The travels and adventures of a girl from the islands.
Top 5 lessons I learned from running my own business

Top 5 lessons I learned from running my own business

Geekerie, the little store that Adrian and I started way back in 2008, is now five years old. Five years, countless arguments, blood, sweat, tears, and money later, we’re still growing! As a first-time business owner, the past five years have been a heck of a learning experience. The five most...
Book review: "Codex Born" by Jim C. Hines

Book review: “Codex Born” by Jim C. Hines

After only a year of waiting, I finally got Codex Born by Jim C. Hines in my grubby hands! Codex Born is the second book in the Magic Ex Libris series and the sequel to Libriomancer. If you haven’t read Libriomancer, I highly suggest that you do so before reading Codex...
Book review: The Reluctant Assassin (WARP Book #1) by Eoin Colfer

Book review: The Reluctant Assassin (WARP Book #1) by Eoin Colfer

With the latest draft of my master’s thesis (finally!) in my adviser’s and reader’s “to read” piles, I finally got to read for fun! First on the list was The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer, the first book in his new series W.A.R.P. I got my copy several months ago...
Don't let Yolanda (Haiyan) stop you from visiting the Philippines

Don’t let Yolanda (Haiyan) stop you from visiting the Philippines

I’m certain that everyone reading this post knows about the devastation supertyphoon Yolanda (International Name: Haiyan) brought to central Visayas and northern Palawan in the Philippines. It’s caused the deaths of thousands of people, displaced hundreds of thousands more, and caused billions of pesos worth of damage. The local and...
Diving Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte

Diving Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte

Last October 24-26, 2013 marked the Philippine Association of Marine Science 12th National Symposium on Marine Science in Tacloban City, Leyte and the first time I’d presented (part of) the results of my graduate thesis. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once. After the conference, I marked another milestone with...
"The House of Hades" by Rick Riordan book review and giveaway

“The House of Hades” by Rick Riordan book review and giveaway

THE REVIEW It’s finally here! After a year of waiting after The Mark of Athena, Rick Riordan treats his avid readers to another round of Greek and Roman mythological madness with Percy Jackson and his cohorts in the form of The House of Hades. The official book description: The demigod...
I'm shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards!

I’m shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards!

The title says it all: I’ve been shortlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards for the category Best Photography for Responsible Tourism! The organizers officially emailed me about it last September 18 – I read the email at 1am as the 17th was my birthday – but the official press release came...
Macy's guide to surviving Star Wars Weekends

Macy’s guide to surviving Star Wars Weekends

So I’m home from a 15-day trip across the United States (and Canada!) split almost evenly between the two coasts: a few days in Seattle, a week-long cruise in Alaska, then another six days in Orlando. The Orlando leg of the trip was the most tiring by far, partly because...
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The O'Neill Superkini - the island girl's best friend

The O’Neill Superkini – the island girl’s best friend

I stumbled upon the O’Neill Superkini when I was browsing through the main R.O.X. branch in Bonifacio High Street. I knew I wanted a new swimsuit – just “wanted” because my trusty Speedo suit was still in excellent shape and didn’t need replacing – but didn’t have anything in particular in mind. There I was, walking...
My horrible customer service experience with VMV Hypoallergenics

My horrible customer service experience with VMV Hypoallergenics

Disclaimers before this post: 1. I love VMV Hypoallergenics‘ products. Their’s is the only sunblock I use. They produce the only makeup I can use. Love their hair conditioner and moisturizing milk lotion too. So I’m writing this because while their products are fantastic and worth every peso, bad customer service can happen anywhere. 2....
2013 in photos

2013 in photos

With certain notable exceptions, 2013 was a personal banner year. I’m not sure how 2014 will top it, but hopefully it will *graduation!!!* February: I got to meet Costas Christ when he visited El Nido Resorts as a judge for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. It was an honor...
Maybank Secure Online Shopping - for peace of mind online

Maybank Secure Online Shopping – for peace of mind online

It’s fascinating to see how much online shopping has grown in the Philippines, from eBay to the now-defunct Multiply, to the rise of mom-and-pop online stores and international retailers that ship to the Philippines (finally!). With added competition among retailers comes the advent of the deal site, where savvy consumers can browse through discounted high-end...

My Shopping Box versus Johnny Air Cargo – the ultimate comparison chart

Online shopping addicts in the Philippines usually have two go-to freight forwarders for their precious hauls: My Shopping Box and Johnny Air Cargo.These companies offer the same services: they accept your packages in the US then forward them to you here in the Philippines. But which company offers the better value? Let’s find out through...
And the winner of the "The House of Hades" giveaway is...?

And the winner of the “The House of Hades” giveaway is…?

a Rafflecopter giveaway Congratulations to Andrea M. for winning a paperback copy of “The House of Hades” from Fully Booked! Please DM me your shipping address so that I can send you the book ASAP. Congratulations again! Thanks so much to everyone who joined the giveaway. I hope you had as much fun joining as I...
Review: the OverBoard waterproof carbon messenger bag

Review: the OverBoard waterproof carbon messenger bag

It’s funny: after six years on the island, it only occurred to me a few months ago that I needed a waterproof laptop bag. Sure, I already had a dry tube bag for my wallet, phone, and other small stuff, but I lugged my precious laptop around in a regular nylon messenger bag. When it...
How do I choose a new restaurant to try?

How do I choose a new restaurant to try?

This blog post was inspired by the upcoming Restaurant Digital Marketing Conference this October 23, 2013 at Enderun Colleges. I love food. I grew up surrounded by food. My grandmother owned a bakery and whenever she wasn’t looking, my cousins and I snitched meringues from the trays and hid them in our hats (sorry Lola!)....
Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

This week’s photo challenge revolves around the theme “Sea”. If ever there were a perfect photo challenge for this blog, this would be it. So what does the sea mean to me? The sea means meeting things head-on. Yes, even that oncoming wave. The sea means going with the flow. Every day is an adventure....
Celebrating Lucy's third birthday at Fully Booked!

Celebrating Lucy’s third birthday at Fully Booked!

First off, congratulations to Lucy for turning three-years-old! Lucy is Fully Booked‘s mascot/spokesperson and overall social media “figure”. Second, sorry for only writing about the event now >_< Lucy’s birthday celebrations took place last July 27-28 in Fully Booked’s Bonifacio High Street and Alabang Town Center branches but due to work, school, and reading my book...
Book review: "Born of Illusion" by Teri Brown

Book review: “Born of Illusion” by Teri Brown

Is 1920′s New York the new “in” thing in Young Adult publishing? Not that I’m complaining, but Born of Illusion by Teri Brown is the second book this year I’ve read that’s set in 1920′s New York and features a girl with unusual powers (see: The Diviners by Libba Bray). The good thing is that’s...
The pros and cons of the GCash American Express Virtual Pay

The pros and cons of the GCash American Express Virtual Pay

The premise of the Globe GCash American Express virtual card is pretty simple: for a P250 annual subscription fee, GCash gives you a virtual United States-based American Express credit card that’s funded by your GCash Wallet. You can then use the virtual credit card and its accompanying details (credit card number, security code, and expiry...