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A Filipina Firewalks. Part 2 of 2

January 20, 2015 | 1

[continued from A Filipina Firewalks, Part 1]

Evening, December 20, 2014:

The three times I attended Heather Ashes TOCI firewalk events, she began with saying: “Come to the fire without expectations of yourself. If you’ve come thinking you’re going to walk the fire—put that away. If you’ve come thinking you’re going to just watch others walk the fire—put that away. You don’t really know what you’re going to do until you’re in front of the fire.”

And then, with Heather’s wise and gentle […]Read More

Kickboxing: I Say Yes to Pain and Gain

January 7, 2015 | 1

“This is not Lala land.”

These are words that reverberate in my head whenever I walk alone. My boyfriend used to tell me this almost every day—a constant reminder that I need to be extra careful all the time. I get it and I dare not to argue about it. I’m doubtful if I can really protect myself should the situation demand it. I may have the courage, but I’m physically weak to fight back (especially if the […]Read More

Make a Vision Board to Start Your Year

January 5, 2015 | 1

I don’t believe in new year resolutions. But I do believe in hope and in making intentions for a better-than-ever year. This year I did something that helped me get in touch what I wanted in my life—I made a vision board. You can make vision boards any time of the year but for me, this was a good time.

I want to share the following how-to steps to inspire and encourage you to make your own vision board. This is a great exercise and tool for contemplating […]Read More

7 Sparkling Tips to Start Your New Year

Dec. 31, 2014 | 2

Hey, 2015 just called. He’s excited to meet the fabulous new you. He said it’s going to be an exciting and fruitful year filled with love and abundance. But, how do you prepare for your date with 2015? Here are seven get-fabulous tips for the New Year.

Tip 1: Be bold

This is the year to be more daring. If you’re not really fond of wearing high-heels, now is the time to try out those sexy […]Read More

Blog Count: (11) Meet Bride and Breakfast

Dec. 29, 2014 |

Janna Simpao is perpetually in love. She is in love with her husband, Ian, and her three-year-old boy Matti. She is in love with bridal gowns and just about anything on weddings. So, it is no coincidence that she started two blogs, Bride and Breakfast in 2010 and Baby and Breakfast in 2013. Both are drawing more attention with beautifully crafted blog design, inspirational tips and pictures.

“I started blogging a few months after Ian and I […]Read More

Traditions I Keep on Christmas Holidays

Dec. 19, 2014 |

I live in Bronx, New York. This is now my home and where I will spend my Christmas holiday. This time of the year, I get homesick. As I get older, I get more nostalgic.

I left California when I was 22 years old, and this year I’ll be 28 years old. My parents and grandmother who are all currently living in California have aged too, and I realize that I have spent a lot of holidays without […]Read More

12 Practical Ways to Shine and Make the Holidays Meaningful

Dec. 18, 2014 |

I love Christmas. And in the Visayan islands of the Philippines it is called “Paskwa.” This is the holiday that my family celebrates in December. So I will refer to “Christmas” and “holiday” in this post. If you celebrate a different holiday this December, this post still includes you so please, by all means, switch those terms out to mean your own specific holiday as you read on.

To prepare for the mood and gatherings […]Read More

Check It Out: Christmas Gifts We’d Like to Give

Dec. 17, 2014 | 1

In the Philippines and elsewhere, buying Christmas gifts can be as stressful as preparing the family holiday gathering. What should I give mom, dad, or hubby? Will he like it or not? What about those toys for the kids? What’s hot?

So, we, at, thought we would move the conversation forward and give you ideas on what we are thinking of buying—wishful or not—for our loved ones this Christmas. Take note our editorial team is scattered all over the […]Read More

Blog Count: (10) Meet Dessert Comes First

Dec. 12, 2014 | 1

Our featured blogger Lori Baltazar, 40, has been baking and blogging her way to fame. Her blog, Dessert Comes First, was born on May 2005 after she decided she wanted to tell sweet tooth stories. Close to a decade later, the tooth is still leading the way to exciting ventures.

Last year, in between cooking and family life, she came out with the book version of her blog.  “My book ‘Dessert Comes First’ won Best Cookbook in the […]Read More

Pinay Cook Book: Lori’s Apple Crisp

Dec. 12, 2014 | 1

This recipe is part of the conversation we had with Lori Baltazar, author and blogger, of “Dessert Comes First.” Read about her in our Blog Count series.

Lori’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp, crumbly with streusel, sour cream tang

Yield: one 11 x 2 oval ceramic baking dish, one 9½ x 2 deep dish pie plate, or one 8½ x 2½ springform pan; whatever has a 7-cup capacity

Crumbly Streusel

1 cup / 4.25 oz / 121 […]Read More

She Can’t Cook But She Reviews Restaurants

Dec. 10, 2014 |

“Why don’t you write a column” my friend, said Maggie Silvestre, executive editor of  Cook Magazine. She wanted a column about starter restaurants in the BF area, a gated village in Paranaque, in the southern part of Metro Manila. Thus my column, Southern Bell, was born.

Maggie knows I can’t cook, and I can identify seven vegetables from sight, max. But she also knows I can eat, write, edit, research and learn. So when editor-in-chief Dino Datu […]Read More

Pinay Cook Book: Raspberry Blizzard Jewel Cookies

Dec. 8, 2014 |

I like to bake up large batches of assorted Christmas cookies. I share them at Christmas cookie swaps or give these as a gifts to my family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. When I was young, my mom and I would bake christmas cookies, some of them had elaborate sugar and frosting decor, and then we’d give them away to all my cousins.

Baking is a tradition I took on when I was a little girl. It’s something my mom taught me—from […]Read More

Learn Surfing and Reflect on the Waves of Life

Dec. 5, 2014 | 1

I have started surfing this year. Every weekend, if my schedule permits, I rush out of town to join a surfing camp in Barangay Dahican, a surfing village in Mati City, in the province of Davao Oriental. To get there, I travel for five hours to catch the waves, smell the salty air and sleep in a tent under the starry night.

My weekends surfing have been quite interesting. Since then, I have met new friends who taught […]Read More

Who Says I’m Short? I’m Taller Than You Think

Dec. 3, 2014 | 1

I grew up watching and admiring beauty queens. When I was a kid, whenever I see candidates of Miss Universe walking on a stage, I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “I’ll be a beauty queen too.”

But that never happened and would never happen because I’m short.

I do agree with other people’s observation that I inherited a lot from my mom’s genes—and my height is part of my “inheritance.” My father is 5’6,” while my […]Read More