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

Monday, 28 October 2013

What Could Be Inside That Bag?

Most of you have been asking for more hauls, and I think that's what I have been posting about for the past week. Hihihi, but it does not stop there. Here's another package from Sample Room and look what's inside! I have observed a few changes with Sample Room's services and I am pleased.

Out goes the brown paper bag, in goes the gift bag
 Instead of the brown paper bag that Sample Room uses a lot, I received a gift bag. Yep, I do pay attention to things like these. Also, instead of the usual Xend strategy where they pass it off to LBC, it was Xend itself that delivered this to my provided shipping address. I was charged Php160 instead of the usual Php130 for the shipping fee because (fair enough), the contents were relatively heavy.

Top view of the bag, there's an VMV Hypoallergenic Armada sunscreen resting on the VS loot
You must be wondering which Vidal Sassoon products I got. Ok here is an itty bitty confession. I have never fully colored my hair nor chemically styled it in any way-ever. Yep. It's because my hair is too thin and too limp and I'm afraid of it being too frizzy and too dry. Want a worse case scenario? I'm even afraid my hair will fall off! As if my normal hair fall days are not enough, huh. So, here I am with the Premium Base Care series, hopefully it would do me good with my hair care routine.

What's inside the Sample Room gift bag. 
 I remember Vidal Sassoon to be one of those brands that my Mom was so fond of. She had this brown and cream hairbrush which she got as a freebie and it lasted for many years! Now the brand is making quite a comeback in the Philippines.

VIdal Sassoon Premium Base Care Shampoo and Conditioner
"Vidal Sassoon Premium Base Care series moisturizes and infuses each hair strand with elasticity to reduce frizz and enable effortlessly lifted styles. 
 RTB Technology:
  • Amino Salon Essence-deeply penetrates into hair and targets and helps repair the most damaged parts of hair
  • Dual Surfactant Formula-enables deep moisturization of every strand of hair, for hair that's manageable and easy to style
How to use: apply to hair and gently work up lather without rubbing the hair strand against each other"

VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Sport 70
"One of our best-selling products around the world, this powerful protector is beloved for its wow-inducing lightweight comfort and efficacy even in extreme outdoor conditions.

  • Impressive PFAs (Protection Factor UVA) are combined with SPFs as high as 70-90 to effectively screen out UVA and UVB rays for active protection against sun-induced skin cancer, photo aging and hyperpigmentation
  • Creates a unique barrier-film, an invisible virtual "second-skin" that stays on the skin's surface to maintain protection integrity in and out of water, and while exposed to harsh sun and heat
  • Soft, skin-coating silicones give this barrier-film an exceptionally smooth glide and keeps it light, so skin stays comfortable
This sounds promising. I could give it a test on All Saints and All Soul's Day when the rest of the country goes to visit dearly departed ones in the cemetery. This could also work on warm days or during trips to the beach. I really go crazy over sun protection products because I am one ocean-loving creature. 

How's your weekend? Mine has been exciting and I've never felt positive in such a really, really, long time. I feel inspired too. I have to prepare for a lot of things, but most importantly, I have to save for bigger things! I have big plans, and big hopes. 

If you want to check it out, my October International Giveaway is still ongoing. Who knows, you might be lucky and bring home a box of goodies that I have prepared. It ends on October 30, so don't miss out! 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

My HBC Girl Gets Kita Loot and Mini Haul

After over a month of waiting, I finally received my prize from the Girl Gets Kita Shout Out Forum by HBC on Facebook.  The reason why it took so long was because it came all the way from Manila and the siege in our city forced most of the shops to close. But every time I would go to the HBC shop in town, I would see if my loot already arrived. So Sis and I stepped in and brought home a small loot too apart from my gift. 

 I know you are curious to see what's inside!

The thoughtful HBC team put together these goodies for me. I now have a Body Recipe Papaya soap, two more San San Nail Polishes to add to my growing collection, Blue Sapphire and Red Gleam, an Allue lip gloss in Cherry, and three Hortaleza Professional hair treatment packs. You can tell that I will be busy in the weeks to come.


Apart from that, I went to look for a compact eyelash curler so that I can practice with eye makeup when I have the time. (Work has been occupying my brain lately and I just need a little color and beauty therapy to reset.) I really don't like the bulky and scissor-like ones, I was relieved when I saw this. 

 And if you remember how easily I gravitate towards nail polish, I spent another session looking at the pastel colors this time, so let me introduce the new members of my nail polish family, Purple Breeze and French White. There still aren't any colors from the Holiday Collection, but once there are, you know where I'm headed.

All in all, it was a fruitful day since I went around town with my Mom and my siblings, and I got my gift pack, so I'm grinning ear to ear too. I am also giving you the chance to bring home a box filled with goodies, you can join here and try your luck! Have a good weekend!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Unboxing: BDJ Box October Express It Scene Stealer with Maybelline Philippines

BDJ Box together with Maybelline Philippines have brilliantly brought together over 600 different boxes for bellas to try this month. Looking at all those unboxing photos really made me excited to receive mine. You could tell that I'm one of the last people to be receiving, unboxing and blogging about it but I still have to share my thoughts with you.

So what's inside my Scene Stealer Express It box? Be my guest and scroll down....

 This month's box features the Volum' Express Cat's Eye Mascara. Honestly speaking, I am still in my baby steps when it comes to wearing mascara because you might have noted that I have four-eyes. But it looks promising, with the added collagen and magnum brush.

I was hoping to receive lipstick in my box. I have tried Maybelline Baby Lips in the past but it left my lips dry. Perhaps it's just not really for me. I gave this one away.

I like that this blush comes in two shades and the shade looks promising. I got the 01 I'm Glowy variant and I'm pleased that it is handy and really compact. It also comes with a small blush and this added shade gives me something new to play with.

Another pink in the box, the Maybelline Lumineyes in Wine has a really nice design. I also don't think the applicator on this one will be quite useful for me. But the shades are too shimmery for me, so I think this is one of those palettes that can be used well during the evenings. I really want to play with these already and experiment with looks but I'm still waiting for my eye brushes to arrive. I want to take advantage of my sister being home right now and I can apply makeup on her... But please don't let her know that.

Now I am really excited to try this out. This is my first time coming in contact with a BB stick. It's said to have 8 benefits and could make skin shine-free. I have yet to find out if it goes well with my skin tone, if not, then it will be a loss for me.
Another interesting thing in the box is the Clear Smooth Foundation. It's in Sand Beige. I haven't tried it yet but I really wish from the bottom of my heart that it will work because I would also like to bring a compact foundation with me instead of the loose powder form that I am currently using.

Here are other stuff that are included in the box. I also received a Maybelline card that I could use for discounts when I purchase from Maybelline counters in malls. The only downside to this is that there really aren't any Maybelline counters here in the city.

There is also a voucher here that I could use for a free Lip and Eye Makeup Remover and the BDJ Box curation card.

So what do I think of the box? I really like everything in it except for the Baby Lips balm because it really does not work for me. But other than that, I am pleased with the new addition of cosmetics in my collection thanks to the combined efforts of Maybelline and BDJ Box.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Basic Words in Chavacano + How To Get Around

How are you?

You know some of you have made my day by dropping comments and it just makes me feel inspired that I am doing something thoughtful in your lives. Want an example?


Thank you Ms Say for sharing your story. I'm glad that the prize you won  from my blog giveaway has helped your kids learn to read. I would also try to see how I could grab a copy of the second one and hold another giveaway. Even Ms Theresa explained to me that she went out to buy the same book just so she could read it because she didn't win the said giveaway! =) 

It just gives me the idea that the ladies I am reaching out to are also bibliophiles and I think I can share some of my books too.  It's really pleasant listen to you and please keep me updated! Now I am more inspired to gather some great books and share them with you. =)

So are you ready for a quick Chavacano lesson? Let me give you some quick facts too. So, exercise your tongue and here we go. 

Introducing Yourself

Well, let me be honest with you. Some people can tell if you are not from around here. It's easy. You don't speak the dialect. Even if you have picked up a few words, the intonation and accent gives you away. But don't let this fact stop you from learning. Chavacano de Zamboanga is a rich language that could be fun only if you have the patience to learn it. It may take time for you (as with all languages) to pick up the right fluctuation with words, but with enough immersion, you can blend in just like a local.

Chavacano is referred to as broken Spanish. There are certain factors as to why it is so. First, it's not a formal language, and secondly, it's been integrated with many borrowed words from its users over time, like Cebuano and even Filipino. I will explain the historic fusion of Chavacano later on. 

So how would you introduce yourself? 

You can start with "Quetal ya?" / How are you?

"Mi nombre es Raisa." My name is Raisa.

"Estaba yo na Tetuan," I came from Tetuan.

Got it? Now you can put it together in a sentence. And most probably you will be bombarded with "Ah, cuando lang tu ya liga?" Ah, when did you arrive?

And you can get the ball rolling. 

Well, when referring to someone other than yourself, I have to give you a fair warning. You have to show respect by using "uste or ustedes, or simply te"  Some poeple might use "tu" or "bo/ kombo" but older Chavacano people find it rude. Try as much as possible to use uste or ustedes, "Quetal ya ustedes?"

Saying Please and Thank You

Now if you have been shown a great time around the city by really nice people, it could be worth your while to say please and thank you, especially if you tried some cool dishes during your stay here in Zamboanga. Yes, one way to get to know a city and its people is through the food that they offer you.

You might have heard of this one already. You can say please by "Pabor or por pabor," in a sentence "Pabor alcansa con el sal" Please pass the salt.  Another way, "Habla ya lang con ele por pabor" Let him know, please. 

And once you got what you wanted, always acknowledge it by saying "muchas gracias, muchisimas gracias" Thank you very much or many thanks. Saying thanks is a sign of good manners. =)

Hailing a Tricycle

Now one thing you should know about Zamboanga is that taxis are scarce.  What floods the streets are tricycles. Non-airconditioned, over-charging tricycles. (Don't say I didn't warn you.) But in order to get around like a local, you've got to do it with a tricycle. Jeepneys are fine, but if you're new and don't know where to get off, you might get lost or even be late for an appointment. 

So in order to grab a ride via tricy, simply raise your arm when you are standing at the side of the street, establish eye contact with the a driver and make sure that the sidecar is vacant. If it is, the driver will pull right over and you can get in. 

"Manong, para na airport." Manong, to the airport. 

You might experience some haggling with the fare and the driver might ask for some landmarks to confirm the location but other than that, it's a good experience to tour the streets of Zamboanga in a tricycle. 

Now I just wish there were calesas in town to make it attractive to more tourists. It would be a blast!

 It's not a Max's ad I swear...

How did you find this quick lesson? What other words and phrases would you want to learn? You can let me know in the comments and I can prepare a post for it too. You can still join my October giveaway here.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I Got A Surprise for Mom's Birthday + Her Thoughts on the Pampering Gift Set

It's not really a good idea to let my Mom wait until her birthday to open her present. Once she finds out that she has presents, she opens it and there goes your pretty wrapping paper.

Originally, I bought her an October BDJ Box and hoped to get a bouquet of pink roses to go with it. But since I already scouted the contents of this month's BDJ Box, I decided to give her this one instead.She isn't really a fan of makeup, but this pampering box just hit the right spot and she is happy.

I got this really pretty ONE Naturales Forget Me Not gift box from Granton World for only Php 560. I paid with Paypal on a Monday and it arrived on a Saturday. It's my first time to shop in the said site and for every purchase, my account gains rewards. As for this first purchase, I got credited 1100 points already which I could exchange for future rewards items in the site. Not bad. Not bad at all.

You can tell why my Mom is really happy with this surprise. It's organic and has four pampering products inside. She really liked the box that is a cross between a crate for fresh produce and a cigar box. It's cute alright! Looking at it, one can get the feeling that there is an assortment of fresh goodies inside. 

Well, at least it's something similar to fresh produce. The labels on these cuties can testify! 

A closer look, here's something new that I am glad to have discovered today: Sweeten My Skin After Shower Skin Conditioner Bar. Instead of sticky lotion, all you have to do is use this. It smells of shea butter and the scent is really mild and refreshing. It's great for getting ready in the mornings. 

The body soap is really sweet smelling. No wonder because it's made of sweet honey. It's also said to be safe for sensitive skin. Mom doesn't have sensitive skin, but at least it won't cause her skin problems. At first whiff, she already told me she's afraid to use it because it might use it up in no time!

And to complete the box, there's body butter in Shea My Body and a body scrub in Citrus Peel. I took a peak before giving this to my Mom and it smells so darn goooooood. It's thick as far as creamy is concerned! As for the body scrub, the scrub makes use of sugar, so one would know that it makes use of organic and premium ingredients, but it's too runny and spills all over the place. It has a sharp, citrusy scent to it. 

I wish I could include a smiling photo of my Mom with her present but she is too shy. But it works for me that I went with my gut and switched presents instead. Mom is happy. =)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I Should Be Doing Something Else Right Now...

Do you ever get that feeling that you know you should be doing something else completely different and yet, you still go for the not so important tasks on your list? That's what I am feeling today. I can't divulge much details right now. But I can't seem to shake off this guilty feeling that I should be.... just... out there....

Here is the classic example of Monday Blues right here. Yep. Just that. You have witnessed it already.

I guess it's because  I have had expectations over the weekend and I was met with disappointments instead.

Well, at least, I have a mini haul from Sample Room to cheer me up. I have to thank my brother for picking this up in town for me. He is the sweetest baby brother! He is the only one who can pick up my packages (because he drives a car and I don't...)

This is what I got from Sample Room last week. I think I'm one of the last persons to chase after the Charm Powder Brush because it was such a hot item! And of course, OraCare mouth rinse. I am not a stranger to OraCare, in fact I have high praises for this brand. But I will provide the details later, ayt?

Just in case you missed it over the weekend, I have an October giveaway which is open internationally. You can also follow me in my networks:

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cheerful After Gray Skies

Last week was a mixture of ups and downs for me. But at least I already got to launch my October giveaway here. It's really getting busier and busier at work and more deadlines are creeping up, but that simply means we are gearing towards bigger things. Personally, I like to see developments in a company. I'm the kind of person who can be a sadist and a workaholic sometimes. (That's just a quick warning...) 

 So, let me get this out for a quick second. You know I have been thinking of a quick post about introducing basic words in my local dialect and I'm already listing them down. I could start with 10-15 words or phrases then eventually introduce sentences that are used in daily conversation.

San San's Gray Skies is a part of the nail polish haul I took home last weekend. You can tell that San San is beginning to be my go-to for long lasting nail color. I hope the other brand does not feel insecure about that.

This nail color from San San is called Gray Skies. For only Php37 or less than a dollar, one can get a smooth nail color that, when topped with a good top coat, can last for a full week! I think it's a really pretty color that can neutralize the loud colors.

As you know, I am a part of a conservative work environment and it's not always a good idea to flaunt loud nail color. I used this on a Friday casual day nail color as shown below, with the pastel pink on the fourth finger on my left hand. But for the weekend, it could be a breath of fresh air to wear under blue skies. Having gray skies and gray nails can be repetitious, not to mention boring.

Have a good Sunday and watch out for my series on basic Chavacano words and phrases. It will be fun! =)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Raisie Speaks October Giveaway

I guess today is one of those days when I would just want to catch my breath. There is so much going on in my life, and it's leaving me really confused. But I do believe that the month of October holds a lot of hope. For one, every October, people here in Zamboanga City honor The Lady of the Pilar and visit her shrine. Pilgrims come to visit from all parts of the country and all walks of life.

For many years, La Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar is believed to be responsible for many unexplained miracles, protecting the people and sometimes residents report to seeing her on the shores of the beach. One simply needs to ask the long-time residents for these stories.

Another thing about October is that it is my grandmother and mother's birthdays. Fun month, right?

So on to the loot. Earlier I asked the members of my Facebook page to choose between a beauty loot or fashion loot. It was a close call and so, I will unveil the beauty loot!

I've packed it neatly in a box which I have recycled. You can see that I included 3S False Lashes, Carbtrim sachets, Physiogel Intensive Cream, OraCare in Merrymint, OMG in First Date, plus Chic 2 Way Nail Design Pen. But that is not all, I also have a surprise for the lucky winner that will be revealed later. Hint, do you like accessories? =) 

To make it more fun, I am going to make this an international giveaway since we have international friends frequenting my blog these days. This will serve as a warm up for the upcoming anniversary next month. There are a lot of exciting things happening these days and I would really like to say thank you to each and every one of you who keep supporting my blog, my crazy writing, my thoughts, everything. 

Just a quick note, I am the sole sponsor of this month's giveaway and acquired these items with my own budget. It's my way of saying thanks... =) 

So before I get mushy-mushy, be sure to enter your correct and valid details below

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

It Sure Is Peachy Keen.... Product Spotlight on San San Nail Polish in Raspberry Peach

Here is a personal observation...

Every time I visit the HBC store in town, I gravitate straight towards the nail polish section. Sure, I'm not going to be the first person to say that there are so many interesting and colorful products in line, but I guess that's just the effect San San nail polishes have on me ever since I tried Touch of Tan.

One of the colors that I got from my latest weekend haul is San San's Raspberry Peach. It's a deeper version of Perfectly Pink. It is one of those frosty shades with minuscule glitters that look a bit too dark when already applied on medium skin tone. I was thinking that I could get something a little appropriate for work and not gain too much attention on my hands. However, I find it to be nice when worn outdoors on vacation mode, so it's still a keeper somehow. (I have problems letting go of nail polishes that I come in contact with...)

I am kind of in the middle with this shade. Though I think this would be great for those who like frosty, peach-pink shades. But for a conservative working environment, I would prefer something a little lighter and not too frosty, I would lean towards something that is "barely there". I think Bobbie's Fave Bikini would be a good match but my bottle has already dried up and I don't really like the consistency after a few uses, it tends to be sticky.

One thing great about Raspberry Peach is that it requires only a couple of coats to get the color right and it's quick drying. I also really adore that it does not chip nor crack, that's one really good payoff with San San and its nail polishes. Now this got me curious as to what the other shades for the holiday collection would be.. 

 What are your favorite San San nail polish shades? What shades would you like to try?

For more updates, you can follow me on

The Secret For Being Ready For Anything

I think that term ibuki has dual facets when applied to women.

Defined as inner strength, ibuki reveals that women possess gentleness and grace-but a woman also has the drive and desire to fulfill her dreams. An admirable woman will do what it takes to achieve her ambitions.

A woman building her career has to be ready for anything. She has to possess the skills, confidence and the excellence to be good at what she does. Confidence can be achieved knowing that you have outstanding skin. This is one way of facing anything.

That's the concept behind Shisheido's Ibuki skin care line. Purchasing the whole skin care line can be expensive for someone sticking to a budget. But Sample Room has made it available for those who want to experience ibuki for the skin.

I got to try the Purifying Cleanser and Softening Concentrate thanks to Sample Room.


 Shisheido Ibuki Purifying Cleanser

It's not my first time to try a cleanser from Shisheido. But the prices from this particular brand can be pretty intimidating. However, there is always quality to look forward to.


  • It may not look like it, but the pure white foam has gentle exfoliating beads that deeply cleans
  • This could be the right cleanser for oily-dry skin
  • It is gentle and the good lather can have a positive gentle massaging effect on the skin
  • Requires only a pea-sized amount for a good clean!
  • It is also concentrated
  • I find that it dries the skin a little

Shisheido Ibuki Softening Concentrate

I have wondered why Shisheido would call their toner/freshener a softening concentrate. I believe that it is to distinguish it from other brands' toners and fresheners because admittedly, it is unique and is beginning to be my favorite skincare product. I've always thought and desired for my skin being even in tone and firm to face the demands of my days. Now it is possible. 

  • It is a multi-effect product in one, it softens, tones and firms!
  • The substance glides on very smoothly on the skin
  • I really like that it has no sting unlike any alcohol toners that I have tried, this is the superior plus factor for me!
  • The sample size is too small, this is my only complaint (after all it is a sample) which leaves me with the option to....
  • Repurchase (I have to save up for this, but I think it will be worthwhile).

My Overall Thoughts

I really thought that the quest for balanced and healthy skin for me would be an elusive concept, not until I found ibuki and the inner strength not just for me but also for my skin. 

So how do I make sure that I am ready for anything?

My formula would have to be:

My Skills 
Healthy and Balanced Ibuki Skin
The Desire to Be Excellent
Being Ready for Anything

I draw my inner strength from the fact that I have what it takes to accomplish my tasks, and that I have good, healthy skin to back me up. 

What do you think of the beauty bios that I made? How about you, how do you make sure that you are ready for anything?

Sunday, 6 October 2013

amBAG: A Thousand Bags For a Thousand Smiles

Growing up, a child becomes familiar with the everyday encounters that surrounds him or her. As long as there  is family who can provide shelter, food and the basic necessities a child needs. But the recent crisis that has beset my hometown has left many families displaced, and kids have not only lost their homes, they also have lost their school materials, toys, and other material possessions that offer them familiarity in a different situation.

Adjusting can be difficult for young children, and they need all the guidance that they can get. But with our help, we can bring smiles to these children's faces through amBAG.


amBAG is a Filipino word that means a form of contribution or a share in a collective affair. As an initiative, it is our CONTRIBUTION to help the people who lost their homes and their lives and our SHARE in the realization of the children's dream to be educated and be the youth of tomorrow.

Approximately 10,018 structures were razed to the ground during the Zamboanga crisis, according to the Bureau of Fire and Protection. Some among the important structures ravaged by fire were schools. The Department of Education reported that the tragedy also affected over 20,000 students, causing some to vacate their homes and preventing them from going to school.

                The amBAG project is a post-rehabilitation initiative by Ateneo de Zamboanga University that aims to address the basic educational needs of the students who were affected by the crisis. It will aid them in their journey back to normalcy. The team behind the project believes that it’s the community’s moral obligation to help in upholding the right of education of the students, especially now that an incident of great gravity have caused the access primary education be tough and elusive.


Elementary students from the areas of conflict, namely, Mariki, Rio Hondo, Sta. Barbara and Sta. Catalina, will benefit from this project. Each child will be given a bag filled with school supplies and other school needs.


            Donations for the initiative may be given in CASH or IN KIND. Cash donations may be deposited into the BPI Account Ateneo de Zamboanga University 2111-0001-42 and email the deposit slip to ambagzamboanga@yahoo.com or notify (0906) 353 7767.

In kind donations may be dropped off in the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Fr. William H. Kreutz, SJ campus or sent to El Consejo Atenista Office, Ground Floor Xavier Hall, Fr. Eusebio Salvader, SJ Campus, Ateneo de Zamboanga University La Purisima Street, Zamboanga City, 7000

                Each Bag To School kit is valued at P500. Every donation will help in gathering the necessary school supplies needed for the kits. It will make a student go to school for the year and will make his dreams closer to reality.

                The collection period for the project will run from September 30 to October 25. The kits will then be distributed on November 4, 2013.

We’re inviting everyone to join in this effort of providing a thousand bags for a thousand smiles.

amBAG Back-to-School Kit
Based on Department of Education and Save the Children, Inc. standard

Rubber eraser
Notebook, composition, no spring, 80 leaves
Notebook, writing, no spring, 80 leaves
Glue stick, long
Crayons (12)
Long brown envelope
Short folder
Pencil sharpener, double
Pencils, Mongol #2
Pencil case, tin or plastic
Raincoat, plastic, kid’s size medium
Backpack, medium
Long plastic envelope
Lunch box 5”x8”x12”
Tumbler, plastic

A complete set is costed at P500.00