A Hotel Rejected Us But It Didn’t Stop Us from Admiring Moalboal

After our fulfilling Kawasan canyoneering experience, we rented a multicab that would take us to Moalboal. This small town in Cebu’s southwest part is deemed a world-class divers’ paradise because of its abundant marine life. While it’s only my first time in Cebu, I can affirm that there are magnificent diving spots all over the region.

Kawasan Canyoneering’s Addicting Charm

If there’s something I’m most grateful for about this trip, it’s the fact that I was accompanied by fellow adventure junkies. They’re Aujen’s MBA classmates and while I imagine them in pensive moods when dealing with complex problems inside the classroom, their personas outside are entirely different! I cannot imagine going through all these things without companions as fun and as brave-hearted as them.

Finding Serenity on Sumilon Island (+Where My Friends Ate the Famous Cebu Lechon)

If you’re in Oslob, do not miss the serene Sumilon Island! Since we finished our whale shark encounter before noon, we rented a boat for P2,000 and paid P50 each for the environmental fees. The island is called as such because of the word sumilong which means “to shelter.” They say stranded fishermen use the island as a refuge from storms.

Swimming with the Massive Yet Graceful Oslob Whale Sharks

No aquarium, regardless of how spacious and fancy it is, can replace the amazement that comes with an actual exploration of the sea’s wilderness. This is why we were so excited to visit Oslob. We arrived in Cebu at midnight and took a 20-minute cab ride going to Ceres Bus Terminal. Our bus ride lasted for almost four hours. When we arrived at Brgy. Tan-awan, it was only 4 a.m., but instead of booking a room (we were only there for a day tour anyway), we opted to pay for a cottage where we could rest and charge our gadgets.

Singapore Diaries: Universal Studios and Its Yearly Frightfest

This is a quick post of my recent Universal Studios Singapore adventure with my boyfriend’s family. I won’t dwell too much on the park because I have written about my favorite USS attractions last year. We still had fun, but we were saddened that the Waterworld show for that day didn’t push through because of the haze crisis. Nonetheless, it’s the right thing to do for a show as perilous as Waterworld needs to ensure the safety of its stars.

6 Things to Do at DreamPlay by DreamWorks

Let kids have fun unstructured form of play
 Unstructured play is essential in honing a child's imagination and DreamPlay is just the right place for that. I took my cousins here and they certainly had fun exploring iconic areas from renowned DreamWorks films. My hyperactive cousins climbed, crawled, and yes, screamed because of the How to Train Your Dragon area’s sprawling mazes while they enjoyed searching for Shrek’s missing keys at the Swamp Stop.

I'm Never Coming Back to Myeongdong with My Boyfriend

“Are we done yet?” my boyfriend asks with his eyes trying to conceal his impatience.
“Malapit na talaga (It’s nearly over),” I say as convincingly as I can.

This post is long overdue but I simply cannot let go of my Myeongdong experience. Myeongdong is unofficially hailed as Korea's cosmetics haven. The district is teeming with eager shoppers because the rows of beauty stores seem endless.

In Myeongdong, it isn't unusual to see more than one branch of a particular beauty brand. If you have forgotten something from Tony Moly, don't worry because the next block would probably have another branch. Some stores are open until midnight and it's usually nice to go there after visiting Namsan Tower

How It Feels to Work from Home

I used to think I wasn't cut-out for the corporate world because I didn't have the guts to withstand its sometimes conniving nature. However, I am fortunate because the two instances I have delved into the corporate world weren't horrible at all. I give all credits to my colleagues especially the ones I have recently left.

5 Fashion Icons and Their Standout Jewels

Jewelry is perhaps the most transformative part of our closets. You might be clad in a simple black tee but pairing it with an oversized watch immediately does wonders. Nonetheless, you don’t always have to splurge for jewelry pieces except for those considered as investment pieces like watches.

Travelling is one instance where you don’t want to flash exorbitant items for they might be lost or damaged. You can enjoy a fanciful approach to accessorizing by searching for practical yet equally stylish alternatives. Zalora, for example, has a gorgeous selection of jewelry. If you’re a passionate crafter (I envy you), this article can help you,

For inspiration, here are some fashion icons and their standout pieces.

Grace Kelly
Her standout piece: A 10.47 carat Cartier emerald-cut diamond ring

7 Tips for Making the Most Out of Book Warehouse Sales

Any place with dirt cheap books is a haven for bibliophiles. Last month, I was able to attend two warehouse sales for books. The one is Books for Less in Pasig wherein ALL titles were sold for just P20 (less than USD1). I felt disappointed though because we arrived in the afternoon and most of the books were already “leftovers” – either the pages are ripped or stained. Through my boyfriend’s relentless digging in the boxes, I ended up with 11 decent storybooks.

National Bookstore’s annual warehouse sale is also reminiscent of Hunger Games. All the books were in mint condition. I was able to purchase all these and a bunch of storybooks (and cable ties) for less than a thousand bucks.

A photo posted by Eunice Alcala (@gracekellyish) on

How to Quit Your Job with Poise

One shouldn’t be nonchalant when resigning from a professional engagement. Not burning bridges is significant because we never know whom we’ll run into. Even if your work is the bane of your existence, show everyone that nothing can trump your sunshine.  The only exception is if your rights are abused and if you already tried to make amends but failed.

Korea Diaries: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, and Insadong

We spent our last day in Korea exploring the country’s cultural side. Gyeongbokgung Palace was first on our list as it’s the country’s most famous royal abode. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore the palace’s walled grounds because Gyeongbokgung was closed. If your visit doesn’t fall on a Tuesday, make sure to not miss the colorful Changing of the Royal Guards ceremony.

Korea Diaries: Nami Island and Namsan Tower

After being captivated by the French-inspired houses in  Petite France, we headed to Namiseom which is a half-moon-shaped island in Chuncheon. Nami Island is famed for its tree-lined lanes which I’m sure look magical during autumn or winter.

Korea Diaries: Everland Resort

As a theme park devotee, I prioritized Everland when I created our South Korea itinerary. The outdoor theme park is located in Yongin and is operated by Samsung. The park’s intricate details emulate various places from Greek gardens to German Alpine villages.

Korea Diaries: Petite France

After graduating from thick fairy tale compilations, one of the books I have devoured was “The Little Prince.” Knowing that innumerable lives have been touched by the book, Korea came up with Petite France, the only French cultural village in the country.

Korea Diaries: “My Love from the Star” Exhibit

I find mysterious brooding guys endearing which is why I got hooked on My Love from the Star. The series follows the life of an alien professor whose glum notion about love changed when he met a self-absorbed actress.

Korea Diaries: Bau House Café

There are three reasons why I am adamant to visit Korea: the My Love from the Star exhibit, Everland’s T-Express, and most importantly, Bau House Café. 

South Korea Travel Cheat Sheet: How to Get a Korean Visa, Where to Stay in Korea, and the MERS Scare

Korea wasn’t initially included in our plan for we were saving for a Gold Coast surfing trip. Things changed when I got hold of a My Love from the Star DVD. I’m not into Korean dramas but the series charmed me. “WE HAVE TO GO THERE,” I said upon finding out that there’s an exhibit solely put up for the series.

Benefit First Class Flirts Review

“Touch up before touch down with our first-class ‘fake-its.’”

This is what the Benefit First Class Flirts gift set promises. Since Benefit knows that looking dolled-up might be your least priority when travelling, the brand came up with this set. The six items are not only lightweight but also easy to use. In a few seconds, you can already prep, prime, and perk up your skin. Benefit First Class Flirts is also perfect for those who haven't tried Benefit products yet.

One Direction in Manila 2015 and What the Brit Crooners Wore

When I started going out with Aujen, I used to tease him for his fascination for “mainstream” music. The tides turned when the One Direction bug bit me. As much as I want to think that I’m not a full-fledged Directioner, I can’t deny that 1D’s upbeat songs are helpful every morning.

I watched the first night of Manila’s “On the Road Again” tour with my cousin (who’s way younger than me). It was the boys’ first OTRA show sans Zayn Malik but they managed to enliven the crowd. Even if they were allegedly instructed to be “extra entertaining,” I found their antics natural. It rained when they performed “One Thing” but instead of being squeamish, Harry Styles even laid down on the stage.

March Favorites

Soap and Glory Hand Food
It’s a non-greasy hand cream that contains shea butter, macadamia oil, and marshmallow! This smells wonderful and the skin absorbs it quickly. 

Legoland Malaysia

Legoland Malaysia was part of our Singapore trip in October 2014. Allocating just a day for the theme park is fine since it’s located in Johor Bahru which only takes less than an hour from Singapore.

Be still, He knows better

Things might not be rosy for you now but He knows the reason for everything. You have so many questions that you can't even find the right words to encapsulate what you feel but it's okay, He doesn't need fancy prayers. He already knows the cry of your heart even before you decided to come to Him. 

He is closest when you’re at your most vulnerable.  Do not despise struggles for they give us a chance to call on to Him and be embraced by His grace – something that not always happens when everything’s in its rightful order.

Allow Him to carry your uncertainties and your heartaches for the comfort that He can give you will never be outmatched by anything in this world. You will be left wounded not just once but when you’re at your lowest, remember that nothing – even the unexpected and unimaginable – can make Him turn away from you.

What's on My Book Nightstand

January Favorites

Miss Dior

I like how dainty the bottle is but I believe the scent’s more suited for summer days. Tunisian Neroli and Bulgarian Damask Rose give the perfume a sweet scent although the Indonesian Patchouli makes Miss Dior slightly musky.

Belle de Jour Power Planner

This year’s Smythesewn planner is lighter because they have removed the lifestyle coupons and compiled them on a separate notebook. Despite initially having a planner from Starbucks (it unfortunately serves as an adhesive for my dog’s fur), I still went back to BDJ.

Sasatinnie Cucumber Mask

One of my favorite face masks from Hong Kong’s Sasa stores.

Juicy Couture Malibu Daydreamer

While I’m more into safe and classic designs when it comes to purses, I like how light and spacious this one is. It’s like the “mature” version of my Juicy Couture bags back in high school (yes, the baby pink velour ones which make me cringe now).

Pocket iBooks

I’ll always be a devotee of books with real pages but who am I to refuse a random gift from my brother? Filling it with books is a nice gesture too.