Visa Free Taiwan

After my trip to Singapore last November, I am now off to Taiwan! As you read this, I might be Taipei already.

Normally, for Filipinos travelling with Philippine passport, an entry to Taiwan will need a visa. But if you have any visa of the folowing countries you might not need one:

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Since I have both US and Canada visa, I don't need one. I thought that I could just march in Taiwan's immigration and show my passport with US and Canada visa. Wrong!

Holidays 2010

On Christmas eve, the priest presiding over the mass said that we should continue saying "Merry Christmas!" to each other until January 9, 2011. So, it's not too late for me to greet each and everyone of you who is reading my blog right now a Merry Christmas!

The year that was has given me so much new opportunities in the blogging world. I met a lot of new faces, some of my readers and contest winners too!

May the new year bless me with more and better opportunities, meet more bloggers and of course, more contest to come ; )

I hope you will have a blessed year too!

CloseUp White Now contest!

Hello! It's been awhile since I had a contest here in my blog. But it's worth the wait because CloseUp Philippines and yours truly are launching a contest for CloseUp White Now! Simply follow the instructions to win PhP3000 worth of prizes every week for the next three weeks.

This contest is officially close!

Icings Cakes, Breads & Cafe

My visit: December 9, 2010

Icings Cakes, Breads & Cafe
101 Sct. Lazcano St., 
Quezon City

It's always nice when it's Christmas time! I get to bond with friends who I get to see only at this time of the year. My 2 college buddies and I decided to meet and eat at Icings in Quezon City. 

This is my second time to dine here. The first time was during Tipco event. I like the salad that was served so I made a mental note that I will come back hehe

 grilled pork chop in fruit sauce PhP175

I ordered pork chop rice. Since I have an ulcer, I didn't touch the pineapple and its sauce. I don't want to spend the rest of the day having cramps. The grilled apple is a delight! The pork chop is quite small but nonetheless tasty!

Mango Tree Bistro

My visit: November 27, 2010

Mango Tree Bistro Philippines
L-3 Trinoma Mall
Bagong Pagasa, Quezon CIty
5855460   9160297

After our disappointing lunch date at Aquanox Restaurant, I am keeping my finger's crossed that DH and I can find a good restaurant to dine in. We came across Mango Tree Bistro while roaming around Trinoma Mall. Our date night dinner wasn't bad at all!

panang nua PhP380

If you like curry, then you definitely have to order this. I like red curry than the green one because it has an added kick in it... spicy!

Drixine Nasal Spray

My event: December 14, 2010

Zoom Tree Top Adventure
70 Calle Industria Street
Bagumbayan, Quezon City

I know you have all been waiting for a new post. I wanted to make a post but blogspot was being blocked by PLDT. Don't ask me why because I don't know. Good thing, I was able to access my account this afternoon. And now, I am typing this hehe

I seldom post medicines unless I am using it or willing to try it.  When I got an email from Omnicom about a nasal spray called Drixine, it caught my attention. DH has long been suffering from breathing through only one nostril. He never had it checked and we don't know the cause. This interest me because  along with the invite, there is "fast ride to relief" tag! Now, wouldn't that catch your attention, too?

Drixine (Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride) 0.05% nasal spray decongestant 15 ml

I came a wee bit late. Most of the bloggers were already walking their way to the Silver Surfer ride when I got to the venue. I watched a few who shouted while perched on a swinging ride. But most of them just enjoyed the view from the top. Hmmm... I wonder if I will be able to do it!

Happy Lemon

My visit: December 6, 2010

Promenade Mall
Greenhills, San Juan

Are you tired of reading about my Serenitea posts? Well, I have good news for you! I have discovered yet another tea place called Happy Lemon, a brand originated from Hong Kong!

With over a hundred outlets in China and Hong Kong, Happy Lemon offers milk tea, rock salt cheese, lemon series, mousse spin, cocoa & coffee and fresh tea. 

Matcha with Adzuki Bean 0% sweetness level (large) PhP100; Roasted Milk Tea with Adzuki Bean and Pudding 50% sweetness level (large) PhP100

My parents shared a drink under mousse spin called Matcha with Adzuki Bean. I had a taste and I liked it! My mom experienced a brain freeze after a few sips hehe But she liked it nonetheless. The Adzuki Bean rocks! 

Roasted Milk Tea with Adzuki Bean and Pudding was my order. My drink has lots of pudding, more than Serenitea's portion which I love! The combination of Adzuki Bean and pudding was delicious! What I don't like is my tea base which is roasted and taste toasted haha It rhymes!

I would still got to Serenitea for my milk tea fix hehe But I will definitely go back for Happy Lemon's Rock Salt Cheese which I haven't tried and their Mousse Spin!

Singapore Chronicle: Day 2

November 15, 2010

Universal Studios
Singapore Flyer

We booked our Universal Studios tickets online. The Filipino hotel receptionist gave us a tip on how to get to Universal Studios for free. At the pick up area which is right outside our hotel, we just have to show our printed tickets to the bus driver and just hop on the bus... it's that simple!

We arrived very early and had an hour or so to roam around the vicinity. We took pictures of the signage, mandatory hehe And the stores near the entrance. To view more pictures with the characters, click here

Universal Studios logo at the entrance

Compulsory photo op at the entrance hehe

Commercial Muna: Allen's

A few days ago, these two baked goodies arrived at my address. It came from my elementary classmate. Don't ask for my batch, ok? hehe A relative of hers baked this in time for the Holidays.

I thought of sharing it with you...

box of 12 brownies

I like the brownies because it's not sweet. It's full of nuts as you can see in the photo. I still love my mom's version though hehe I wish my mom would bake brownies again... I miss being a child!

SunPIOLOgy 2011

Wee! Look what I got in my mail last week... my very own SunPIOLOgy 2011 Pursuits Journal. For every purchase of Sunpiology 2011 daily planner, Sun Life Financial donates PhP50 to Hebreo 12:1 Foundation. 

 Sunpiology 2011

Founded by the Pascual Family, Hebreo 12:1 Foundation helps deserving but under privileged kids and turns them into scholars.

Delifrance Christmas gift packages!

My family and I are loyal customers of Delifrance, I even took the Chicken Bourbon Challenge hehe It is my dad's favorite restaurant and almost every Sunday, if our schedule permits, we have our breakfast over there after our morning walk. And dad's order would always be Breakfast Deluxe Tray with Ciabatta bread and strawberry jam ; )

I was excited when I got an invite to sample Delifrance's Christmas offerings! And they have a lot, I tell you! 

Premium English Fruitcake solo PhP260

Yummy! That's what I can say with Delifrance's Premium English Fruitcake. Different nuts, cherries and prunes were on top of the cake. To my delight, unlike any commercial cakes available, this cake was moist and didn't scrimp on ingredients. 

Burgoo Buy 1 Take 1 Free!

My visit: December 12, 2010

Level 3 The Block
Quezon CIty

Last Saturday, DH and I went to SM North EDSA to purchase Christmas giveaways for our clients. I am always on the scout for good deals when inside the mall. I was handed a piece of Burgoo flier right after stepping out of the parking lot. It says Buy 1 Take 1 FREE! I set my mind on eating there before shopping. 

When you order a main entree, you can get the same item or a lower value main entree for free! Don't you just love it! 

Angus rib-eye PhP995+

We seldom eat beef in our house. But last Saturday night was an exemption, DH ordered Angus rib-eye. I naturally salivated and the thought of ordering one for myself crossed my mind. DH stopped me and suggested I order a different main course. 

All I want for Christmas: Canon S95

I think I have been good for the whole year. And if Santa is reading this post, he will get a hint what I want for Christmas ; p

In the next few days, I will try and make a series of posts about what I want for Chistmas, so Santa will have a choice hehe

 photo source

My Canon IXUS 860IS have been with me for several years. With it I learned and have improved capturing wonderful food and fashion photos. I love it dearly. I really should give it a name lol

Singapore Chronicle: Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant

My visit: November 16, 2010

Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant
301 Upper Thomson Road 
Thomson Plaza
(65) 64513233

On our last day, we were all so lucky because the relatives of AC drove us to Chinatown, IKEA and Junction 8 Mall to shop and eat! I slept in between travel time. My bad, I shouldn't have. I got headache after that and you all know what happened, right?

Before we left for Manila, they treated us for dinner in this wonderful Chinese restaurant called Peach Garden. 

The photos below were plated and served to us individually.  


Me-Time Moments with Dove silky smooth chocolates!

You, yes, you, who reads this post right now. Are you reading this during your Me-Time moments? Then you should read on to know what you are missing hehe 

Me-Time moments with Dove Chocolate

Mars Food Singapore, a family owned company founded in 1911, is introducing Dove silky smooth chocolate...  your perfect companion for Me Time moments.

Sergeant Hainanese Chicken Rice

My visit: November 16, 2010

Sergeant Hainanese Chicken Rice
Stall 20
ION Orchard Turn

I went to Singapore with eating Hainanese chicken in mind. My first day was no luck. The following day- Universal Studios Day- was tougher to search for Hainanese chicken amidst international food available. I didn't know that my quest for a Singaporean food like Hainanese chicken would be this tiring.

hainanese chicken S$5

I asked AC's relative for some advice on where to get an authentic hainanese chicken. I had researched about Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice in Maxwell Food Center but as I have already said in my previous post, I found out that it's in Chinatown. And I was there after we took our lunch in Sergeant Hainanese Chicken Rice waaaaaaaaaaaah!

So, after asking the question, I was given a strange look. Maybe because I am asking for an authentic Hainanese cooking when I am already in Singapore. In Singapore everything is authentic lol

When we were in ION Orchard, alas! I saw Sergeant Hainanese Chicken Rice and decided to eat there!

Maybe it's my high expectation but I was kind of disappointed. I was thinking that I will salivate whilst looking at my plate hehe But nothing like that happened. It tasted just like the one I cooked here with the Hainanese flavored sachet I bought in SM supermarket lol

Maybe I should drop by Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice on my next trip. This time with DH in tow!

PartyGal Lingerie

A few days ago, I got a mailer which includes this cute ribboned boots stockings from PartyGal Lingerie! 

PartyGal Lingerie is an online shop offering various collection like Sexy Costumes- in time for Christmas season, Love Me Lingerie- various designs of baby doll dresses and chemise lingerie and Playtime Collection- for bedroom fun. These collections encourages women to be confident and be sexy! 

ribboned boot stockings

What's so exciting about this post is that PartyGal Lingerie is now offering my readers to a free sexy and cute item for items purchased online. Just go to this form and on the #4 Promo Code/ Referrer's Code write down "mrsmartinez".

Jurlique Free Facial!

My visit: November 23, 2010

Ground level, Greenbelt 5
Makati City

You all remembered how I drove to Makati by my lonesome, right? It wasn't just to attend Naturteq but also to have a 30 minute free facial massage at Jurlique worth PhP1000. 

To give you  brief background , Jurlique is a brand from Australia and has been with skin care industry for almost 25 years. They grow and bottled their products to assure consumers that what they apply on their skin is organic and the finest there is. 

Left to Right:
  • Jurlique Balancing Cleansing Lotion- a hydrating cleansing lotion to remove the day; rosewood and lavender
  • Jurlique Eye Makeup Remover
  • Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist- a replenishing mist of lavender and marshmallows to hydrate, tone and smooth skin 
  • Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Refining Treatment
  • Jurlique Skin Balancing Oil- a non greasy oil to moisturize and balance skin
  • Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Facial Serum
  • Jurlique Moisture Replenishing Day Cream

Meralco Appliance Calculator

My event: December 3, 2010

Meralco Theater
Meralco Ave.,
Ortigas Center, 
Pasig City

Have you been wondering how much your air conditioner cost if it runs an average of, let's say, 8 hours a day, 7 times a week, 4 weeks in a month? You don't have to fret anymore. You can now control your monthly electricity bill through the launching of the all new Meralco website. The Meralco website boasts of a calculator called Meralco Appliance Calculator  or simply called M.A.C.


Using the Meralco Appliance Calculator is easy:
  • Launch the Appliance Calculator by clicking M.A.C. icon
  • Click on Appliance Category icon
  • Select a specific appliance from the drop down menu
  • Under Monthly Bill Amount, type your average monthly electric bill
  • Choose from the drop down menu how many hours per day, days per week and weeks per month you use the appliance and press enter.
  • Click Add Appliance To My List button
  • Input the quantity of each appliance
  • Repeat the steps until most of the Remaining Amount has been accounted for

Kao-Chi Restaurant

My visit: December 4, 2010

Kao-Chi Restaurant
109 NS Amoranto, 
Maharlika, Quezon City
4107788   4107799

DH had been bugging me to try a new Chinese restaurant right in front of where we have our car washed.  Finally, we were able to try Kao-Chi Restaurant. I was expecting simple interior much like the ones in Banawe area. But I was taken aback. The ambiance was like that of Choi Garden. Red, dimly-lit and a few couches with blue lights on one of its wall panel. 

When we learned that they are offering Shanghai cuisine. We were kind of disappointed. When we were in Shanghai, the food was not compatible with our palate. Shanghai cuisine is hot. We set our expectations low and ordered our food.

We had two appetizers to start with:

 honey glazed spare ribs PhP188

Think of your saucer plate, now that's how tiny the serving is.

Seattle's Best Coffee... serving you 10 good years!

My event: November 29, 2010

Seattle's Best Coffee
Greenbelt 3
Makati City

Ok, so I thought baristas have a secret code somewhere hidden behind the counter for every drink that you order. But I have seen none of that when I tried to experience being a barista for a day. Or shall I say, in my case, barista with just one order to take hehe

Superb Barista Danise and I

The video below was taken by my sister. Good thing she was with me that day because something happened after our event. Scroll down to jump to my misfortune. You will miss all my food photos though hehe 

L'Oreal Paris Base Magique

When Mikki Galang of L'Oreal Philippines handed me Base Magique, he whispered that it's a very nice product. 

L'Oreal Base Magique PhP945

OMG! He wasn't kidding! It wasn't just a nice product, it really delivers what it promises- L'Oreal Base Magique smooths skin surface!

Aquaknox Restaurant

My visit: November 27, 2010

Aquaknox Vietnamese Kitchen
Madison Square, Greenhills

I have heard rave reviews about Aquaknox Restaurant in Makati. But as you now know, Makati is way too far for DH and I. When I saw its signage in Greenhills, I was delighted. And so one Saturday, we had our lunch date in Aquaknox!

We ate the following:

Pho Bo (Beef Pho) regular PhP90

Hanoi Style Rice Noodles Soup Beef Brisket and Raw Sliced Beef

DH has no complaints whatsoever with his order. I was able to taste the soup and it tasted good.

Singapore Flyer took my breath away!

My visit: November 15, 2010

30 Raffles Avenue

Day 2

I have my reliable Canon Ixus 860IS throughout my Singapore trip. I am so glad I brought it with me. I took the photo below while my capsule was on the topmost part of the Singapore Flyer. The view was exhilarating! 

 view from the top

I am afraid of heights. When AC and I were in Taipei a couple of years ago, I couldn't even ride Miramar Ferris Wheel which is 70 meters tall. Taller than London Eye (135 meters), Singapore Flyer stands 165 meters and can accommodate 786 people at a time. A capsule as big as a bus has a capacity of 28 pax. A cycle is approximately 30 minutes.

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy

Looking for a Christmas gift for your loved one? Guys, your girlfriend will love this! I know because I want to hoard The Body Shop Lip Balm especially the one in Fresh Berry flavor! During the TBS Thanksgiving Event, I got this Cranberry Joy line included in a set that was given to me,  I couldn't resist putting it on when I am going out the whole day. 

The Body Shop Cranberry Joy lip balm 15ml PhP295

At only PhP295, this one is easier on the pocket than Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF15. It gives almost the same amount of moisture so you can easily pucker up when you and your honey are both under the mistletoe!

Johnny Rockets

My visit: November 20, 2010

Johnny Rockets
205 Tomas Morato
Laging Handa, QC
3528486   5320693

For a few weeks now, DH and I are attracted to Johnny Rockets' brightly lit signage and interior. We decided to give it a try one Saturday night. 

 interior photo courtesy of DH

A very welcoming and lively greeting awaits you as you enter the restaurant. Once we were ushered to our seats, I looked for the toilet. When I went back to my seat, I saw the staff midway through their dance number. I thought I wasn't able to caught it on video. Good thing, they dance every few minutes or so. 

Making Miracles Happen with Kraft's Miracle Machine!

Care to share a good deed? Kraft Miracle Whip is doing just that by making a platform in FaceBook, a social networking site in case you are out of the loop. Visit the Miracle Machine and find out how you can help. 

Kraft Miracle Machine webpage

12 Miracles in 12 Days, with your help it can be done! Take your pick!
  • Kythe Foundation
  • Jamboree Moutaineers
  • Childhope Asia
  • Kaeskwela
  • The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)
  • Sagip Buhay and Philippine General Hospital
  • Firefly Brigade and Tiklop Society
  • Tahanang Walang Hagdan
  • Resources for the Blind
  • Museo Pambata
  • St. Martin de Porres Charity Home

Log on to FaceBook and see how you can help making dreams into reality!

Glitter Eyeliner Starlight from The Body Shop

Fancy the sparkle in my eyes? The secret is my new Glitter eye liner, Starlight from The Body Shop! I bought it last week. I can't have enough of it since I tried it on during TBS' Christmas Party 2010!

Glitter eye liner 04 PhP695

Universal Studios Singapore Characters Photo Ops

My visit: November 15, 2010

8 Sentosa Gateway
Sentosa Island, 
Singapore 098269

Day 2

with Woody Woodpecker

Universal Studios Singapore presents... Woody and me hehe

L'Oreal White Perfect experience!

L'Oreal Paris Dermo- Expertise has recently introduced the White Perfect line. It comprises of White Perfect Transparent Rosy Whitening Fairness Control Moisturizing Cream with SPF17 for day time use and White Perfect Transparent Rosy Whitening Fairness Revealing Soothing Cream for night time use. 

L'Oreal White Perfect Night PhP575 and L'Oreal White Perfect Day SPF17 PhP595

I have the products with me for more than a month now but I was only able to use it only two weeks ago since I was using Obagi Nu Derm line before that.

This is my routine in the morning, I skip toner after washing my face. I apply on Fairness Control Moisturizing Cream with SPF17. But I find the SPF too low so I slather on Kanebo Allie SPF50 over it. At night, after washing my face, I put on L'Oreal's White Perfect soothing night cream and that's it!

Naturteq Rosewood Nature's Immune Booster!

My event: November 23, 2010

Naturteq Direct
M Cafe
Ground floor, Greenbelt 4

Driving to Makati is such a hurdle to me. Many of my friends who would read this post would be surprised that I have driven to Makati in my lonesome. Why? Because I am such a scardy cat. I don't drive to a place I am not familiar with. Much less drive alone. Sure, I have been to Makati a thousand times but it's different when you are the passenger as opposed to being the driver. 

When I got an invitation to attend Naturteq Directs' Rosewood Food Supplement, I quickly looked for the venue and groan- Makati! Waaaaaah! I know I have to conquer Makati. I started with Rockwell then slowly moved my way up to Makati Ave. haha

Naturteq's Rosewood Narra Bark and Wood Supplement, Dermteq and Natursentials Omega-3 Fish Oil

Naturteq Direct, Inc. is a direct selling company formed in the first quarter of 2010 by an established company, Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company (PPLIC)

Pet Brush Self Cleaning Brush

Pet Brush Self Cleaning Brush PhP159.75

I bought a retractable brush a few weeks ago and I thought I would share this to my readers with pets. Precious, my pomeranian, sheds too much hair. With this brush, hair can be easily removed with just one twist. The bad thing about the brush is that the twist mechanism has no lock. So, I always have to reposition/ twist it back so the bristle won't retract while grooming my dog.  

This product is available in Handyman in Trinoma, Quezon City.

Singapore Chronicle: Summer View Hotel and Night Safari

Summer View Hotel
173 Bencoolen Street

Day 1

Although we were in Singapore from November 14-17, we only booked two nights at Summer View Hotel. Why? Because our flight back PAL PR 506 ($189.20 round trip airfare) was on the 17th of November at 12:15am. 

Summer View Hotel Singapore

There were three of us who stayed in one room. The room was cramped with just a tiny space to walk in between the beds. But that was just fine with us because we only stay there to sleep and freshen up hehe Plus, we only paid PhP4449.55 per pax for our two nights' stay.