Friday, December 16, 2016

REVIEW: Emma Kali-kaliwete! Emma U-utal-utal! by Meanne Mabesa Mijares

Reading the first few pages of the story book for kids, Emma Kali-kaliwete! Emma U-utal-utal! by Meanne Mabesa Mijares, made me remember this quote:

Courtesy: Quotesgram

It is indeed difficult to live in a world that is full of standards. Those standards, sad to say, are based on what the majority thinks are appropriate based on how they see themselves. If we are not like them, most probably they think that we don't belong.

In the story, Emma, a young school-aged girl, is just average in physical attributes but she looks very pleasant. She is good and studious but she is left-handed and she stutters when she talks. Those traits of hers make her prone to bullying because some of her classmates feel that she is not normal as they are.

Due to this predicament, Emma feels that she is inferior and doesn't belong which prompts her to write using her right hand instead. She also stops participating in recitations due fear of being teased. Her classmates make her feel that she's abnormal. What makes her situation difficult for her is that some of her relatives, teachers, and friends consider her abnormal and they don't even extend their efforts and patience to help her cope up.

Despite being treated differently, Emma chooses not to fight back. She does her very best to show her classmates that she is not ashamed of who she is. Her strong faith in the God and the belief that those challenges shall pass keep her moving forward. 

When her teacher gives her a chance to be her class' representative for the spelling contest, some of her classmates show that they are not in favor of her. Their teacher defends Emma and encourages her that it's her chance to show everybody that she is a good student and she can succeed.

Emma does her very best. She studies very well as she prepares for the upcoming spelling contest with the support of her parents. She's able to win and she wins the hearts of those who treat her unkindly.

They ask forgiveness from Emma. Instead of getting getting angry and thinking of revenge, Emma forgives her classmates.

Emma has a good heart. This story proves that nobody can put a good person down and our greatest enemy is ourselves. Instead of channeling our energy to think of revenge, focusing on self -improvement together with prayer is one the best ways to conquer our fears and challenges. No matter what other people say about us, the acceptance and love of our family can keep us going against all odds.

Courtesy: im-just-a-girl.tumbler

Reading this book together with my Bunso who was diagnosed with mild autism two years ago made me relate it to his current situation. It is inevitable that not all people are going to understand his special needs. We can't shield him forever from people who don't understand and don't even bother to educate themselves that children with special needs may be different in our normal standards but they are unique in their own right and they see the world in a different perspective. We may be surprised that they see things differently and most of the time, it's amazing. It is only if we go inside their world that we can see how they think. They think better, love more, forgive easily, and show affection without hesitations or judgment and we should learn from them. What makes them different from our normal standards makes them more beautiful. If we only accept them the way we want others to accept us and if we only forgive the way they forgive, this world is going to be a better place.


I encourage you, dear parents, to get a copy of this book. It teaches so many values that your kids can imitate and they can pass those values to their children in the future. The book is filled with life's lessons about showing respect, treating others the way we want to be treated, conquering challenges and fears, strong relationship with God through prayer, being self-directed, honing God's given talents, being forgiving, and being beautiful inside out.


Talking about quality, the book is made with high quality printing materials and surely, your kids can keep it, just make sure that it is handled and stored with care, until it's time for them to raise a family when they can read it again with their children.

Emma Kali-kaliwete! Emma U-utal-utal! by Meanne Mabesa Mijares is available in all St. Pauls Philippines branches. Grab a copy now and you'll love it too.

Monday, December 12, 2016

REVIEW: Basic Make-Up Workshop by Marie San Luis

I’ve attended two basic and one advanced make-up workshops but I still want to learn more. Taking an intensive make-up course is included in my bucket list because make-up is one of the things that I am passionate about. But due to family duties and financial constraints (sending two boys to school is very, very expensive), I set this big dream aside and focus on taking it slowly for the meantime while I am doing what’s important at the moment.

I kept on waiting for the right timing to attend another workshop and that right timing came when a good blogger friend of mine, Marie San Luis of, asked me if I would be interested to attend her workshop. Of course naman, I really, really liked the idea! I was not just excited but super-duper excited because it was her first ever Basic Make-up Workshop and I was so happy to know that she was starting to fulfill her dream of becoming a make-up guru. I would be very much delighted to see her share her craft with me and the other participants as well. Ako talaga, kapag masaya ang mga taong mahalaga sa buhay ko, mas masaya ako para sa kanila.

Before the workshop, Marie and I were chatting on Facebook. Makulit talaga ako kapag sobrang excited ako! I had so many requests. I was telling her to teach me concealing, correcting, eye make-up, etc. because those were the areas that I needed help. She was so willing to accept suggestions and she understood that I really couldn’t maintain my composure that time.

Moving on to the workshop, Marie created a group solely for her workshop participants two days before the event and told us to answer a survey so that she would know more about our personal details (for the certificate and documentation purposes), our make-up skills, the things we would like to learn, and our skin type and color.  She also mentioned the exact location of the venue and how to get there so that we would not have a hard time locating it. Everything was systematic and clear prior to the workshop. I was so impressed.

The day of the workshop came. It was in  the morning of the 27th of November when we convened at The Clubhouse Robinsons Magnolia. It was a cozy place perfect for dining and having intimate meetings and gatherings. The interior was nice and the food was good. Obviously, I ate first before the workshop started. (Tip: When you visit the place, I encourage you to taste its carrot cake. So yummy!) 

I wish I don’t sound defensive. Kitang-kita naman sa katawan ko na mahilig akong kumain. LOL! Well, learning is best when your stomach is full. Anyway, before I get carried away with the food, let me tell you the things that I find special about Marie’s Make-up Workshop.

The Speaker

Marie was very presentable.  Honestly, she’s one of the bloggers that I admire when it comes to dressing up. She was dressed appropriately for the event, talagang make-up artist na make-up artist ang dating. She was not puro porma lang, she knew what she was talking about. She was knowledgeable and she exceeded my expectations. She discussed the following topics thoroughly: how to choose a skincare routine, how to choose the right make-up for our skin, basic make-up skills, make-up brushes uses, and taking that perfect make-up selfie. She could answer our questions clearly and completely.

It was only during this workshop that I learned so many new things like the uses of the different brushes based on the intensity of color that I wanted to put on my face- subtle, soft, or precise for instance in applying blush. It was also during that time that I learned thoroughly the different eyebrow colors, lipsticks, blushes, and eyeshadows that could fit  different skin undertones. Kaya pala may lipstick ako na ang ganda ng kulay sa iba pero parang ang putla-putla ko naman kapag ako na ang gumamit. May blush din ako na kapag ginamit ko para akong sinuntok sa magkabilang pisngi. All the while I was using the wrong colors for my skin undertone pala. She made suggestions on what brands work for budget conscious like me but won’t sacrifice the quality and their high end counterparts as well.

Marie was so organized. From skin routine to applying the setting powder, we did them all one step at a time. She worked with  her model and make-up partner, Cess, that made it easier for us to follow. 

The very gorgeous, Cess
Courtesy: Marie Bella- Sanluis on Facebook

After doing the step at Cess, she assisted us one by one especially when we needed help. Ang gaan-gaan ng kamay niya when she helped me with my brows and tightline my upper lids. For me this was the best way to learn, with personal touch and the learners with different learning styles--auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, could follow effectively. She made sure that each participant learned before she proceeded to the next topic. Walang hanging sa amin at walang naiwan. As we moved on from one topic to another, the transformation on our looks became evident. We didn’t look like clowns because everything that we did and the colors that we used were in accordance to our skin types and undertones. Marie taught us to enhance our assets and still looked naturally radiant. I also liked the fact that she was generous in sharing her make-up knowledge. Hindi siya bitin, sobra-sobra pa. She tackled correcting and concealing techniques that should be discussed in advanced make-up workshops that I appreciated very much.

I should say that Marie is the type of make-up guru that wants her students to become the best that they can be. I am not saying this because she is my friend. Marie wants her students to be more beautiful and confident with their natural beauty. Si Marie ang guru na hindi lang niya gusto na siya lang ang maganda at magaling. Gusto niya, lahat tayo ay maging magaganda at magagaling lalo na pagdating sa make-up.


Pink, pink, pink… Everything was P-I-N-K and I loved it! From the mirror, hand-out folder, hand-outs, certificate, pen, and freebies, there was a touch of pink. It was aesthetically nice. It added drama and a pop of color to the set-up. I also appreciated that the hand-out pages where printed in full color. At a glance, they were perfect guides especially to a starter like me. The concepts written were so easy to follow and understand and the photos used were actual samples of tools and make-up that were easy for me to memorize. Marie let us use her make-up and brushes even though she let us bring our own make-up kits. The advantage of bringing our own make-up and tools was that Marie was able to identify whether we were using the wrong shade of make-up or not based on our skin undertone. Busog na busog kami sa bagong kaalaman because her basic make-up workshop content was uncommon and unique. She also made time for consultation and answered our questions patiently and clearly.

Aside from the high quality workshop certificate, hand-outs, new knowledge, we went home with a bag of freebies from her generous sponsors- DEARBERRY, KOHL INDUSTRIES, and PUREPOWER VENTURES.

With all honesty, seeing Marie in front of us doing her passion made me almost cry. Well, almost because I held my tears. Hindi kasi waterproof ang mascara na ginamit ko. LOL! Seriously, Marie nailed it and that made me almost cry tears of joy because a dear friend did for the first time one of the things that she would love to do right in front of me and my companions.

Our final workshop photo. L-R: yours truly, Marie San Luis, Alaine Alejandrino, and Nina Ricci Bunsoy Courtesy: @mamaneesnest on Instagram

If you are looking for a make-up guru that is going to teach you basic make-up application in a different perspective and doesn’t charge you so much, Marie San-Luis is probably one of the best of the best to contact. She and her make-up model, Cess, are partners and they also accept hair and make-up services for all occasions. You may contact Marie and Cess through Marie’s Facebook page.

Marie is brewing her next Basic Make-Up Workshop and first Advanced Make-Up Workshop. They are so affordable, way cheaper than the others but I assure you that you are going to learn a lot. Stay tuned! I will announce the schedule on my social media accounts soon. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Arrowland by Gandiva- The Newest, Hippest Archery Range in the Metro

On November 12, 2016, Arrowland, a brand under Gandiva Archery Range that was exclusively created for SM Malls, had the grand opening of its first store at 5th Level SM Mega Mall Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

The spacious range has 10 lanes with 10 meter distance and also consists of well-equipped armory that can cater to all the clients archery needs.

 No need to worry for begginers because highly trained staff is ready to teach them the basics. Barebows are available for them while mid to high end range of bows are available for more seasoned clients. In line with this, Gandiva is so proud and pleased to announce that it has been awarded exclusive distributorship in the Philippines for FIVICS and KROSSEN archery equipment. That means Arrowland offers equipment sales and after sales services to all its clients.

During the event, Kuya had a chance to channel his inner Green Arrow for the very first time and while we were travelling home, he asked me if we could come back. I said yes, definitely. He also expressed his desire to study more about the sport and he couldn’t wait to start doing it. For a non-sporty kid as he was, that eagerness made me feel so happy that at last, he found the sport that he would love to learn. Arrowland ignited Kuya’s desire on a sport  that he never thought he would like.

I promise you that you will love the experience too. You may head on to Arrowland with your family and friends and it promises fun that is right on target. 

Fret not, budget conscious Mars at Pards! The range offers very affordable beginner’s lessons, private or corporate parties, and school tie-ups.

New targets will soon be available like tic tac toe and zombies to make shooting more enjoyable and not boring. 

I also encourage you to follow Arrowland on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and INSTAGRAM for more details, promos, events, and updates. You may call 02- 5770956 if you have questions.

*Photo and Video Credit: Arrowland by Gandiva
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