OPPO F1s: Summer Destination

Summer is almost here! While I love the cool weather the past month, it comes with a nasty rain (read: floods). I cannot help but dream of sunshine! Once in a while, Mr. Sun gloriously shows himself teasing me of what lies ahead. Good thing my plans for an early summer wanderings are almost complete.

You see, my friends and I have this annual trip. We’ve been to Bicol, Sagada, Ilocos, Cagayan Province and Coron. We book for airline seat sale a year before a trip with a particular destination in mind. Last year, we booked a trip to Manila hoping we will be able to get Batanes tickets on sale. However, discounted tickets to Batanes were elusive so the plan did not push through. Two of us already have tickets to Manila and we were clueless where to go until last week!

And I am pretty excited! We are going to Bataan! This place was off my radar until my friend showed me some videos and photos of the places we are visiting. I am floored at the nature’s beauty, historic sites and delightful scenes presented before me.

I only have this lettering practice to show for now. In three weeks, I will have the photos and stories to tell! And it would be nice to have a reliable device that I can use to show you the beauty of Bataan.

I have heard good things about the OPPO F1S. I want to use that 13MP rear camera for night shots. The plaza at Balanga City lights up at night with illuminated fountains. Its backdrop is the charming facade of centuries-old style of architecture. To capture the magnificence of what my eyes can see would be such a delight if I have the OPPO F1s.

Screencap from the OPPO website

Its 16MP front camera allows in more light for that perfect selfie. I need all that help in that department especially that there are only two of us travelling together this time and I am really awkward with solo poses. There is also a selfie panorama feature. This device not only takes a photo of us but also of the striking landscape around us. It helps that it is a smartphone so I can still keep in touch with family back home. They can virtually travel with me!

Screencap from the OPPO website

I am stoked! See you Bataan!

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More information on the device can be found on their website: OPPO Philippines. Do not forget to like or follow them on their social media accounts:

Twitter: twitter.com/OPPOPhilippines
Instagram: www.instagram.com/oppophilippines
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OPPOPH

 

*This is a contest entry for Nuffnang Philippines.

OPPO F1s: Travel Essentials

Photo by Kace Rodriguez

I always travel light. I try to fit all my things needed for a trip into a backpack. Apart from shirts, pants, undergarments and toiletries, there are travel essentials that I find myself bringing in every trip.

The funny thing is that I also have some of these things in my handbag whenever I go out. It is a survival kit of sorts when I am not in the comforts of home.

1. Shawl

A shawl serves as a blanket for those trips where I need a little warmth without having to bring a bulky blanket.  It can also double as a cover-up in the beach, picnic mat or extra piece of clothing in case there are wardrobe malfunctions.  In my case, I use it to cover my arms whenever I get self-conscious wearing sleeveless.

2. Travel documents

Of course, I won’t be able to leave the country without a passport. If it is a domestic travel, I bring any ID.

3. Headgear

This is a piece of stretchable cylindrical fabric that can be wrapped around your head. Unlike a hat, the head gear is easy to pack. Sometimes I just wrap it around my wrist so that I can wear it when needed. I use it to protect my head from the sun, wind and draft.  On bad hair days, this made me look a little decent. ha!

4. Sunglasses

I have a polarized prescription sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun’s glare. I have astigmatism so regular off-the-rack sunglasses would not suffice. I use the required lenses for my vision.

5. Medicine

I bring my own stash of anti-dizziness pills, paracetamol, loperamide, antacid and pain relievers. I also bring alcohol and betadine. This comes in handy when I do not feel well and there is no pharmacy nearby.

6. Socks

I sometimes travel red eye or on a night bus. My feet need some warmth.

7. Water bottle

I need to hydrate. All the walking and sightseeing often leave me thirsty. If you are like me who converts foreign prices into Philippine peso when traveling, you need to bring water bottle and fill it up with the water from the hotel. I remember having to shell out SGD 3.00 (Php 100) for water when I can easily drink water from tap if only I brought water bottle.

8. Tablet

I used to bring ballpen and paper for notes. Now that I own a tablet I do my note taking on the device. I have my ebooks stored there also so I have something to read during those times I am waiting in line or when I am staying in places where there is no television.

9. Cash

 Cash is king. As a backup, you can always buy things in case you forget to bring something to your trip.

Not in the pictures above is the one thing I always bring: camera.

Lately,  I am feeling the inconvenience of lugging a big camera around my neck.

A mobile device that can capture quality photos is something I should add to my travel essentials. I have heard good things about OPPO F1s.

Screen capture from the OPPO website

Its 16 MP front camera and f/2.0 aperture will hopefully help me become a selfie expert. (There is still hope in me since I am not good at this skill! Ha!)

What I am most interested to try is its 13MP rear camera that guarantees to capture wonderful photos even in low light conditions.

Screen capture from the OPPO website

If it can capture awesome night shots, I can only imagine what it can capture during the day.  This device would make traveling easier and way more lighter than before.  I can enjoy the sights and activities without having that camera weight around my neck. And  as a bonus, I get the quality photos I want which I can easily share in real-time. Oh, please be mine soon!

More information on the device can be found on their website: OPPO Philippines. Do not forget to like or follow them on their social media accounts:

Twitter: twitter.com/OPPOPhilippines
Instagram: www.instagram.com/oppophilippines
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/OPPOPH

How about you? What are your travel essentials?

*This is a contest entry for Nuffnang Philippines.

Thank you, Nuffnang!

Remember that  Lemon Squares Inipit Contest by Nuffnang? This was my entry.

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I won!  Thank you, Nuffnang!

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I was supposed to claim my prize after that Coron trip but our flight was delayed and traffic was heavy. We arrived Taguig at around 7PM.  It was a holiday the next day and I left on June 13 which was a Saturday.  Nuffnang sent me a message asking me when I will claim my prize.  I told Nuffnang that I have no trip to Manila anytime soon and asked if I could have my prize shipped. I do not mind paying for shipping.  Nuffnang replied that they will send the prize and I do not have to worry about shipping. I just have to send them my mailing address. Thank you, Ren Tupas of Nuffnang, for facilitating the shipment.

Today, my prize was delivered!

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I got baking tools. Now I really need to have my oven fixed.

This is my-happy-but-trying-to-look-cool face!

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Frozen Dessert Goodness with Inipit! #NoLimitWithInipit

Summer is intense this year. Any cold dessert is a welcome comfort to make the heat bearable. I am sharing with you two cold dessert recipes that were hits with my family. Both recipes are easy to make and you can even get your kids to help you prepare them. I used ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery.. or even in your nearest convenience store!

Mangoes are in season. In our place, they are sold at Php40 per kilo. So cheap! I had to incorporate them into the dessert. You can always replace mango with any fleshy fruit available in your grocery. You can substitute canned fruits if you cannot find mangoes in the grocery.

Mango Inipit Popsicles

You will need 2 ripe mangoes, 6 individual packs of Lemon Squares Inipit and 1 big can of evaporated milk.  If you want a sweeter dessert, you can add sugar to the ingredients.

IMG_0689 To create the dessert, cube the Lemon Squares Inipit and soak the cubes in the evaporated milk .
IMG_0691 Cube the mangoes.
IMG_0695 Layer the mangoes and Inipit into the popsicle mold.
IMG_0696 Repeat the layering process until you fill the mold.
IMG_0699 I got the Inipit pack with assorted flavors.  In this layer, I used the ube variant.
IMG_0700 This recipe yields 8 popsicles.  This is how it looks when frozen.

IMG_0768 The heat is a little bearable with this frozen dessert.

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Here’s the recipe:

Mango Inipit Popsicles

Ingredients:
2 ripe mangoes
6 individual packs of Lemon Squares Inipit
1 large evaporated milk (Optional: Sugar)

Procedure:
1. Cut Inipit into cubes.
2. Soak cubed Inipit in the evaporated milk.
3. Cut mangoes into cubes.
4. In the popsicle mold, fill up with layers mangoes and the soaked Inipit.
5. Pour in the excess milk to fill the mold.
6. Freeze the popsicle container overnight.
7. Enjoy!

Yields 8 popsicles.

 

Choco Mango Inipit Pudding

Since I still have packs of chocolate Inipit in my pantry, I made another frozen dessert.

You need almost the same ingredients: 1 ripe mango, 10 individual packs of Lemon Squares chocolate  Inipit, 1 small can evaporated milk and 2 eggs.  Sugar is optional.

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Here’s how  I made the pudding:

Beat eggs. Add milk. Mash the Inipit into the evaporated milk-egg mixture.  Use the fork to mash.

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Mix in cubed mangoes into the mashed Inipit.

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Mix well.

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Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.

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Microwave the mixture on high for 3 minutes. I am doing this to cook the eggs. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Let it cool and freeze for at least 4 hours.

To serve, garnish cubed mangoes on top and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

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This is as delicious as it looks. Try this!

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This is the recipe:

Choco Mango Inipit Pudding

Ingredients:
2 eggs
10 individual packs of chocolate Lemon Squares Inipit
1 small evaporated milk (Optional: Sugar)
1 ripe mango, cubed

Garnish:
cubed mangoes
chocolate syrup

Procedure:
1. Beat eggs. Mix in the milk.
2. Mash the Inipit into the evaporated milk-egg mixture.
3. Mix in cubed mangoes. Mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.
5. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
6. Freeze.
7. To serve: garnish with cubed mangoes and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
8. Enjoy!

Yields 8 slices.

 

 “Sarap maging kid with Inipit!”  #NoLimitWithInipit

*** This is an entry to a Nuffnang Contest.

5 Things I Will Do to Have a Meaningful and Memorable #MerrySMChristmas

♫♪♫♪♪ It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ♫♪♫♪♪

Whenever I hear that song being played, I am filled with Christmas cheer. My heart smiles. My eyes twinkle. I become that giddy child waiting for Christmas day.  As a child, although we did not have the grandest of feasts, for as long as my family was together, Christmas was merrier.

Five years ago, Christmas took a different meaning for me. It was the year I did not make a fuss about Christmas.  My father was bed-ridden for 5 months. I saw his frail body being eaten by cancer day after day. I was numb to the Christmas spirit around me.  There was little I could do for Papa. I just hugged him everyday. Hugging meant pressing my face to his face as he could no longer wrap me in his embrace.  On Christmas day, I greeted him with a loud cheer. He smiled back acknowledging my greeting. And that was more than I could ask  for. My father died the day after Christmas. It was his way of giving me my Christmas back.

Since then, I was able celebrate Christmas with my family like that giddy child again. Being an only child, single and an orphan, family means my aunts, uncles and my cousins. Christmas becomes more meaningful. Here are ways I make my Christmas meaningful and memorable:

1. Feel the spirit of Christmas. I do this by putting up my tree.  Having a tree changes the mood of the house. This is a special tree because my mama and I bought this together with my own money.  It has been 14 years since we bought the tree. My mother had long gone and the tree still looks good. You do not have to buy a tree to feel the spirit of Christmas. Sometimes, listening to Christmas Carols will already fill the home with holiday joy.  You can also spend time at a park where twinkling lights make the season more festive. Malls have stepped up their game.  There areas for families to enjoy the Christmas season.

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2. Share your blessings. You might be surprised that it takes little to make another person happy. It does not have to be a grand gesture. You may share your blessings with your loved ones.  However, they say the best way to share your blessings is doing something for someone who cannot repay you in kind. You get repaid with their prayers and well-wishes. I am not really the kindest person around. I can be selfish but I have to admit that the selfish me can also see the wonders of being able to share my blessings to others.

3. Spend time with family and friends. My nephew is already 3 and I plan to spend some time with him this Christmas. My aunt and uncle will be spending their Christmas in Cebu but they will be back in the afternoon of December 25 so we still have a chance to celebrate Christmas together. I am compiling easy-to-make recipes so that I can still have a wonderful time with my family without slaving in the kitchen. I have tested one of such recipe. You only need cubed gulaman, cream, condensed milk and cubed mangoes. Layer the ingredients. Put them in a nice glass and voila! These ingredients are readily available in the supermarket.

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This year, a number of my friends will be home so there will be a lot of catching up do. For sure, there will be lots of laughter till our bellies ache.

4. Reward myself. Although I looked like I have not worked hard this year, I did. The best reward I can give myself is rest. I am dreaming on resting my head on a soft pillow while curled up reading a book. Maybe I’ll get a tub of ice cream and have a movie marathon. This is just me. You can reward yourself with that jacket you have been eyeing for a long time, that gadget to get in touch with family  or that massage chair  to ease those back pains for working hard.  It is okay to treat yourself to something you greatly deserve.

5. Remember the reason for the season. JESUS. Christmas is the season of advent.  Advent means coming. We prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus.  As Christians, it is a time to reflect on our lives and make changes in order to be ready for Jesus Christ. We do this by emulating how Jesus lives while He was here on earth (i.e. a humble  and obedient servant) and by following His commandments. We should really do this not only during Christmas but every day of our lives.  This is a part of my life where I need to improve on. God never faltered on me yet the sinner that I am easily forgets God’s greatness. 

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Each of us may have different ways in celebrating this wonderful time of the year. SM Supermalls have their way of celebrating this merry season. Drenched in the spirit of love, family, sharing and giving, SM Supermalls show us how #MerrySMChristmas begins. Adorable Cheska and Kendra Kramer and the delightful Elevator girl, Cheridel Alejandrino star in this short video.

If you want to make someone happy this Christmas and you do not know how, why not give an SM Cares’ Bear of Joy?
Bears-of-Joy-2014

SM Supermalls have a lot in store for you this season. Visit http://bit.ly/MerrySMChristmas for more details on their various #MerrySMChristmas events.

I wish you and your family a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!

**This blog post is an entry to Nuffnang's blogger contest.