Wednesday, April 17, 2019


In my Facebook page you will see that I wrote these words -- "Happiness is a choice. Write, Travel, Create."  3 years into blogging, I still believed in these words. Really, happiness is a choice every single day.

In my recent trip to Japan, I felt happy every single day. I celebrated little accomplishments -- such as not getting lost in the subway (google maps was my best friend), experiencing food and places for the very first time, meeting Japanese who were willing to help and smiling all the way. It was time to be more mindful in my day to day experiences. I need to be appreciative and enthusiastic about life. 

I was at my happiest when I was in the gardens of the Osaka Castle -- literally doing nothing. I just sat for a long time, reflected on things, enjoying the cold weather (I was freezing at 12nn), and tried to imprint on my mind the view of the gardens. 

And I realized, when I feel happy, I get motivated to do things (more travel), I get inspired to work more (felt energized by the new environment) and I just said to God "thank you for giving me this life. It isn't perfect, but I have lots to be grateful about."  My Japan experience really opened my heart to gratitude.

Another learning -- happiness is pleasure + purpose. Now I have a definite goal in mind. To work extra hard, save, and bring my family to different places. The happiness I felt, could reach maximum level, if I have my loved ones with me on my travels.


In Japan, I walked a lot. I am sure, plenty of ENDORPHINS were released, one of the hormones that triggers happiness. Because of the cold weather, I got exposed to sunlight. I had a dose of DOPAMINE too - the "chemical of reward". I was stressed at the start of my Japan journey because the train system was too confusing for me. But every time I reach my destination -- I felt extremely happy and accomplished -- that is DOPAMINE working for me. 

But now that I am at home, I get my dose of OXYTOCIN. If you want to get this, give your loved ones a big hug. Even your pet. Of you can stimulate your mind but exposing your senses to HAPPY scents!

When a smell travels through your nose into the brain, it can trigger the hormones I mentioned. Smell has the power to change your mood and ease tension.


I discovered Perfume Dessert London -- and you know what? It triggered some level of happiness and gives me that refreshing feeling in the midst of this summer heat.

What I love about Perfume Dessert London -- it is just 30ml. safe to bring on my flight abroad, no need to check in. I really liked the well thought of packaging - you wouldn't think that the perfume only costs Php250. The packaging suggests that it is an expensive brand :)  

As for the scent, I love the refreshing cucumber-melon cooler.  The other two variants, the raspberry smoothies and cake pops - I thought would be too "sweet" to wear.  But the smell in not that overpowering. Just a tiny tinge of sweetness in it. Perfect for daily use, even in this humidity and hot weather we are now experiencing. 

You can get more info and update on Perfume Dessert London by visiting their facebook page and instagram account  

Looking forward to share with you more of my happy stories on my recent Japan trip.  See yah!!!  

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


I have always dreamt of traveling to Japan. To see the temples, to drive to Mt. Fuji, to have a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine. To immerse myself to their art and culture.  I would often stay in front of my computer, watch documentaries about the "land of the rising sun". I don't know how many times have I watched "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" - but I just really love anything and everything about Japan.

Until recently, Filipinos seemed to be frequenting this country. Last year, my Facebook feed were filled with friends, relatives and colleagues who spent Holy Week in Japan. I observed that the country is now a part of every Filipino traveler's bucket list. Including my own bucket list!


Yes, you read it right. The universe granted my wish. I am going to Japan and I am excited about it.  It will only be a short trip -- but what the heck!  Not everyone is given this kind of an opportunity. And I am going to a magical place - a world class entertainment theme park!  

But before I reach that dream destination, there are things to be prepared.


As I am writing this blog entry, I am awaiting for my Japan visa. I applied for a multiple entry (which I pray would be granted).  Sharing with you the step by step process.

First, know all the VISA REQUIREMENTS


Then, fill up the application form correctly. You will need to attach a 2 x 2 photo with white background.  You also need to provide information of hotel/s you are planning to stay in while in Japan.  Please see sample application form.   

Next, you need to sign an authorization letter, allowing a representative from an ACCREDITED travel agent. Unlike other visas, the Japanese embassy does not require applicants for a face to face interview. An accredited travel agent will lodge your Visa for you. During peak season, let's say, the Sakura festival, it may take up to 7 days for you to get your visa. Sometimes it only takes about 3-5 working days.

And because I am interested in applying for a multiple entry visa, I need to accomplish another form.  Since I am a tourist, and I did not travel to Japan in the last 3 years, I have to prove that I am financially capable, thus BANK Certificate/s are needed. Note banks certificates require minimal fee upon issuance from you bank.

Now that I have completed all the requirements and have submitted everything to my travel agent, HIS Philippines Travel Corporation -- I am just awaiting if I will be granted a single or multiple entry visa.


I got a call from His Philippines Travel Corporation saying --  I was granted MULTIPLE entry to Japan, valid for 5 years... yey!  

So now, I am so ready to embark on my first Japan adventure.  Scheduled to travel to Osaka for 3 days then transfer to Fukuoka to meet my relatives for a summer adventure!

Stay tune for the complete story on my Osaka-Fukuoka Adventure -- soon on the blog  :)

Thursday, March 21, 2019


If you are following this humble blog of mine, alam na ninyo how I love gardening. The concept of "farm to table" excites me!  That is why I grow veggies and herbs in my garden. I also have fruit trees - atis and guyabano that have yielded me hundreds of fruits in the last 3 years. My avocado tree has yet to give me my first harvest. But I am patiently waiting. So with my kaimito. There's also a guava seedling patiently waiting to be planted.

I think our country is blessed with good soil - that is why it is very easy to grow fruit trees. Where I live, I can still see lots of mature mango trees. In the provinces, every backyard has a mango tree to boast of -- mapa piko, kalabaw o indian mango man yan. We enjoy it ripe or unripe with bagoong.

Filipinos just love MANGOES.  

And there is a new place where you can get the juiciest, most succulent and sweetest mangoes -- crafted into dessert perfection!


Originally from Hong Kong, Hui Lau Shan has been making the world swoon over the sensational taste of its mango creations. That includes countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea, Macau, Taiwan, and Vietnam Canada as well as developed cities like Paris and Melbourne. What's makes its taste close to the Filipinos is that the brand has been using premium Philippines carabao mangoes to delight its customers worldwide. 

Now through Fat Daddy's Group, Hui Lau Shan is bringing our pride back to the Philippines with its first store and many future branches to take over the country. 

And I was invited to their media launch.  Hui Lau Shan's flagship store is located at SM Megamall Atrium Level 4.  The brand is globally known for using Philippine carabao mangoes in its deliciously rich range of dessert creations and refreshments, which makes it a huge hit in many parts of the world.  A bit of a trivia, the government calls carabao mango, "Manila Super Mango" when they export it abroad. 

"The grand launching of our first store is about celebrating the homecoming of our pride, the Philippine carabao mangoes. Plus, enjoying the taste of Hui Lau Shan mango treats is also a simple way of supporting our local agribusiness because the brand is expected to consume one ton of mangoes for 10 to 15 stores a week,” Freshnaida Versoza, President and CEO of Fat Daddy's Group.

Hui Lau Shan will also be opening new stores in UP Town Center, Eastwood, SM Fairview, SM North, Promenade Mall and SM Mall of Asia this 2019. In three years, its first store in Cebu will be launched to deliver the taste of our world-popular carabao mangoes closer to more Filipinos. 


Hui Lau Shan brought a huge smile on my face that day. Their mango desserts were really delish!

Another reason for my big smile -- saw my neighbor-friend Julius Babao, also enjoying the treats at Hui Lau Shan.  To be continued our chikahan on urban gardening :)  

And more reason to smile -- head over to SM Megamall Atrium – Level 4 on March 23, 2019 (Saturday) to experience real Philippine carabao mango goodness and get a chance to win amazing rewards.

The first buyer will win one-year supply of Hui Lau Shan mango drink or dessert, while the 2nd buyer will enjoy six months supply. Three months supply will be awarded to the 3rd to 5th buyers, while the 6th to 10th buyer will get one-month supply.

On March 23, first 200 customers can indulge Hui Lau Shan’s famous drinks (mango mania series) in real mango goodness for only Php50.00. 

Follow Hui Lau Shan on facebook and instagram for more awesome deals!