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Wednesday, January 10, 2018 New York, NY, USA

Faux Real

It was hard to believe this day would come, but I finally hit my 100K mark on Instagram. It's been several years in the making and over those years, I have learned so much about the world and myself. I've become smarter through fashion and business. When it all started, it was just an app that I thought I would post photos on every now and then, using those Instagram filters with the borders, grainy images shot on my iPhone 4S because 2011 is the year I left my Blackberry behind and switched over to Apple.

My journey on Instagram has been nothing short of incredible, and I've been able to work with the most amazing brands and meet some truly wonderful people. I've made lifelong friends that have truly made a positive impact on my life and to all of you, I am so thankful. This year is already off to an incredible start and as I continue on this journey, I hope you'll stick around to see what's next. As I shot out in the show with this thrift shop faux find from 2016, I'm also linking some great faux pieces below!

Aritzia Sweater | Thrifted Faux Jacket | Aritzia Leggings
Captured by: Marco Panlilio

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year

The past year was full of lessons, as is every passing year. And as much as I hope and pray for less drama, smooth sailing, there is no growth unless you go through difficulties. It's hard to believe that the year is over, but I'm really glad that it is. I'm ready for that feeling of a "fresh start," despite it really just being a continuation of time. In this post, I'll be sharing lessons learned as well as some plans and goals for myself for the new year.

Twenty-Seventeen was filled with a lot of amazing memories, but there have been moments of weakness, tears, lost tempers. It feels as though each year, I am constantly filtering out people in my life, realizing who is there for the right reasons, and which friendships had to end. But through those difficult times, I always find a way to come out stronger. Here's to the lessons that I've learned in 2017.

Not spreading myself out too thin has been an important part of this year. Being my own boss, it's easy to get carried away and feel invincible. But I can't do it all on my own and it was important for me to learn how to pace myself. I'm constantly reminding myself to focus more on the quality of my work rather than the quantity. In this new year, I will definitely always be keeping this in mind.

You learn who your real friends are by seeing who can handle that open communication, who can be receptive of it, who will respect you enough to listen. A true friend actually listens to you when you speak, rather than just waiting for their turn to talk. If there is poor communication in any relationship, it's doomed to fail unless you fix it. 

Anyone that doesn't give you an explanation and just shuts you out was never a real friend of yours and I've learned not to waste my time on people that were never open to fixing a situation like actual adults. Immaturity is something I have no room for in my life and part of adulthood is learning to be honest about your feelings and trusting that you can express those feelings to the important people in your life.

I have made my mistakes and when I do, I don't have too much pride. I can admit fault and I appreciate when I can get that back too. I am so thankful for the friends that have been honest with me, that have allowed me to feel that it's okay to pour your heart out and know that they're going to listen. I'm thankful for the friendships that have not always been easy but to know that we are willing to work on it to have a stronger relationship, those are the friendships that are worth keeping.

I learned how to better stop comparing myself to others in my line of work, which is hard to do considering how much noise there is. Who has more followers, who is copying who, who got it first, etc. I know what content I find inspiring and the community of Instagram that I want to be a part of. It's important to not get caught up with the numbers and remind myself why I started in the first place, it was fun and I loved it. That's what will keep me going and that's what I want driving my success.

I am so thankful for everyone that has been supportive, especially those that have been there since the beginning. As my brand continues to grow, I'm so appreciative for those that recognize that growth as well. I want to stay true to who I am, to always have your trust and continue to learn and grow.

This industry has taught me how to grow some balls. I'm my own boss, there's no one that is going to fix things for me and I have learned how to stick up for myself. My business mentality has strengthened so much this past year because I no longer sell myself short. I will not allow brands to bully me, push me down, or get away with treating me disrespectfully.

Thank you to all the brands that are respectful of the content creators, those that don't try to corner someone into feeling like their time isn't worth any money. It's important to know your worth and not allow anyone to take advantage of you, and that goes for all aspects of life.

Almost seven years together and Marco and I are still learning from each other. Patience is always key and we're constantly reminding ourselves of how important communication is in our relationship. The past year was filled with adventure and I love seeing how far we've come since we started dating. This new year will be a very exciting one for us and patience will be a key role in our upcoming adventures. But it will be all worth it.

I'm trying to make sure the 2017 will be the last year of impulsive spending for a while. We're about a week into 2018 and so far so good! I was able to pay off a good amount of my debt and student loans but this year it's extremely important for me to stick with my game plan so I can be debt free by the end of this new year.

In this new year, I could be typical and say I'm going to work out more, eat better, etc. But those are all a given. Below are a few plans and goals that I've set for myself and I am very excited to set it all in motion.

I want to spend more time with my family, see more friends, stop being so plugged in. I want to take a weekend away in a cabin, play board games with family and bond. My family doesn't spend as much time together as they used to but I'm hoping it's not too late to bring that back.

My circle of friends are very small and I like that it is. I know who my real friends are and I'm just hoping we are able to find more time to spend together. As we get older, everyone is busy and can get caught up with what's going on with their own lives, but like any relationship, it's important to take care of it. I am so thankful for all the friendships that have been strengthened in the past year.

I'm taking what I learned last year and applying it to the new year. I want to create a wider variety of content, continue to build on that YouTube channel. I want to create content that people will actually look forward to reading and continue to have a distinct style that people can tell who it is. I'm really excited to hit my 100K mark, something that I have been waiting for a while now. So many people have written to me ideas and responded to the polls on the kind of content that they want to see, and I promise that it's all being kept in mind.

I have forgiven the people that have wronged me, even those that never said sorry. It was just too much weight to carry and there's far too much to look forward to. I need to be more patient and more understanding. I will take the steps I need to better manage my anxieties or hypochondria. I will be open about my emotions but also be rational in how I express them.

I won't overthink situations, I will stop stirring up ideas and negative thoughts out of paranoia. I want to stay positive and spread positivity.

This year, it's absolutely crucial for me to pay off my student loans, save more money for my future. Rather than shopping so much, I'd rather travel to more places. I want to better manage my finances and I'm prepared to really work on that this year.

Thank you for all the lessons and memories, 2017. I'm ready for what's to come.

Friday, December 15, 2017 Toronto, ON, Canada

Shangri-La Toronto

Back in Toronto, and back to Shangri-La. This time, I was able to bring Marco along for a quick weekend getaway out of New York City. Much needed with the hecticness that comes along with the holidays. It's always nice to have a hotel feel like home, welcoming you back with open arms. Growing up in Manila, Philippines, I was fond of the Shangri-La properties that my parents would take me to. In a way, Shangri-La Toronto reminded me of those days that I was a kid roaming through the grand and beautiful lobbies, but this time, I'm making my way there myself.

We stayed in a Premier King Room, similar to the hotel room I had during my first visit back in May. I was looking forward to having that cozy bed once again for a few nights, relaxing baths with a view of the city, and there's just always a signature Shangri-La aroma that I can't get enough of. The property is centrally located in Downtown Toronto, making it the perfect location to come home to after a long day of wandering the city.

Although this was a mini vacation for us, I still needed to get some work done during the evenings. I would situate myself at the desk, go through the inbox before nestling back into bed for the evening. Turn down service was always incredible to come back to, slippers by the bed, water on the table, sheets folded down and ready for us to slip into.

Of course the accommodations are impeccable. I mean, who could resist an all marble bathroom with a stunning bathtub and view like this? But as always, it's the staff and family that always make the stay that much better. Shangri-La Toronto made Marco and I feel right at home from the second we arrived. I only wish we stayed a little bit longer. 

Our final morning at the hotel was a delicious breakfast at Bosk. We made our way down to the lobby, appropriately decorated for the holidays, and headed over to the restaurant where we were seated by the windows. I can still taste the perfect french toast and eggs that I had that morning and the pineapple juice that I got many refills of. 
Shangri-La Toronto has a gym, indoor pool, and spa as well. It's the perfect little getaway out of the city for me and I know that I'll be back soon. They have multiple properties around the world and I already can't wait for my next visit to another Shangri-La Hotel in the Philippines. To book a stay with Shangri-La Toronto or any of their other properties, please check out the links below. You won't be disappointed.

A special thank you to Shangri-La Toronto for having us.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Gift Guide For Him: Ricardo + More

It's no secret that Marco and I love to travel, that's why the perfect gift for him this Christmas was his very own set of suitcases that were both functional and sleek. Thanks to Ricardo Beverly Hills, the Spectrum Collection is the best of both worlds. With so many trips coming up, Marco is so excited to travel around the world with his new suitcases.

His favorite features? He loves how lightweight they are and how much he can pack into them. The sizes fit into each other with ease and move so swiftly. It's made of a polycarbonate shell making them extremely durable, perfect for handling the toughness of travel sometimes. Check out the full Spectrum Collection here.

For some other holiday gift ideas for your guy, check out these ideas down below, ranging from headphones, to clothing, sunglasses, other cool electronics, etc. Hopefully this will help check off some names on your list. Happy shopping!




In Collaboration with Ricardo Beverly Hills

Friday, December 8, 2017

Saint Laurent from Reebonz

It's been a while since I fell in love with a Saint Laurent bag, and I'm so happy that this beauty is in my collection now. There's a certain luxury to the Saint Laurent design and I always found difficulty finding a bag to wear for evening events or dates. Thanks to Reebonz, I won't be having that problem anymore! If you've watched my unboxing, then you already know some basics about this bag, initial reaction, and of course sharing the magic of a true unboxing. If you haven't yet, you can check out the video here.

I've added quite a few bags to my collection from Reebonz this past year, each bag with its own special charm and in this post, I'm going to talk to you about my new Saint Laurent Sunset Bag. Be sure to check out the end of this post for some of my favorites from the site as well as a special code to take 20% off your eligible purchase!
It's the Medium Sunset Bag in Dark Beige Leather. It's a monogram Saint Laurent flap front bag with accordion sides, leather and chain strap that can be worn crossbody or doubled up for a shoulder strap, a key ring encased in leather and a metal interlocking YSL signature. The dimensions are 8.6 X 3.1 X 6.2 Inches and it is made of 100% Calf-skin leather with suede lining. It has a magnetic snap closure and a gusseted slot pocket under the flap and back slot pocket as well.

Cellphone (iPhone 8 Plus), AirPods, Keys, Cardholder, Sunglasses. It's a bit snug because of how the bag is compartmentalized but then again, I picked this up with every intention of it being a special occasion bag where I didn't have to carry around too much anyways!
I'm really excited to wear this out more, especially with so many holiday parties and events coming up. Check out some other bags I've been loving from and take 20% off your eligible purchases with my code "R20AL" valid until the end of this year + $50 off your first order on top of that by clicking that link! It's that time of the year, go treat yourself!