Category: Personal

How I was sort of kidnapped in a mall in Singapore

Yesterday, I flew in to Singapore for a short vacation and to spend time with family and friends. 

Later that same evening, I went to an upscale mall near the City Hall MRT Station to have dinner with friends. I thought I could easily find the restaurant as it was supposed to be near the exit. Although my friend’s directions were a bit confusing, I had full confidence I could find the place. I like exploring the large, byzantine malls in the Philippines, so I thought I was in my element.

I couldn’t have been more wrong haha.

A few minutes after I exited the train station, I found the entrance to the mall. I was busy messaging my friends when a Singaporean woman called my attention. When I looked back, she was right behind me, telling me about some product.

She handed me a free packet of a moisturizing cream. The next second she was applying hand cream on the back of my hand. She asked me if I had a minute, and I said I did not, and that I needed directions. She pulled me to their shop, and asked me to wash off the cream on their sink. She left me to wash my hand, but only for a moment.

She returned right away and blabbered about their products, while applying what seemed like facial wash on my left cheek. She asked me what I use on my skin, then proceeded to point out all the flaws on my face. I didn’t mind, although I was in a hurry. And I felt it would be rude to leave while she was talking.

And so she talked and talked, applying product after product on half of my face (so I had makeup on the other half haha). She said I had terrbile skin, and seemed genuinely curious if I take care of my skin at all. (Looking back, it was so funny. Annoying and inconsiderate, but funny.) 

She had rapidly changing emotions as she fired away and berated me about my skin care regimen: exasperation (“You have such great skin but you don’t take care of it”), annoyance (“If you were given the chance to get rid of your blackheads, why won’t you do it?”), compassionate (“I know you want to have clear skin, so I’m going to give you a good deal”) , to solid IDGAF-anymore attitude (“You say your skin is getting itchy? Fine, then don’t take it if you want it”).

It lasted for about ten minutes. When I had the chance to speak, I told her I didn’t want it, and that my skin was irritated (to which she said “fine!”).

So what did I learn?

  1. Trust your instinct. Don’t talk to strangers who make you feel uncomfortable.
  2. Don’t trust people who talk too fast. They’re trying to get you to reach into your wallet faster.
  3. Learn to say no and walk away! Haha

I’m not saying that this can happen to anyone who visits Singapore. I’ve experienced this before in Manila (in a mall called Glorietta). I practically had to run away to get as far as possible from the saleslady.

Have you ever fallen victim to this trick before? I hope you didn’t shell out a stupendous amount of money for it. Tell me about it in the comments! 

woman writing in a field

Traveling to Forget? Here are Real Stories to Help You Move On

Many of us have been there: once, we wanted to get away from everything after a heartbreak. I’ve read about this on different travel groups in Facebook that to me, it has almost become clichéd to travel to nurse a heartbreak.

I’ve been there before, but I was younger and didn’t have the money for a getaway haha. What I did was to look outward and be more sensitive to other people’s suffering–I knew there were so many who had it worse.

This is what I recommend that you do, too. Starting this month, will run its Breakup Blog Series to promote their first featured ebook “I’m Moving on From Breakup.” Here, many others have shared their experiences for other women, namely:

AJ Villamar– a Social Media Assistant Reporter for The Philippine Star. She creates art to express herself and dedicates poems for her faith and the people she treasures most.

Arlene Cheng– a former missionary teaching Math in Port Moresby and now lives in Papua New Guinea. She believes that a good attitude will enable blessings to be multiplied and shared among others.

Dani Hernandez – an aspiring promothean and creative writer who works as Human Resources Officer for a marketing and advertising company.

Elle Hucal – A blogger who started her site as an online diary while managing her fashion shop, The Brown Spot.

Janis Narvas – A marketing associate in a firm in Makati who loves locally sourced coffee, a bowl of zesty pho, and rusty old trains.

Nini Perez – An entrepreneur, wife, and mother to a very energetic toddler who advocates for natural parenting and breastfeeding.

Paula Cabildo – A beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogger who describes herself as Jane-of-All-Trades.

Thewata Hernandez – A lifestyle blogger, food lover, and dreamer who believes that everyone can achieve each goal with dedication and hard work.

Tine Ibanez – A freelancer who writes poems when inspiration strikes from watching Asian series and anime.

If you’re currently traveling to nurse a broken heart, I recommend that you read these stories. There’s nothing more helpful than hearing other stories who have been through the same experiences.

Watch out for my story to be published between August 14 and 20. Subscribe to today.

March Blog Challenge

For my last entry to our ongoing blog challenge at the office, I chose to post a photo collage rather than a photo essay (sorry, Jonjon!). These are my co-workers from my previous job with whom I’ve spent more than two years. I have nothing but good things to say about these folks. In fact, I have every reason to be thankful that I had the opportunity to work (and have fun) with each of them. My first leadership role would not have been as rewarding if I did not have these awesome, talented folks on my team.

photo collage

From the bottom of my heart, thanks, guys! 🙂

This post is my entry to a blog challenge at work.

February Blog Challenge: Love

Love is when you can rest easy even when you’re out in a scary world filled with big people. It’s an all-consuming courage that will empower you to soldier on and brave even bigger battles in life even when you want nothing more than to retreat to your tiny comfort zone. To love is to be courageous and bold, even when everything in the world tells you there’s no reason to be.

Do you agree? What’s your definition of love?

cats on a PNR station

This post is my entry to a blog challenge at work.

February Challenge: Color

When I was little, I read somewhere that the more colorful the food, the healthier it is. I think that holds true for hot pots as well: the more colorful it gets, the yummier it is haha. I’ve always been a fan of hot pots and what we call in the Philippines sabaw (“soup”) dishes, especially when I get to put all the things I love in the pot: mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, onions, shrimp, squid, lentils and more mushrooms.

seafood hotpot

This was my lunch when I went to Alishan National Forest Recreation Area 阿里山國家風景區 in Chiayi County 嘉義縣, Taiwan 中華民國. I have no idea what we ordered (was it seafood hot pot?), but it was delicious and filling.

This post is my entry to a blog challenge at work.

February Challenge: Festive

Makati walkway

When I was 16 years old, I almost had an emotional breakdown at this spot. That was more than 10 years ago. I remember being overwhelmed by everything: the men’s suits and their wrinkled ties, the women’s black pencil skirts and modest heels; the number of people mindlessly rambling along, following the rhythm of the beating cold heart of the city. I couldn’t handle how gray everything was; everyone had blank expressions. I thought I was in a Philip K. Dick novel. I broke out in a cold sweat. I had to pause and breathe deeply before I could move along and rejoin the crowd.

12 years later, somebody must have had the same experience, so they decided to decorate this walkway with something that would trick the passers-by into thinking that this is a fun place. That is the only explanation I can think of for those mini-banderitas or flaglet-like installations in this picture.

This post is my entry to a blog challenge at work.

February Blog Challenge: Red

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “red” is bricks. I’m drawn to structures and buildings made with red bricks for some reason. I think next to wood, it’s the prettiest material to use in a building.

Church in Liliw

This is me with my roommates from college, Leslie and Grace, posing for a photo in front of the church in Liliw, Laguna. I think next to having a great sister, having good girl friends is the best a woman could wish for. 🙂

This post is my entry to a blog challenge at work.