December H.I.T.s

Happy Christmas, fellow wanderers!

What a busy month it has been! So many social happenings! No complaints, though, as it’s the only time I get to interact with people nowadays. *cue violins* Hihi.

I’m currently at the mall waiting for time to pass until the screening of Die Beautiful, which is like, an hour away as of writing. I don’t remember ever looking this much forward to watching MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) movies. Yes, plural. Just the other day, I watched Saving Sally with my PKFC friends and gosh was it the bomb dot com. Go watch it when you can. 🙂

Anyway, here are this month’s Happiness Inducing Things!

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Window Seat Weekly

Window Seat Weekly #001

Happy Christmas, everybody! I hope you’re currently enjoying the holidays with your family/loved ones! 🙂

Today, I am starting a new blog series where I’m going to share my weekly pop culture picks and random reflections. This is going to replace my Sunday Soupie series from a year ago (wait, what? THAT WAS A YEAR AGO?!), and going to be kind of like a more broken down version of H.I.T.s. (Ooh, I can already see where the problem is going to be, lol.) It’s also probably always going to be posted on a Saturday, thus the change of name.

A lot of my goals for 2016 were knowledge expansion-related, but since I didn’t get to completely finish my goals this year, I’m hoping this will really push me to actually read or discover new music or whatevs. Just hoping to get back to my 2012 self creativity-wise, really. Also hoping to get some recommendations from all y’allz in the future. 😀

ANYWAY! ON TO IT!

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October HITs (Happiness-Inducing Things) + GIVEAWAY

Back to blogging! And instead of starting off by apologizing for my absence, this time, I shall just dive right into this one! Haha. 😀

Introducing the new version of Stuff I Love. Decided to make a new series just because I’m obsessive-compulsive like that and I don’t want to continue so far away from where I left off (which was, erm, August of last year).

So here are the things that have helped make me happy (and my life much more awesome) as of late…

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Eco-Friendly Friday: Holiday Edition

It’s Christmastime once again! My favorite time of the year!

A lady I watched in a video last week called this season “a time of indulgence”. It is during this time when people go all out on their cooking (of hearty main courses and desserts, especially), decorating, gift-giving, and thoughtfulness. People who are supposedly on a diet can only ever try to go on a diet during this holiday. LOL.

Another thing I think this season is a time of, though, is excess. In the process of going all out, a lot of things get wasted along the way — food, gifts, wrappers, fruitcakes — to name a few. And in the spirit of ho ho honoring Mother Earth (next to Jesus, of course), I would like to share with you a few things you can do this season to be thoughtful not just to other people, but to the earth as well. 🙂

(Special thanks to fellow Planeteers E & T for chipping in ideas for this entry!)

1. BRING THAT ECO BAG! 

You’re sure to be buying a lot of stuff this holiday season, so make sure you bring your eco bag with you to store all those items in! Unless of course you’re buying from a branded shop and you specifically want their shopping bags to serve as your wrapper.

2. USE OLD MAGAZINES/NEWSPAPERS/PAPER BAGS AS WRAPPERS.

I’ve been wrapping my gifts with old magazine pages for a long time now. Got the idea off one of Candy magazine’s articles. I have not bought a single wrapping paper since.

Not sure if T got this idea from me (LOL WOW) but she wrapped her gifts in magazine paper this year too! Here’s a peek at her finished product:

YAY! :D (Credits to T for the picture!)
YAY! 😀 (Credits to T for the picture!)

Been quite lazy to sort through my old magazine pile this year so I opted to just use old paper bags to place my gifts in. The other night, I found myself going through our paper/plastic bags pile to look for the perfect paper bags for my gifts. This was what I discovered:

An impressive(ly dismal) collection of trash.
An impressive collection of trash. Que horror.

Gosh. My obsessive-compulsiveness definitely kicked in at this point so I ended up sorting all these by size and usability. Proud to say we now have an organized collection of presentable, reusable bags.

This, kids, is what happens when you don’t bring an eco bag. I cringe at the thought of all the trees I have helped kill. 🙁

3. GIVE PRACTICAL GIFTS

Self-explanatory. Give gifts that can either be consumed or utilized right away. Aim to not have your gift placed in storage, never to see the light of day. You’re not only wasting money, you’re wasting your friend’s time. #truth

Better yet, why not pool your gift money and give it to charity?

4. DON’T WASTE FOOD.

So much food goes to waste every year; Christmas season probably being the biggest culprit. Don’t cook too much food or get something off the noche buena/media noche table which you can’t finish. Keep in mind that not everyone will be eating as heartily as you this Christmas.

5. SET A SPECIFIC TIME FOR YOUR LIGHTS TO BE ON.

This season will never be complete without them Christmas blinkies. But do set a time for them to be on, so as to conserve energy. 🙂

Christmas at Covent Garden last year. :)
Christmas at Covent Garden last year. 🙂

6. DON’T BUY FIREWORKS

Please. They’re bad for your lungs and the environment. If you really NEED to make noise, buy a toy horn instead. Or use your car’s horn at the stroke of midnight. 🙂


 

If you have any more tips, do share them! 🙂 Have a Happy Christmas, wanderers! Here’s a picture of Spunky Clause and his awkward smile.

Heh.
Heh.

Eco-Friendly Friday: So what now?

The leaders of our nations recently convened at Paris for the Climate Change Summit. In its wake surfaced a couple of videos on the subject, informing the public about the current state and effects of climate change on us. I saw this one in particular just this morning.

A long, long time ago, I mentioned that I consider myself to be a bit of an environmentalist. The school I graduated from had long instilled in us the value of recycling and upcycling, as well as cleaning up after our own messes (in more ways than one, ooh). I can say with confidence that most of my school friends are definitely aware of the impact of our actions on the environment. This is also probably why I claim to be just a bit of an environmentalist —  because I personally know a few people who are more proactive and big picture-oriented when it comes to addressing these said environmental issues.

Anyway, so I watched this video, right? And after it made me feel scared for my future in this world as well as for the generations to come, it left me feeling irritated. Irritated because the media keeps bombarding us with documentaries and highfalutin articles about climate change, but never enough on how to actually do something about it. How we, as common individuals, can help reduce Mother Earth’s stress. That, or the people on my feed just really like sharing links such as this to elicit a response, without necessarily being the catalysts of change themselves.

So, alright, we already know that the ozone layer is damaged. We can already feel the effects on the weather, with Manila temperature still hitting 33 degrees celsius at this time of year… or typhoons still passing through our country as late as October. So what have we been doing to help this? Are you doing something? Have you seen the videos? How are you taking it?

I’m not going to go on preach mode ’cause I haven’t exactly done anything big or whatever to change how things are run environment-wise. But then again, the little things can go a long way. I’m personally tired of being all John Mayer-y and just wait on the world to change. Laws in our country take decades to pass and years to carry out so I’m not counting on that just yet. Though I’m quite happy that some corporations in our country are already doing their fair share of environmentally-friendly initiatives.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that change needs to ultimately start with us. So to get the ball rolling, I’d like to share with you some of the things we have been doing here at home to cut our carbon footprint. I’ll try to post a couple more in the future as a means as well of hopefully living a greener life. If you have been doing some environmentally-friendly actions in your own homes, please do share. Crowdsourcing is the way to go in this type of situation. I am happy and very much willing to learn from all of you!

Image taken from Google.
(Image from Google)

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STUFF I LOVE: August 2015

Well, now, somebody hasn’t done this for a while. (To be fair, that somebody hasn’t done anything else for a while so… consistent. LOL.)

This is going to be brief. And mostly beauty-related. (‘Cause I’m apparently vain like that now.)

So I’ve been trying out a couple of beauty products lately to fit my, uhh, “maturing” needs. By that, I mean I’m getting old(er) and I just couldn’t use the same products on my face anymore. Like recently, I’ve found myself letting go of my beloved Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion in place of a more suitable moisturizer aimed at firming the skin and getting rid of fine lines. (I don’t have obvious fine lines yet, thank God, but it’s still good to start early. As with eye cream. Did you know you’re supposed to start with that as early as 19 years of age?) Additionally, with all the gunk I’ve been putting on my face daily (for work), I’ve really been noticing changes in my skin compared to when I used to go faux naturel.

Anyway, most of the changes I’ve been experimenting with have been with make-up. I recently switched to MAC Pro Longwear Foundation (after being a Cover Girl… girl… for quite some time) and I’ve so far been really pleased with its performance. I mostly use this when I go on medium and long haul flights and let’s just say that after 14 grueling hours onboard from Manila to London, my makeup can still afford to go on tour for a few more hours.

sil0815_b

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Here Lies Love

Dear People of The World,

I would like to interrupt our regularly-scheduled programming of non-blogging with this, gasp, spazz entry about the recent musical I just watched entitled Here Lies Love. It is currently playing at the Dorfman Theatre in London and features our very own Mark Bautista and a bunch of talented actors I got the pleasure of seeing perform.

Lemme just say that I went into this without a solid background on what the musical was about; all I knew was that it narrated Marcos’ reign in the Philippines. When I saw the poster, though, I was all, “Wait. Imelda?”

Yes, Imelda. Party version.

hllukHere Lies Love is a concept album and rock musical made in collaboration between David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, about the life of the former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos along with the woman who raised her—Estrella Cumpas—and follows Marcos until she and her family were forced to leave the Philippines. ~ Wikipedia

I did not expect any of the things that happened that night. Like, at all.

Let’s start off with Lea Salonga. Yes, Miss Saigon herself. Purser and I were waiting for return tickets to come our way (’cause damn it, the place was sold out) when I turned my head around the room and spotted a familiar face. OH MY GODS LEA. Me to Purser: OMG SIR PLS TAKE A PIC OF US PLS PLS. Him: STAHP. (Not verbatim, lol) Unfortunately, my phone’s battery was already depleted so hohoho Merry Christmas to me.

Anyway, scored last minute tickets and when we went in, people in neon pink jumpsuits greeted us saying, “Welcome to Club Millennium!” OHKAE. Apparently, the tickets we got were for the standing room. We were all huddled up on the ground floor close to the stage when the “club DJ” welcomed us and laid out some house rules. Basically, we were instructed to follow the people in pink and move with the stage. Didn’t really understand why until the actors came out and performed for 90 minutes non-stop.

Oh my gosh, how am I to even articulate what had transpired in those 90 minutes? It went by so fast and everything was so fun, I couldn’t even. All I can say is that it was a feast for the senses! The beats were sick and the songs were so modern — something seriously new to me, especially when you say “musical theatre” (like, srsly, am I in a club or…?). The choreography was SO cute. I loved the precise movements of their hands, especially while Imelda was singing about her role as First Lady. The costumes (and the costume changes) were FABULOUS. Ninoy, in his crisp white suit; Imelda in her vintage-meets-modern dresses. Super love the one shown in the poster! Looks amazing in real life! Loved loved loved her white and red gown as well. CAN I HAVE IT.

I wouldn’t want to be the stage manager for this show ’cause the timed movements of the platforms and safeguarding of the actors who went down from the stage to break the fourth wall would have given me a heart attack. So seriously, KUDOS TO YOU, STAGE MANAGER. KUDOS TO YOU AS WELL, MR. DIRECTOR AND ALL YOUZ CREATIVE MINDS BEHIND THIS PRODUCTION (hello, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim). EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT. I loved the lights. I loved that I was given the opportunity to sing, dance (the “Filipino Square Dance”), and jump up and down (beside Lea, omg). I loved Natalie Mendoza as Imelda, with her killer voice and dance moves + amazing nuances. (So fierce, this woman, I swear!) I loved Mark Bautista as Ferdinand Marcos! Super nakakakilig! (Lea spazzed [TO ME OMG] how kilig she was when Mark came out on stage.) I loved Dean John-Wilson as Ninoy Aquino; his crooner voice and smooth moves. I loved Gia Macuja-Atchison (Lisa Macuja’s sister!) as Estrella! (I plan on covering Why Don’t You Love Me because of her and Natalie, lol). I loved the ensemble! Ang galing lang talaga eh! T_T I loved that, although the musical was conceptualized by Europeans, it still very much showed and captured the Filipino culture. I was so kilig when I heard Filipino pop cult references, modern lingo (“KALOKA!“), and swear words (yeah, haha) in the middle of the songs. It was one of the moments Purser, Lea, and I shared while in the audience, ’cause we were the only ones who laughed when these were uttered (especially when Imelda said P.I. HAHAHA).

I loved the ending so much. The artistry in depicting Ninoy’s death, Imelda and the strobe lights, EDSA Revolution, and KARAOKE! I loved that I got to learn new things about Imelda’s life and their reign as rulers of the Philippines. I seriously did not know that Ninoy used to date Imelda. 😐 Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned, indeed.

Guh. If any of you are in London (or New York), do catch this musical. You won’t regret it.

In the meantime, hello and goodbye! Back to the rock I’ve been living under for 6 months. LOL. (Follow me on Instagram and Twitter!)

Love, Abby ♄