Friday, June 11, 2010

Hail to sunblock

Summer is officially over here in Manila and rains are pouring again.  But whether it's sunny or rainy out here, I can't seem to go out without this sunblock. I just purchased another one yesterday though my old tube is still full, I'm afraid the shop in the mall near our place would again be out of stock. In fact, I think, if there's one reason I wouldn't want to immigrate to other country, it's having to leave this peace of gem. (hehe, i sound like a pathetic beauty junkie! actually you can order this product online). It's my little beauty secret, I think the reason why I look a bit younger for my age, hehe, is that I slather on sunblock every day whether I'll stay indoors or outdoors.

I started using "VMV Hypollergenics Armada Face and Body Shield  60" sunblock back in March 2007 or earlier when I was looking for a sunblock with the highest SPF.  Perhaps, I was just surveying the beauty counters until one saleslady egged me to buy this.  That sales girl probably put me on trance or something, hehe, I was surprised that I was convinced to buy an expensive sunblock like this (currently priced at P1,590 for an 85g tube, i can't remember the old price but about P1,000 too in 2007.)  There are cheaper and more tested brands out there. But perhaps, the reasons I had back then, are these:

High sun protection factor, SPF 60. The higher the sun protection factor (SPF) of a sunscreen, the longer you can stay under the sun before burning. For example, SPF 15 only allows you to stay for 150 minutes (15 minutes x 10)  or 2 hours and 30 minutes under the sun.
For face and body.  No need to purchase another sunblock for your face. Actually, the rule of thumb, in any beauty product, what you can put on your face, you can apply them on your body, shoulders, arms, legs, etc.  But vice versa, body lotions can't be put on your face, a no-no!
Makes you instantly "fairer."  Yeah, the moment you apply it! Credit that to the whiteness of the cream. When another sunblock manufacturer came out with a liquid transparent sunscreen, I switched to them and left my fave sunblock, convinced that your face can look ghostly with all its whiteness.  But in the end, I went back to using this sunblock because its whiteness actually makes you feel more protected. Why? Read next paragraph.
Won't be washed off in water.  Whether you're soaked in sea water or chlorine-based pool for hours, you will see that its whiteness won't be washed off easily, it may fade a bit but it sticks to your skin. So you feel kinda more protected from the sun with that "extra layer" of white coating on your skin.  But no worries, once you need to actually take 'em off, just take a bath, soap with water can take all of 'em.

However, there are a few cons to this product.  I am a bit disappointed that their new formula is more watery. Before, I didn't have to shake the product before using it, now I have to do so, otherwise, crystal-clear water would ooze out from the tube. The salesladies at their beauty counters explained they had to change the formula because others complained it's difficult to blend the product because of its thick cream. I had the same problem before, but I guess, I smartened up to it and used a creamier firming lotion first for my body before applying it. For my face, I always use a moisturizer before applying it. So I didn't have a hard time blending the product on my face and body.
One contradiction to this product is that even though it's SPF 60, you actually have to apply it every 1-2 hours when outdoors as its label suggests. Indoors, I think you can get away without reapplying it from time to time. But I guess, the reason why you need to reapply every hour or so is because, when you perspire heavily doing activities under the sun like swimming and strolling outdoors, the cream may come off easily on your skin.

But overall, I'd say I'll stick to this product until I'm old and gray. I forgot to mention that its product literature at the back of the product was actually the giveaway that convinced me to grab this product. It says: "comprehensive, intensive, opaque protection against skin darkening, skin cancer, photoaging, and melasma...helps lighten pigmentations and overall skin tone." Back then, it was my first time to read a skin product, which in a way, threatens you about skin cancer and melasma.  And obviously, the scare tactic worked and still works for me. :P

 By the way, if you want to try this product but decide to wait till the next sale period, don't wait. They never  put this product on sale now. And I don't think they will ever put it on sale. According to one shop, on average, they sell about 58 tubes per month. They can give up to 50% discount on all their other products but not this particular product. That's how popular it is, people would still buy it even though it's not on sale.  I'm just lucky that in 2007, they still put it on sale. But end of 2008 and last year, they never gave any discount on this product.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Simple things I enjoy doing with my hubby

I already enjoyed doing simple things with my hubby, then boyfriend, when we were not yet married. And when we tied the knot, I still enjoy doing the same old things. Only this time, it’s more fun and carefree. It’s probably because we now have more time to do those stuff, unlike before, when we have to get home by 12 midnight (yeah, just like Cinderella!).

So here’s my list, not in order; here are some random, simple things I enjoy doing with my hubby, 7 years ago up to present…

  • Having caf√© lattes with Belgian waffle in a quiet, coffee shop (But if the coffee shop is jampacked, I’d rather go home.)
  • Watching comedy flicks at home
  • Swimming in a pool, not beach, and racing with hubby ( I love it also when I win!)
  • A leisure walk in a decent park (What I mean by decent is that there are no couples hanging in the park who can’t afford to get a room!)
  • Role-playing like deranged co-hosts of an AM radio station (We usually do this when he’s driving and traffic is so bad in Manila!)
  • Jamming (He plays the guitar, while I sing, and then we wait for a rain or storm!)
  • Shopping and then he’ll pay (hehe, love the shopping part and not having to pay for it!)
  • Riding a bus or car and leaning my head on his shoulder
  • Teaching hubby how to count 1 to 100 in Chinese
  • Praying with hubby (Assures me that I’m with the right man)
  • Reading bible verses to hubby while checking if he’s still awake (Hehe, I know I have to stop when I hear him snoring.)
  • Watching hubby snore (it’s a bit loud, I get embarrassed others may hear it, hehe. One time we’re in the hospital, I was afraid a sleep therapist may approach him.)
  • Getting tickled to death (Actually, it’s hubby who likes doing this to me, but I enjoy having the license to scream! He only stops when I’m out of breath already!)
  • Going out-of-town (I enjoy it even more now that we’re married, no more chaperones or reporting to parents!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

The red couch and the lady

In a posh furniture shop where modern pieces are the boarders…

Red couch: (excited) Hey Mr.Pale, I’m leaving this place any time soon.
Mr. Pale Couch: (poker-faced) Oh yeah.
Red couch: I know that look on the lady’s face, she likes me! Those who adopted my siblings have the same curious eyes. My siblings are colored black and brown, but they are head-turners. What more for someone like me who has flushed cheeks, auburn hair, and rosy glowing skin? Right?!
MPC: (deadpan). Whatever. Don’t be such a snooty.
RC: Can’t help it, I need to convince myself I look good. I’m dying to leave this place, I’m so bored here. I feel useless. I feel like we’re just gonna grow old and dusty here.
MPC: Uh-huh.
RC: I must admit my skin doesn’t look too flawless anymore, I have a few scratches here and there already. But I hope they don’t notice them. Oh well, here comes the lady again with her husband. I’ll keep my mouth shut and sit still now.

Lady: This red couch is nice. It matches the two red chairs we have on our dining table.
Hubby: It’s too red…
Lady: That’s the idea.
Shop manager: It’s actually a sofa bed, ma’am.
Lady: Oh that’s great. It doesn’t look like it. Unlike other sofa beds where metal frames are conspicuous, this seems just like an ordinary couch.
Hubby: Quite small for a sofa bed.
Shop manager: Not really sir. (proceeds to transform it to a bed). It even has a discreet magazine rack on its arms.
Lady: (gasps) Wow, even better.
Hubby: Yeah. But how come it only has 1 arm rest?
Shop manager: Sir, because the other side can be used to attach this leather stool to serve as an extension of the sofa bed. Actually, in the middle of this couch, there’s an arm rest or mini table (proceeds to demo again).

Lady: Nice. It’s as if we have 2-piece sofa set.
Hubby: But that looks weird, only one end of the couch has an arm rest.
Shop manager: You can swap the arm rest to the other side.
Hubby: (not really impressed) Oh. Do you have a measuring tape?
Lady: We’ll just see if it can fit in our pad.

After several measurements here and there…

Hubby: It fits.
Lady: So how much is this couch?
Shop manager: 29K+ + +… but it’s part of the sale, you get 30% discount for this.
Lady: Too steep.
Hubby: Yeah, for a sofa bed, that’s expensive. (looks around) How about this beige sofa bed? I think this is even more spacious than the red couch. The color doesn’t look loud.

The couple looks all over the place again.

Lady to shop manager: We haven’t decided on anything yet. We’ll look in other shops too. Maybe we’ll come back later.

Red couch: Oh no, the hubby likes you better than me!
Mr. Pale: (suddenly interested) I know and I’m sure it’s the husband who has the last say because he’ll be the one paying for me. So, I bet I’m gonna say goodbye to you first.
RC: Bummer!

After an hour…

Lady: You know, I still prefer the red couch. It’s a bit expensive than other sofa beds and recliners but it’s multifunctional. It has…. (yakity-yak-yak)
Hubby: OK, let’s go back and buy it.
Lady: Yay!

Back at the store…

Lady: We’ll buy this. Do you have a new stock?
Hubby: Do you have black or beige couch like this?
Shop manager: Sir, ma’am, it’s the last piece. I already checked with our other branches.
Lady: Yaiks. I don’t like buying the last piece.
Hubby: Maybe let’s opt for the bigger beige couch.
Lady: Uhmnn, no. Hey, give us a higher discount, like 50% off, it’s the last piece plus I saw a tiny scratch over there.
Shop manager: I’m afraid that’s not possible ma’am, this is on sale already.
Lady: C’mon, talk to the owner first. Isn’t the lady over there the owner?
Shop manager: No, ma’am, but she’s my boss. I’ll ask her. Wait.

After a minute…

Shop manager: Sorry, ma’am, but we can only give you 5% off more, so that's 35% off from regular price.
Lady: (facing husband) What do you think? Your credit card or mine?
Hubby: Ok, ok. Charge it to my credit card.

RC: So long, Mr. Pale Couch.
MPC: Crap! Don’t rejoice too soon.

After a few months... in the new home of the red couch…

RC: I feel ugly. Why do these little dust and dirt keep on sticking to me? I was cleaned three days ago, but look at me now.
Lady: (frustrated) I thought this WipeOut is supposed to remove the stains and different forms of dirt on leather. But so far, it’s only making the couch shiny, but the small dark spots are still there.
Hubby: I remember telling you that a leather couch is more difficult to maintain.
Lady: (sighs) And what am I gonna do with this ballpen ink stain?

So the lady is googling now to know what kind of cleaning agent should work best for the red leather couch.

So far, I’ve got cologne, alcohol, metal hydrate solution (??) and sunblock. But I’m afraid to try any of these on the beloved red couch. Sighs. Will google for more insights.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why people resign and won't resign

I have some stuff to blog about, but lately, I have been quite busy with work, actually more of labor of love, in the church. But this news I learned from CNN just awhile ago gives me the nudge to go online and blog.

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama resigned officially today due to broken campaign promise. He is the fourth prime minister to resign in Japan in four years. For us Filipinos, this is laudable; it shows “delicadeza,” utmost humility, highest regard for reputation, even respect to one’s self. Here in Manila, we have politicians who eat criticisms for breakfast, even lunch and dinner from all sorts of media outfits and yet they don’t mind, they will stick to their posts no matter what. The best model for this is outgoing President Gloria Macapagal who doesn’t care even if her reputation gets tarnished, if co-politicos and citizens get insane over her management style, what matters to her is she’s insanely greedy for power.

But enough of the politics. I just can’t help but wonder why some people resign and why others won’t. I just learned that my former editor in chief is being terminated or forced to resign from the company. I kinda pity her because the GM won’t give her desired back pay, won’t allow her to write the editor’s note anymore, and won’t even allow her to join the staff pictorial (everyone is in the picture, except the eic!). She’s being resolute that she won’t resign until next year, though the GM wants her out fast. I know she’s largely to be blamed for the termination, but the way the GM rudely treats her, I feel that she’s being more pathetic by trying hard to cling to her post. When I was still in the company and she had no one else to talk to, she told me privately that she wanted to quit already. That time, that early, she knows she can’t stay long in the company, but now that the time has come for her to leave in peace, why does she have to be irrationally obnoxious about her position? Maybe she earns too much she can’t let it go. But I think, it’s more of pride.

Oh well, maybe that’s it. People either resign or don’t and won’t resign out of pride. The Japanese prime minister resigned to save his dignity, whatever is left of it. My former EIC won’t resign out of pride, maybe the longer she stays, the longer she feels she has kept her dignity intact.

Looking back, I realized I had my own share of resignations from companies as well. I had seven companies since I graduated in 2002. My first job was editorial assistant for a TV guide magazine but barely after a month, I resigned because I felt it was boring. I was hoping to write articles, but because I was an editorial assistant my main job is to furnish all the photos and research materials the EIC needs, not write articles. I found myself dozing off several times at my desk, haha.

Then, I landed a job as a regular writer for an e-business magazine, but because I felt they are not paying me much, I looked for other jobs. The editor in chief of then popular business magazine got me also as a regular writer. I was happy with my paychecks until I was forced to resign from my first regular writing stint when the company found out I was writing for a would-be business competitor that time. Aw, so I resigned out of delicadeza also, hehe.

Then I became a researcher for an award-winning news and public affairs TV program. I enjoyed the pressure and the fact that my stories are changing a nation. I wouldn’t forget our local government agency banned the sale of acetone in any drugstore and sari-sari store when the head of that agency learned from my interview with him that acetone has serious health repercussions and that others are getting addicted to it. So even up to now, acetone manufacturers would write in their labels “nail polish with acetone” instead of purely acetone. Blame it on me! I know that the erratic schedule was doing something on my health, that even though my late beloved Nana knew I was enjoying my time there, she asked me to resign because barely two weeks on the job, I lost 10 pounds! But I didn’t resign, I lasted for almost a year there. Not until I realized I couldn’t even find time to go out with my boyfriend (now hubby) and friends who even went near my place of work so we can hang out. I resigned because I realized it’s not the job I wanted to have until I grow old. I said, I don’t want to be still doing this when I get married and have kids. I went back to my passion, magazine, which I feel, gives me more freedom in time.

I then became the editor in chief of a new lifestyle magazine. I was 24 years old and I felt boastful of my position though a bit lost. I got help from my friends. But even though I was working 24/7, and gave more money than what I received from my salary as EIC, the company folded. Damn the publisher, he had too many wives who mismanaged the funds for the printing of the magazine! They even owe me 20,000 bucks up to now. But it was somehow God’s way of showing me where I should really be. I told myself the next job I should have must be an editor, not a writer. Luckily, I got to be managing editor of one of the biggest printing companies. Again, I was a bit boastful that I get to be the managing editor of 3 magazines and 2 song hits. But then, lo and behold, I realized I couldn’t tell anyone which magazines I work for, because the 3 magazines are smut magazines! After a month, I resigned! After a long talk with my boyfriend-now-hubby, I realized my conscience can’t take it to pollute the minds of my already perverted readers. So I resigned!
Then I got to be an editor of a health and parenting magazine. It’s actually a dream job for me. Good paycheck, sense of fulfillment, all the works are there! But sadly, I had to resign, this time, for my health. For wanting a baby so badly, I need to fix my own physical problem first. So now I’m back to being a bum, haha. But no regrets. And I realized, out of the many goodbyes I had with these companies, there was only one company which I resigned out of pride. So maybe I should congratulate myself, hehe, for having more reasons to resign other than pride.

Oh well, this is too long. I need to log off now. I have to go to church for another “labor of love.”