. And by far serving the best blend (for me) of such flavor, is Treahouse.

I also love their Barista's Secret and Honeydew Milk teas.



Don't miss out on: 
Red Velvet Crepes



Treahouse is located at the Dream 21 Bldg, 21st Lacson Street.










2. 365 MODERN CAFE
Milk teas start at 90php

Creating the perfect blend of Caramel, Almond and Taro milk teas for me, is 365 Modern Cafe.

Nothing beats a perfect cup together with a very cozy ambiance. The modernized feel of sophistication in 365 is what you will love while having a drink.


Don't miss out on: 
Blueberry Cheesecake



Find 365 Modern Cafe along BS Aquino Drive. In front of Northpoint Atrium Bldg.








3. QUALITEA
Milk Teas start at 80php. Qualitea rocks, at 100php. 

Having two branches in the city makes qualitea the most convenient milk-tea place in Bacolod. 

As my pick for their milk-tea, you can have their wintermelon and cocoa with rocksalt and cheese.
And lately, I've discovered their qualitea rocks in Matcha flavor. It's definitely a catch.

Don't miss out on:  
Shawarma Habibi



Visit Qualitea at 10th Lacson Street across Crave Burger or at Northdrive, Villamonte beside the Huan Thong Temple









4. ZENTEA

Milk teas prices start at 65php only.
Now who doesn't love Zentea?
Aside from being wallet-friendly, it is very accessible for students to hang out and chill.

I love their Choc-tea and Naicha Milk teas paired with pudding or pearls.


Don't miss out on:  
Red Velvet Crinkles Eruption




Spot Zentea at the Mainstrip Alley, La Salle Avenue. (Just in front of USLS Gate 2 exit)











5. MOONLEAF

Price of their milk teas start at 70php
As soon as moonleaf branched out here in Bacolod, it became an instant fave.

Must be their perfect blend of Hakka or Oolong Milk teas. Pair it with their Nata or pudding and you're good to go.

They currently have another branch open at Mainstrip La Salle too.
Catch their main branch at Vision Square, 21st St., San Agustin Drive











6. DAKASI

Specialty Milk Teas start at 90php
Brewing its first tea in Taiwan, this tea store expanded over years and luckily, in the Philippines. And well, much more luckily, in Bacolod.

They serve the best Okinawa Milk tea for me. Also, their Oreo milk tea is really delicious.



Don't miss out on:  
Their promo of buying two drinks of same type for the price of one!




Catch Dakasi at the Northpoint, District, Ayala










7. PEARLS AND BUBBLES

RSC Drinks start at 80php
Chill with your friends at Pearls and Bubbles. Having two branches in the city, they sure might've caught more people loving their blend.

From their array of flavors, I love their Oolong and Mocha Milk teas. Their sinkers are fine and not too tender.


Don't miss out on:  
Freedom Wall and Leaf Chairs! :)




Find Pearls and Bubbles at the Azotea, Mandalagan. Also at their second branch at the La Salle Ave.










8. SHARETEA

Price starts at 85php
With the widest selection I can think of in the city, Sharetea has everything you crave.

From their best-sellers and my personal picks as well, are the classic sharetea milk tea, QQ happy family, Taiwan and Cantaloupe.

Don't miss out on: 
Pepper Chicken! (and wasabi chicken too! )





Find Sharetea at 15th Lacson Street beside L'fisher Hotel









9. MANG CHA-A

Milk Teas start at 50php only!
Serving the most affordable milk-tea but with good quality is Mang Cha-a.

From what I've tried, I love their wintermelon milk tea the most. Pair it with grass jelly or pearls for an added goodness in your cup.



Don't miss out on: 
Yakult Milk teas





Find Mang Cha-a at SM City, Bacolod











10. TOKYO BUBBLE TEA

Milk teas start at 115php
Milk tea has never been this quirky. People in Bacolod are so lucky to have Tokyo Bubble Tea branch out at the city.

To the cafe serving thousands of little pearls (aka bubbles), it's always a great fix with a cup of royal milk tea or honey dew.

Don't miss out on: 
California Maki! :)





Catch Tokyo Bubble Tea at the Central City Walk, Robinsons Place, Bacolod




So there you have it, guys. Craving yet? ;)
I hope this post serves a bit of informational to you 
and feel free to comment or send me a message for other deets and questions. 

Much love, 
Faye

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Everything Strawberry

Welcome to my quick three-point guide on the top three places not-to-miss in the City of Pines, 
Baguio City, Philippines. 


             After 6 long years, so much has changed in Baguio and the change I must admit is really good. No wonder it still ranks one of the top summer getaway places in the country. Of all the magnificent cultural spots in Baguio, it is really a tough decision to make the top three choices. So, in no particular order, I recommend you to visit: Burnham Park, Strawberry Farm and Minesview Park.


1. BIKE, BOAT or BE an IGOROT 'round BURNHAM PARK.
            To start with, I suggest you check in at hotels (or inns) near Burnham since everything else will come in handy as it is close to being the heart of the city. From there, you will have a couple of options to begin with. Whether you want to rent the bikes, go boating in the lagoon, rent some roller skates, eat or rent igorot costumes, it's all up to you.

 
             From the wide array of bikes to choose from, you'll end up tired from trying all of them! But seriously speaking, you can enjoy riding a single bike from fancy colors you like or take the part in renting the one with the side-car. You and your companions will surely enjoy the ride. :)

For the bikes, it will cost you 50php per hour. 

            After an hour of biking, we found ourselves hooked to the talk-of-the-town, Strawberry Taho
It is common for Filipinos to eat this type of concoction made of soy, little sago pearls and sweet sugary syrup. In Baguio though, it has been a trend of adding an extra ingredient which is the queen of their harvest- strawberries! It's heaven in a cup! Cliche as it may sound but it really tasted a whole lot better compared to the ordinary ones. How I wish Strawberry Taho are sold all around the country too!

For 15 pesos a cup, it's all good.



             
               After the lovely treat, we headed to the side area of the boating lagoon to have a quick OOTD change. We rented Igorot costumes for only 10 pesos for a set complete with the top, skirt, head piece and accessories. We felt like natives in an instant! :)

             Meanwhile, you can try other activities we found not really necessary (since we've already tried them out years ago and nothing much has changed then) during our recent trip like the roller skating and boating. BUT  I still recommend for you to try them since your trip won't just be complete without the experience especially if it's your first time.


2. VISIT THE STRAWBERRY FARM; PICK THEM BERRIES.

            Off we proceed to another favorite spot of mine, The Strawberry Farm. Located a couple more of kilometers away from the metro, in La Trinidad part of Benguet, comes the vast plantation of strawberries. You can literally say it's Strawberry Land. 
           
             Given a few hours to digest this beautiful scenery, we made use of the given time for us to enjoy picking berries. For a basket, you can fill it up with the strawberries you personally handpicked and only charge you 400 pesos for a kilo you can fill. It was a fun activity you will really enjoy. 




            
              If you want to spare yourself from the hassle of picking and the unpredictable mud that might surprise you say (rainy time), you can opt to buy a sealed pack of strawberries at affordable rates. However, it's a different experience to handpick them on your own and carefully select the ones you'll be consuming. Also, the basket might look tiny for a kilo, but don't worry, your other companions can share the fun and divide the weight (for the same price) of the handpicked berries afterwards.


            From the farm comes a long array of souvenir booths having all strawberry goodies from biscuits to crinkles, wine, jam, coin purses, key-chains and everything strawberry. And along the streets are a couple more vendors of authentic strawberry ice creams. They use honey instead of sugar in making such so it's more tasty and healthy. If you're not a big fan but still want to try, they offer free tastes in little spoons and trust me, you will not just try-you will end up buying a cone of your own. 


3. ENJOY THE VIEW AT MINESVIEW.

              As the breath-taking view would make you feel cozy up in the mountains, so as the feeling of comfort taking a break from the city life. This ancestral house welcoming you upon arriving at the Minesview Park stores a lot of precious antiques. From the footsteps climbing up to the traces of the early settlers living in this area- are all visible in the way they presented the interior of their little museum. 



            Above you can see an old bottle of wine. I wonder if it's the first strawberry wine ever made and how good will it have to taste now. Below would then be the organic red rice the early settlers are proud of. Their harvest is really bountiful I must say. And also, a photo of an Igorot is displayed right there. The rest of the house is filled with molded clays and souvenirs up for sale.

Moving out and around the area, you can see a lot of vendors selling 'Everlasting' flowers. They look cute as garlands to me but I really haven't had the chance of asking what they were really for. 



             Then comes right after is the long line of the people wanting to take a photo op with this St. Bernard dog. It wasn't any different from any other family dogs except maybe of its size and its not common here in the country. Also, he is well-trained and really entertaining with his ability to make such cute and adorable moves.
 Look at him sporting a new pair of sunnies almost like mine! I want to adopt him!

And hey, if you thought Nicki Minaj is not a resident of the country, you might want to think again. The photo below shows the horse I called Nicki, sporting a pink hair and a colorful body outfit. Bet she could rap too!
 
Say Super Bass! :)

You can also ride Nicki and other horses. You can choose to just have a photo taken or stroll around the park with different horses. 

            So there you have my top three places in Baguio. Of course you can stick to the classics like: Camp John Hay, The Mansion, PMA and many else. Although I suggest you stick to more lively places for your second (and succeeding) visits since there's no much of fun in those places aside from having an obligatory photo as a remembrance or a proof you've been there. I'm not stopping you though. Also, I've heard of a haunted hotel, Treetop Adventure and a Dinosaur Island somewhere in Baguio and that, I might come back for.

Heading to Baguio any time soon? My next entry will be all about essentials and all you need to take note when hitting the road. Have a great day! :)


Much love,
Faye

Sunday, April 27, 2014

TIBIAO EXTREME


Three lighter skin tones ago, my boyfriend and I dared ourselves for a more adventurous and fun summer getaway. We headed to the province where the mountains meet the sea, Antique. It's a large town in the western part of Panay (in fact, the largest). 

In trying to explore Antique, one day is not enough. So given the day we are to tour, we chose to explore Tibiao. With the help of Katahum Travels, we scored a day-tour package of Tibiao adventures. 

Day Tour- Package Inclusions: (1,599php/person)
  • Unlimited Fish Spa
  • Free service transfers in their Habal-Habal to all places covered
  • Lunch Meal 
  • A choice of 1km Zipline, Zorb, White Water Kayaking or Body Massage
  • Tour Guide
  • Trekking to Bugtong-Bato Falls
  • 30 Minutes of Kawa Hot Bath

We took the bus and left Ilo-Ilo around 4 in the morning to arrive by 8 since it's a 3-4 hr-bus ride (travel time). Upon arrival, we paid the walk-in rates and headed first to the fish spa area. Around 12-15 people can be accommodated in the fish spa dipping pool. They also offer a separate deal with their whole body fish spa.

After we had our breakfast at their mini cafe, we rode the "Habal-habal", a single motorbike with a separate driver, and off we went to the village where Bugtong-Bato is just a km and a half, hike away. From the village, we are accompanied by another local together with our tour-guide for the route of our hike.

 The photo above is the first of the 7-tierred water falls. Only the first 3-cascading falls were allowed for beginners like us since the rest are almost mountains away and would require A LOT MORE hiking experience. The trekking was fun although a bit agonizing for an asthmatic like me plus the scorching heat of the sun at around 11am. I wonder how the first hikers even reached the 7th.


After a relaxing swim at the second and third falls, we decided to try Canyoneering. It was a separate pay of 450 + 300 (for the guide) each for the canyoneering since it required the help of skilled people who would assist us.

When Canyoneering, one should be prepared with the right gears and enough courage! haha. Good thing we came ready with closed shoes (running shoes though). But it was good enough than my sandals or bare foot! I can't imagine doing it with barefoot since even with the shoes, I already felt the slippery formations behind the water falls.




120-ft Canyoneering at the first of the 7 falls of Bugtong Bato


An hour and a couple of screams after, I survived my first epic attempt at canyoneering. My boyfriend made it in less than 20 minutes. He might have a hidden skill or whatsoever. haha

We then headed to Peter's Lodge, where the Kawa Hot Bath is located. We had our hearty meal outside the lodge and were offered "butong-butong" (a sugary-kind of candy) for dessert.

Seafood Lunch
A Kawa is a form of a pot used by the natives to cook food. In Tibiao though, it is rather an extra large type known as their primitive jacuzzi. Its purpose is not to cook food but offer a therapeutic effect on the body. Real fire is placed underneath as to increase the temperature but is removed once it already reaches the right level of heat.


The photo above is about my super happy mode having to experience a very relaxing Kawa Hot Bath after a rigorous canyoneering, and below is about my boyfriend trying to cook me! (Just kidding)



The people in charge would see to it that they put fresh flowers and ginger in the kawa. It is believed in the area that there are supernatural creatures existing in the nearby mountains and entering the place as a beginner should have yourself a "luy-a" (ginger) handy. Having such or doing some "pangluy-a" (ritual with the ginger) with an expert will spare you from the native supernatural creatures.

After 30 relaxing minutes at the Kawa Hot Bath, we trekked another 1.5km back to the village and rode off to the white-water area where we will go Kayaking. 
We came in the time when the water was low and the adventure was a bit rocky. However, it was fine for me as a first-timer since when the water rises in mid-May, kayaking is a bit more risky since the rapids will be extra fast. (According to the guide)

 In kayaking, no need for super gears, all you need would be a helmet, a life-vest, and all the strength in paddling. (I got sore arms after kayaking and gained a muscle maybe. haha)



I must admit, my first kayaking experience was a disaster and annoying for the people who saw me kayak in the viewing deck but it was such a very fun adventure! It was a good decision to choose kayaking over the tempting 1km zipline. 

The day-tour package ended with a stroll at the hanging bridges and still with the unlimited fish spa back at the tibiao fish spa lounge. 


There you have it, folks! Will definitely go back to ace canyoneering and kayaking next time. :)
 Leaving you guys with a quick list of tips on what to bring when you go to Tibiao too.

ESSENTIALS:
  • MONEY- Aside from the bus fares of 200php (x2) and the tour-package of 1,599php, you will be needing more for extra adventures like canyoneering 750php, (optional) tip to guides, food and souvenirs.
  • FOOD- As mentioned above, you will need to shell out a hefty amount of cash when you opt to dine in their mini cafe as they serve a 50php-worth of meal(an instant coffee + a cup of rice + a fried egg + 3 tiny slices of God-knows-what kind of luncheon meat)  and charge you 115php! I highly recommend you to bring packed breakfast when you decide to come early.
  • SUN BLOCK LOTION- Optional for those who want to wreak burnt skin. Choose ones with a higher SPF though, as the basic 15 can't be enough in the scorching heat in the mountains. 
  • TREKKING SHOES- I chose to pack so light and skipped the hassle of bringing my own pair so I ended up borrowing my boyfriend's pair. Sure it saved me from the slimy things in the waterfall, but I ended up bruising my legs since I'm 2 sizes smaller and it caused me to slide a gazillion times. 
  • CAMERA- Although a bit optional, but your Tibiao Adventure won't be as complete without pictures to showcase your travel. Your phones can already be considered. If you want to be daring enough, I recommend you bring an underwater cam or have your mobile gadgets a case which is shockproof and waterproof. No need to worry about your DSLRs getting wet since the tour guide will be there to play photographer.

I hope you'll enjoy your Tibiao trip as much as we did.  Heading to Tibiao anytime soon too? Feel free to email me questions regarding the extreme adventures. I might be of help! ;)


Much Love
Fayemos