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Batangas

Everybody needs to let loose sometimes. Ralph, a bandmate of mine, noticed that I’ve been looking a bit stressed out lately, and he said that it was probably because of my routinary life. Despite my seemingly spontaneous and exciting lifestyle ­­– I don’t have a 9-to-5 job but praise God I’m still making a living – I knew for a fact that he was right. I never go 20 kilometers past my house if it’s not for work, quote unquote. Realizing this, I kidnapped the boyfie and got him to say yes to driving us to the nearest decent beach that I knew of: Laiya.

I consulted Google for beach resorts and found some that suited our tastes. We both loved pools, so that left a couple for us to choose from. My first choice (my only choice at first, actually haha) was Acuatico, a very popular resort that knew not of a peak season because everyday is always a busy day for them. Upon calling their office, I was told that all of their weekends until June are fully booked. I convinced Eric to take his Tuesday off instead, and still we got wait-listed. Amazing.

Eric had been to Laiya a few times, and he told me about Blue Coral. We decided to stay there instead. It was a pretty good move, actually. I would give it a rating of 8 out of 10. More on that later.

First, here are polaroids of our breakfast stopover at Starbucks.

It took us roughly 2 and a half hours to get to Laiya. The road trips always make a huge part of the adventure for me. I don’t really listen to hiphop that much, but we bounced to some Flo Rida and Drake like bawses on the way there. It was a pretty fun trip, I’ll admit.

We arrived at Blue Coral at 1:30PM. We tried to grab some lunch from the resort’s restaurant as soon as we got settled, but there weren’t any waiters in sight. All of the staff were either sweeping the floor or carrying stuff around. When we’d ask one of them, they’d point us back to the empty restaurant. It took us about 15 minutes of roaming around to actually figure out how to order food! And that was how they lost 1 point from me. Finally, Eric’s eagle eyes were able to spot a waiter who was swiftly passing by. It was a good thing he was really nice. He brought our food all the way to the beachfront, too, as we had requested. :D

Look, our own cottage! Sweeeet.

The beach was lovely, but we didn’t spend too much time there because I spotted a (rather adorable) squishy-looking jellyfish as soon as I touched the water. We tried swimming a few meters away, but that didn’t stop me from getting rashes. My arms and legs started to get red and itchy all over, so we decided to hit the pool. I thanked the heavens for not making me book a pool-less resort.

We chilled and had drinks by the poolside.

This would have made for a sweet photo if my hair hadn’t decided that it was a great time to do a wacky pose.

Sorry, guys. Pic spam coming up. The pool is very photogenic in the evening. Haha. #palusot

It got rather quiet after dinner, and the only thing happening was the bar. It would have been a waste to call it a night so early, so we spent the rest of it chatting with Kuya Bong the bartender.

He was really really nice and hardworking. His fellow bartenders were on leave, so we watched him as he patiently and courteously attended to all of his customers singlehandedly. From taking all the orders, to mixing all the drinks, to taking all the payments to the cashier, he did everything with a smile on his face and without any hint of protest. Watta guy that guy. He deserves an award.

And because of Kuya Bong, I took back the earlier deduction of 1 from my overall rating.

But as I said before, the score still ends at 8/10. I am very particular with cleanliness especially when it comes to the bathroom. I wasn’t able to take photos of the poolside room we booked. It was okay. Nothing too fancy, and nothing too flimsy either. Except, the bathroom was WET *insert horrified face here* when we arrived, like someone clumsy had just finished using it. And not to mention, it smelled hella funky. The bidet was left lying on the floor. I checked to see if the bidet holder was broken, and it wasn’t. So I couldn’t imagine what business the bidet had with the floor. Also, if you wanted to keep the toilet dry, you wouldn’t want to perch the shower head on its holder while in use. Oh well. Other than that, it was alright.

All in all, we had a nice experience. Friendly staff, awesome pool, tasty food and drinks, sleepable room. We’d definitely come back if given the chance.

On our way home, we spotted this cafe called Cafeño. I’m a huge sucker for cozy-looking, non-franchised coffee shops, so Eric parked the car right outside it without any questions asked. Well, he did actually ask me if I wanted to try it out, but he had made the turn before I could even say yes. Haha. He knows me so well.

The coffee and food were heavenly! If you happen to spot this cafe, I suggest you try their Banana Barako Float, Spanish Tablea, and Chicken Adobo Flakes. Yummmmyyyyyy~

My adobo flakes were so good, even Eric couldn’t resist stealing a bite while I was taking photos lol.

Sadly, our quick vacation ended there. Sagittarians are adventure-lovers, and an adventure, no matter how simple and short-lived, was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. Now…where shall the next one be? :)

Photos taken with a Canon IXUS 310 HS and Fuji Instax Mini 8.

11 months ago

May 17, 2013
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My Skincare Routine

Before anything else, I would like to admit that my skin always looked hideous. I never showed myself to anyone or went out of the house without any concealer on. Having bumps on my face of all sizes was totally normal for me because I’d been experiencing constant breakouts since I was around 10 years old. No kidding. My skin is ridiculously oily and sensitive that just the slightest heat would make me breakout. Black heads, white heads, acne? Tchh. Yeah, daily life for me. I’d gotten so used to it that a 10-minute concealer session had become a morning habit. I would even need BB cream just to walk my dogs outside my house.

That’s until I found the right combination of products for my skin! Which I thought I’d share with you all this fine morning. Take note that this is me being 100% honest. This is not in any way a sponsored post. I just want to get this out there in the hopes of helping other blemish-prone people like myself, simply because I know how it feels. I know how it feels to be conscious all the time. I know how it feels to want to look away from that person you’re talking to because it feels like he/she is talking to that new zit on your forehead. I know how it is to completely forget how to keep eye contact, making you look like you’re not confident about yourself, especially when all eyes are on you. I know because that’s what I’ve been experiencing for the past 13 years.

/wrists

Now, I don’t have any before photos to show you because I never really kept any of myself without makeup. But let’s just say that my skin looked around 10 times worse than it does today.

Say no to acne! Wehehehe. Photo © Allan Mendoza

So, here is the best combination that I have ever put together in my entire life. Presenting, the Ashley G. Nightly Ritual, which I try my best to never ever skip.

1. Shu Uemura Skin Purifier (High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil)

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Shu Uemura has a lot of skin purifier variations, but I like to use the yellow one because I think it’s for oily/sensitive skin. It does a really awesome job in removing waterproof makeup like mascara and gel eyeliner. Here’s a video on how to use it properly:

2. Obagi Nu-derm Foaming Gel

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This is a great facial wash because it contains Aloe Gel, which is an anti-inflammatory agent, helping to calm yo zits. It’s a very light gel too that washes away easily, so it doesn’t clog up my very large pores.

3. Burt’s Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub

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After I am sure that all the gunk and grime has been removed from my face, I then move on to scrubbing. I gently massage a walnut-sized portion of this product all over my face in small circular motions for about 30 seconds, concentrating on the problem areas. This is the newest addition to my regimen, and I’ve noticed that my scars have gotten lighter after just a few uses. My skin also feels like it’s been buffed by sandpaper. Very very smooth.

4. La Belle Collagen Soap

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I’m sure that by now you might be thinking, “A fourth wash?? Won’t that just dry my skin out and make it oilier??” I used to think it too, but I’ve found out that carrying a pack of oil control film is easier than checking yourself out every time you pass by a reflective surface to see if your concealer hasn’t melted down yet.

Anyway, this soap is a black bar of collagen heaven. It tightens up your pores and leaves your skin squeaky clean. Collagen has also come to be a very hyped-up anti-aging ingredient nowadays, and honestly I can testify to its effectiveness. You can get this bar of soap together with a bottle of collagen cream both included in a collagen set from La Belle. I will talk more about that wonder cream later on.

5. Christian BRETON Paris Flower Power Lotion

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I adore this toner so much because it leaves my skin feeling very healthy and hydrated. A harsh toner would definitely be overkill after all those washes, so a moisturizing toner is a must. I got a bottle from Sa Sa in Singapore just to replace my usual toner then because I’d forgotten to bring all of my facial cleansing stuff with me. I am SO glad I did.

6. Zo Medical Cebatrol Oil Control Pads

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These pads are awesome because they prevent those little black and white heads from turning into acne. Existing pimples also calm down and dry out as well. I usually just dab the pad all over my face a few times. If I have a throbbing pimple, I’ll leave the pad to sit on it for around a minute.

7. Shu Uemura TSUYA Skin Youthful Radiance Generator Essence

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I usually apply this right before putting makeup on because it really improves the texture of my skin. I included this on my regimen a few months ago when I was still using a lot of peeling products for my pimples. Makeup won’t stick right on a peeling face, so I used it for hydration. Right now, even without a peeling face, I’ve found that my makeup really does stick better with it. And since it’s supposed to reactivate cell regeneration, I also use it at night.

8. La Belle Collagen Cream

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Now here comes the best part. This collagen cream is a MIRACLE, and I swear by it.

I got a free bottle as a sample from the owner of La Belle, and upon checking, the cream looked really thick. Knowing that my skin was ultra sensitive to stuff like this, I decided to postpone testing it out for a few weeks. I eventually gave it a try once my schedule loosened up and there weren’t any important events coming up. Meaning it would be okay if my skin had a bad reaction to the product.

So, I dumped the stuff all over my face one fateful night. When morning came…BAM! My face was as smooth as a baby’s!!! You know how young healthy skin looks so juicy and supple and elastic? That’s already how it looked like after just one application. After the next couple of nights, some fine lines around my mouth and eyes disappeared! IT IS AWESOME. A GIFT FROM GOD.

It is so good that I purchased 3 more bottles. One for myself; one for my mom who seems so curious about this miracle cream and how it did wonders to my face; and one for my boyfriend, Eric, whose face I know like the back of my hand. I’d really like to see if it would transform his skin too like it did mine.

So there you have it. This is by far the best combination of facial products that I have ever tried, because this is the best my skin has ever looked and felt in years. I hope this entry helps some of you out on your journey to clearer skin. Good luck!

1 year ago

March 10, 2013
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One Magazine

How very fortunate of me to happen to notice this December 2011 issue of One Magazine, the official magazine of Shangri-La, resting on one of my shelves and realize that it’s almost July and I haven’t even said anything about it yet!

Most of you don’t know this, but I actually shot some photos for the Chefs’ Secrets article. Here is a scanned image of the spread:

 

I did shoot some product and mall photos too, and they’re in the magazine somewhere, but I’ve decided to just show you all the chef and food pictures because of how yummy everything looks, and how lucky and privileged I was to have been shooting a couple of the top chefs in the country.

Oh and not to mention how delighted I was to find out we would be eating the dishes I took photos of. It was my first time to shoot something other than cosplay, glamour, conceptual and self-portraits professionally, so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a good thing though that I chose not to eat anything prior to the shoot. Heehee.

Anyways, here are the photos:

Chef Robby Goco of Cyma!

…and his Arnisto!

Chef Margarita Fores of Cibo!

Aaaand that’s me at work. I was probably drooling all over my camera’s screen. :)






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Cases for your Gadgets

It’s time to put my dirty, scratched, but favorite Speck iPhone 4S case to rest…

…because three spankin’ new cases from Cases for your Gadgets just came in the mail today!

This one I plan on whipping out during events and parties wherein I’m required to be all glammed up. It just screams ROCK and everybody knows how much I love that word. This is just so going to match all my rockstar outfits. ;p

On casual days when I know I’m going to want to take a lot of pictures is where this iCam case comes in. Observe how I am able to easily hold the iPhone with one hand! This is going to work so well with Hipstamatic. I am so excited to use it! It also matches my Mr. Pink Diana F+!

And finally, this rubber case I can use whenever I’ll be going to shady places where I feel like my iPhone is gonna get stolen. I just flip it over, and instantly it becomes a casette tape! I suppose nobody would think of stealing a casette tape nowadays, right? Although I remember a grade school classmate of mine (YES I STILL REMEMBER YOU) robbing me of my Fushigi Yuugi OST tape.

Look! I can just leave it anywhere, and nobody’s going to think it’s a phone!

Get your cases here: Facebook.com/CasesforyourGadgets

Thanks Chrisma!

1 year ago

May 11, 2012
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Eric’s Chi Spa birthday surprise

This is pretty embarrassing and horrifying to admit, but I realized that for the past how many occasions, the presents that I’ve been getting Eric are things that I like and that I want him to enjoy as much as I do, such as a Fuji Instax Mini 7s, a Swatch watch and a G-shock watch. I’m sure that he loved my gifts and that he was absolutely ecstatic upon receiving them (dapat lang noh), but if you’ll notice, these are things that you’ll most probably see in my wishlist.

He did, however, ask me to come with him to look for an old school “Polaroid” camera the very first time we went out together. I knew nothing about instant photography back then, so we ended up in a Polaroid store and buying a Polaroid Pogo, which he never really used. It was only a year after when I did my research and found out that what he wanted was actually a Fuji Instax. So I got him that for his birthday last year. And I’m pretty much the only one who ever uses it, really.

Anyhow, he loves his G-shock and wears it all the time. But that’s something I kind of indirectly imposed on him as well, being a huge G-shock fanatic myself. So this time around, I wanted to give him something that he will genuinely like and I know he’s liked way before I even met him.

So I got him an official movie poster of his all-time favorite flick City of Angels. And since being a Taurean athlete most definitely automatically makes him a huge fan of massages and spas, I took him to Edsa Shangri-La for a Yin Yang Harmonizing Massage at the Chi Spa!

Am I not just the most thoughtful girlfriend in the whole wide universe!!! ;>

Here’s Eric still wondering what we were doing in Edsa Shang. I’m positive he was convinced that we were there for a Yoga class hahaha.

And when he finally put it together and found out he was gonna get spa-ed like a boss, he screamed like a little girl! Not.

Smooches for the birthday boy!

I wish I could’ve brought my 5D Mark II because the place was just so gorgeous, but it would’ve been too bulky to use inside a spa.

Answering the questionnaire for a very customized massage. How awesome is that.

The ginger tea that tasted like heaven! So good that I went for seconds.

Even the elevator leading to the rooms was pretty.

The lady who assisted us and led us to our room said something about it being named Baskul and the reason behind the name I think, but I really wasn’t paying attention. I was too amazed at how pretty the spa was.

At our dressing room. The birthday boy says thank you!

Our lovely outdoor bath!!!

Wish I could’ve brought my own bikini though haha my disposable bra top which I was so afraid might fall off for the lack of anything to hold it in place huhuhu. /wrists

There was a wonderful steam room too, but I wasn’t able to take photos of it anymore. The steam was just too relaxing to even pull myself out of.

Like a boss!

And this be the last photo before we went off to enjoy our massages. Look how excited the wittle boy is!

That experience was worth every penny! I’m glad that this time around I’m 100% certain that I had chosen the right birthday present for him, and at the same time enjoyed it for myself as well! Worth EVERY CENT I tell ya. All you spa connoisseurs out there should definitely give it a go as well!

(All photos taken with a Canon Ixus 310 HS.)

1 year ago

May 10, 2012
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No more Instagram

I am very happy to announce that it’s been 3 days since I decided to stop sending my Instagram photos over to this blog as I’d like to maintain the substance of this site’s content as much as I can. You can still view my Instagram photos however on Twitter. :)

♥ Ashley

1 year ago

May 6, 2012
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photo Another one of my Thomas Sabo pendants. 💗 #luho (Taken with instagram)

Another one of my Thomas Sabo pendants. 💗 #luho (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

May 4, 2012
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photo My Thomas Sabo and Missense Mutations pendants. ✨ (Taken with instagram)

My Thomas Sabo and Missense Mutations pendants. ✨ (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

May 4, 2012
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photo The Avengers with the whole @Alaska_Aces team! They had the whole Ultra 7 theater closed off. 😲 @ericsalamat (Taken with instagram)

The Avengers with the whole @Alaska_Aces team! They had the whole Ultra 7 theater closed off. 😲 @ericsalamat (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

May 3, 2012
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photo Sambokojin dessert hihi (Taken with instagram)

Sambokojin dessert hihi (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

May 3, 2012
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photo I just received some lovely gifts from Jessica of Missense Mutations! A Mockingkay pendant, lego ring, and Think Green baller. Thanks Jessica! ❤ (Taken with instagram)

I just received some lovely gifts from Jessica of Missense Mutations! A Mockingkay pendant, lego ring, and Think Green baller. Thanks Jessica! ❤ (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

May 2, 2012
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photo Here at Circles for my cousin Ate Cheska’s graduation dinner! (Taken with Instagram at Circles Event Café)

Here at Circles for my cousin Ate Cheska’s graduation dinner! (Taken with Instagram at Circles Event Café)

1 year ago

April 30, 2012
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photo The birthday boy looks happy with his surprise Chi Spa massage! :D @ericsalamat (Taken with Instagram at Edsa Shangri La Hotel Mandaluyong City)

The birthday boy looks happy with his surprise Chi Spa massage! :D @ericsalamat (Taken with Instagram at Edsa Shangri La Hotel Mandaluyong City)

1 year ago

April 26, 2012
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photo Watching The Avengers tonight at Resorts World!! Thanks @maicasy and @vianserranilla for the lovely invites! (Taken with instagram)

Watching The Avengers tonight at Resorts World!! Thanks @maicasy and @vianserranilla for the lovely invites! (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

April 25, 2012
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photo Just got a blue 320GB PS3 for 13k. Yaaay! Another addition to my blue and pink gadget collection lol (Taken with instagram)

Just got a blue 320GB PS3 for 13k. Yaaay! Another addition to my blue and pink gadget collection lol (Taken with instagram)

1 year ago

April 24, 2012
38 notes
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