Sunday, December 25, 2016

A New Tattoo

My parents are probably gonna kill me for getting a tattoo (haha) but I've been wanting to do this for the longest time. I finally found the courage to do so a day before Christmas.. because courage is the only thing left in me, keeping me alive, and that's enough. For me, this is not about bragging rights and keeping up with trends. They say pain makes people change, truth is, pain only reveals the real you.

So enough of the melodrama and let's get down to business! Let me answer frequently asked questions when getting tattooed for the first time.

Does it hurt? Unless I'm a robot then no. Haha! The answer is yes there is pain, but it's tolerable like all other pains in the world. The pain you get from getting inked is rewarding and therapeutic in a way. The pain won't traumatized you, in fact it will do otherwise.

Are you not afraid of people judging you? I used to, but respect is only gained. Plus, people only judge you from afar, you're most likely not close friends to start with.

What does one do while getting a tattoo? In my case, I was obviously documenting the whole process. Holding my phone up and keeping a straight face. If not, I might just stay still and contemplate on things and cry. Haha kidding! But I'm surprised at how calming it is to just sit there and let someone inflict pain on your body. Haha! Calling Mr. Christian Grey, fifty shades of f*cked up. Yeah, so if I were not recording, I will probably sleep.

How much trust do you have to give your artist? Trust is so fragile, you've got to give it all or nothing. I've known Kuya Bhong (my artist) for a couple of months before I finally decided to entrust him to do this permanent body art. He was introduced to me by my then boyfriend whom I used to love and trust so much, hugot. Hahaha! So yeah, it took us more than a few meet-ups. You have to know your artist as a person as well, you have to ask around for testimonials, check his previous works, make sure he is using safe/sterile working materials and together agree with a good design. 

Will it help you move on from a failed relationship? NOPE, even if you fill your body with tattoos. It's a way of healing for some, but the cure for heart ache cannot be bought.

Will you be getting another tattoo? Yes. This is my life and although I make decisions based on emotions -these are MY emotions and they are made of me. One-hundred percent authentic! I may regret it but I may also love it even more in the long run.

Who is Louise? Louise is the most important person in my life. My first tattoo goes to her. She is my number one.

Why did you place your tattoo there? Because it's the closest to my heart. I don't want (yet) to get a tattoo on my chest. But I already have a design ready for my back and abdomen.

Here's a nicer look at my first tattoo: @lvlygrey
Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and check out my Youtube Channel for my vlogs. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Barista In The Making

Candid shot by my friend Adams
There is no such thing as too many coffee photos on Instagram, not even until one becomes a barista. We love coffee because coffee works magic! It helps us cope from last night's hangover, a jet lag or just another bad day.

I believe drinking coffee gives us a sense of pride (kind of).. For being adult, for facing life's ups and downs, for being independent? Or at least, it makes us feel and look like it. Fake it til you make it, that's how we roll nowadays.

Here's a simple analogy: You drink alcohol to lose yourself. Meanwhile, you drink coffee to keep your shit together. Ha!
Hearts everywhere, my original latte art design haha

Being able to make happiness in a cup has been one of my secret dreams. (Lovely Grey and her many secret lives! ) I can say that the last forty-five days as a barista felt like working at Willy Wonka's Factory, except for the musical part. And except for the fact that I actually work for a local coffee shop named Caffè Angelito.
I love discovering new flavors and making use of my taste buds' full potential. Although I haven't had enough time getting detailed info about the world's greatest, I can share with you that we're using neatly-packed coffee beans from Italy made of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta. Crisp, black brown beans ground to perfection, a fair comparison to the world's best ocean sands. You know it's good to go when the crema starts to appear and dominates the top layer of an espresso shot. Oh, the lingering aroma of coffee!

To my surprise, working on milk with my newly-found amazing device, attached to the glorious coffee machine, called the 'steaming wand' - has been and will always be a true pleasure! The hiss and whistling sounds are music to my ears!
Latte art I did for Halloween

Its frothiness almost always / comes up as a gentle surprise

Eye-candy latte art / has its price
Writing this post surprisingly gives off a Lang Leav kinda vibe because it's close to my heart and, err, stomach.

There is no too much/ only a match
Made in heaven / made to last
Coffee and me / Me and coffee
Latte art with the help of chocolate syrup
I originally intended to include serious notes here, financial and career thingy. But what the heck, let's not ruin the mood here. I composed two freaking poems on the spot. Let's make this a coffee appreciation blog entry and make the poet in me happy!

I have yet to learn a lot on the latte art area, maybe just a matter of getting use to free-pouring and wiggling (only funky baristas will get this. wink*) But I'll get there. A hundred more cups of cafe au lait, a thousand cafe mochas, salted caramel and pumpkin spice lattes. Haha char! But yeah, I will get there. Someday I will make flawless free-hand pour rosettas!
Cafe uniform day
So they say you'll get to kiss a hundred frogs before you kiss a prince. Kiss a cup of coffee, get your shit together, pray and live a happy life kiddo. Thank me after I make your coffee, find me at Caffè Angelito Coffee & Juice Bar, Mondays-Saturdays closing shift around 3PM to 11PM.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Basic Makeup Essentials for Beginners

Since I like talking about things no one actually cares about or wants to know either, here's a list of basic makeup essentials you working girls should already have. A yuppie like you and me should always look good and unruffled, even though deep inside we are falling apart. Hugot! 

I'm not suggesting that you put on makeup everyday, just whenever you feel like it or when something calls for a glamorous version of yourself. You can never go wrong with these affordable drugstore beauty products, these will save you from looking puyat and hagardo versosa.. tried and tested by yours truly! 

Cover Girl + Olay Eye rehab is a 2-in-1 brightening concealer with Olay hydrating serum. I use the shade 33 - light pale. It's supposed to instantly conceal dark circles to brighten the eye area and even your skin tone, reducing the look of discolorations, fine lines, and wrinkles, while the Serum hydrates skin over time.

While I've always had the fear of putting concealer because I've seen people wearing it the wrong way, I've learned that it really depends on the application -you got to have the right shade and proper blending. So far I am happy with this product and maybe soon, when I'm more bad-ass and have the money to spare, I'll try other products too. Oh, the things we'll do to hide our panda eyes!

Price: Php400

L'oreal Paris Infallible Pro-matte Powder is a matte finish powder foundation. I chose it because matte is life! I'm morena and through the years I've seen how matte beauty products magically brings out the best makeup look on me. You can wear L'oreal Paris infallible pro-matte powder up to 16 hours, but I'm not a big makeup person so I might not wear one that long. Texture is air-fine, with shine control/anti-luisance. It says it's "Never Cakey. Never Flat." -so yeah, it's a good thing. Anyway, I'm using the shade 300 nude beige. Choosing the shade is the most tricky part here, so make sure you ask a pro. I'd like to make a shout-out to Carlos Casiguran of #CJCuisonGlamTeam helping me choose these beauty products and brands. 

Price: Php600

L'oreal Paris Smoky Beige Trench E1 Eye Shadow is actually for starters, or those people like me who wouldn't want to spend a couple of extra time putting eye shadow - unless it's a-must. This eye shadow compact comes with a guide at the back, so you know which shade should be the base and so on. It says that this product lasts up to 24 months upon opening. I appreciate beauty brands that are honest with their shelf life! 

Rimmel London blendable powder blush and highlighter in shade 008 spring flower. It's one of my thrift buys, I haven't really put enough thought when I bought it. It's not so long lasting though, but it's a blush and a highlighter in one. It says it'll last up to 30 months upon opening, which is cool. But I'll try to find a better powder blush on my next drugstore trip. 

Price: Php150

Revlon Brow Fantasy by Colorstay is an ultimate go-to kit for my everyday eyebrow fix. I use the dark brown shade because I have jet black hair, so the secret here is to make your brows look natural. It's a pencil and gel combo, so use the pen to trace and shape your eyebrows. While the gel is for keeping the hair in place or if you want your eyebrows to look bushy to achieve the Cara Delevingne eyebrow look, you can do that too. This product will last up to 6 months upon opening. 

Price is Php575 at Watsons.

L'oreal Paris False Lash Wings Mascara is also another favorite of mine! I have nothing against water-proof mascara users, but I find water-proof mascaras too challenging to remove especially if I'm dead tired coming home from an awesome party or whatever. L'oreal Paris False Lash Wings Mascara is a wonder maker! The structure of the end of the mascara wand -with its "butterfly" fibers - truly spreads my natural eyelashes effectively, making it look longer and more dramatic. I use the shade Noir/Black, it lasts up to 6 months upon opening and it's super easy to remove at the end of the day!

L'oreal Paris Color Riche LeKhol eyeliner is quite okay, it doesn't smudge that much compared to your regular brand of eyeliner. I use the shade 101 Midnight Black and it lasts up to 24 months upon opening.

Top to bottom: Colourpop Ultra Matte Notion, Ultra Satin Hutch, Ultra Matte Beeper
Colourpop liquid lipsticks are cruelty-free lippies that come in matte finish, satin finish and gloss. My current favorite shades are the following: 

Colourpop Ultra Matte Notion which is a rich red violet shade. Wear this shade whenever you feel pretty and flirty. 
Price Php500 from The Glam Zone.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Hutch which is a deep blackened violet. Wear this if you feel a little extra baddie or gothic for the day. Love the satin finish (semi-matte finish) because my lips do not feel too dry with it.
Price Php500 from The Glam Zone. 

Colourpop Ultra Matte Beeper which is a warm mid-tone taupe. Wear this to conservative parties or events, this is the nearest nude shade that will surely suit both morenas and mestizas alike. I use this as my everyday lip shade with no regrets! 
Price Php500 from The Glam Zone.

Feeling pretty and flirty! Hahaha charot!
Know a beauty product that works magic? Send me a message or comment below for suggestions! 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Life Hack: How To Adult

How to be adult bes???
Kids look at us like we’re tanders (old people) who knows exactly what we’re doing in life. But do we really?? I’m twenty-something and still find crossing the street a struggle, what more dealing with other things? Gone are the days when we have free meals at home - three times a day. No more milk and cereals, and desserts from grandma. As much as we wanted to stay fit and healthy, vegetables like kale, lettuce, asparagus and even a piece of lemon would already cost us a fortune. Enrolling to a female-friendly gym is an actual luxury too! So where to start?

Here are some life hacks that you can actually use to survive this challenging adulthood transition. Soon, we’ll be out of our cocoons and become a beautiful butterfly. Char!

Disclaimer: These life hacks worked for me, these are based from true experiences and I learned them the hard way. I know we have different situations in life and some may not work for you but I’ll try to keep the list as generalized as possible.

#1 Keep your standards high but also be realistic.
We all dream of staying at a cozy apartment in the city.. okay, a posh one. But if you can’t afford it now, don’t be super disappointed about it. Think of this, you only need a clean and safe place to go home to after a tiring day. Besides, you’ll only be able to stay in your apartment during the weekends. So the practical thing to do is to look for a cheaper apartment, find a roommate whom you trust and split the payment for the rent. Now if you’re really short of budget, get a bed space or stay with your relatives near the area. I know it can get super awkward and uncomfortable, but hello? As long as you are safe, there shouldn’t be a problem. Tiis tiis lang te, someday you’ll have your own place!

#2 Get a job, a regular-paying one that is! 
You are not your parents’ little prince or princess anymore, they send you out in the real world to work and learn the meaning of true sacrifice. This is your training before you take over as king or queen of your kingdom, so you have to deserve it. You must bring with you courage, perseverance, determination and a good heart. But seriously if you’re employed, a part of your SSS, Phil health and PAGIBIG benefits will be shouldered by your company. You’ll also be able to pay your taxes, your monthly phone bill, apartment rent, electricity, fare and food. This is it, you’re starting to become independent!

#3 Make extra cash by side hustling. 
I am proud to be a raketera! Why? Because having a sideline that actually pays me extra money outside of my regular job keeps me from having an empty pocket. But more than that, for me it is a fulfilment to know that I’m making use of my extra talents and extra time doing something that is worth it. When there’s a mini art fair in the city, I participate by selling my paintings and original postcards. I did modelling for local fashion boutique shops back in college, I was even vocalist of a local acoustic band before, and now I still do article writing as a side hustle. You see, this may or may not help me become rich but it’s a start. Don’t we all want to be financially safe in the future? Plus, I get to meet a lot of people and become friends with them and ask them to like my page and read my blog. Hahaha! Charot!

#4 Be humble now that you’re financially safe for a while. 
Lower your pride especially when you’re doing your part-time job. Don’t get easily offended when people tend to look down on you just because they don’t realize yet what a hard-working person you truly are. You do not have to compete with anyone anyway. Keep in mind that you want to survive, and surviving doesn’t mean you have to be above anyone else. Suppress materialism as much as you can, this is very common nowadays especially in a world full of Yeezys and Kylies. I’m not saying I’m guilt-free here, of course I want a Kylie lip kit! But since it’s not practical for me to buy one at the moment, I opted a cheaper alternative through The Glam Zone PH. And for the record, I really need a lipstick to look more presentable at work so it’s 99% under NEEDS category. LOL!

#5 Needs over wants
This is a golden rule for y’all adults. We have to learn to prioritize especially when buying things. Ever walked down the grocery aisle and compulsively grab everything that excites your eyes?? Well, abort mission! You don’t need those fancy packaging, get the local ground pepper instead of that McCormick! *rolls eyes* 

#6 Save. 
Now that you opted to be more practical, what you should do to your extra money is to put it in a bank. As adults, we should try to have an emergency budget all the time. I used to be a fool myself. So now I always keep in mind the saying:“Even if you can (buy stuff), doesn’t mean you should.”

#7 Don’t have utang.
This is also why we should have emergency money all the time. It’s so stressful carrying the thought all the time that you have borrowed money from someone. Miss Universe 1969, Ms. Gloria Diaz, even said in an interview with Phil Star back in 2012 that her number one beauty secret is to not have utang. So if you have one right now, save and pay for it na. Go, raket pa more!

#8 Learn to cook your own food
Some of us were super sheltered when we were young that our parents wouldn’t let us cook so we won’t get hurt. Some parents won’t let us do heavy chores so we could concentrate on our studies. We can’t blame them, you know. Our parents love us so much! But since we’re adult na and we’ll all become parents soon, we have to learn to cook our own food. Watch YouTube tutorials or ask your parents and friends how, just the simple ones. Cook from home and bring lunch at work, leftovers are okay as long as they’re still safe to eat. Back in February when I was my poorest, I had eggs and rice for lunch and dinner most of the time. My favorite side dish was diced tomato and onion drizzled with powdered pepper and salt. I'm still lucky because I still can say I enjoyed my food, and eggs are still healthier than packed noodles and canned goods. Bear in mind, you're on your own. No more yaya's to cook and wash your clothes, this you must accept and absorb as time goes by. Lol

#9 Walk more
So going back to being healthy, the cheapest and easiest work out is walking - plus it's also supposed to clear our heads from negative thoughts and calm us down. I always walk to the bus terminal every day after work, saves me ten-peso fare and it’s good for my legs. If I feel extra motivated, I do squats at home. Why? Because a part of being an adult is staying healthy! At early twenties our energy’s supposed to be at its peak, so be good to your body.

#10 Give back to the poor
now that you know their struggles. 
When you adult, you become more aware of everything. We should all focus on what we can do to help, we can always be a blessing to someone if we choose to. Give back to your parents and relatives, help your friends undergoing the same situation. Don’t worry about your detractors, just kill ‘em with kindness!

#11 Don't forget to say sorry and thank you.
We all make mistakes, that is a big part of growing up. So before I end this post, I would like to say sorry to the people I hurt in the past. And thank you to my friends who were there during my struggles and are still continuously helping me to grow and guiding me to become a better version of myself. Thank you for the free meals, the job recommendations, gigs, free coffee, for being my company. Mga tunay na bes: Ate Mica, Ate Maire, (mare) Charmaine Ronario, (fren) Daryl Angeles, Sir Simon Vistro, Sir Mike Fernandez, boss Josh Uy, (luvz) Cristina Alejo, (pare) Budo.. and many more!! Special shout out to my Mama, Pops, Louise! 
And to my inspiration - Johnny Depp. Hahaha! THANK YOU!

And to you my readers: 
Bes, don’t give up. You’re not alone! Fight! You'll get there.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Foolproof Party Survival Tips for Beginners

Since I've not been going out a lot these days, I spend my precious hours at home writing and reading whatever article that interests me. If I'm lucky and my WIFI connection's not that crappy, I like watching video blogs on Youtube. I've discovered Wil Dasovich's channel last year, he is famously known as the Fil-Am Youtuber who speaks beki language like a pro. Today I watched this two-part video blog of him attending a house party event for Sunnies specs in Manila, in which he is seen "sosyalan crashing" with the bloggers, the rich and famous.

I really had fun watching the videos as I see myself in him (maybe the beki side, but he is straight daw ha - fyi), and also kinda reminds me of the awkward moments I've had in the past at parties like that. This ain't a review or something, I just feel like sharing with you guys MY stories and some foolproof party survival tips that you can use in the future, char! So!

Survival tip #1! Before going to parties make sure you have eaten something, you'll never know when there's food or nah. This will save you from looking like a patay gutom, like Wil Dasovich in the videos (his words, not mine) haha! Yah know, I'm sure we've all heard some of our friends and relatives say, "Aaah I won't eat lunch or merienda, I will save it for tonight. There's food there right?" Hashtag gutom.

Now, while that seemed practical, puh-lease don't deprive your body of its right to be nourished. Unless you are really full or super ecstatic that you've lost appetite, E-A-T. You'll be stomach growl-proof & bad-breath-proof. And if you really don't have time to, you can always bring with you chewing gum packs or menthol candies, OR a snack - like?? Leche flan!! See example: Madame Senator Nancy Binay during President Duterte's first SONA. Hahaha! Joke <3 Heart, heart Sen. Nancy! 

My Story: I attended a cricket game after-party last year hosted by a certain sports association composed mainly of Indian members, because we all know Cricket is like the national sport of India. At these parties, you'll be amazed at how they never fail to serve curry, because it's like their national dish or something, and because Indian spices are super healthy. So I knew at some point they're gonna offer me food (and I can't decline), but I also have to go around and network.  Since I have low-tolerance on spicy foods and I tend to be so conscious about the aftertaste (and smell) of curry, I made sure I wasn't starving to death when I got there and that I had a box of Tictacs in my pocket. Unless you can afford the trouble of bringing your own toothpaste and tooth brush, it's tolly up to you. So because I was prepared, my confidence was restored and the night ended well for me and the rest. 

With my friend Robbie who taught me how to do the shuffle
Survival tip #2! Before you go to the club, let yourself enjoy a beer or two at home or some place other. YESSSS. If you want to stretch your budget for the month while also allowing yourself the privilege to have a night life, then this is the most practical thing to do -err next to not going out at all, netflix & chill (duh?).

My story: I'm used to going out alone back when I was still working and living in Singapore, and my go-to place is at 1Altimate/1Altitude Bar. I am lucky to have made friends with the Filipino staff there and also a number of Singaporeans (special shout out to their operations manager Aziz!) A cocktail will cost you S$12-15, beer S$12, a shot of tequila S$20-25 depending on the brand. Going there solo I can afford, but with a group? Like when I was with my cousins and it's all on me? Whew! But I still wanted us to enjoy the night without me ever restricting on anything, so I bought a six-pack Tiger beer, some chips and stayed at Clark Quay bridge. It's one of those places where you're allowed to just drink and chill. Eventually we went to our destination, danced and partied, and I still managed to save a few bucks for a cab after. Hashtag sulit!

At CSI Fresh Raw with my Ate Mica of & photos by Kristian Enriquez
Survival Tip #3! Talk to the event organizers, DJs, service crew and security staff. Get to know them too!

My story: So how did I get to know Kuya Ryan and the staff of 1Altitude Bar? I went there alone on my 22nd birthday and they asked me why, we had a few chit chats then. After a while, they asked the band to sing me the happy birthday song. To my surprise, one of the staff came in holding a slice of cake *take note* with a candle and a cute message. I'm telling ya, they're the sweetest! Since then, I got to know them better, which province they came from, how long have they been there, etc. I bring them small tokens of appreciation like chocolates whenever, I also bring my clients, family and friends there. They are very professional and warm to everyone, you'll see how dedicated they truly are. 

In 71Gramercy, the same goes. I met Neil Bengzon who took this cool photo of me in the iconic red curtain style. I also met Dj Philly there who pumped up the night with awesome music. 

Just talk to the bouncers, smile back, thank them, greet them.
Photo by Neil Bengzon of 71Gramercy

Survival Tip #4!
Give yourself a favor, try to enjoy the party. If not, go home and try not to ruin it for everyone. Adult tantrums are disastrous! 

My story: Me and my friends went to the first Up North Music Festival in Dagupan City and we had a few drinks there. When Dj Ron Poe started playing I was my vivacious self and people around thought I was super drunk, they try to stop me from dancing. My gaaaaaaad! When it's Dj Tom Taus' turn, I decided to go. I was just dancing like everyone else, but I understand.. because normally I wouldn't allow people here to see me lose my self. Maybe I looked idiotic, haha! But to hell with that, I felt happy and alive. Sad I had to leave early.

So there you have it! Four foolproof party survival tips for beginners from your Tita Lovely Grey!! Don't forget to leave a comment and share. Pusuan mo!!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What's your go-to beer?

Mga pards, mag-ingay! I hope you all feel my excitement as I write this blog entry here. Summer has gone and rainy days are coming, all the more reason we deserve a bottle of beer in hand - to wash them blues away. Hugot! Recently, I've been thinking.. Since I'm so good at drinking[charot], why not I try become a beer sommelier? That is a legit profession, you guys. Seriously! And we don't have much of them especially in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, there are only seven master cicerones in the world, as of writing. 

Trivia: Sommeliers = Wine and Cicerones = Beer. 

According to what I've heard, they have a pretty competitive salary. Around $20,000 lang naman, mind you. So what do they actually do aside from drinking free-flowing beer all day? Like wine sommeliers, cicerones have gifted taste buds. Hashtag supernatural. They judge each bottle of beer based on packaging, texture, taste and impact. They can name the best beers in the world, I believe their ultimate goal is to not miss any. Another thing, and what I think the most important, is food pairing. Tag niyo tropa niyong matakaw sa pulutan! A cicerone knows which food complements which beer. Because one can not settle on a serving of roasted peanuts no matter how low-key their drinking session is going to be. Luckily, I have a drinking buddy who knows his way around the kitchen! 

So before anything else, what's my go-to beer nga ba? Well, I have a few na you might have tried na rin already.

San Mig Light. Keyword here is "light." The usual dialogue would be: "Tara inom tayo, Mig light lang." It's like your usual pantulak and pamukaw uhaw, thirst-quencher. Youngsters(18+), you guys, are the number one target market of this specific beer product. It's one of my go-to beers because it's cheap and easily accessible, they have this in most bars here in Dagupan City like Sides Grill & Raw Bar at Perez. I like my San Mig Light served at below zero temperature, because I'm not a big fan of its metallic flavor when it gets warm.

(c) @lvlygrey instagram
Red Horse. A store without Red Horse is like a home without electricity. Haha, charot! RH is one of the most popular beers in the Philippines, it also has one of the highest alcohol content at 6.8%. So if you'd like to kick your drinking game up a notch and pretend you're a grown-ass man/woman now, then this one's for you. Usual dialogue: "Tara inom tayo beer, yung may tama." It's practical to buy jumbo-sized ones instead  of the 500ml ones especially if you're that thirsty, depressed, or drinking with buddies. Red Horse is one of my go-to beers simply because it's *cue in commercial* extra strong, ito ang tama!

Taken during Bangus Festival 2016 (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Cerveza Negra. A special shout out to my friend, artist Patrick Fernandez for introducing this drink to me. (Check out his portfolio.) You can get this in local grocery stores at around Php80-90. Just like the name suggests, it's dark, it tastes rich and roasty. A bit bitter than your usual beer, still, you'll love it like we do.

Taken at Patrick Fernandez's studio (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Corona. Every Fast and Furious movie franchise fans have tried or been meaning to try this beer, as popularized by the man himself, Vin Diesel. You can avail one in your local grocery stores for Php90+ per bottle, add in a wedge of lime or lemon to get the best of it. Now if you want to know more about the connection between Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and Corona, I've stumbled upon this fun article here. It's very detailed and amusing to read. And for another trivia, did you know that Corona is currently the number one fast-selling imported beer in the U.S. and number five in the world? Yup. It's that good.

Taken during one of our drinking sessions (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Hoegaarden. We love it whenever our dads share a good bottle or two of beer with us, it always fuels a meaningful conversation about life and all other things in between. It was a couple of years ago, my Dad ordered Hoegaarden saying it's a Dutch beer and knowing that I'm hella crazy about anything Netherlands-related, I took a sip and nodded. "Lekker!" So yeah, I learned that it's technically Belgian beer since it was first brewed in Hoagaarden, Belgium. Anyway, I love this because it's light, smooth and citrus-y. It's a good lunch beer, I always try to get one whenever available. The last time I checked, I think they have one available at Meshroom and/or try asking at Panaderia Antonio Bakery and Restaurant.

Taken at McGettingan's Clarke Quay Singapore (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Erdinger. One of the best beers I've tried so far. For me, chili king crab is its best food pairing. There is a gentle bitterness in it, but it's mostly wheat and malt and lemon zest. I remember attending a party hosted by EMAS back when I was still working as a marketing executive in the offshore industry, parties like that open doors for potential clients, business partnerships and life-long friendships. But you gotta drink just like everyone, it's a way of breaking the ice. Usual dialogue: "What are you having?" "Erdinger." "Ahh good German beer." "Love it. My name's ....." 

Taken at Boat Quay Singapore (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Krombacher. I took this photo below after a refreshing afternoon dip in the pool with my family. And yes, times like this calls for a light, crisp, refreshing drink as well. Krombacher is easy on the taste, there is almost no heaviness in this drink but it's a very good beer for a German pilsner. Don't worry, after a few glasses you'll still be fine. Trivia: Krombacher ranks number two among Germany's best selling breweries.

Taken at Swiss Club Singapore (c) @lvlygrey instagram
This is what a true beer lover's grocery look like. Compared to my Dad, who owns most of the drinks below, I'm only level 10 and he is level 999. I like Stella Artois too (below - canned), twice I went to 71Gramercy that's what I got. It's also light and easy to drink, there's a subtle sweetness to it also. But I have to agree na it tastes like Heineken. It's good, it's okay. Priced at around Php100+ at 71G. I've also tried Leffe, it's my Mum's preferred beer because it's light and a lady's drink daw

Taken at Fair Price (c) @lvlygrey instagram
Special mention ang La trappe because that's the first beer I had this year, during the New Year's Eve countdown I was holding a bottle of it. Sayang lang I don't have a good photo of it to include here but I think I still have the new year's video on my Facebook page eh, you'll see there. Haha! So anyway, siguro after reading this you might think that I would drink any beer in front of me. No naman. Just like food, we should try everything and from there choose which ones we love the most and which we would rather not have again. Pag sa love life, don't try everything, you have the right to be choosy. Hahaha!

So do you think I'd pass up as a novice beer cicerone? I still have a lot to learn and I still am not sure if I'd take this seriously... probably not. Haha! On the other hand, I enjoyed writing this entry and writing is my first love naman talaga even though I didn't take up a course back in college na related to it. 

[Random person shouting in the background] : Woooh, shot mo na!

So, ikaw? What's your go-to beer? Share and comment below.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blog Giveaway: Gold Tickets to Up North Music Festival

‪#‎BlogGiveaway‬: HAVE YOU HEARD?? On April 23, 2016, Dagupan City will be the host of the biggest music festival ever staged in Pangasinan! As one of ‪#‎UNMFDagupan‬'s media ambassadors, I will be giving away a pair of Gold Tickets for UP NORTH Music Festival to 2 lucky winners. All you have to do is follow these rules:

1) Post a photo with a caption of your favourite hugot line, a poem, or any literary verse that speaks about the pains of the heart </3

2) TAG US! @upnorthmusicfestival @lvlygrey WITH HASHTAGS‪#‎lvlygreyxUNMFDagupan‬ #UNMFDagupan and ‪#‎CSIMalls‬

3) Make sure your posts are all public on these social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can post your entries until April 6, 2016! 
Make sure to Like our official Facebook page: 
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See you there

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Summer To-Do List in Dagupan City

And just like that, summer season officially starts in the Philippines. We can feel the heat here in Dagupan City! You wake up soaked in sweat and you're already feeling like getting in the shower, but you just got there. Haha! Bikini body or not; Dad Bod or abs of steel.. you don't fucking care anymore. You take that shirt off anyway and wear that panty-shorts of yours. Everybody lookin' but they not hatin'. Ang init sa Pinas eh!!

But ALL IS WELL, sabi nga ni Pochacho. And because I think I'm obliged to talk about things and share this to-do list with you guys, I hope you still bear in mind.. kanya-kanya tayo ng trip. You might find some boring or total childish bullshit, like the sago-straw fight kids used to do during my time, like decades ago. Charot! Wherein you buy a five-peso 'sago palamig' or in English 'sweet tapioca pearl summer drink.' Charrr! Packaged in a special palamig plastic with, probably, recycled plastic straws. You sip and leave a few pearls in the straw as your ammo, you be alert and be ready to blow any time -the equivalent of pulling a gun's trigger. Every breath counts, so take this very seriously, don't laugh and breathe with your mouth if you don't want to choke on it. Head shot is okay, but ear shot is way better. It gets your enemy every time, but parental guidance is advised. Takes a lot of training, you know. 

Hi Mr. Pochaho! Idol/Crush, you had me at papatas. Charrr!
On a more serious note, there's another reason you should all go to Bonuan Tondaligan Beach. But first, shout out to those college students who have endless drinking sessions in the cottages there, and to the vendors who give special student discounts. Hahaha. As long as you guys do it after class and you finish college sober. Hmm. I'm being too honest here, rated PG na naman. Haha!

So yeah, as I was saying.. you should guys check out mural paintings by the Biskeg Pangasinan artists. You drive to Bonuan Tondaligan and ask where the spot is, and everyone knows. The spot is an abandoned office space, there used to be just walls standing there and beach grass. But they've cleaned up the area and voila, instant location for Instagram worthy photos. Take extra care though, as there are shards of glasses and beer bottles everywhere. Please take note, dear city government officials - OPLAN walang bubog na daan. Charot!

Syempre, let's not leave the beach behind. I can say that Bonuan Tondaligan beach is now cleaner compared to before, and if you don't want to go for a swim you can just yah know.. take pictures and tampisaw.. in English - Instagram & Chill. Hahaha. Or Instagram & Tempe-saw. Charr. Alam ko ingles nun noh, ginoogle ko. Tampisaw is to wade in the water. O ha, GMT (Google Mo Tanga!) Joke!

The best time to go to the beach is in the morning at 6AM - 9AM, you need fresh air lalo mga sakitin. And then, of course, in the afternoon at 4PM to 6PM to watch the sunset. Because sometimes guys, sometimes all we need is Vitamin Sea yah know? 

Thank you #SocialMediaMan Simon Vistro for this photo haha #WhatsUpDagupanMan
What else can you do here? Ahh! Since you're in Bonuan, there is the famous Matutina's restaurant that all balikbayans and local tourist go to, to eat fresh Bangus and other seafood. Dagupan is famous for our milk fish or Bangus. And speaking of the devil, Dagupan Bangus Festival is fast approaching! Click here to see the schedule of events. There are a lot of activities to do here this summer, especially because of the festival. Plus, I am so looking forward to the first ever Up North Music Festival on April 23! Watch out for LVLYGREY x UNMFDagupan - make sure to get updates on these Facebook pages: LVLY GREY, UNMFDagupan, Pixelhub Creative, Senyorita and What's Up Dagupan.

Special shout out rin to everyone, please stay hydrated. We're always thirsty pag summer, or at least I am. Always. As a matter of fact, I'm writing this here at Yellow Tree Cafe. YTC is still the best place to be when you're craving for milk tea. My favorite is Hazelnut milk tea with Oreo sinker. So don't expect me to have bikini body this year, I love good food and drinks too much. Try again next year. Hahaha! Shout out to boss Chester. Haha. Share mo to ah. Charot!

Madami, madami pa. This post does not include other things like: ligo sa batcha this summer, outing with friends na hindi natutuloy, reunion with high school classmates pero walang budget, palamig sa mall kasi aircon, start your own iced candy/iced water business, barbeque business, get drunk, summer flings, new hairstyle new me this summer, hugot and more. 

Okay, so, gora na ako.. I have to cross out other things on my To-Do List rin. Char! 
Take time to rest, pray, repent and reflect this coming Holy Week.