Move It, Move It

About a month ago, people got shocked by my sudden appearance on ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ as one of their hurados for the week.

Without any knowledge, I, myself, was also surprised to hear the hosts of the show call me as the newest Kapamilya star. I swear, I had no idea! But hearing them say those words definitely made me feel butterflies in my stomach. It made me happy.

Not a lot of people know this but I actually started my career at the young age of 7 with ABS-CBN as one of the kids on the now-defunct kiddie gag show, ‘Ang TV.’ I was a part of that show for a year, making esmyuski jokes alongside Angelica Panganiban, Camille Prats, CJ Ramos, Stefano Mori, Tom Taus, John Prats, Cheska Garcia and Patrick Garcia from 1993 to 1994 and then moved to GMA-7 afterwards to be part of ‘5&Up.’ But I really took my profession as an actor seriously when I was already 15. I joined the cast of ‘Daddy Di Do Du’ together with Danica Sotto, Isabelle de Leon and of course, Mr. Vic Sotto. That show was really one of my favorites because not only did it open so many doors for me, I also found a family in its cast, staff and crew. The show ran for 6 years which was why saying goodbye to my character Donna was one of the hardest and most painful things I ever had to do in my life. After that, at the age of 21, I started taking on more mature roles for afternoon soap operas such as, ‘Una Kang Naging Akin,’ ‘Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin,’ ‘My Lover My Wife,’ ‘Faithfully,’ and my very last show with GMA-7, ‘Mga Basang Sisiw.’ I’ve played so many amazing and challenging roles on TV while working with some of the best actors and directors in the industry and for that, I have GMA-7 to thank. They also made me discover my love for hosting through shows such as ‘Protege’ and ‘Party Pilipinas.’ For so many years of my life, I grew up and grew as an artist as a Kapuso in the studios of GMA-7.

However, as I’ve mentioned, my last show with the Kapuso network was ‘Mga Basang Sisiw’ which ended in October of 2013 and as an artist, all I really ever wanted was to grow and do more. Since I wasn’t doing anything from October 2013 up until July 2014, I was already itching to work which was why I asked my mom who is also my manager to ask GMA-7 if I could already try working at a different TV station. Ultimately, the decision came from me. I was the one who told my mom that I wanted to make drastic changes in my career and I think I had every right to do that because after all, this is my career we’re talking about. I figured, I’m already 27, I’m not getting any younger — I might as well explore my options and see what else is out there for me. With the help of my efficient and ever-so-reliable mom-ager Pia, I was properly released from GMA-7 and now, I am currently working in the TV station where it all began for me: the Kapamilya network, ABS-CBN. Let me make it clear, however, that I am not under contract with the said network but I will be doing shows with them in the very near future.

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I took a 3-day workshop with THE Rhayan Carlos who teaches methods under the Ivanna Chubbuck program! He is so amazing! I learned so much from him in only 3 days! What more when I finally take his masterclass this month? Exciting!

I took a 3-day workshop with THE Rhayan Carlos who teaches methods under the Ivanna Chubbuck program! He is so amazing! I learned so much from him in only 3 days! What more when I finally take his masterclass this month? Exciting!

With the other hurados Jessy Mendiola and Jhong Hilario during my very first It's Showtime guesting!

With the other hurados Jessy Mendiola and Jhong Hilario during my very first It’s Showtime guesting!

The It's Showtime family is so much fun and easy to work with! It didn't feel like work at all! :)

The It’s Showtime family is so much fun and easy to work with! It didn’t feel like work at all! :)

I also guested on Singing Bee and won the jackpot prize of P340,000! WHAT LUCK! <3

I also guested on Singing Bee and won the jackpot prize of P340,000! WHAT LUCK! <3

I auditioned for the role of the Nurse Rapper for MMK and thankfully, I got the part! We shot the episode for two days.

I auditioned for the role of the Nurse Rapper for MMK and thankfully, I got the part! We shot the episode for two days.

Meet Fatima Palma the Nurse Rapper on Maalala Mo Kaya on November 8!

Meet Fatima Palma the Nurse Rapper on Maalala Mo Kaya on November 8!

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So blessed to have been able to work with all these talented actors for our MMK episode! They all act so naturally! I was blown away by each and every one of them.

So blessed to have been able to work with all these talented actors for our MMK episode! They all act so naturally! I was blown away by each and every one of them.

I'm so happy that my director for my very first MMK episode was direk Raz dela Torre. He was so hands on! He guided me every step of the way. Thank you for the lessons as well as the patience, direk! <3

I’m so happy that my director for my very first MMK episode was direk Raz dela Torre. He was so hands on! He guided me every step of the way. Thank you for the lessons as well as the patience, direk! <3

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I had the privilege to be interviewed by Mr. Boy Abunda and Ms. Kris Aquino on their show Aquino and Abunda to promote my first ever Kapamilya project, Dream Dad. I was so starstruck by them!

I had the privilege to be interviewed by Mr. Boy Abunda and Ms. Kris Aquino on their show Aquino and Abunda to promote my first ever Kapamilya project, Dream Dad. I was so starstruck by them!

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This November, I will be on one of ABS-CBN's Primtime Bida shows with Zanjoe Marudo, Beauty Gonzalez, Gloria Diaz, Tiros Cruz III, Ketchup Eusebio and this adorable little girl Jana Agoncillo! Watch Dream Dad starting November 24!

This November, I will be on one of ABS-CBN’s Primtime Bida shows with Zanjoe Marudo, Beauty Gonzalez, Gloria Diaz, Tiros Cruz III, Ketchup Eusebio and this adorable little girl Jana Agoncillo! Watch Dream Dad starting November 24!

In the few months that I’ve been roaming the halls of ABS-CBN, these are the different shows and guestings that I was lucky enough to be a part of. Although I am so grateful that ABS-CBN opened their doors to me, I will never forget what GMA-7 helped me achieve as an artist. In my heart, I will forever hold a special place for the Kapuso network as well as my bosses there, the people I worked with including actors, production staff, makeup artists, camera men and all the PA’s. I will always be thankful for my wonderful years as a Kapuso but for now, it is time for me to grow and fulfill my duties as one of the newest Kapamilya artists. In every industry, there should be no rivalries — Only inspirations, motivations and an undeniable passion for one’s craft. Who knows what else is going to happen in the coming weeks, months and years but as of now, I know that I am happy and that I can’t wait to do so much more with my life. If there’s one thing I learned from my parents it is never to turn down blessings. Thank You, Lord for all these amazing opportunities! Whether I am a Kapuso or a Kapamilya, my heart will forever remain humble, happy and grateful. <3

My NY <3

Coming from a family of artists, I have always been interested in the different forms of art. My grandparents on both sides were part of different worlds of arts. My dad’s parents were known to be one of the biggest movie love teams back in the 50’s while my mom’s mother was a creative director at JWT, one of the biggest advertising agencies in Manila, during her time. Later on, my mom Pia became a stunning commercial model in the 70’s and is now very good in creative marketing while my father, the late FrancisM, started hip-hop in the Philippines and rightfully earned the title of “The King of Rap.” He was always known as “The Man from Manila” because of his great and undying love for his country which we, his 8 children, inherited from him. Like him, we all love the Philippines immensely and we couldn’t be prouder to be Filipino because of the rich culture and magnificent places our country boasts of.

This love for the arts that my grandparents and parents once possessed trickled onto us, the third generation Magalonas — my sister Saab took Creative Writing in school and is now one of the top bloggers in Manila today and also has her very own band called “Cheats,” my brother Elmo is a budding television and film actor who is already doing so well at the young age of 20 and another brother of mine, Frank, is so musically-inclined that he makes his own music, writes his own songs and produces them all by himself with a college degree in painting at the biggest fine arts school in Manila to boot. As for me? I am an actress/TV host/model who loves to listen and sing-along to music, watch TV shows and movies and travel to different parts of the world to be able to see and appreciate all sorts of cultural experiences. As much as I love the Philippines, one of my biggest dreams is to travel the world and see what else is out there. So far, I’ve only been to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Hawaii, all of which I enjoyed very much. Now, I am just itching to visit more places around the globe because I’ve already grown to love travelling so much! One of my dream destinations, which I plan to go to next year, is the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps and the city where Lady Liberty gloriously stands — New York. *fingers crossed*

Ahh, New York! I’ve seen this place in all those TV shows and movies that I love to watch and I’ve already heard about it in the songs of some of my favorite musicians. How can I not be so intrigued by this fascinating and diverse place? I’ve always wanted to go to New York because of all the amazing things I’ve heard about it! I’ve always wondered, if I were to catch a plane to NYC, would I be able to fit in? Would I enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed all the other places I’ve been to? Would I actually fall in love with New York? The answer, I think, would definitely be a big YES. And it just makes me so excited the more I think about how much fun I imagine my first (because I’m so sure that it won’t be the last) trip to New York would be! Why am I so sure that I’m gonna enjoy being in NYC, you ask? Let me tell you why.

First off, some of my favorite TV shows are all set in New York — Sex and The City, Gossip Girl, The Mindy Project, Girls and FRIENDS. Because of these shows, I fell in love with New York and somehow, I’ve always felt like I’ve already been there. Believe it or not, I am the BIGGEST Friends fan in the whole world. Ask me anything about the show and its characters and I will be ale to answer all your questions. Quiz me on Friends and you will be schooled. Believe me. I love the whole cast and I can’t wait to go to NYC just so that I can take the Friends tour!

Secondly, I absolutely love to eat and when I travel, I make sure to try all different kinds of food in all the new places I visit. I’m sure that when I go to New York, I’ll be able to find all sorts of delicious food at sumptuous restaurants but what I’m most excited about is the street food! In Manila, some of my favorite can be found on the street. Yup — I am a street food addict. I love isaw, fish balls, kwek-kwek, chicharon bituka and dirty ice cream. What I can’t wait to experience in New York are their hot dog stands and food trucks! I love getting bits and pieces of all sorts of food so that I can try many things at once.

Third, being an artist myself, I don’t just enjoy TV shows and movies, I also love watching musicals and plays. When Wicked came to Manila, I was lucky enough to watch it and boy, was I just blown away! I have so much respect for theater actors who can act, sing and dance on stage at the same time. It definitely doesn’t look easy but they make it look like it is! Watching plays makes me become even more passionate about my work because I get inspired by theator actors and their love for their craft so much which is why I am definitely looking forward to watching shows on Broadway. One more thing I enjoy is listening to music because like I’ve said, I appreciate all forms of art and I truly believe that music is one of them. My favorite genre is hip-hop and RnB and some of my favorite rappers are actually from New York which is another reason why I love this city even more! Ja Rule, Charles Hamilton, Nas, the late and great Notorious BIG and of course, Jay-Z who produced the song, “Empire State of Mind” which sort of became New York’s modern day anthem. Although I also appreciate west coast rap music for other reasons, I just love how east coast rappers made their style dapper while making their music sound smooth. (Just a little bit of trivia: My dad, the King of Philippine Hip-Hop was greatly influenced by New York rappers Kurtis Blow, Notorious BIG and LL Cool J.)

Last but definitely not the least, the reason why I know I will fall in love with New York is because of the fact that I am a hopeless romantic. I am a sucker for romance and I can only imagine what it would be like to go on a date in a city as beautiful and captivating as New York. Since I’ve already seen romantic films set in NYC, I somehow already have an idea. Some of my favorites are Wicker Park, Begin Again, The Great Gatsby, Sleepless in Seattle and Serendipity — I can’t wait to try the hot chocolate they serve at the Serendipity 3, the cafe where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale went on a date. Oh, it would be absolutely incredible to hold someone’s hand while walking at Central Park, whether it be winter or fall — any season in New York would probably be just as wonderful as the next. From what I’ve heard, New York is a city that promotes love and even started the “I <3 NY" campaign in the 70's. I can't wait to get all dolled up for a romantic evening in New York! I'd wear one of my prettiest dresses, put on my dancing shoes and of course, splash on some of my favorite perfume because, well, wearing perfume for me is like putting on underwear. I'd feel naked without it! And if I ever take a trip to New York, I know exactly which of my perfumes to bring — My DKNY MYNY perfume! It's just the perfect scent for New York! Every time I spray it on, I just feel so vibrant, renewed and energetic! And I know that if I put on just the right amount, my date will want to be near me the entire time. Hahaha!

For all these reasons and so much more, I just can't wait to hop on a plane and fly to one of the most marvelous cities in the world! Somehow, I feel like I was meant to go to New York. Just like the city that never sleeps, I live a fast-paced life, I enjoy eating out on the streets and I love LOVE! New York just might be the perfect city for me. Let's wait and see! :)

If you want to win these prizes from DKNY:

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Join my DKNY MYNY contest! Follow these easy steps:

1. Like and follow @DKNY FRAGRANCE on Facebook.
2. Repost this image on your IG and tell us what you like about New York:

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3. Make sure to tag ME @maxenemagalona and @DKNY as well as the hashtag #MYNY to be able to qualify as an entry. Each person can post a maximum of 3 entries.
2. Contest will end on September 22, 2014 so HURRY!!!
5. The winner will be announced on my IG account by September 23, 2014.

THANK YOU! I heart all of you! :)

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A Better Place

Once upon time, there was a young lady who thought that she already knew everything there was to know about the world. She began living on her own at the age of 18 and thought that she was the most mature adult there was just because she had to start paying her own bills, preparing her own meals and driving her very own car around the metro. To add to that, her weekly schedules were pretty hectic because she was studying and working at the same time. She’d tape her shows from 6am until 7am the next day and then go straight to her 8:30am class. Because of this newfound sense of responsibility, this young lady thought that there wasn’t any more growing up to do — She was already all grown up. (Cue music: Independent Women Part 1 by Destiny’s Child.)

Ahh, the adult life! She never felt so independent and free! She went through college eating nothing but fast food and all kinds of junk because it was more convenient than cooking her own meals. She always had to have her yaya around to clean up after her. She would even make her driver run errands for her, especially when it was time to pay bills. THIS was what she thought becoming an adult was all about. Just because she was living on her own, she thought that she was no longer immature nor irresponsible.

This set up continued even after she graduated from college. When she was finally able to finish her studies, she felt even more mature. She thought that since she had already done all that she was supposed to, she could finally make time for all the other things she wanted to do without anyone telling her otherwise. That, for her, was the best part about being an adult: No one could dictate to her what she was supposed to do anymore. She was finally her own woman.

What this young lady didn’t realize was that as she was “growing up,” she was becoming the most naive and uncertain she had ever been. She relied on other people when it came to decision-making. She would always just follow the crowd and do whatever it was everyone else was doing. She was so easily swayed by her so-called “friends.” All these wrong life choices worsened her attitude over the years without her even knowing it. She rolled her eyes at people, called pretty girls “ugly” because she was insecure, refused to take pictures with her fans just because she didn’t want to be disturbed and couldn’t talk about anything else other than gossip. And because she was used to studying and working at the same time for so many years, when college was finally over, she had so much free time that she started going out night after night after night. Alas, she got drunk and wasted so many times that she couldn’t remember much anymore. She had officially entered the darkest and most relentless chapter of her life.

During those troubled times, she was a million lightyears away from the person that her friends and family once knew. She would only appear at family gatherings for the heck of it, barely spoke to her friends and became the unhealthiest she had ever been at 105 lbs. The worst part? She had no clue that she was doing anything wrong. She answered back to her mom and sisters who she thought were just nitpicking. She thought they were ganging up on her and making her look like the bad guy when really, she was just “living life.” She kept telling herself that she was happy. And she started to believe her own lies.

One day, things took a sharp turn when she partied too much out of town that she missed her flight going back home where she had to work. Her family couldn’t reach her and they were all so scared because they knew that with her chosen lifestyle, her life was in serious danger. She wasn’t taking care of her health AT ALL. She kept drinking, smoked cigarettes every 5 minutes, barely ate anything and slept only for a few hours. All she cared about was the way she looked. As long as she was thin enough to fit into all those sleazy-looking dresses she wore to parties, she was fine.

After that crazy night, when her mom was finally able to book her another flight home, she thought of her dad who was already in heaven. She thought, was he proud of her and all that she was doing? Was he going to look down from the heavens and smile at her? Would he be able to look at her and proudly call her his daughter? She knew the answers to all these questions and yet she found it hard to accept. But when she saw her mom’s disappointment and sadness when she came home to Manila that night, she finally had the courage to admit defeat.

Slowly but surely, she turned her life around. She stopped going to clubs, she lessened her alcohol consumption, she started exercising and eating healthier. In other words, she started loving herself. She began seeing what her dad, mom, siblings and friends always saw in her: A person worth loving. Today, she is the happiest and healthiest she has ever been. She finally knows who her true friends are, she loves spending time by herself and she hasn’t smoked a cigarette in a year. She smiles at strangers, says thank you to everyone who helps her out and can’t stop talking about her dreams and plans for the future. It’s funny how things eventually work out, isn’t it? Just when she was already prepared to accept that she was going to be that party girl for the rest of her life, she was finally able to take control and change for the better.

What people just like her fail to understand is that they are the only ones in control of their lives. They shouldn’t let others decide for them nor should they allow themselves to be blinded by all the wrong things in life. It’s understandable though that difficult situations are really very hard to break away from. But it is NOT impossible. If they ever find themselves stuck in a rut and feel as though they’ve reached a point of no return, just pray and remember that it is NEVER too late to make a change. What they neglect to do is learn how to truly value and love themselves. Keep the faith that once they already do, everything will fall into place.

It’s true what they say: One won’t be able to appreciate light without darkness. And Just as this young lady came from the darkest and scariest place she had ever been, she can’t thank the heavens enough for for the bright and colorful place where she now confidently stands as a woman.

Who is she? SECRET. ;)

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Hey June

Like every other day, I woke up at around 6:00am today. I don’t know why but my body clock always wakes me up before my actual alarm clock does. I think it’s because growing up, due to class and taping schedules, my body got used to being up before the sun even rises and thus the reason why I’ve always been a morning person. I appreciate everything that mornings bring such as beams of sunlight that peek through the window, the awakening aroma of coffee and of course, the smell of bacon frying that fills the entire house. These are just some of the things that make me want to get up and get moving! There were even times when I’d go jogging at 5:30am just in time for the sunrise because running towards the sun always gave me a feeling of spiritual rebirth; like I was running away from the darkness and into the light.

This morning was a bit different though. As I was checking the time on my phone the minute I woke up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The date said June 1. JUNE 1. Can you believe it?? Because I certainly can’t! I can’t believe it’s already June! We’re already halfway towards the end of the year!

And because we’re already 6 months into the year, this is the perfect time for us to reflect and look back on what 2014 has brought us, so far.

I've been working out three times a week with Saab under the Froilan Dioso Fitness Science program with coach Tina!

I’ve been working out three times a week with Saab under the Froilan Dioso Fitness Science program with coach Tina!

A healthy kind of happiness :)

A healthy kind of happiness :)

Loving every second of my alone and quiet time at home. <3

Loving every second of my alone and quiet time at home. <3

These two have been living with me recently and we always have the best time together! Always laughing at funny movies and listening to music together.

These two have been living with me recently and we always have the best time together! Always laughing at funny movies and listening to music together.

I've also been spending more time with this beautiful bride! We still have a LOT of planning to do! :)

I’ve also been spending more time with this beautiful bride! We still have a LOT of planning to do! :)

I've travelled and spent more time with my best friends!

I’ve travelled and spent more time with my best friends!

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Blessed to be able to work!

Blessed to be able to work!

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I've gotten a lot closer to my family. <3

I’ve gotten a lot closer to my family. <3

For all these things and so much more, I will be forever grateful. This is the happiest, healthiest and most peaceful I’ve ever been in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It may already be June which means we only have another 6 months left in the year but that’s okay! If in the first half of 2014, I’ve already accomplished so much, then I still have the rest of the year to do even more great things! The possibilities are endless.

Learn to wake up every morning with a positive attitude so that the rest of the day will bring nothing but happiness and good tidings.

Good morning! :)

Good morning! :)

Rainy Days

Ahh, yes. After weeks of experiencing the extremely hot and humid weather during Philippine summer time, a thunderstorm suddenly poured down over Metro Manila today. And I have to admit: It was perfect bed weather. It was absolutely calming, relaxing and quite a refreshing change from the unbearable heat everyone was suffering for the last couple of days. I even noticed the increase in the number of hate tweets posted by people who just couldn’t take the heat anymore, saying that it was the kind of weather allowable only at the beach. Now, I don’t mean to cause confusion because although I confess to being beach-obsessed, I still believe that too much heat in the city can possibly make someone go crazy. I kid you not, summer in Manila will make you wish that you were at the beach every single day. However, although I could relate to the people complaining about how insanely hot it was becoming in Manila, I couldn’t help but see the bright side of the situation. Pun intended. ;)

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been fascinated by the sun, the stars and the moon. I find all the things that can be found in the sky just so magnificently beautiful. I mean, who wouldn’t be amazed at how pretty the skies look, whether it was day or night? Whenever I step out of the house, I immediately look up and search for fluffy clouds floating among the bluest skies during the day or gaze at twinkling stars at night and choose which one to make a wish upon. Whenever I see a full moon, my heart immediately skips a beat as I gasp at the fullness of such an illuminating force that lights up the sky. It’s true what they say: The best things in life are free and I don’t think anything can ever beat witnessing a majestic Boracay sunset with the love of your life. You see, it really isn’t so hard to look around you and take notice of all the things that you can be grateful for. I know the weather in Manila recently hasn’t been the most tolerable but let me ask you this: If the weather wasn’t extremely hot, would we be able to appreciate the sudden downpour of rain as much? I don’t think so. The reason why everyone started raving about the unexpected thunderstorm and how much they loved it was because of the intensity of the heat that they were experiencing before the rains fell.

The surprising downpour of heavy rain today was very exhilarating which made me realize — Just as we learn to appreciate rain after weeks of unbearable heat, we should also learn to appreciate the small things that make us smile during painful experiences. I know, I know. It’s very hard to stay positive and have a cheerful disposition especially when going through tough times but that’s the actual beauty of it! To be able to remain positive during life’s most difficult struggles is one of the greatest things we can ever hope to achieve. Think of it this way: Life is always going to have its ups and downs. The sun will shine and the rains will fall but it is up to YOU to know how to weather every storm that comes your way.

It’s all about perspective, really. If we open our eyes and truly see the good in everything that surrounds us, no amount of rain can ever cloud our judgment. I’ve always viewed the sky as a symbol of hope because of its vastness and infinite potential. It’s like an empty canvas that can be painted with colors of endless possibilities. For me, hope is one of the most positive attributes anyone could ever have. Hope is a good thing — maybe even the best of things because it provides us with the motivation to keep going and to never give up. Hope makes us believe in something good without the guarantee of it actually happening. And if we believe hard enough, we will learn to trust that the good will always prevail. After days of extreme heat, the skies bring about a downpour of invigorating rain. And just as a rainbow appears after a storm, remember that pain in life is only temporary. So, when you’re feeling sad and down, remember to keep your head up, look at the sky and prepare yourself to be encompassed by its breathtaking beauty.

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City sunsets make Manila even more beautiful.

City sunsets make Manila even more beautiful.

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So many different colors in one sky. Amazing.

So many different colors in one sky. Amazing.

Blue skies and white fluffy clouds could brighten up anyone's day!

Blue skies and white fluffy clouds could brighten up anyone’s day!

Sunset surfing in La Union

Sunset surfing in La Union

Cotton candy skies are my my absolute favorite. <3

Cotton candy skies are my my absolute favorite. <3

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Went for an evening run at my alma mater.

Went for an evening run at my alma mater.

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I know I’ve always had a sunny disposition and that my love for the sun will never wither but lately, I’ve learned to appreciate rainy days as well. In life, we wish never to see darkness or experience pain because as much as possible, we want all our days to be bright and joyful. What we don’t realize is that without darkness, we will not be able to appreciate the brilliance of the light. Without pain, we will not understand what it is like to be genuinely happy.

In the words of my dad,

“Rainy days are here again
It’s the time of year my friend
And I pray it never ends for you,
For me, for them…”

He was one of the most positive people I ever knew and for him, rainy days are like showers of blessings upon everyone. So for rainy days, sunny days and all kinds of days, let us learn to be thankful. If the sun can shine after a rainy day, we too can wipe away our tears and learn how to smile again. :)

Make Your Own Havaianas 2014

As much as I love getting dolled up for events, I will not deny that I also love wearing a tank top, denim shorts and flip-flops on regular days. I feel so comfortable going around the metro in laid-back outfits especially since our country is a tropical one and summer in the Philippines brings about the hottest days. So far, Manila’s hottest day this year was May 1, 2014 when it sizzled at 36.4 degrees Celsius. I swear, one of these days, Nelly might just appear out of no where. Talagang “It’s getting hot in herrrrrre!”

For so many years now, our family has been a strong supporter of Havaianas just because we love the quality and style of their flip-flops. They’re quite sturdy! Plus, I am in love with their bright colors. A few years ago, my mom started collecting them. She loved them so much that she was able to make her collection grow up to 200+ pairs! She can actually put up her own Havaianas exhibit if she wanted to. It’s really because of her love for the famous flip-flop brand why our whole family fell in love with it as well.

Every year, Havaianas Philippines holds an event called “Make Your Own Havaianas” where customers are given the chance to mix and match colors for their customized flip-flops. They can even put different studs and pins on the straps! Fun! In my opinion, MYOH is one of the funnest and most playful events in Manila. For 2014, the event’s theme focused on the brand’s hometown Brazil where the 2016 olympics will take place. MYOH 2014 was actually a two-day event for us. On May 4, the VIP launch was held at the Glorietta activity center.

My flip-flop cheat sheets!

My flip-flop cheat sheets!

The pretty ladies who helped guests enter the event. :)

The pretty ladies who helped guests enter the event. :)

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My dates Lauren and Victor Young. <3

My dates Lauren and Victor Young. <3

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The waiters went around serving yummy hors d'oeuvres in such festive platters!

The waiters went around serving yummy hors d’oeuvres in such festive platters!

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With a legit Brazilian model, one the of the most beautiful faces I've ever seen, Vanessa Matsunaga!

With a legit Brazilian model, one the of the most beautiful faces I’ve ever seen, Vanessa Matsunaga!

With our flip-flop queen, mama!

With our flip-flop queen, mama!

Beshies represent! Here with Lauren Young and Janna Tee.

Beshies represent! Here with Lauren Young and Janna Tee.

Decisions, decisions. Choosing our soles, straps and pins!

Decisions, decisions. Choosing our soles, straps and pins!

On May 6, Saab, Elmo and I went back to Glorietta for another round of slipper-making fun!

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Goofing around :P

Goofing around :P

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We were trained by some of the staff so that we could help people assemble their customized flip-flops!

We were trained by some of the staff so that we could help people assemble their customized flip-flops!

Here with my first customer, Yeshua Camille! I was able to make 7 pairs in total :)

Here with my first customer, Yeshua Camille! I was able to make 7 pairs in total :)

My own pair! Please don't mind my ugly feet :)

My own pair! Please don’t mind my ugly feet :)

The pair that I made for the boyfriend! Chino loves the color orange. Isn't that "Hipsicle" just the cutest pin ever??

The pair that I made for the boyfriend! Chino loves the color orange. Isn’t that “Hipsicle” just the cutest pin ever??

I had so much fun at MYOH 2014! It was so great being able to help other Havaianas fanatics make their own pairs. I was able to make the most number of pairs out of the three of us! Saab made 5, Elmo made 6 and I made 7. I could make a career out of this!

Congratulations, Havaianas! See you again next year for MYOH 2015! :)

Congratulations, Havaianas! See you again next year for MYOH 2015! :)

Maxx Kitty and Alli Cat

Last year, I was given an opportunity of a lifetime by TV100 and the One Mega Group to host a show called “I Am Meg” on the channel ETC. It was the second season of the show that was in search for the next Meg Ambassador. I really didn’t have that much of an idea what the show was about until I actually started doing it. I was amidst a lot of 18-25 year old ladies who were avid readers of Meg magazine and they were all competing for the title as the next Meg Ambassador. Throughout the show, I would give them advice based on my own personal experiences such as how to deal with haters or what to do whenever they’re feeling insecure. I was so glad to have been able to help the ladies even for just a bit and witness them blossom into such confident, strong and even more beautiful women who believed in themselves. I definitely learned a lot from the experience.

You see, hosting is and forever will be my first love and this realization only dawned upon me when I agreed to do this particular show. I mean, I love to act too but my heart really belongs to hosting which is why I am so thankful that my producer/director, Mike Carandang chose me to be the host of his show. Mike had just gotten back from the US where he also worked as a producer for shows such as Jerry Springer and America’s Next Top Model for more than 10 years! Amazing, right?? Reality shows are really his forte so becoming the head of TV100 in Manila is the perfect job for him and I am just so honored to have been able to work with him. You won’t even believe how simple and laid-back he is! I love him!

Anyway, for one of our episodes on I Am Meg, we had a very special guest judge who was in Manila fresh from New York for work. She was going to be the judge of the new season of another one of Mike’s TV100 shows, Mega Fashion Crew. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out that I was actually going to meet her! Saab and I loved watching her on the hit show America’s Next Top Model when she became one of its contestants. Yup, you guessed it right! I’m talking about everyone’s favorite real-life doll, Allison Harvard!

I was so starstruck seeing those big round eyes in the flesh! I used to just see them on TV! Gorgeous!

I was so starstruck seeing those big round eyes in the flesh! I used to just see them on TV! Gorgeous!

Me, Allison Harvard, director Mike Carandang and Mega Young Designers winners John and Paul Herrera on the set of I Am Meg!

Me, Allison Harvard, director Mike Carandang and Mega Young Designers winners John and Paul Herrera on the set of I Am Meg!

In between takes at taping, I found out from Mike and Allison that he actually flew her in here from the States so that she could host one of his shows, Mega Fashion Crew: Reloaded. It wasn’t her first time in the Philippines but it was going to be her first time to stay here for 6 months to do the said show! Exciting! When taping ended, we bade each other goodbye and parted ways. I really didn’t think that I would get to see much of Allison while she was in Manila because I figured that she would be busy with work for weeks on end.

All of sudden, one day, I got a very special text message from One Mega Group’s Executive Creative Director Suki Salvador, asking if he could call me. When he finally did, I couldn’t believe my ears. If getting to work with Allison on I Am Meg wasn’t enough, the universe blessed me with an even greater opportunity. Not only was I going to be on the cover of the country’s best fashion magazine MEGA, I was going to be alongside Top Model Allison Harvard.

FOR REALZ.

I was in complete and utter shock. The shoot was going to be in 3 weeks and I was not even close to being prepared! Ahh! The excitement! I couldn’t hold it in! Strict dieting and workout sessions were a must!

Finally, the day of the shoot came and I was just on cloud nine the entire time. There were so many pairs of Levi’s jeans (I was one of their Revel collection ambassadors at the time), so many gorgeous shoes and what made my jaw drop the most was the selection of fine and expensive jewellery from Bvlgari and Charriol. Plus, I was going to be styled by MEGA Fashion Editor Patrick Galang, directed by Suki Salvador and shot by master photographer Xander Angeles at his very own studio. Oh, and did I mention that my makeup was going to be done by THE Jigs Mayuga?? I was in fashion heaven.

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Behind the scenes at the MEGA December 2013 cover shoot. Allison and I share a lot of things in common -- One being we both love taking selfies!

Behind the scenes at the MEGA December 2013 cover shoot. Allison and I share a lot of things in common — One being we both love taking all kinds of selfies!

Allison and the rest of the production team were such a breeze to work with. We were able to finish around 6 layouts in just a matter of hours. I was so ecstatic that for my very first fashion magazine cover, I was with a real and legit Top Model. Talagang hashtag blessed.

The ladies of TV100 on the cover of MEGA December 2013

The ladies of TV100 on the cover of MEGA December 2013

I’m really glad that my friendship with Allison did not end there. To be quite honest, she is one of the simplest and most adorable girls I have ever met. We have so many things in common: We love all things sweet, cute and charming! Little things such as kitten cartoons and images of fairies and princesses could put huge smiles on our faces. There’s just so much more to this amazing woman than just being a Top Model.

I swear, she looks amazing in all angles.

I swear, she looks amazing in all angles.

I seriously think both of us are just cats trapped inside human bodies.

I seriously think both of us are just cats trapped inside human bodies.

With our love and mentor, Mike! <3

With our love and mentor, Mike! <3

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The day we decided to test each other's drawing skills.

The day we decided to test each other’s drawing skills.

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Mine stunk BIG TIME compared to hers. Hahaha! She is a natural artist. I love how unique her artworks look.

Mine stunk BIG TIME compared to hers. Hahaha! She is a natural artist. I love how unique her artworks look.

Such a doll <3

Such a doll <3

Last week, Allison and I took her friend Felicia Jade Rein who was visiting from NYC out to dinner. I asked Chino for advice on where I should bring them and he suggested Vask because of their yummy squid ink risotto.

What a pretty place!

What a pretty place!

BEST CRISPY SHRIMP EVER!!!

BEST CRISPY SHRIMP EVER!!!

Chino was right! Their squid ink risotto is just divine. So creamy and delicious! And those scallops melt in your mouth.

Chino was right! Their squid ink risotto is just divine. So creamy and delicious! And those scallops melt in your mouth.

Rosé <3

Rosé <3

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Felicia does all kinds of weird poses. She's such a character!

Felicia does all kinds of weird poses. She’s such a character!

Allison's cool Daria backpack! Oh, and there's crazy Felicia once again! Haha!

Allison’s cool Daria backpack! Oh, and there’s crazy Felicia once again! Haha!

Belated May the fourth be with you, guys!

Belated May the fourth be with you, guys!

Cool elevator interior!

Cool elevator interior!

You guys can't put a big black horse in your lobby and not expect us to take crazy photos with them!

You guys can’t put a big black horse in your lobby and not expect us to take crazy photos with them!

Mwah!

Mwah!

One thing I really love about Allison is the fact that despite her success, she remains to be a simple and soft-spoken girl who loves her family and friends. She loves her job so much that she flew here to Manila just to be able to explore and do more! With her, anything can happen because of her spontaneity and child-like aura. Plus, she loves Pokemon and her recent favorite dessert is halo-halo. She is the sweetest, most random and adorable friend anyone could ever ask for.

Can’t wait for our next adventure, Allicat! Welcome to Manila! We are definitely more than happy to have you here. <3

P.S. Catch Allison as a judge on Celebrity Dance Battle on TV5 every Saturday at 9:15pm and Sunday at 12:30pm!

Omelette’s 20th

The day has finally come — Our little brother just turned the big 2-0. I say “big” just because Elmo turning 20 makes me feel so OLD. Don’t get me wrong, I love where I am in life right now and age is just a number after all. I guess it’s just because when Elmo was born, I was already aware of my surroundings. All five of us, ate Unna, Nic, Frank, Saab and I, grew up together. Six years after the baby of the bunch Saab was born, a little boy who our parents named after a Sesame Street monster came into our lives. Trivia: Mama and papa were actually choosing from three Sesame Street characters: Oscar, Grover and Elmo. Aren’t you all glad they chose Elmo??

So, when Elmo was still a baby, I was already big enough to remember seeing him grow from the cutest little boy to the tall, talented and respectful gentleman he is today. THIS is why I feel old. Haha!

Elmo Moses Arroyo Magalona was born on April 27, 1994. Our family was already quite big at that time with five growing kids from the ages of 6 to 11. So when Elmo arrived, everyone got excited. He definitely became everyone’s baby! He was the cutest most adorable little boy who loved to pretend that he was already as old as his ates and kuyas. We couldn’t really blame him, though! He was always surrounded by us big kids which was why he always thought we were all the same age.

Even as a baby, Elmo would act as if he could already take care of himself. Look at this little boy trying to put on his socks without anyone else's help! Good job, Mosey! :)

Even as a baby, Elmo would act as if he could already take care of himself. Look at this little boy trying to put on his socks without anyone else’s help! Good job, Mosey! :)

And who could blame him for feeling as if he was old when at 5 months old, he already posed for an album cover??

Baby Elmo on the cover of one of our dad's albums, "Freeman."

Baby Elmo on the cover of one of our dad’s albums, “Freeman.”

Seeing Elmo act and perform on television today makes me remember how much of a goofy little boy he was. He was always such a natural, posing in front of the camera!

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Yup, he can still make that face today.

Yup, he can still make that face today.

So imagine growing up with that little boy and seeing him all grown up today. Yup, you would feel old too. Haha!

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HINDI KO KINAKAYA. Gaaaah! But, ages and numbers aside, I am so proud of the man that Elmo has become. Today, he is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful and nicest 20-year-olds I know. Because he grew up with people who are much older than him, he is definitely more mature than most people his age. Sure, there are times when Elmo would be stubborn but it’s only because in his head, he has his own way of doing things and he would very much like to go at his own pace. Whenever he and I have conversations about work and life in general, I am always blown away by the way he thinks and how he sees the world. I am proud to say that my 20-year-old brother has taught me a lot.

For his 20th birthday celebration, we all got together for a simple and quiet dinner. Elmo chose one of our (and papa’s) favorite restaurants: Gloria Maris!

YES PLEASE.

YES PLEASE.

Would you look at the size of that?? Sarap!

Would you look at the size of that?? Sarap!

The Mr. and Mrs. and the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. :)

The Mr. and Mrs. and the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. :)

Cutie pies Jim and Chino!

Cutie pies Jim and Chino!

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Here come the singing waiters and cooks! Haha look at the birthday boy's big smile! :)

Here come the singing waiters and cooks! Haha look at the birthday boy’s big smile! :)

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Elmo and Lulu have a weird relationship. Here she is trying to fly with Elmo's help. :/

Elmo and Lulu have a weird relationship. Here she is trying to fly with Elmo’s help. :/

Happy birthday, Elmo! :)

Happy birthday, Elmo! :)

To my dearest brother Elmo, I want you to know that I am so proud of you! People call me “ate ni Elmo” sometimes and it just makes me feel so overjoyed seeing how happy your fans are because of you. And I know that they made the right choice by choosing you as their idol because I know the kind of person you really are: humble, kindhearted and hardworking. Underneath all that fame, you have remained the same sweet little boy we all fell in love with the moment you were born. I believe in you and I trust that you know what you are doing with your life so just keep going, Moe! Don’t ever stop. I will always be here for you.

I love you! Happy 20th birthday, Omelette! <3

Please Me

I’ll let you in on a little secret: I am NO makeup junkie. Both my mom and my sister Saab have been encouraging me to take care of myself and to put on even just a little bit of makeup especially when going to important events. Admittedly, I used to be one of the laziest people in the world. I could care less about appearances. I HATED having to put on makeup on a regular day. I always thought, “Akala ko ba it’s what’s on the inside that counts??” Hahaha! I wasn’t being serious though. I was just plain LAZY so I kept making all sorts of excuses just to avoid putting on makeup. I guess it was also because I was never really good at it that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as Saab did. My makeup kit was nothing compared to hers. I only had the basic stuff such as concealer, powder and mascara. She had EVERYTHING. From eyebrow pencils to bronzers and all different kinds of eyeliners. I swear, she and my mom could become professional makeup artists. They’re so natural at it! Trivia: My mom was the one who did my hair and makeup from when I was 15 up until I was 21. She was my first makeup artist and I always loved how she made me look.

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This was just a fun photo shoot we did in our house in Antipolo . Mama did my makeup and papa shot my photos. <3

This was just a fun photo shoot we did in our house in Antipolo . Mama did my makeup and papa shot my photos. <3

How’s THAT for Throwback Thursdays?? Hahaha spell NENE! Anyway, back to makeup — I don’t know how or when it happened but one day, I just found myself obsessing and trying to get the perfect eyebrows. I was officially in love with my makeup. So, what happened? What was the cause of this sudden change of heart? As I type this, I am realizing that the reason why I started enjoying putting on makeup was when I met Chino. EEP! I remember feeling so nervous for our dates. He always chose the most romantic and beautiful places to go to so I always wanted to look nice. I wanted to look nice for him. So, on every date that we’d go on, I made sure that I put on just the right amount of makeup on. Because of all those dates, I started taking makeup seriously. Because I am in the entertainment industry, it’s always best to be prepared because no one ever knows what could happen. It’s showbiz. Anything can happen. One day, you could be getting a call about an audition that could change your life FOREVER and you’re hesitant just because you don’t have the faintest idea on how to apply makeup! So take my advice — Learn how to do basic makeup. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself trying to get the perfect winged eyeliner. I never knew makeup could be so much fun! Today, Chino is going to pick me up for our very special “Labor Date.” And of course, I want to look nice for the guy who makes me happy so I put on a little makeup. Here are some of my essentials for everyday makeup:

IMG_1261 First things first. I wash my face and make sure that it is completely clean and moisturized.

Me with no makeup.

Me with no makeup.

Then I apply my Naturactor concealer plus NC40 powder. After this, I start doing my eyebrows. Oh, Lord. The eyebrows are always the most difficult for me! I’m proud to say that I used to do it for half an hour but now, I can get them done in about 10-15 minutes. ACHIEVEMENT.

Hey look -- eyebrows!!!

Hey look — eyebrows!!!

I brush my eyebrows first before drawing them with my Spiked eyebrow pencil from MAC then I apply the Beguiled brow gel from MAC a few minutes later. Then I put on eyeshadow — I am obsessed with my Caramel Sundae eye shadow palette from the MAC Archie’s Girls collection. Next, I curl my lashes and apply mascara. My favorite is MAC’s Haute and Naughty Lash which has two applicators — one with very fine bristles for the first layer and another one which is the thicker one for the second layer. I like putting on A LOT of mascara because my eyes are small and my lashes aren’t that plenty. #sad Next step is a trick that I learned from my mom — the wonderful Watts Up soft focus highlighter stick from Benefit. It is absolutely a god-send. My mom taught me to apply it under my eyes and smudge it with its sponge until it’s spread on evenly. It will literally make you look like a fairy or an angel. It’s amazing. Believe me. After that, I apply my MAC Pink Swoon blush on and use Benefit Hervana blush for touch-ups during the day. When you guys finally try this out, you’ll see why I love my Benefit Watts Up stick — it always blends so well with all my blush-ons and gives them that added sparkle. LOVE. Last but not the least, I put on lipstick. And my absolute favorite is MAC’s Please Me matte lipstick. I love all matte shades. Here are some of my favorite lip colors from MAC:

IMG_1237 IMG_1239 I remember hoarding a handful of Please Me lipsticks in Hong Kong when they weren’t available in the Philippines yet. I am in love with it!

The finished product!

The finished product!

Yay! Forgive me for my excitement but I’m just really proud of how I got to practice putting on makeup and finally learning how to do it properly. It’s these little things that make me see my progress and growth as an individual. It’s such a nice feeling when you start seeing your worth and truly loving yourself that’s why you want to start taking care of your health, hygiene and the way you look. Oh and one more thing — always keep in mind that no matter how much makeup you put on, if you’ve got a nasty attitude, no amount of cosmetics can conceal that kind of ugliness. :P P.S. Make your makeup experience even more fun by listening to the kind of music that gets you in the right mood. For today, I listened to “Hol’ Up” by Kendrick Lamar and “Flawless” by Beyoncé. Who better to tell you you’re beautiful as you put on your makeup than Mrs. Carter, herself??

Strawberries and Hot Chocolate

Driving up to Baguio is always such a fun road trip for me. It takes about 5-6 hours to get to Baguio City from Manila via the NLEX and the TPLEX. Usually, it’s best to leave your house a little after midnight so that there will be less cars on the road and you won’t even notice how far it really is because if you fall asleep (given that someone else is driving, of course), you’ll already be at your destination by morning! Anyway, it doesn’t really matter to me how long the road trip takes because I’m always too excited to feel the cold weather, drink the best hot chocolate and eat the freshest strawberries. Food always excites me — especially when travelling. Ironically, however, we weren’t able to drink hot chocolate and the strawberries were too small to even harvest when we went there for Holy Week. Instead, we experienced a whole lot of new delicious discoveries! Exciting!

When we got to our hotel Azalea, we knew that our suites would have kitchens which was why we brought a lot of food with us. These were the turkey sandwiches that Frank and Saab made for the whole family for lunch!

When we got to our hotel Azalea, we knew that our suites would have kitchens which was why we brought a lot of food with us. These were the turkey sandwiches that Frank and Saab made for the whole family for lunch!

For our first night, we had eat-all-you-can Mongolian for only P220 at O' Mai Khan! I had two bowls. I loooove Mongolian!

For our first night, we had eat-all-you-can Mongolian for only P220 at O’ Mai Khan! I had two bowls. I loooove Mongolian!

It's been some sort of family tradition to get ice cream at the Filling Station located inside Camp John Hay. The ice cream joint there is known as, "Strawberries and Cream." Sarap!

It’s been some sort of family tradition to get ice cream at the Filling Station located inside Camp John Hay. The ice cream joint there is known as, “Strawberries and Cream.” Sarap!

One of my top agendas for the trip was to make sure that everyone could try the food at Hamada, the Japanese restaurant located inside the Baguio Country Club. Growing up, Papa loved bringing us to teppanyaki restaurants such as Benihana and Kimpura for Sunday lunches. So, I figured that they would enjoy Hamada as well just because it is also a teppanyaki restaurant.

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I always enjoy watching the chef cook our food while doing a mini-show of egg throws and food flames! Lulu kept squealing and hiding behind her mommy. ;)

I always enjoy watching the chef cook our food while doing a mini-show of egg throws and food flames! Lulu kept squealing and hiding behind her mommy. ;)

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I'm glad everyone enjoyed!

I’m glad everyone enjoyed!

Since we were already at the Baguio Country Club, we certainly couldn’t leave without placing our orders for raisin bread and banana bread at their famous bakery!

One of Chino's most unforgettable contributions in my life is Baguio Country Club's raisin bread. It's become an absolute favorite of mine. I could never go to Baguio without buying some! Thank you for sharing yours with me, bop! I love you more than I love this bread! <3

One of Chino’s most unforgettable contributions in my life is Baguio Country Club’s raisin bread. It’s become an absolute favorite of mine. I could never go to Baguio without buying some! Thank you for sharing yours with me, bop! I love you more than I love this bread! <3

The next day, we went to the strawberry farms after lunch because ate Unna wanted to bring her babies there for some strawberry-picking fun! But unfortunately, the strawberries were still too small. There would only be handfuls of really good ones so we just left it all for the little ones to enjoy. Meanwhile, we found ourselves food-tripping!

My first time to try strawberry ice cream at the strawberry farms! It tastes just like fresh strawberries. Sweet and tart at the same time! A cup costs P15.

My first time to try strawberry ice cream at the strawberry farms! It tastes just like fresh strawberries. Sweet and tart at the same time! A cup costs P15.

FAVORITE! A classic cup of shredded sweet corn topped with melted butter and powdered cheese for P40. My only complaint would be that the corn was too tough to chew. They were not as fresh as I had hoped they would be!

FAVORITE! A classic cup of shredded sweet corn topped with melted butter and powdered cheese for P40. My only complaint would be that the corn was too tough to chew. They were not as fresh as I had hoped they would be!

For our last night, Elmo treated all of us to a yummy brick oven pizza dinner at Amare La Cucina, a restaurant he and Frank found online that had a lot of great reviews. And quite frankly, Amare did not disappoint. Everything was a sure hit with the whole family!

Where all the pizza magic happens. <3

Where all the pizza magic happens. <3

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At Amare, the kids are allowed to help assemble the pizzas! Ivo and Zoie had so much fun, they ended up assembling almost all of our pizzas! We ordered 5 different kinds.

At Amare, the kids are allowed to help assemble the pizzas! Ivo and Zoie had so much fun, they ended up assembling almost all of our pizzas! We ordered 5 different kinds.

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Clara with her "boyfriend." She is in love with pizza and is not ashamed to admit it! No, siree!

Clara with her “boyfriend.” She is in love with pizza and is not ashamed to admit it! No, siree!

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Oh my. Would you look at that?? It's their famous Nutella pizza! Too bad I wasn't brave enough to try it. I was so scared, I thought that once I had a taste, I might finish the whole thing! Dangerous! Haha!

Oh my. Would you look at that?? It’s their famous Nutella pizza! Too bad I wasn’t brave enough to try it. I was so scared, I thought that once I had a taste, I might finish the whole thing! Dangerous! Haha!

Too bad I forgot to make everyone taste my favorite cup of hot chocolate at the Baguio Country Club! Next time na lang!

I love food and I love taking photos of it. And I have to admit, I became a better “food photographer” because of my photography master sensei Chino! I admit that he really taught me a lot when it comes to taking macro food shots. I just love the way he takes pictures.. But that’s a totally different story. ;)

Thank you for the yummy food trip, Baguio! *burp*

Hamada
Baguio Country Club
Country Club Road, Baguio, Luzon, Philippines
+ 63 74 619 2050

Amare La Cucina
EGI Albergo Hotel, #1 Villamor Drive
Brgy. Lualhati, Baguio, Luzon 2600, Philippines
+63 917 790 0294