Bag Crush: Sakroots Crossbody Satchel

My newest bag crush is Mommy JuvsSakroots Crossbody Satchel in a flower power print.  So pretty!


When I saw her bag, which is made of uncoated canvas, I immediately thought of my Tulisan Hobo Tote Bag. How I wished I brought it with me to Cebu last weekend.  Sister bags sana ang peg namin, hihi!

I love, love the fabric print of her bag. It’s like a happy mural painting printed directly into the bag. The colorful summer blossoms inspire creativity and positive energy.  Ang sarap sarap nya tignan.

What is Sakroots?

Sakroots is a gallery of colorful & original art featured on bags, shoes, tech, wristlets & wallets, travel, stationery, home and jewelry appealing to the artist, musician and nature lover in all of us.  Each collection features original artwork from Sakroots’ artist circle gallery of prints and textured embellishments such as crochet accents, giving the collections a relaxed vibe and tying back to the brand’s heritage rich in texture.

Aside from the cheerful art print, this Sakroots bag is filled with whimsical details:




At dahil hindi ko bag ito, I wasn’t able to take pictures of its interior anymore.  But here’s how it looks like (picture grabbed from Sakroots’ official website):


The bag’s lining is made of polyester material.  There are 2 mini-pockets and 1 zippered pocket inside.  The compartment’s deep and has a rectangular base, making it easy to organize your stuff inside.

Love this bag?  Look for this and other cute and colorful Sakroots bags and accessories at selected The Travel Club stores.


The Good Stuff #6

It’s been a while since I last wrote about food, and it’s not because I have ran out of food discoveries to share.  I guess I got too comfortable instagramming my food and sharing it real time, instead of making an effort to write about it in the blog.

And because I’m not creative at all when it comes to captioning my Instagram photos, I would leave out a lot of details that I’d like to remember later about the food I had.  So when I start to back-read on the pictures I’ve shared or someone would ask me about the food I posted in IG, I would rack my brain for details!

So I promised myself that I will now regularly update the “good stuff” feature in the blog, and starting with this list #6, will feature more food stuff in collage form to make it look like a feast always!

Here are among those that I’ve raved about the past months, which deserves special mention:


Clockwise from top left:

1.  Stuffed Squid at Mesa.  We keep going back to Mesa for this seafood + pork dish that’s a lot of ulam in itself already.  It’s like having fried squid with crispy flour coating + stir-fry ground pork with sweet tamarind sauce in one dish.  Ito lang at tig-isang plain rice, solve na k’me ni AJ!  It’s very inexpensive too, costing less than P300.00 and is good for sharing.

2.  3N Bakery’s Toasted Siopao.  Our office colleagues in Bicol would always bring us 3N Bakery’s famous toasted siopao every time they are here in Manila.  Lagi namin pinagkakaguluhan ito.   So when a 3N Bakery opened a few blocks away from our home, super saya ko lang.  The toasted siopao may look like a regular pork bun outside but once you’ve taken a bite you’ll know that it’s more than that. They have put a nice twist to the classic monay bread roll by toasting it a bit to give it a crunchy outer shell.  There’s also a surprise inside this bread roll – ground pork cooked asado way and mixed with sliced boiled eggs.  Perfect as merienda, yum!

3.  Mango Bene cake from Mary Grace Cafe.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had this mango-based dessert at Mary Grace Cafe and I love the consistency of its home-baked goodness.  The sweet taste of this dessert mainly came from the ripe mangoes used and not from the sugar. So well done. So bene!

4.  Dried Guyabano (Happy Brand).  Every time I go to Cebu, I take home dried guyabano (sour-sop) as pasalubong instead of mangoes. Not only do they taste better; they are also priced way, way cheaper than dried mangoes. Also, I don’t get to hurt my teeth from biting into rubbery and hard dried mangoes (which comes even with the most expensive brand).

5.  Early Bird Breakfast Club’s Full English Breakfast.  What’s not to love about this breakfast meal that is not only beautiful to look at, but is really big in serving.  If you’re sharing this with somebody (and would not like to share on that bacon, haha!), you can request that it be served in individual plates like in the picture above.

6.  Uncle Cheffy’s Salad.  Breaded pork strips and potato wedges in a bed of vegetable.  I’ve never had a salad this good!

7.  Chitato!  It was my brother Dino who introduced me to Chitato – the popular potato chips brand in Indonesia.  He’s a frequent visitor there (because of work) and he never goes home without bags of Chitato chips.  I am also fortunate to have met Mba Dyah through AJ, who showered us one time with a box of Chitato chips in different, amazing flavors!  Believe me, once you’ve tried this you’ll forget how good our local potato chips are hehe!

8.  Heaven and Egg’s Angus Beef Tapa.  Their tapa is so good – rich in flavor and very tender.  Although I did find the price of this tapsilog meal a bit steep (P300.00++), sulit na rin because they didn’t scrimp on the tapa (which is what essentially made it expensive).  Try it!

9.  Food stuff from Indonesia.  I received a bag full of Indonesian goodies from Mba Dyah last month, mostly ready mix sauces that are very easy to use.  Perfect for a novice cook like me!   She also sent over packs of my favorite Indomie instant noodles, beef floss, beef jerky and Java Coffee!  What a haul!  Oh, watch out for some Indo recipes to be featured here in the blog – using Munik’s seasonings.

Before I end, here’s a interesting trivia about Indomie: it was ranked #1 in the “Twelve Gifts of Christmas” list made by Roger Ebert, a known film critic in the U.S, in 2009. Ain’t that cool?  Find out for yourself why Indomie is all the rage in Indonesia and other parts of Asia.  They are available in select Mercury Drugstore branches (food stuff section).

I hope you are all having a great mid-week!


The Foreveryday Ring

I’m very happy to introduce to you The Bright Spot’s first Holiday Jewelry Offering, which took some months of planning with my jeweler because I wanted to make sure that it’s gonna be within everyone’s budget:


Yes, it’s an eternity ring but is MORE than that!

An eternity ring is perhaps the most romantic ring that a guy can give you.  It symbolizes never-ending love, as shown by the continuous line of gemstones lining up the (white or yellow) gold band.  It is also the most delicate due to the presence of gemstones all the way round the ring, which can fall off if one is not too careful with her ring.

Although by tradition, eternity ring is given by a husband to his wife during a milestone wedding anniversary, the appeal and symbolism behind a diamond-surrounded ring band is so amorous that the gents have started giving their ladies this ring as “promise” of forever or never-ending love, and as a prelude to a marriage proposal.  So officially, this ring is different from an engagement ring which represents a “formal agreement to future marriage” (source).  Nowadays, brides-to-be prefer to have an eternity ring as her wedding band as well.

Very recently, two (2) of our biggest celebrities got engaged and both of them were gifted (by their future and moneyed spouses) with prong-set eternity rings:

Marian Rivera

Marian Rivera

Hearth Evangelista

Heart Evangelista

Aren’t they eye-popping?  The diamonds are sure BIG, judging at how thinner the ring fingers of Marian and Heart have become with the rings on!

I’m pretty sure a lot of you became very interested with their eternity rings, and who wouldn’t want to wear something that’s not only beautiful to look at but also has a very meaningful symbol behind it?

And so, I came up with an eternity ring design that is still based on traditional setting – angular instead of rounded prongs – for that ‘bespoke look’ (more on this later) but using an inexpensive substitute to diamonds.

I am talking about Signity stones, of course, which are extremely high quality CZs that look closest to a diamond.


Created in 1999 by the company that gave us Swarovski crystals, there is now a growing market in the U.S. for Signity stones which have become the bride’s next best friend (to diamonds).

I am calling this ring the Foreveryday Ring; joining together the words “forever” and “everyday” because this eternity or forever ring is made to be worn everyday!


Features of the Foreveryday Ring:

1.  It is set in 14k white gold, therefore has a high resale value as compared to gold-coated rings.

2.  It is surrounded by 0.10 pt. high-quality and imported Signity stones. The number of gemstones will vary according to your ring size.  To give you an idea, my size 4 ring has 18 pieces of 0.10 pt. Signity stones around it.

3.  It adopted the angular, instead of round, prong setting which I believe is a more secure form because it conforms to the shape of the stone.  Also, perfectly rounded prongs are harder to perfect by hand.  Yes, this is a bespoke ring indeed, molded according to your finger size and the number of Signity stones to fill up the ring.


And now, here’s an irresistible holiday offer that you shouldn’t miss:

From now until December 31, 2014, the Foreveryday Ring can be yours for just Php19,000.00!


Yes, you read it right: an eye-popping eternity ring that costs less than Php20,000.00!

The price is really budget-friendly, considering that our own wedding bands costs AJ and me Php20,000.00 or Php10,000.00 for each ring (at 2011 prices).

Here’s a side-by-side picture of the eternity ring and my own wedding band.  My wedding ring’s simple in setting, is unpolished and definitely lighter in weight as compared to the eternity ring.


Imagine if I’ve thought of this ring design way back in 2011 and made it my wedding band!  For an added premium of Php9,000, I’ll already have a thicker band surrounded by brilliant stones!

I made sure that the surface of each prong is smooth, so there’ll be no discomfort at all when you wear the ring  =)   I’ve been wearing mine for weeks now and it doesn’t leave scratches even when I wash my hands with it on.

Get your own Foreveryday ring now!  Let’s sparkle and shine this holiday season and in the years beyond!

To order, please email me at


GIGA opens in Cebu!

Good news to all GIGA fans in Cebu: no more waiting for your next trip to Manila to buy GIGA products, or for your friends to get them for you.  GIGA officially opened their first kiosk store at SM City Cebu last September!

photo 1

I first learned about GIGA through my sister-in-law, Juvvy of Mommy Juvs, who uses GIGA products on her and my nephew, Liam.  My family’s personal favorite is GIGA’s Baby Insect Repellant Spray which kept not just Liam, but all of us, free from mosquito bites and smelling good at the same time too!  Yes, the smell of citronella in this spray is not overpowering at all, parang cologne lang but you are actually wearing an insect repellant.

Because there’s no GIGA store in Cebu at that time yet, my mom would ask me to buy 3-4 bottles of their insect repellant spray and my dad would bring them to Cebu.

Juvvy fell in love with the rest of GIGA products, and I guess it rubbed off on me even though hindi k’me lagi nagkikita hehe!  I have already tried their Dry Mist Oil (Green Tea variant) which works very much like as The Body Shop’s Olive Dry Oil Mist.  I also received as gift last year GIGA’s Aromatherapy Soap (Peppermint variant) which I brought to one of my work-related trips last year but left in the hotel (sob!).

Seeing that she cannot have her regular supplies of GIGA in Cebu because they’re not readily available in the malls, Juvvy did the next best thing: she brought GIGA to Cebu!

photo 5

photo 4

I’m so proud of her!  She really has what it takes to be an entrepreneur!

But what I’m more proud of is her decision to support this homegrown brand which now has loyal followers from all over the country.

Equally inspiring is the story of GIGA’s humble beginnings (read it HERE).

By the way, GIGA means “God Is Good Always”.

I recently ordered (all the way from Cebu!) sets of GIGA’s best-selling aromatherapy soaps for my use and as gifts for Christmas.  They are available in 5 variants: Peppermint, Lime, Citrus, Lavender and Chamomile.


The colorful paper wrapper is from one of the wrapping paper books I have here.  I used my leftover Christmas-themed grosgrain ribbon to tie the gift, giving it a ‘holiday’ look.


Now, the shameless plug:  Give the gift of aromatherapy to your love ones and friends this holiday season. These GIGA aromatherapy soaps give off a relaxing after-bath feel while moisturizing the skin!

Looking for a quick way to wrap your GIGA gifts?  Ask about their holiday gift sets the next time you visit their kiosks!




To my readers and friends in the Queen City of the South: Do check out the first-ever GIGA kiosk store at SM City Cebu and discover the all-natural, all-effective and all-affordable personal care products from GIGA!


Introducing uberX: The Low-Cost Uber

My usual 30 minutes ride home became 3 hours yesterday, no thanks to the ulan-baha that started at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I took my usual uberX transpo going home, and I am very thankful that my driver (Kuya Teodoro) was alert the whole time we were battling traffic along Buendia, Taft Avenue, Vito Cruz and Zobel Roxas, where cars didn’t move for almost an hour.  Nakahanap k’me ng lulusutan and was able to cut some travel time while we were at Zobel Roxas.

Despite the horrendous traffic (and it’s everywhere!), I surprisingly didn’t lose my cool!  I made use of the time to read chapters of the eBook I’m reading (and I was able to finish it today, and I took lot of power naps. Yes, that’s how safe I feel when riding an Uber car – kaya ko tulugan yung driver hihi!

And my total ride fare? Only P477.00 for a 3-hour ride. Not bad at all, right? Para na rin akong nag-taxi minus the ‘kontrata’ thing with the driver.

How’s that as another good reason why you should switch to Uber, especially now that there’s uberX!

WHAT IS uberX?
uberX is a low-cost Uber option that combines the same great Uber quality and reliability you know and love with lower prices than ever before!


Ride Uber for LESS as the Uber experience you know and love just got more accessible!  Check out their taxi-equivalent rates!


uberX cars are on the road since August 21st!
1.  Open your Uber app and you’ll now see two vehicle options at the bottom: uberX and Black Car
2.  Slide the bar along to uberX to give it a try.


3.  Set your pickup location and tap ‘Request uberX’.


Easy peasy!

Want a free Uber ride?  Let me give it to you!  Use my voucher code vla4z when you sign-up at UBER to get P300.00 FREE credit that you can use right away!

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