Well, my sister was there too. But I'd rather go with the sea, makes for better blog posts. #BetterFeels

It was more of a snap decision when we finally said we were going to Zambales. We had two weeks to prepare. It was a slightly painful 8 hour trip on the road because it's 8 HOURS and even more so because I didn't sleep the night prior. I was like a kid on the eve of her school trip. I was stoked.

Not so stoked when we set out and I had crazy eyes though.

On the road, our ride wasn't as streamlined as I thought it would be. We had to transfer a lot between buses and wait at bus stops a couple of times but I wasn't that upset since I was asleep on the bus most of the time. Sure enough all that sitting made my ass cheeks numb.

We stayed at the very backpacker friendly Circle Hostel, a quaint little place, that we used strictly for sleeping. There was no hanging out here because of the other (annoying) guests.

Rule #1 Respect other guests at the establishment. Do not sing your lungs out/play loud music until 4 fucking AM.

The place was in the province and it gets extremely quiet once the sun sets so think about that for a second. The usually open sari-sari stores closed 2 hours earlier according to my snooping sister. Why you ask? Take a wild guess.

Now look, when I say backpacker place, don't expect high quality service, accommodations and surroundings. We saw a couple of dirty diapers, tin cans, bottles and several bags of chips on our way to the beach. I would love it if the people who lived there cleaned after themselves, but who's to say these weren't the guest's fault? Sigh...humans.

Rule#2 Seeing as it's not a sought-after, commercialized, big establishment, make sure to clean after yourself. Bring trash bags so you can properly dispose them at the earliest convenience. The earth isn't a big fucking bin.

 Having said that, I still had fun at the beach. Even after all the things that upset me, I didn't mind. It was part of the experience.

 Lounging (and sleeping) for hours was a first for me. I don't think I ever slept while lying down on sand before...

Seeing the sun set at by the sea is really something else.

My sister had the best solo shots during the whole trip

I don't want to go back unless it's in a big group, 'coz let me tell you, I basically threw a lot of money during this trip. It's cheaper and more fun in a group anyway. I think La Union would be much better.


Directions to Circle Hostel: (from website)

From Manila Option 1
  • Take Victory Liner from the Cubao Station OR Pasay Station to Iba Zambales
  • Tell the bus driver you will get down in the town of San Felipe
  • From the town take a tricycle and tell them you want to go to Liwa-liwa near the pier (Sa may dating pier)
  • From the town center the tricycle will pass Bobulan Elementary School and turn right.
  • He will go straight to the end and make a left (you'll see an electric post with purple spray paint) then go straight until a clearing
  • He'll make a right-ish straight. keep your eyes peeled for The Circle on your left!

From Manila Option 2
  • Take Victory Liner from the Cubao Station to Dau Pampanga Bus Station OR take Victor Liner from the Pasay Station to Iba, Zambales
  • Transfer to a bus/shuttle going to Olongapo OR Iba, Zambales
  • Upon arrival in Olongapo transfer to a bus  going to Iba, Zambales
  • Tell the bus driver you will get down in the town of San Felipe
  • From the town take a tricycle (we paid Php 80) and tell them you want to go to Liwa-liwa near the pier (Sa may dating pier)
  • From the town center the tricycle will pass Bobulan Elementary School and turn right.
  • He will go straight to the end and make a left (you'll see an electric post with purple spray paint) then go straight until a clearing
  • He'll make a right-ish straight. keep your eyes peeled for The Circle on your left!

Website : http://www.thecirclehostel.com/

Let it be known, that I, CJ have acquired the ever elusive and widely sought-after BDJbox.

BDJbox is a monthly subscription box service with boxes reserved up to months in advance. Among all the subscription boxes in the Philippines, this one I personally think has more traction. I scoured reviews and gathered that they have great customer service and work with great brands.

For this March, BDJbox works exclusively with Ponds a very prominent and well known brand in the Philippines.

I'm definitely not a ponds girl. I've tried most their products before when I was still a teenager - dealing with hormonal changes - and they never seemed to work. If anything else, they worsened my condition as well as dampen my fragile teenage self-esteem. Sob...sob...sniffle.

But for the sake of science and to give Ponds another chance, I've tried all the skincare (started March 10) and have some interesting thoughts about each one.

Pond's Pearl Cleansing Gel (100g / Php155)
Touted to be perfect for sensitive skin because its non-drying and has its milder ingredients.

Thoughts :The only other gel cleanser I've tried is ZA's and Pond's lathers quite well compared. I do agree that it's mild and leaves my skin soft after rinsing but I feel like it leaves a light film of soap still. It however has a very distinct and strong rose-scent as with most products in this line.

Top 3 Ingredients : Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Glycerin.

Pond's Flawless White Ultra Luminous Serum (30ml / Php480)
Has VA0-B3 helps in blocking skin pigmentation and helps renew skin with Genactiv that interrupts melanin (skin pigmentation) cycles. Both are meant to reduce dark spots and discoloration and in 7 days.

Thoughts: I really like this. The consistency is kinda similar to dry oil and dries to a matte finish. It's very light on the face and leaves it as I said matte and also smooth.

Top 3 Ingredients : Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin and Water

Pond's Flawless White Dewy Rose Gel (50g / Php399)
Infused with Rose Lumiere serum made from Aplpine rose extract which help lock in moisture and reduce dullness.

Thoughts : Korean skincare and Neutrogena aren't new to the technology that is gel moisturizers and Pond's is the latest one to join their ranks with the introdroduction of their own gel based moisturizer.

The second you open the jar, you're hit with the fragrance. It's light on the skin, absorbs quite easily and again left my face silky smooth.

Top 3 ingredients : Water, Glycerin and Dimethicone. Ah that explains the smoothness.

Pond's Flawless White Re-Brightening Night Cream (50g / Php340)
Genactiv is the prominent selling point here again, which help repair skin damage, lightens and evens out dark spots.

Thoughts : It's very emollient, and significantly heavier compared to the Rose gel. The first time I used it I got a steroid-induced pea size amount and it was more than enough to cover my face and my neck generously.

Pond's Flawless White BB Cream (25g / Php299)
Has SPF 30 PA++ it's also enriched with Genactiv.

Thoughts : I haven't tried this yet, but from the reviews I've read the light one is pink based and suitable for NW25 skin and lighter while the beige is suitable for NC35 skin and darker.

I love the tub designs on the Rose gel and Night cream. Yes they're glass bottomed and not ideal for travel but they do look very elegant on the dresser.

The serum and the Rose gel are my top bets for this line. The cleanser is nice and gentle too. BUT I broke out two days after I started with my new regimen. And the only things I changed are my cleanser, day and night moisturizer and serum. So I have a little investigating to do. I'm currently just using the cleanser and will try to add on the others slowly.

For a Php580 box it's worth more than what you pay for. You do the math...

...seriously I can't be bothered, you do it.

Thank you to BDJ and Ponds for sending me this box with full-sized products (hello!) and giving me the opportunity try out your exclusive box this March.


PS. If you're iffy about Rose scents or fragrance in skincare in general, I don't think you'll like this. It's very very fragrant.

PPS. I'm bummed that dark morena or mulato skin isn't more celebrated in the beauty industry especially the skincare department. It's a work in progress but with giant industries like Pond's, should use more dark skinned models for their products other than their whitening line.
Not against whitening in general, to each their own. But do you get my drift? I do hope this helps in lightening my pimple marks and discoloration (I thought that sunblock was only for the beach/pool when I was young) Haha anobateh.

Website: www.bdjbox.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bdjbox
Twitter & Instagram: @BDJBox

Disclaimer : BDJ kindly sent this box to me as a gift. I was not asked nor compensated (monetary or otherwise) to post this in any of my social media or to make a blog post about it. All my opinions about the box - its contents and companies mentioned are my own unless someone steals my account, pretends to be me and continues the blog in my stead.
Love Rosie Poster Slice

A.k.a the virtue of staying completely silent and letting the chance(s) go by. Which reminds me of another movie I completely ADORE, My Best Friend's Wedding (now that's a must-watch).

I anticipated this movie ever since I saw the trailer last year and being a Lily Collins fan (albeit a very poor one) I had to see it despite the trite gist of the story. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I finally got the chance.

Synopsis :
Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another... or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
Based on Cecelia Ahern's bestselling novel "Where Rainbows End", LOVE, ROSIE is a modern comedy-of-errors tale posing the ultimate question: Do we really only get one shot at true love?

Alone and armed with my pillow I pressed play. All I can say was all-throughout I was streaming waterfalls quietly. So like any self-assured, independent adult woman that I am, I watched it again, and once more with my sister.

There were a couple of things I didn't like/understand that made me annoyed. (Spoilers ahead matey)

Alex's first girlfriend

Well more specifically, the actress who played her- she wasn't very good. She was, in my opinion, lacking. It was ham-acting most of the time so it didn't feel natural. You know for a fact that she's acting.

Alex lets his best-friend/soul-mate/love of his life/fire of his loins slip away

No Rosie. I want to go to the dance with you. It was that easy Alex. That easy.

She's basically saying kiss me stupid with her eyes and he just shuts his. Motherfcker.

He let her slip three times not twice as his letter to Rosie suggested, it was more than that definitely.


The little imp. After being pain-stakingly raised by single mum Rosie and showered with love and affection most of her life she turned-out to be quite the brat. I'm telling you at that age (or at any age for that matter) I would've gotten hell for shouting and throwing something at the direction of my parents.

The soundtrack was pretty good. I still give it to Begin Again, for the best soundtrack of 2014 in the same genre.

The casting was well done. Rosie's relationship with her dad was a nice touch - that killed me. But what kept the movie going was the two lead's chemistry- it was palpable. They were so beautiful and cute and perfect together that you can't help but cheer them on. It sort of reminded me of One Day and My Bestfriend's Wedding combined.

All-in-all it was a pretty solid movie, it wasn't a definite must-see but it was cute. I got a lot of laughs (more from embarrassing situations), a lot of touching moments, the beautiful early morning moment with Alex and Rosie and a ton of OMG TELL HER/HIM already.

This wasn't much of a review but I don't want to give anything away more than I already have. I do recommend this if you want something uncomplicated, sweet, funny, cute and with a little heart.

What have you watched lately?


PS. I came to a possible conclusion as to why I was crying the first time, which I will not acknowledge here.
PPS. I haven't read the book, but I might One Day (if you want heartbreaking, seriously, watch this).