"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."

Monday, 1 January 2018

Review: Granite Gear Echo Backpack in Verb Petal

The Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal featuring Barrier Repealaweave Technology

It’s been to places I’ve visited in the last quarter of the year, from Manila, Baguio, Benguet and also Pagadian and back to Zamboanga. I also use it as my school bag. It’s durable, water proof and I love the color. Basically, wherever I go, it’s there with me.

It was a surprise from C, who also got a matching bag in blue. I adore this color combination, and it’s even made its way to a hiking trip to the third tallest peak in the country last October. If there was one bag that could be suitable for both travel and school, the Granite Gear in Echo will have to be it.

What’s To Love?

It’s designed to be a campus backpack. It’s weather-resistant thanks to the repealaweave fabic made of durable Taurpalite bottom. The laptop sleeve protects up to 15.5 inch laptops (I’ve been lugging around my 14 inch Acer laptop) featuring the padded gear tech. Its profile is tall and slim, not short and stout and keeps the weight closer to the back for better center of gravity. 

So how about for travel blogging? Bring it on. For travel, it’s a smarter move to switch to a lighter and more compact laptop like my Acer Aspire ES 11.

A laptop sleeve is part of the design that can transport even a 15 inch laptop

The second compartment features a full organizer for pens, small extras even power banks. Even with my heavy load, the back panel is comfortable. I've also made my windbreaker a constant attachment in there. It's foldable into a square buttoned cushion pack and it's very handy when the weather's threatening. 

My foldable windbreaker is a constant companion in the second compartment organizer

Barrier Repealaweave

I can’t express how grateful I am that this all-around backpack features barrier repealaweave especially for the front pocket where I store my USB, headphones and keys. I probably can’t live with myself if any of these got wet.

Full back panel for comfortable transportation of books and even traveling light

School and Travel

The Granite Gear Echo bag couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s with me in campus, and doesn’t show signs of wear and tear even if I stuffed it with my 14 inch laptop, extension wire, charger, mouse, wallet, notebooks, pencil case, grooming pouch, reference notes and even law books that come in hardbound (and can get really heavy) and a water bottle at the side with still enough room for a folding umbrella.

500 ml Echo Bottle for water in campus and even outdoors

But oh boy, it’s never showed any signs of giving up despite roughing it. It’s also fabulous outdoors, from Pulag in Benguet to La Paz in Zamboanga.

No matter what its contents are, whether it’s books and a laptop for school or clothes and outerwear for hiking outdoors, the performance and durability is still the same.

The obligatory hiker's quarter turn in Pulag National Park, my Granite Gear Echo in Verb Petal challenging the weekend hike

 The Granite Gear in Echo has been discontinued, but there are other campus backpacks that also fit the bill and are newer in terms of design but still can offer the same durability whether it’s for school or travel. I got mine on sale in KCC Department Store for Php 1,220. 

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Currently 1.1.18

Whoa it's 2018!

I'm pouring my thoughts on the first day of the year, and there's still so much to do but I'm hopeful.

I know I have to be patient with blogging, and I have to prioritize school and work. In the meantime, here are updates.


Maybe I’m not the only one who feels like a robot whose vacation mode has been disrupted. I took quite a long time away from work, so when it was time to come back after Christmas and Boxing Day, I kind of lost my routine and also didn’t know what to do first. But then, there’s still New Year to think about, then it won’t be long before reality will have to bite back sooner or later. 


Even if we’re on a break from school, we still have homework to think of. It’s also quite a challenge since I decided to take the dive and take on full load of 12 units, that’s suicide! Or so I’ve been told. But I’m praying and wishing that I can survive. I’m enjoying my time off in the meantime. 


Well my writing life goes both ways. There’s the analog and digital writing life.

I’ve become productive at least writing down things that I’m supposed to finish in my new Mini Happy Planner. It’s so cute and I’m so afraid to ruin it with uneven pen strokes lol.  As for travel writing, I still take with me a traveler’s notebook, pens and washi even for short road trips.

I didn’t realize that running out of ink can irritate me and test my patience. It’s a necessity that I complete my traveler’s notebook so that I can move on to the next one. Does this give me license to get a pretty set for Pilot Juice Metallics for New Year?

In the digital arena, 1) I’m back to blogging because 2) I have a new laptop! It’s light, it’s fast, it’s cool and it’s one of the best investments I’ve made this year. Yehey for productivity! I don’t know where I’ll be without the card reader too lol. 


I went on a quick road trip with C for a couple of days, the traveling time took a toll on me. I don’t know why. It’s not my first long bus ride this year, having gone to Pampanga, Oslob and Baguio earlier this year. But for some reason, the bus ride to Pagadian just didn’t sit very well with me. I’ve always disliked traveling to Pagadian by bus, but had no problems traveling further via private vehicle.

Despite the crazy bus ride, I’m grateful for the quick time out and also time spent with C. But we’ve got travel plans brewing for 2018. 

There's a lot to be grateful for, as 2017 ended and 2018 has just begun. I know that it takes time for my dreams to come true, but I also can't help but feel blessed that I have my family, friends and C beside me through it all. 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Review: Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Light Slim Bag in Lush Blue

Perhaps I was inspired and amazed with the convenience that a small body bag can offer during travels. C has one and it’s been everywhere: Pampanga, Cebu, Baguio, Manila. On the other hand, I’m the more switchy-bags person, and I have this crazy habit of dumping in a lot of useless stuff in my bag that can make my load heavier and give me aching shoulders, even just an afternoon in the mall or going to a cafĂ©. One time during the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark, I dumped my mirrorless camera and other stuff in a hot pink tote bag like I would on a day in the beach. It looked cute, yes, but it was far from practical LOL.

But that changed with the Travelon bag that we got me from Travel Club.

It’s slim and compact and it carries my essentials very well. It also has packed anti-theft features. I told myself that I’d use it on travel and the road trip to Pagadian was the right chance to use it. 

Second Compartment with Spare Zipper Attached

What's To Love? 

The material is smooth and sits very comfortably in a bus window seat, even on my lap when back riding on a motorbike. The secret pockets inside can carry a lot of knick-knacks, even a long wallet and relevant pockets for a passport and cash.

It has roomy compartments, two for regular stuff, one in the front for small things like lip balm, OTG USB and the slip on pocket at the back is for headphones. Even the main compartment is large enough to hold a tablet and can even stay secure because of a zip wall pocket. The front compartment has an interior organizer and many slots for cards and other important documents. In short, it really just has a lot of pockets.

I also love that I can carry the Sony point and shoot for documenting travel memories with C on the road, even special occasions like friends’ weddings and just precious moments.

It’s made of anti-slash material but it’s smooth to the touch and even has RFID blocking technology.  For peace of mind, the zippers lock to shoo away those pickpockets during your travels. Who knows what can happen during rush hours in public transport or even in crowded, public places. 

 Front Pocket features RFID Protection Feature

RFID Protection 

The front pocket integrates an RFID blocking technology that’s similar to other travel wallets to help prevent skimming of information from credit cards and even electronic passports. If your credit cards, passports and even driver’s licenses come with radio frequency identification chips that can transmit data wirelessly, this can help insulate RFID skimming. You don’t want hackers obtaining whole credit card information from you now, do you?

Ready to head out with my Travelon Slim Bag

Versatile Style

On top of it all, I like that it’s a versatile style. I’m fond of shoulder bags so I just swing it over my shoulder and I head on out, now that’s for my feminine preferences. But during travel, I follow as the boys do and wear it cross-body for hands-free movement especially during long road trips.
And the best part? No more aching shoulders! It’s not just for urban exploration, it’s also great for outdoor day hikes.

Travelon has made it possible to explore easier and safer, and with sleek bags for essentials in new places. The Classic Light Slim Bag retails for Php 2,390.00 in Travel Club. Travel Club is located in the second floor of KCC Mall de Zamboanga beside Yellow Cab Pizza. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Yoins For The Holidays

The whole year can take a toll on each of us, from various obligations at work and at home. But as soon as December rolls in, there’s the feeling of being able to wind down and recharge. But even if you had a tough year, why do you need to look like it? The holidays is the time to unwind, unplug and spend time with people who matter the most, your loved ones.

To also join in the festivities of the season, you can throw a Christmas party and introduce some fun games and good food to go with it. For your Christmas party, you don’t have to stress out on what to wear, https://www.yoins.com/ has a wide selection of hot and stylish dresses for women.

Yoins has a wide array of choices for your holiday getaway and those parties that are seemingly endless. It can take hours to get ready, but your look can be effortless with sexy tops sale online that you can find at Yoins. My personal picks are feminine lace tops for indoors, perfect for savouring those moments with family and friends.

It’s the time to make memories and with the accessibility of social media, photos can be uploaded in just seconds. Just like that, your photos can trickle to every person and home celebrating Christmas. It’s the season to be comfortable and relax as you lounge in the company of your loved ones.

Yoins also is the place to go for matching outfits, lingerie and sleepwear, accessories and score some great finds at the sale section. It’s the season to step into classic silhouettes and modern dress styles. Go on and make memories and have yourself a happy holiday!

Note: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Yoins. For similar features and inquiries, kindly send a message to raisa513@yahoo.com, I'd be pleased to hear from you! 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Washi Wednesday: Hobby Depot Haul

It all started with the idea that I needed washi holders to bring my washi with me to my upcoming travel. I already set up my traveler’s notebook in advance. Only one shop had them, so I combined my order with washi to add.

Hobby Depot offers stickers, stamps, washi and also washi holders for those antsy documenters who cannot bear to be away from their favorite washi. (Guilty.)

I also took the chance of including the camping themed outdoor seal sticker for the pages of my traveler's notebook. I already used up the bus and tent image on my TN. Hobby Depot has more stock of this, so I'm going back for more (for those hiking trips next year). 

Now I just had to have this panda washi because it's meaningful for me. I personally know someone who claims to be a panda, so it sort of became a panda obsession. 

The ticket washi adds a vintage feel to my TN pages, and it’s relevant because of the bus ride, road trip to the mountain ranges, and then the flight. I love it really. It completes the travel theme.

Finally, I cannot do without coffee. This is for my coffee-themed planner, my TN and anything that’s coffee oriented. Something tells me that I need to have an extra roll so that I won’t panic when this one runs out. I love the handpainted details on this roll. Yep, I’m going to get another one.

Hauling from Hobby Depot is easy, shop owner is quick to reply and updates with stock availability. Transaction is a breeze and I’m definitely coming back for more hauls. The shipping is also quick, it arrived just in time for me to set up my TN and bring these washis and the holder with me.

If you want to purchase washis, holders, stamps or stickers, feel free to visit Hobby Depot on Facebook anytime. There’s a lot of good stuff and pretty washi to satisfy your artsy gut. If you want some inspiration, the Instagram account can also give you that.