Living in Tagaytay and Change of Scenery

Burnt out? Have a dose of “change of scenery,” that’s what we always get from our friends. Others ask us to go to church and pray. While we go to church and meet with our community friends, we still lack something. We don’t know but for the past couple of months, our “loving and chill” ambiance became sour, bitter, and full of hopeless events.

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And, if we get a chance to borrow a car, we visit a place we’ve never been to. It still felt incomplete.

We live in Tagaytay. We thought, living in Tagaytay would at least alleviate stress because of the great weather and the jaw-dropping scenery.


Don’t get me wrong, though, We love this place. We love how the ambiance makes you just chill in life. It is indeed a great city for retirees.  In fact, there’s no traffic here on weekdays, except mornings because of the school, and of course, holidays and weekends.

We are blessed to live at a place where greenery is a must. The birds chirping and the sound of the wind strawn through the leaves are deafening. But as years pass by, complacency becomes obvious. My husband and I argue most of the time. We get mad at the kids for no reason at all. We are constantly looking for clients and jobs nearby but to no avail. We used to have great clients and jobs. In fact, there was one that was just walking distance from our apartment. For some odd reason, things got bitter and sour. We thought we were cursed in this place. Until we all got burnt out. We just couldn’t live anymore. We were alive – watching, talking to each other, but it felt like we were just there for the sake. And, one day, we saw a friend’s post about how changing his scenery helped him rediscover things.

Giving In

At first, I was hesitant to tell my partner. One, we are already living in Tagaytay – one of the quickest sweet escape places of city people. Two, where should we go? We are literally in between two staple churches: Ina ng Saklolo and Manaog. Not to mention being a few steps away from Picnic Grove and People’s Park. (We haven’t been there, still!)

As stubborn as a toddler, I went to our room, grabbed a chair, and courageously sprung the idea to my partner.

“Babe, can we go out this Friday,” I asked. He laughed. He pointed out that staying there would be useless. We would just see the same scenery: Taal Lake.

A panoramic view of Taal Lake, taken from the balcony of Happynest Accommodation Units.

But, I said we have to. To which, he happily obliged. After all, it’s free! In exchange for a few samples of Refill ‘N Beyond’s products.

So one fine Friday afternoon, we all packed our bags and headed to Happynest Accommodations located at Cityland or Tagaytay Prime Residences.

We stayed in their family room that could fit up to 6 people. One queen sized bed with a pull-out and a convertible sofa bed.


We felt grateful. We felt renewed. We all walked to Manaog and lit candles for our wishes and intentions.

We took the opportunity to sit down and talk about our plans. We are broke. We need God’s guidance and grace. But even though we are tip-toeing around eggshells, we knew we needed this grace from the Lord to be away from complacency.

The indoor pool is safe for kids and kids-at-heart.

Our fast yet wonderful rendezvous was able to help us re-arrange and re-discover things we really need, and that is faith. 🙂


Keeping the faith

Therefore, changing the scenery is therapeutic. Studies can’t expound enough how beneficial it is to travel and see a different perspective. Go with nature. Hug a tree.

Living in Tagaytay or wherever you may be, don’t lose hope. Keep a steadfast faith. You may lose it sometimes or most of the time, know that it’s okay. As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.”

Should you decide to have a “change of scenery” either on a weekday or weekend, message me on Facebook ( so we can give you a special rate on their rooms. 

So, how do you cope with these trials and tribulations? Care to share some tips?


Start Your Impossible: Toyota Motor Philippines Helps Para Athletes Bring Honor To The Country

I love Toyota. I love not only their vehicles and activities but also their great initiatives.

TMP PPC Coaster Turnover
PPC officials, athletes and coaching staff together with TMP officials during the turnover of the Toyota Coaster donated by TMP to support the Paralympic movement in the Philippines.

In the 2000 Paralympic Games held in Sydney, Filipina powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta made history when she brought home a bronze medal – a first for the Philippines. But before she brought pride to the country, Dumapong-Ancheta who contracted polio at an early age, used to push her wheelchair to the gym just to attend her training, rain or shine. Regular public transportation was a challenge.

Today, Dumapong-Ancheta is one of the board members of the Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC), the national association tasked to develop Parasports in the Philippines. Together with other officials and coaches of PPC, she helps hone Filipino athletes with disabilities so they, too, may have a shot at winning in international competitions.

TMP PPC Coaster 2
The Toyota Coaster is a 29-seater vehicle that can help in PPC athletes in their transportation – 
a challenge they constantly face during training and competitions.

Unlike Dumapong-Ancheta, PPC’s current roster of athletes can now go to their training and competitions a lot easier. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) recently turned over a 29-seater Toyota Coaster to the PPC as part of its commitment to support Filipino Para athletes and help uplift Parasports in the country.

The donation was made under Toyota’s global corporate initiative – Start Your Impossible, which aims to promote inclusivity and sustainability by opening opportunities to Para athletes and helping them seek avenues that can help them realize their dreams.

“We are proud to be a part of this advocacy because it allows us to help change people’s lives by enabling them to overcome challenges and reach their aspirations,” said TMP President Satoru Suzuki during the turnover ceremony held at the PPC grounds in Pasig City. Aligned with PPC’s mandate, Toyota’s Start Your Impossible initiative also aspires to raise the public’s awareness and appreciation of the potential of people with disability, a cause being championed by PPC’s President Michael Barredo.

“Ever since we started, having a bus or van to be used by our officials, coaches, and athletes to move around was one of the top priorities on our “wish list”. Toyota’s donation of a coaster, will help alleviate one of the most difficult challenges persons with disabilities face day-to-day which is mobility,” said Barredo as he accepted the Coaster on behalf of the PPC.

“By donating the Coaster to the PPC for the use of its athletes and officials, (TMP has extended) a big help. As Mr. Barredo said, it has been 20 years since PPC started and yet transportation has always been a challenge. For me, this is the first step,” added Dumapong-Ancheta. The Coaster donation is just one of TMP’s efforts under the Start Your Impossible program. Last year, TMP chose the PPC and its Asian Para Games swimming gold medalist, Ernie Gawilan to be the primary beneficiaries of last year’s

Toyota Classics 2018
Asian Para Games gold medalist, Davao City native Ernie Gawilan (4th from right) together with PPC and
Toyota officials during the Philippine leg of the Toyota Classics concert held last year.

Toyota Classics – a benefit concert series that aims to support charities across
Asia. During the Philippine leg of the Toyota Classics in November 2018 when Toyota’s Start Your Impossible was first introduced in the country, PPC and Ernie Gawilan received a grant of one million pesos worth of multi-sport wheelchairs from TMP on top of the Toyota Coaster. With these various steps towards the vision of mobility for all, TMP and other Toyota units all over the world hope to inspire and encourage members of the community to challenge their limits, celebrate the human spirit, and start their own impossible. Toyota is the official worldwide mobility partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

Congratulations and I am so proud of you, TMP! Kudos to brands that support our athletes and people with (dis)abilities!

For more information on the Start Your Impossible initiative, visit

Driving Made Easy With Toyota Vios CVT

Toyota is known for its innovative vehicles that demonstrate agility and ingenuity. While all cars are dependable or reliable, one frequently overlooked aspect in today’s vehicles is the difference between Automatic Transmission (AT) and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Whereas “stick-shift” or Manual Transmission (MT) cars are clearly set apart by their use of a clutch pedal to change the gears, the terms AT and CVT are often used interchangeably with each other.

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This similarity holds true to a certain degree, but let us take a closer look at how the All-New Toyota Vios makes every day driving all the more easier and fuel efficient with its Continuously Variable Transmission.

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I’ve already tried Vios several times and every driving experience is surreal. It never fails to amaze me! It’s reliable and fuel-efficient.

While both transmissions are generally easier and more comfortable to operate due to a computer program that automatically controls shifting based on driver input, CVT uses a belt-and-pulley system rather than AT’s gears-and-cogs system. On actual road conditions that have stop-and-go traffic, the Toyota Vios CVT will offer a smoother ride than regular AT gearboxes by means of seamless shifting that reduces shift shock and transmission quietness. This leads to the subcompact’s better cabin comfort in otherwise tiring urban drives. The Toyota Vios CVT gearbox also improves fuel economy and fuel mileage by consistently keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. The Vios CVT variants are known to be kinder and more forgiving to new drivers by automatically adjusting to human errors such as inconsistent foot pressure and pedal movement. It lessens the vehicle’s jerky, sudden movements by reducing lag time through the continuous altering of gear ratios.

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As an added feature for more experienced drivers, select variants of the Vios CVT are equipped with Sequential Shift Mode and Paddle Shifters that mimic the sporty feel of manually changing gears. When used along with Drive Mode Select (a choice between Eco & Sport modes), the Toyota Viosoffers a versatile and economical driving pleasure for everyone. These make the Toyota Vios an enduring icon on the road, and the preferred subcompact sedan of the Filipino people.

Currently, a total of five out of nine variants of the All-New Vios are equipped with Continuously Variable Transmission, with the latest being the Vios XE, introduced last January. For reference:

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At 735,000 SRP, the Vios XE is currently the best value CVT in Toyota’s wide Vios lineup. It suits the modern lifestyle and driving habits of young professionals in the city, while also catering to new and experienced drivers.

More than its affordable price tag, the Vios XE shares the signature Quality, Durability, and Reliability present across all models that bear the Toyota badge. Choosing the Vios means worry-free ownership that gives customers peace of mind even with aftersales and regular maintenance.

The Vios XE is available in all Toyota dealerships nationwide. It comes in Thermalyte, Red Mica Metallic, Freedom White, and Alumina Jade Metallic.

For more information, visit TMP’s official website at and follow the official Facebook page at



Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (DMMC) in Batangas opens a new Operating Room Complex

DMMC OR Complex Marker Unveiling.jpg
Officers and doctors from the QualiMed Health Network (QHN) and Fujifilm Philippines conducted the ceremonial unveiling of the Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (DMMC) Operating Room Complex glass marker; the event was attended by (L-R) Dr. Dennis M. Mercado (DMMC Internal Medicine doctor and representative of the Mercado Family); Dr. Conrad Dimalaluan (Medical Director, DMMC); Dr. Alma Panganiban-Andal (Chief Operating Officer, DMMC); Ms. Arlene P. Ledesma (Group Chief Operating Officer, QHN); Mr. Ryo Nagaoka (President, Fujifilm Phils.); Mr. Evan Reyes (Division Manager, Fujifilm Phils.); Mr. Edwin G. Magsino (Senior Vice President for Operations, QHN); and Dr. Luis Buño (Surgeon, DMMC Department of Surgery)

One of the things to consider when relocating to provinces is access to an adequate healthcare facility. It’s imperative to be near hospitals that have great facilities within the area for emergency and other cases. Before moving to Tagaytay, we scouted hospitals near our place. Whilst we are walking distance to one of the known hospitals here, we are also blessed to have Qualimed Hospital in Sta. Rosa Laguna.

I love Qualimed. I love the nurses and doctors there. They’re accommodating and indeed, “abot-kaya” talaga. That’s why, every time they have promos and feature-worthy articles, I make it a point to publish and share it with my network.

Speaking of which, one of the hospitals under Qualimed Health Network, the Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (DMMC) has recently inaugurated an Operating Room Complex.

DMMC offers comprehensive and leading-edge surgical services for faster and better healing to its patients in Batangas and the CALABARZON area. DMMC is the parent hospital of the QualiMed Health Network, owned and operated by the Mercado General Hospital, Inc. in partnership with Ayala Land, Inc.

DMMC started in Tanauan City as a 12-bed lying-in clinic in 1957. Six decades later, DMMC is now a level 3 tertiary hospital complete with 127 patient beds, 8 critical care beds, 3 Acute Stroke Unit beds, and 4 Infusion Therapy treatment bays. DMMC is one of the first hospitals in the country to be recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

 “DMMC, more known as ‘Mercado,’ has long been a household name in Batangas communities. For decades, Mercado has served as a familiar landmark to buses, jeepneys, and other transport vehicles plying the highways. However, the high awareness of our hospital did not cause us to be complacent of our services. Through the decades, we have continually improved our facilities and capabilities to be of better service to our patients,” says Ms. Arlene Ledesma, Group Chief Operating Officer of the QualiMed Health Network.

“For a mature hospital like DMMC, it is critical to be dynamic and able to respond to the healthcare needs of the communities we serve. Facility expansions, improvement of services in terms of technology systems and coverage, and the growth of doctors and hospital teams in terms of expertise and medical specialties, are essential factors that make a homegrown hospital like DMMC to stay relevant and responsive to our patients,” says Dr. Alma Panganiban-Andal, Chief Operating Officer of DMMC.

In pursuit of high-quality healthcare, DMMC expanded its surgery unit to the new Operating Room Complex, which consists of 4 major operating rooms intended for general surgery cases; orthopedic surgery; laparoscopic surgery; and special ophthalmology cases like Phacoemulsification and other eye surgeries. For patient safety and management, it has installed 2 built-in HEPA filters; and one Recovery Room with a 5-bed capacity.

Likewise included in the roster of services is the new Obstetrics Unit with complete facilities for pre-natal care. It has double set-up delivery rooms, which cater to major OB-GYN cases and high-risk pregnancy cases. Babies requiring care for complications arising from certain risk factors will be taken care of in the said unit. The Obstetrics Unit also has 3 beds for labor watch; a Doctor’s Call Room that serves as resting area for OB practitioners while waiting for their patients to give birth; a Sterile Room for decontamination of OR instruments; and a Stock Room used as second[ary] storage for the OR supplies.

The Ambulatory Surgical Unit caters to endoscopy, minor outpatient surgery, and procedures for the new Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (e.g., PRP Therapy). For patient convenience, it has 2 beds for [the] recovery area. In terms of medical technology systems, one of the newest acquisitions of DMMC is a Fujinon Eluxeo 7000 GI Tower from Fujifilm. The new tower offers better and faster gastrointestinal diagnostic capabilities to DMMC’s surgical services. The acquisition led to the establishment of a partnership between QualiMed Health Network and Fujifilm Philippines.

“Fujifilm Philippines is honored and privileged to partner with QualiMed Health Network through our various medical innovations; from point-of-care solutions, imaging, picture archiving, and communication system, and through our GI Endoscopy System that offers advanced Image Enhancement Technologies. True to our company commitment, Fujifilm offers Value from Innovation to our valued customers,” added Mr. Ryo Nagaoka, President of Fujifilm Philippines.

QHN-Fujifilm Handshake

DMMC prides itself as a doctor-driven and professionally managed company. These values are the qualities by which DMMC stands for in its quest to make quality, genuine Filipino care accessible to more and more Filipinos, regardless of socioeconomic status.

At present, there are a total of 13 facilities under the QualiMed Health Network. The healthcare facilities include 4 hospitals, 2 surgery centers, and 5 multi-specialty clinics. The hospitals include DMMC in Tanauan City, Batangas; and QualiMed Hospitals in Mandurriao (Iloilo City), in San Jose Del Monte (Bulacan), and in Sta. Rosa (Laguna); the QualiMed Surgery Centers include the facilities in UP-PGH Compound, Manila and in Farmers Plaza, Araneta Center; and the multi-specialty QualiMed Clinics in Fairview Terraces, Makati, UP Town Center, Bonifacio Global City, and Cebu IT Park. MGHI also founded the DMMC Institute of Health Sciences (DMMCIHS), a tertiary healthcare education institution, which also houses the Newborn Screening Center for Southern Luzon. QualiMed also established the QualiMed Training and Research Center (QTRC) – currently housed in QualiMed Sta. Rosa – which serves as [a] venue for continuing education thru comprehensive and industry-approved medical and technical training activities being provided to doctors, paramedical personnel, and other healthcare professionals.

Congratulations, DMMC, for this great opportunity! We are looking forward to more innovations in your hospital.


Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center
No.1 Pres. Laurel Highway, Tanauan City, Batangas
Tel. Nos.: (043) 778.1810 | (043) 405.1000
Contact Us: DMMC

Qualimed Health Network Hospital


All- Day Breakfast at Great Mornings Cafe in Tagaytay

Life in Tagaytay is simple. We love to chill here. That’s why when there’s a new restaurant that opens in Tagaytay, we get easily excited.

Great Mornings Cafe offers all-day breakfast meals like traditional Silog, Pancakes, Pasta, Pastries, and more!

Silang Tapa of Great Mornings Cafe
Mike ordered Silang Tapa (P190). It comes with 2 eggs, garlic rice, and side salad. It’s so delish!

If you’re planning to stay or visit Tagaytay during holidays, you must plan ahead. For instance, if you’re celebrating either Christmas or New Year here, you need to do your grocery as early as Dec. 18 for Christmas and Dec. 27 for New Year. Otherwise, you’d get stuck in traffic. So, please plan ahead and be extra patient and kind.

Having said that, we decided to run errands and groceries today. We left home at 9:30 am and arrived Ayala Mall Serin around 9:45am. We paid our Globe Internet, deposited money to our BPI account, and then had brunch at Great Mornings Cafe before going to the supermarket.

Great Mornings Cafe Tagaytay
We happened to be at Serin when they had their blessing.

Mike wanted to try them so we happily obliged. We were looking at their menu outside when the lovely Supervisor approached us and invited us to come in instead.

Great Mornings Cafe Menu
A menu posted on their glass wall. I also loved how the Supervisor explained that what they have in the menu is the actual serving. Their menu demonstrates transparency. You know my pet-peeve in restaurants? It’s when they don’t put a disclaimer on their photos on the menu. As someone who works in the Marketing and Advertising world, visuals are important. However, you need to ensure what you post is the actual serving. Otherwise, it’s called “false advertisement.” Therefore, put a disclaimer. Say something like: “Serving size varies.” or “Photos are enhanced for viewing pleasure.”

Great Mornings Cafe is well-decorated and spacious at the same time. According to the lady I spoke to (sorry, didn’t get her name), they used to be at Premier Plaza in Silang, Cavite. They relocated at Ayala Mall Serin for a bigger space and wider crowd.

Great Mornings Cafe tagaytay
That “Tagaytay” sign pretty much sums up the whole vibe; it’s chill, lit, and awesome! I love the paletta tables and chairs.

In addition, it has rustic and minimalist design that helps you feel light and energised.


Wanna feel the cool breeze of Tagaytay? Sit in their veranda section!

Sadly, it was raining earlier, so it was closed. But, for a sunny day, this spot is perfect! By the way, this is also a good place for small events and gatherings. I’m not sure though, if they accept it. I think they should! 🙂 Planning to have my events here next year!

But, this corner table is our favorite spot at Great Mornings Cafe.

Perfect for a family of 4 or for an intimate dining experience. I’d love to have that spot for my client meetings!

Let me cut to the chase, this is what we devoured:

Wyatt ordered for Homestyle Chicken Tocilog (P185). It comes with 2 eggs, side salad, and garlic rice. Drinks not included.

I was craving for some Mexican food, so I ordered Quesadilla Beef.

They also have Chicken Quesadilla. (P195). Photo is the actual serving size.

Our youngest baby ordered Blueberry Pancakes for P175!

They also have the Classic Pancakes (155) and Dark Chocolate Pancakes (175). I have yet to try their French Toast (150) next time.

 The Verdict

Food: I love their Silang Tapa so much because it’s soft, tangy, and flavourful. I ended up eating Mike’s order! HAHAHA. The Blueberry pancakes, Homestyle tocino are kids approved too! For me, their Fil-Mex Quesadilla beef is also a must-try. Overall, we are satisfied and definitely going back for more!

Price: Their price is reasonable. For the serving size, service, and taste, you’re definitely winning!

Service: Customer service is exceptional.

I’m a morning person. I love waking up early, enjoying my “me time” whilst the kids are asleep. As a freelancer and mompreneur, it’s important to get things done. Great Mornings Cafe could be one of those places where you can satisfy your cravings while getting things done. I’m just not sure if you can work there but you can use the space for your meetings.

So, start your day with a cup of coffee and leisurely breakfast at Great Mornings Cafe.

(I’m wondering if I could supply my Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten-free brownies, and dips? Perhaps, partner with them too for eco-friendly products like metal straws and cutleries? What do you think?)

Great Mornings Cafe

2nd Floor, Ayala Mall Serin Tagaytay




LALAMOVE: 2 Years of Moving Things That Matter

Life in Tagaytay could be hard and inconvenient. We realised car is important to maximise the place and help you in moving things that matter.Toyota Innova Touring Sport Oh, I love this SUV! It’s fuel efficient and perfect for either daily driving and touring around Tagaytay.

Transportation is a challenge here as trikes are expensive while Jeepneys are always packed. I honestly didn’t think of these vital details because our primary reason for moving was to improve our children’s health. Sadly, there’s more than just having a nice scenery and fresh air.

. We recently sold our good old reliable. Oh, I miss her so much. 😦

If you’re new to my blog, allow me to share things I love.I love traveling, baking, writing, and organising workshops. I sell homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and resell items from my friend’s online store.

Oatmeal cookies for sale in Laguna My homemade oatmeal cookies and more!!

When people order, I had to arrange meet-ups, and honestly, it’s not profitable for me. So, I decided to fix the ordering system. I wait for the number of orders to be filled so it’s cost-effective to use a shipping service. I use LBC and I love their service. However, there are times that I need to ship the same day. Thankfully, Lalamove is now available in Tagaytay.

Lalamove in Tagaytay

Spotted Lalamove here in Tagaytay!! (Both vans and motorcycle services).

Last November 26, I attended Lalamove’s 2nd year anniversary in the Philippines. With its rapid growth and technological edge, Lalamove’s presence in Metro Manila is undeniable. Completing hundreds of thousands of deliveries, Lalamove has moved the lives of many: partner drivers, business clients, and everyday users; by moving what matters to them.

Moving Things That Matter: Empowering Partner Drivers

Partner drivers are without a doubt the core of Lalamove’s business. Enabling them to earn at their own time using their vehicles, Lalamove provides a source of livelihood thousands of partner drivers, uplifting them to provide for their family and reach their dreams. Lalamove also provides partner drivers with quality benefits by collaborating with top brands such as GCash, Petron, Shell, Ropali, Mahindra, Isuzu, among others.By partnering with these companies, Lalamove drivers get to enjoy additional benefits such as great discounts and easy access to quality vehicles, creating an ecosystem that not just allows them to earn, but to uplift their lives thereby fueling them to deliver and provide exceptional service to clients.

Believing in Filipino Entrepreneurs and Businesses

Supporting businesses is Lalamove’s utmost priority. Lalamove aims to empower micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as multinationals and established businesses, to reach more customers through on-demand delivery. As acquiring delivery fleets is costly and impractical, Lalamove provides access to companies to allow them to focus on their core business while Lalamove takes care of their delivery needs.

Some small businesses wouldn’t have the need to deliver their goods all the time, causing delivery units to have an expensive and counterproductive standstill. For huge companies, they often experience shortage of delivery vehicles especially when demand peaks. A viable option is to get a logistics partner like Lalamove to minimize costs. Food and online businesses are a few of the many that successfully reached an untapped market through Lalamove. With the wide array of vehicles and services built for businesses, Lalamove certainly empowers Filipino entrepreneurs and businesses to fulfill their passion.


I had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Dan, Lalamove’s Managing Director after the event. I introduced myself and shared that I’ve used Lalamove in moving our stuff from Paranaque to Silang. (That time, they can only cater to Silang, Cavite, but now, they’re available in Tagaytay!) She happily shared as well that:

“since 2016, Lalamove’s story has always been about moving what matters for our partner drivers, business clients and everyday customers by making deliveries fast and easy. Whether it be for their family, passions, or dreams, we will make sure to uphold the quality and exceptional service to continue on moving what matters.”

Thank you so much for inviting me to your event. I am also looking forward to partnering with you to have seamless delivery services! So, if you want delivery made simple in Manila and Tagaytay, try Lalamove today!


Have you tried Lalamove yet? Share your feedback in the comment section below!


Lalamove Philippines

Pause, Breathe, Love, Then Hustle Again

Have you experienced getting stuck in a creative rut? Oftentimes, we get stuck when we go against the winds of change.

This year, I had to do a lot of meaningful pauses to appreciate things and learn to love my failures all throughout the year. Time flies so fast you can’t even beat it anymore. I often catch myself always in a hurry. As we progress, the more we need to learn how to manage our time and the more we need to fix our priorities.

It was my first time in El Nido. Stared at the clear waters and felt grateful to have experienced it.

Earlier this year, I started it with good riddance. I had to break up with toxic people. I left the jobs and clients that don’t know my value. I took a leap of faith not knowing what’s going to happen next. I just continued on things I’m passionate about like baking, writing, organising workshops, and teaching. But passion didn’t meet the profit side, as yet. However, The Lord has His own ways of delighting us.

So, I decided to look for a job. I got offers but I had one condition: proximity. The workplace must be around Tagaytay or Nuvali the farthest so I won’t waste time to commute. Luckily, I found one and it was going well until the company decided to change my work schedule. Next year, I am required to be in their main office every day which is based in Makati. At first, I thought it would be better to move back to Manila. I thought more opportunities will arise; more opportunities, more chances of winning! HAHAHA.

But, I forgot, I don’t live for myself anymore. I have a partner and most importantly, I have children to think about. I asked them for their pieces of advice, and we concluded not to accept it.

I felt bad. I felt deceived. I felt defeated.

Meaningful Pause

Working from home is sacred to me. I’ve been a WAHM for almost 7 years. I love it when I accomplish things whilst taking care of my home. Essentially, working from home is interesting and can alleviate other problems such as commuting (no more petrol and toll expenses), money, among other things. However, it could also intensify mental, emotional, and physical stress. As a result, you will feel overwhelmed with everything and will surely take a toll on yourself, marriage, family, and friends. This emotional stress goes out to the people who work outside of their homes too. Based on my experience, the emotional stress is doubled if not, tripled. You’re physically tired from the commute, and when you get home, you’d be emotionally exhausted because you would explain to your partner, “this is what we have for now.”

If you are the breadwinner of the family, you gotta do what you gotta do. But at the end of the day, and if all else fails, you’ll find asking yourself, “who do you go home to?” “why do you work?” and why am I here?”

I encourage you to take a break from the mundane tasks to develop a more serene environment. You will definitely need this, especially if the nature of your work requires focus and creativity. Remember, you cannot love and appreciate what’s around you, without loving and appreciating yourself first.


Love is a wonderful yet the most painful feeling to experience. I must admit, we nearly ended our relationship just to pursue my work. But the Lord knows the desires of my heart. I really want to be a homemaker with a little bit of everything, HAHAHA. After my meaningful pause, I reckoned, Mike, my children, are my priorities. Although, I feared for not having money, here I am again, taking a leap of faith not knowing what to do next.

If you are worried and anxious about life, know that you’re not alone. Don’t feel sorry for what happened because that’s part of life. You either roll with it or you get rolled on. You get rolled on, you get flat. 🙂 I feel flat at the moment though.

Hustle Again

So, I realised, bills are more important than my feelings. HAHAHAHA. Thankfully, a good friend referred me to a teaching job in Malayan Colleges of Laguna. I am teaching 3rd and 4th year College students. Yup, you read it right, I AM TEACHING!! Never have I imagined myself in front of millennials not listening to me! HAHAHA. But, it was a bit of a challenge but we’re all good now. Classroom management is a must!

There’s nothing wrong in hustling. Like I always say, we gotta do what we gotta do for our children. It’s just that you must find time to have a meaningful pause so you could come back stronger.

My mom used to tell me, always look for a workplace with great people to work with and make the salary a secondary reason. I have always believed her. This is why I am always blessed with great bosses, amazing co-workers, and fantastic workplaces. But just like love, I had the right job at the wrong time.

Honestly, I’m not a religious person. I don’t have a steadfast faith. Between Mike and I, Mike is more faithful. I easily give up. But I’ve proven many times that if we just trust Him, He will make sure our paths are straight.

If you can, find time to pause and think of the things you really want to do. Remember that as long as we are breathing, we have the choice to undo stuff and fix the broken things. Most importantly, love your flaws; love all the imperfections, love your failures, for this is the only way to regain and re-learn to value yourself even more, so you can hustle again.

How about you? How’s your 2018 so far?


Nail Terminal 1: Your Next Pampering Destination in Tagaytay

pampering session in Tagaytay

Have you been searching for new pampering destination in Tagaytay? Believe me, Tagaytay is more than just a “bulalo” spot: you’ll also find a lot of pampering choices to try. One of which is Nail Terminal 1.

pampering destination in Tagaytay

Nail Terminal 1 is easy to find. It’s located at Vista Real, along Aguinaldo Highway. If you’re coming from Rotonda, it’s on your right side, and in front of Hotel Carlito and Cityland.

Why do I recommend Nail Terminal 1 is your pampering destination in Tagaytay? Here are some of the reasons:

1. It’s perfect for people on-the-go

Even though, I am blessed with a nice location where the majority of tourist spots are near my place, pampering is still elusive to me. Simply because I work as a freelance PR/Marketing and workshop organizer. Notwithstanding, being a mom to 4 beautiful children. So, when I get the chance to have some “me time,” I go for a quick trip to the salon.

pampering destination in Tagaytay

(Grabbed from their Facebook page)

As shared by the owner, Rochelle, the express lane was her “eureka moment” when she saw the same concept in Thailand. It is designed for men and women of all ages, should they need a fast and good quality manicure.

2. It’s a family-friendly salon

Not all salons are family or at least kid-friendly, which I truly understand. People go to salons for some quiet time. However, the majority of customers are moms who just need a bit of me time.

me time

Nail Terminal 1 is a certified Family Salon. “Our family loves to travel and we love going to the salons,” Rochelle happily shared. “Because of our love for traveling, we named it Nail Terminal to showcase the places we’ve already visited,” she added.

pampering destination in Tagaytay

Every corner of Nail Terminal 1 displays a memoir of her trips to UK, US, and Asia, just to name a few.

pampering destination in Tagaytay


I love this interesting detail placed on top of their reception table. A mini coop and the Eiffel tower – a unique scenery in Paris.

pampering session in Tagaytay

Don’t panic, moms! Their polish is organic! It’s safe for our kids )and kids-at-heart).

3. Tailored-fit services

While packages and services are the same amongst all salons, Nail Terminal 1 could be tailored fit to your budget and lifestyle.

The packages are tailored fit according to your liking. You may choose among the 5 spa packages:

  • Backpackers
  • Explorers
  • Cruisers
  • Wanderers
  • Seekers

pampering session in Tagaytay

From its name down to its collaterals, Nail Terminal 1 nailed it. Their brochure, I think, is witty! It’s similar to a plane boarding pass which complemented well.

pampering session in Tagaytay

They also offer basic hair services like blow-dry, ironing, to name a few. But, she is also planning to make it a one-stop salon wherein other hair services will be available soon.

There’s a lot of nail salons in Tagaytay. Each of them offer the same thing: relaxation. Truthfully, only a few give you the superb service and the homey feeling.

pampering session in Tagaytay

Obviously, Tagaytay is a tourist destination because of its unique climate and picturesque sceneries. People visit this place to relax and regain energy. With Nail Terminal 1, you don’t need to worry about making reservations because they have an express lane, making it your next pampering destination in Tagaytay!

Nail Terminal 1

Address: Vista Real Hotel, 6B Tagaytay-Calamba Road, Brgy. San Jose
Tagaytay City
Facebook: @nailterminalph

Instagram: nailterminalph



Easy Flourless and Gluten-Free Brownies Recipe

I usually have work on weekends but today is a lazy day in Tagaytay. It’s windy, gloomy, and so cold, it makes you want to stay in bed all day!


That’s about 20-21° Celsius.  Luckily, I can work from home, so in between breaks, I’d cook for the family.  So, I got up and started with my routine: clean, cook, and work. I cooked Tinola and baked tahong (mussels) for lunch and dinner.

After doing my routine chores, I craved for something sweet.


Easy Flourless Gluten-Free brownies recipe
It’s moist and chewy in the middle! The texture is similar to a moist chocolate cake.


Sadly, my doctor had advised me to cut down on sweets and carbs. And if I can, I should look into eliminating starchy food like bread, pasta, and anything that has gluten in it.

However, I love sweets. I told myself, this isn’t the end of the world. I know there’s something I can do to suppress my cravings! So, I Googled “Flourless cookies” and “recipes for Flourless chocolate cake. ”

It gave me a lot of results. Most of them require high precision utensils and the procedures looked complicated except The BakerMama’s recipe.

Parents, you must add her recipe to your arsenal of gluten-free.

So, her recipe for Flourless Brownies only needs 5 ingredients. Yes, 5! And these are:

1. 1 stick of unsalted butter

2. 3 eggs

3. 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used white sugar)

4. 1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate powder (I used Goya)

Flourless Brownies recipe

5. 1 cup of chocolate chip (semi-sweet or dark)

The procedure is effortless too! First, pre-heat the oven. Then melt the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave oven for 2 minutes. Combine the chocolate mixture with sugars. Beat the eggs one at a time. After that, pour the unsweetened cocoa in and continue mixing.

Nationwide sale Robinsons Department store
Robinson’s Department Stores nationwide have a clearance sale until the end of January 2017. I used my hand mixer today, yay!!

The batter should look like this:

Flourless Gluten free brownies recipe

Bake 25-30 minutes.

flourless brownie recipe

Tada! Let your weekend be filled with something sweet and healthy! Try this decadent-flourless and gluten-free brownie recipe by The BakerMama!


Easy Flourless Gluten-Free brownies recipe


Recipe by TheBakerMama

IG: @thebakermama

Source: 5-Ingredient Flourless Brownies – TheBakerMama

If You Want A Happy New Year and Wonderful Life, You Should….

In a few hours, we will be embracing the new year. I love New Year celebrations because people are full of hope. This year has brought me and my family countless trivial and tribulations. So, I reflected on things and events that mattered to me whether it was a good or bad decision I made, the unappreciated efforts, and a lot more.

Admittedly, these lessons determine my approach to life the following year. And if I really wanted a happy new year and wonderful life, I should turn those mistakes into lessons.

So, if you want a happy New Year and wonderful life, you should:

Stop pleasing everyone

Fact: it’s common to focus on things that interest us. Therefore, people only hear what they want to hear. So, just because the person is powerful and well-connected doesn’t mean you need to bend the rules to please them. You can’t and will never be able to please everybody. If they know you’re worth it, they will come to you.

Be comfortable in saying ‘No’

Traffic is the ubiquitous symbol of Manila. So, proximity is now a privilege. If there’s one thing I am proud of this year is that I have mastered the art of saying “no” to some things that will affect me and my family. Case in point: meetings everywhere.

If you think you’re going to waste time traveling, offer an alternative. Technology is here for a reason: to make our lives easier. Let’s use it. We can Skype, Viber, Webinars, or GoToMeeting if you want it formal. We can use emails in setting each other’s expectations. This way you’re not wasting each other’s time.

If the meeting is deemed necessary, schedule it accordingly. For example, when I had back-to-back meetings and events in Makati, we opted for an Airbnb– this is to ensure our time isn’t wasted in traffic. (We live in Tagaytay).

Also, Make sure you have money to spend.

Get straight to the point

It was George Bernard Shaw who said that the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

Hasn’t been true for you? You know what, I used to email with flowery words and long introductions because I thought it’ll make them feel special. No. Whether they’re interested or not, they will respond. So, if you want your thoughts to be heard, be concise.

Be present at all times

Social media is a powerful platform that can break you and the people around you. Sometimes, I find it stressful to scroll up and down reading different opinions. Unfortunately, social media has become the new home of critics. Only a few practice encouragement. If you want a happy new year and wonderful life, give yourself a break from the gadgets, social media, and be present with your family and friends.

Reconnect with your old (online) friends

Being intentionally full is a good problem. But make sure you’re not forgetting the people who have been with you before everything.

Learn to respect your partner’s privacy

According to the Psychologist mentioned in the article by, “Having enough space or privacy in a relationship is more important for a couple’s happiness than having a good sex life.”

I agree. Just because you live together or are already married, doesn’t give you the right to check each other’s phones, letters, e-mails, etc. The more you need to keep each other’s private matters, private. Unless your partner gives permission, resist the temptation. It’s hard, I know. But, it is better to be trusted than to be loved.

Minimize dining out

One cannot think well if one hasn’t dined well – one of my favorite quotes. If you can, try cooking at home. Plan one meal that everyone is at home. Any food will do! Hotdogs, eggs, ham, spam, it could be anything! What’s important is you were able to eat with the family at the convenience of your own home, and more importantly, you were able to save (a lot of) money!

Exercise Together 

A very popular saying but hardly practiced. #WeAreGuilty. But, when I say exercise, it doesn’t mean you need to enroll in a gym and eventually take a toll on you guys. No, nothing like that. Do you know what’s funny though? The longevity of our lives depends on how stressful we are in life. So, make love, exercise more, and think of happy thoughts all the time!

Keep your communication lines open

I have yet to practice this. I don’t communicate with Mike, so we end up arguing. I don’t communicate at times and most often than not, I ASSUME he already knew. And, that’s the reason why we argue. The moral is, never assume. Always keep your partner in the loop – even though, you already sound like a recording.

Let me share one of my favorite quotes about communication:

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there’s any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Jung

Save, save, save!

It’s bullshit to say we don’t need money. Of course, we do! Our lives revolve around it. Love can’t pay bills, so if you can save. Beware of little expenses because it could lead to a huge problem. Save and spend money wisely.

Learn something new

learn something new

Experience doesn’t get old. If you can, try learning something new or learning from the veterans. In this day and age, where people divide us by segmenting our generations rather than learning from each other, it’s vital to surround yourself with people you can learn from and learn with.

READ 5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From the movie ‘The Intern.”

Value your health

Have you heard about the Longevity Village in Bapan, China? A Cardiologist discovered the place and had studied how the centenarians approached each day. Surprisingly, the things that make them live for 100 years and beyond are literally effortless. They laugh more than they worry; they are active by having a routine activity like walking and cleaning the front and backyard; they actively participate in the society by helping, and more.

Truthfully, we only value our health once sickness comes. And even though we’re already sick, we still don’t listen until it’s already over.

If you can shop online to buy stuff you don’t need, you can also set aside money to spend it with the best healthcare provider for you and your family.

Over to you

At 35, I’ve learned and dealt with people with different personalities. I have yet to discover more in the coming years.

Happy New Year my friends. Our life in Tagaytay is blissful because of your kindness and friendship. We are looking forward to spending more time with you in Tagaytay this 2018.

May our 2018 be filled with love, hope, and prosperity.

P.S. I really do try my best to practice what I’m preaching. So sue me, I’m only human! HAHAHA. Laugh often. Life is too short to be taken seriously.