A Quick Trip to Davao City

I spent 4 years of high school in Davao City. However, this is only the 4th time that I have visited the place after I graduated xx years ago.  It is because the bus ride from Butuan takes me 7-8 hours of travel. But because my friend, Maea, who lives in Singapore, was visiting and it might take a while before she will be back again with the family, I agreed to meet them. I arrived Davao the day before our scheduled get-together.   I arranged to meet up with my cousin, Baby (who got a new job so  yay!) and my friend, Gail, who was so kind to let me stay in their house.  Gail, Maea and I went to same high school and university. We also lived in the same dormitory in college.   Gail is my foodie friend so we went to a food trip as soon as I arrived (with my bags in tow!).

Food Trip

The first stop was in Kaizen.  It offered Japanese cuisine in a street resto setting like those in Tokyo. Gail was happy we got a table because  she said the place was usually packed with people. True enough, there were people waiting for their turn when we left. We got some ramen, katsu, curry chicken and DU30 roll (named after Davao’s famous resident).

Next stop was Yolks! We were easily attracted to its flowery display window. We got cream cheese cupcakes.

Our last stop was The Vegan Dinosaur.  Who would have thought that plant-based food can be filling?

 

Malagos Garden Resort

My friends and I finally met and we went to Malagos Garden Resort. There are so many activities for the kids and kids-at-heart. We saw a bunch of kindergartners on a field trip so we quickly went ahead to avoid the crowd.  Our first stop was the bird feeding area. And a bird landed on my head and I am not even feeding it!

There was a petting zoo.

There was a woody area. I felt like Little Red Riding Hood or maybe Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz since I have my red shoes on or maybe Alice in Wonderland because those cupcakes would be great for a tea party.

Actually, we were really in a real-life Chocolate Factory! Gail and I chose this place for the chocolate making activity! For a fee, you pick two molds and 3 toppings/fillings. You are then given 200 ml of chocolate.

Voila! These were some of our finished products.  The kid’s chocolates looked way better than mine so I made up for it by “prettifying” my box. Ha!

There are other activities you can do with the family here.

 

Davao Bamboo Sanctuary

Since we were already in the Malagos area, we might as well visit this resort whose photos made viral on social media.  Gail panicked when she learned I did not bring clothes for swimming. She was relieved when the resort staff told her that they sell swimwear. Ha! The manager of the resort welcomed us and the tour started with a little background presentation. The place was initially built for as a private family resort until a guest posted the photos and it went viral that they were forced to open it to the public.

We spent most of our time in the pool. The pool water came from the springs.

I am happy we had the chance to spend time together even for just a day.  Thank you to my awesome friends! Thank you for all the laughter. I miss all the chitchats on the van, while walking around the resort, while swimming, while eating and the list goes on.  See you next time!

 

 

 

Why Natural Remedies are Safer for Anxiety Symptoms

Over the past few decades, doctors tended to treat anxiety with prescription drugs. While these drugs work quickly, they are now known to be inappropriate for any long term use. These benzodiazapines, and similar prescription medications, are exceptionally addictive. People that have taken these drugs have reported a quick addition. When they tried to stop, the withdrawal from these drugs was horrible. Withdrawal from many prescription anti-anxiety drugs is also extremely dangerous as individuals can have seizures and other medical emergency conditions. It is best to only use natural remedies, like RediCalm, for anxiety to ensure safety.

These types of natural remedies can be found in better nutrition stores. These wonderful health-based stores often have accompanying online shops for the ultimate in convenience shopping. It is known that anxiety and stress depletes the body of necessary stress regulation substances. The important ones are serotonin and GABA. Doctors are now prescribing antidepressants to increase serotonin levels, but these drugs come with side effects that many people find distasteful. Natural supplements for anxiety can be a safe and side-effect free alternative treatment. Be sure to purchase from a reputable natural supplement or health product retailer for quality and safety.

There are natural anxiety/stress reliever supplements thought to replace the depleted GABA and serotonin supply. Unlike some prescription anti-anxiety medications, these wholesome supplements do not cause dizziness, confusion and severe drowsiness. When taken as recommended, these health aides help the body fight stress and anxiety in a holistic and healthy way. Best of all, these are not addictive, and they do not need a physician prescription to obtain. Anxiety can be debilitating. Left untreated, symptoms often continue to worsen. The body goes into overload from lack of sleep, irritability, shakiness, constant worry over insignificant things and may even lead to full blown panic attacks.

There are things that can lessen anxiety. Learning better health habits enables the body to begin the recovery process. Individuals that notice stress or anxiety related symptoms should ensure plenty of sleep time, utilize relaxation techniques and eat healthy meals on a regular basis. It can help to have a wind down bedtime routine that can train the body to slow down and relax close to bedtime. To promote healthy sleep patterns, try taking rediNite, warm milk or calming herbal tea. Keep bedroom lights low. Avoid watching violent or stressful television shows several hours prior to bed, and never place a television in the bedroom. Also avoid taking cell phones, laptops or other communication or electronic device into the room that is meant for sleep.

Regular exercise is a fantastic stress and anxiety buster. Even short walks outside can encourage deeper breathing which promotes relaxation. Some people join an exercise class for a fun way to get fit and promote calm. It goes without saying that individuals prone to stress should determine the cause and avoid those things, people or situations when possible. The health benefits of supplements made with natural earth ingredients is far reaching.

There are countless ways to reduce stress. Take warm, soothing baths with scented candles that provide healing aromatherapy. Avoid excessive caffeine, especially after dinner. Try to avoid working late in the evenings. With patience, determination and a strategy plan, stress/anxiety will fade.

So I Turned 40, What Now?

As I try to reflect on the past month, it is hard to pinpoint what I have accomplished in the first month of being 40. Nothing much happened on the surface but internally, I am more relaxed and happier. I think this has something to do with just being grateful. I like the person that I am now than the person I was 10 to 20 years ago. Life experiences enriched my soul. I am looking forward of the many life experiences that will add layers to who I am. I trust God’s will in my life. I cannot thank Him enough for all the blessings in my life. Although it is not all bed of roses for me, I am thank God for the strength to survive whatever setbacks that came my way.

So what was I up to the past month?

Catching up with family and friends.

Two of my uncles turned 70 and 80.

My friend, Glenda, also celebrated her birthday and invited us to dinner.


An aunt and uncle celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. What a feat! There is forever!


Finally, my cousins and I were able to go to the food parks we wanted to try and stuffed ourselves with these food. Ha!


My friend, Pia, is finally back from more that a month long trip to South Korea. We have been following her adventure. I love her photos so much that I wanted to go to South Korea. We had dinner with friends to catch up.

Photo swiped from Pia’s FB.

Practicing my landscape painting skills.
My friend asked me to paint landscape in watercolor for her. She already sent some samples of the type of painting her husband likes. I already researched on some inspiration for the final painting I am doing for them. Below are two of the practice pieces I have done to prepare.

Practicing some baking.
My friend, Dinah, just celebrated her birthday and she saw that I baked my own durian-filled birthday cake. She wanted one for the gathering she planned soon. So while I had have the time, I tried to bake this Durian-flavored Japanese cotton cheesecake which was a failure. The cake was supposed to rise to a certain height and this one did not. It still tasted good but this is not pretty to look at.


It was supposed to look like this.

Photo from Rasa Malaysia.

Good thing that this was just practice. Maybe I should stick to the same recipe I did during my birthday.

Chilling with this cutie.

Lately, Blessy has been hanging out with me- sometimes in my room and sometime in my work area. I placed a clean, old curtain on the floor for her sleep on. Sometimes, she looks at me chilling in my bed that she wanted to chill with me, too. once in a while, I give in and let her hang out in my bed. I love this dog.

I love Joaqui, too, and we still miss Peachy.

I am loving my 40’s so far. This week, I need to finish the painting and I have a workshop to document. Plus, I have the cake to bake for Dinah.

Bye for now!

The Day I Turned 40

As I write this, it has been 13 days since I turned 40 and I still do not feel like I am 40. I do not think I have my parents’ wisdom when they were at this age. My parents had everything in control at 40. I feel like I am still wading though life and trying to figure out what I want to do more in life. Adulting is hard.

Even with all the uncertainties I face, there is one thing I am sure I am going to do with my life. I am going to enjoy every minute of it. I am thankful for everything I have. When I think about it, I may look like the loneliest girl in the world: single, orphan, no siblings, no child, no better half. However, God had already blessed me with wonderful parents that all the love they gave me were more than enough to help me survive life without them. I have aunts who stood as my second parents, cousins that treat me like a big sister and friends who support me with all the love and care . It does not matter if they are near or miles away. I never feel alone. Thank you, God! I could not ask for anything more.

With all these blessings, I could not let my birthday pass without a little celebration. We had a simple dinner at home. I invited my friends and relatives over and I am glad they came.

My journal is now filled with happy memories.

The celebration was a family effort. My aunts prepared the house. This meant a lot of cleaning and rearranging.

I also baked my own cake.

My cousin, Baby, helped me bake cupcakes.

Lani came to cook shrimps, sweet and sour fish and dinuguan. My cousin, Alan, arrived early to help with the preparations. My cousin, Arvin, ran errands for me. These people made my life easier so as a reward, I will not subject them to such work every year. No birthday dinner like this next year. Hehe!

My friends made this day special, too. Aside from their presence, I got wonderful gifts to treasure. I got another poem from Wela. She already wrote a poem for me 2 years ago and, now, I got another one. Here is what she wrote:

Happy 40th birthday Kat,
For this you deserve a pat,
For being a true friend to hold,
And for letting God make you into His mold.

We your friends are so much thankful,
For giving us someone who is soulful,
Not someone whom we cannot count on,
But one who is always there to rely on.

One who is artistic and also creative,
Intelligent and at the same time innovative,
What more can we ask for and search?
You’re always there and easy to reach 

So on this special day that you were born,
A prayer is sent your way not to make you cry ‘popcorn’, 
But to let you know how much you’re appreciated,
For all the things you’ve done and orchestrated.

May you live a harmonious life,
Praying that one day you’ll become a wife,
To a man who is well-deserving,
Of your gifts and unconditional loving.

For the mean time here’s hoping for good health,
May you be blessed with more friends and wealth,
Overcome every trial that comes your way,
Be grateful for all the things that you receive each day.

We lve you! 

Isn’t that beautiful?

Wela and I.

My friends also planned a little video presentation. The funny thing is that I knew all along that they were going to do this. One friend told me about it beforehand because he thought it was funny that they had a problem who will edit the video since I am always the designated editor for videos. It was funny to see how my friend, Ernelyn, wiggled her way into borrowing my laptop so she could play the video that was sent to her messenger. She said she needed to finish something for work. Ha! Although it was a lame excuse, it was an endearing gesture.

Erns trying to run the video.

Here is the video made by my cousin, Bong. Yes, they got Kuya Bong to create a video for them. The awesome thing is that he was able to get in touch with my high school friends. I was only expecting video messages from our common friends. Like the poem, I will also treasure this video.

And the celebration did not end there. My friends who missed my birthday came two days after to celebrate with me.

A week after, I got this package from Grace.

I feel loved.

I am looking forward to my 40’s. Life begins again and it looks great from where I am now. I am beaming with gratitude and happiness. For those who feared turning 40 soon, it ain’t bad!

Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Every Day

At some point or another, everyone has heard about the damage the sun can do to your skin if it isn’t protected. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States where one in five people get diagnosed annually. If this isn’t reason enough to slap on some sunscreen before going outside, there are many more reasons why wearing it each day is important. There are many types of sunscreens to choose from such as lotions, sprays and roll-on applicators. If you are the type to care about the environment, there are also reef-friendly sunscreen options to order now on sites like www.coralisles.com. Below are some extra reasons beyond the obvious why everyone needs to wear sunscreen.

Cancer Risks

Like stated earlier, sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect yourself outside against getting skin cancer. The protection is needed for more than just sunny days spent outside by the pool or at the beach. People can develop skin cancer being outside when it is rainy or cloudy out as well.

Youthful Appearance

A lot of sun exposure over the years can really damage your skin and hurt an otherwise youthful appearance. Ultraviolet exposure from the sun’s rays is the top cause of premature aging to the face. If you wear sunscreen each day, you will slow down the process of developing wrinkles and leathery skin.

UVB Protection

Unfortunately, it is a fact that our ozone layer is starting to deplete rather quickly. An unfortunate downside to this is that we are no longer as protected from the harmful UVB rays from the sun’s light. The ozone is what is supposed to absorb these rays before they reach the surface of the earth. As the ozone continues to deplete, the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect us from these rays continues to grow.

Even Skin Tone

In addition to skin exposure causing premature aging, wrinkles and leathery skin, it can also cause uneven skin tone. Wearing a good sunscreen on a regular basis can help keep the formation of brown spots and skin discolorations from forming on your face and other areas of your body exposed to the sun often.

Sunburn Protection

One of the main reasons why many people wear sunscreen is to keep them from getting a sunburn. A sunburn can be really painful and cause an unpleasant redness to the skin. It is also very annoying once the burn begins to peel and itch. Two other sun related health issues that can arise from too much exposure to the sun is heat exhaustion and heatstroke. When you combine wearing sunscreen along with other precautions such as drinking plenty of water you will be able to avoid these issues. Failure to avoid them can lead to things like muscle cramps, nausea and even brain damage in some cases.

It is never too late to start taking safety precautions with regards to sun exposure. It can save you from many damaging effects including melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen and taking other safety steps outside is a good way to set an example for kids as well. Making your health and safety a priority will show them the importance of it as well.

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