Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

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It is definitely a new year. Hola, 2015!

This means that another set of 365 days of opportunities has been given to us. That sounds so exciting!

When the dawn of 2015 arrived last Thursday, I was reminded that the new year should be treated like a new book, which has 365 pages and divided into 12 chapters. When you think about it, our lives are books in themselves. We are, most of the time, responsible for how the story goes. Will we fill it with lots and lots of memorable anecdotes or let the hours slip away in monotony? I would rather choose the former.

And that is true for this blog as well. This year Freine Writes will be a better blog, filled with more discoveries, pictures and stories.

So, where to begin? Well, at the very beginning.

A couple of days ago, a priest posted these three questions which is quite timely to the discovery which I will share with you in a bit…

1. Who am I?

2. Who am I not?

3. What shall I do?

To answer these without sounding too philosophical, I went on an adventure to the Ayala Museum in Makati City. What better way to know who you are than to retrace and relearn about your culture.

After its renovation, the museum was once again opened to the public last October 2004. It has 6 floors, the ground floor up to the 4th floor is where the several exhibits are found, such as The Diorama Experience (2nd floor) and the Ceramics Center (4th floor). The sixth houses the Filipinas Heritage Library.

ayalamuseum2015Visitors can only take pictures on the second level, which is where the 60 dioramas that “visually narrate Philippine history from ancient to contemporary times” are.

DiormaAbove is one of the dioramas which I fell in love with. It depicts the reception which the then new Governor General Carlos Maria de la Torre hosted in Malacanan Palace to celebrate the Spanish Revolution of 1868.

All of the dioramas are “the intricate handiwork of craftsmen from Paete, Laguna, a town known for its artisans and woodcraft.”

The predecessor of the Light Rail Transit

Since pictures can only be taken on this floor, sad to say most of my upcoming pictures for a more detailed museum experience will be that of The Diorama Experience.

Despite that, the entire tour opened my eyes and mind to the unique and rich culture of the Philippines. I was reminded that aside from the Spaniards, Americans and Japanese, the British also occupied the islands for a couple of years. Imagine if the British ruled for more than that, will we be drinking more tea and will Duchess Kate be visiting Manila? Ohhh… the possibilities…

The Red Coats are coming! British Occupation 1762-1764.

How about you? Have you visited or revisited the history of the country where you are in?

View from 2F

Capping off the Ayala Museum tour

La vida es muy hermosa,

Freine ♛

Feliz Navidad!

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FELIZ NAVIDAD to all of you, wherever you may be in this beautiful world!

This day is intended to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ which means that it must be filled with LOVE and HAPPINESS! Remember though that every day should be filled with love. For those who have forgotten, let this day serve as a reminder.

Spread more love in the world. It is much needed.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

– FREiNe

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New York-bound Freine!

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New York, see you soon!!!

If my article could speak, that is what it would excitedly say while jumping up and down. I am so happy and grateful to share with you the reason for delaying the relaunch of Freine Writes!

In my past posts, I have introduced to you one of my fave skin care brands out there: VMV Hypoallergenics.

Because I really adore the brand and its founder, Dra. Vermen M. Verallo- Rowell,it seems as if the universe just could not help but give me a wider avenue to declare my adoration.

I was given a chance to write an article for the Winter 2014 issue of their magazine, InSkin, where I share some tips on how to deal with atopic skin during the holidays.

Since VMV’s flagship store is in New York, copies of the said magazine (with my article of course!) are sure to be there. It is such an exciting experience! Can’t thank my lucky stars enough.

The print edition will definitely be available in VMV boutiques and counters in the Philippines and in Japan as well. In case there wouldn’t be any in the VMV store nearest you, you may download a digital copy via VMV’s website.

VMV is available in a LOT of countries: Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico, Sweden and soon, in Costa Rica.

Please a grab a copy guys! Thank you VMV!

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La vie est trés trés belle!
Freine

Memory Lane 2014

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It is 70 days before 2014 bows out and le monde welcomes 2015. 70 days?? Yessiree!

To support the counting down of days until New Year’s Eve, what better way to do so than to blog about the adventures and discoveries I made during this year. And boy are there loads of them! It’s also a way to catch up on the numerous days I’ve been MIW (missing in writing). Desolee.

On a more spiritual note, reliving the experiences of the past year can be a tool to be more appreciative of life. Yes, there were good and bad days (who doesn’t?) but focus on the positives. Take note of your achievements, learnings and discoveries. You just might realize how much you’ve grown and how far you’ve gone.

Memory Lane 2014 here I come! Coming soon this December!!!.

Quote of the day: If it isn’t written, it didn’t happen.

La vie est trés belle,
Freine

PS Merci to Papemelroti for the image above.

It’s A Greek Kind of Day

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Athens. Santorini. Zeus. Mt. Olympus. Polis. Socrates. Sparta. Achilles. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. —> These are just some of the things that quickly bring to mind the history-filled country of Greece (the last one is too obvious anyway). With a culture that has greatly influenced the modern world (Hello, Olympics and democracy!) and dates back to more than three thousand years, it’s small wonder that their cuisine is also a must-try. And try, I did. Although, it wasn’t merely trying, but savoring.

The restaurant of choice was Cyma Greek Taverna at EDSA Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong City. Greek dishes have been known to be more on the healthy side- filled with salads and seafood, so it was really mouthwatering for moi.

Upon entering the restaurant, you immediately sense the love for the color blue and one is reminded of the ever famous Greek city of Santorini.

Santorini, Greece

The walls are painted with images of ancient Greek soldiers and citizens, in blue paint of course. It is quite cozy. The service is fast and the wait staff are friendly and one of them has an amazing memory- he didn’t need to write down our orders in paper!

To start off the meal, there was the Roka Salata, which is a salad made up of “fresh arugula, chopped romaine lettuce, sun dried tomatoes, candied walnuts, shaved parmigiano. Served with traditional Greek vinaigrette.”

Roka Salata

As an added appetizer, Kalamata Hummus (velvety chickpeas, tahini, kalamata olive tapenade) was included. Boy, was the hummus literally velvety. Pasta is available if you also feel a bit Italian. Vegetarians are not excluded from the menu. There are several meatless options such as the Meatless Moussaka– layered seasoned green lentils and tofu, potatoes, zuchini, eggplant and Greek bechamel sauce. For a quick look on their menu and corresponding prices, click here.

Overall, the food in Cyma will leave you feeling great about yourself. Why? Because, ‘At Cyma, it’s about bringing people together for a “flourishing” experience that starts with great food then goes beyond by nurturing the soul and the spirit.’

The food tasting occurred on a Sunday to cap off the weekend and to anticipate the start of another work week. But if you tend to have Monday blues, may I suggest that you fight if off with blues as well- Cyma Greek Taverna blues that is. Aside from the eye-catching interiors, the food truly nourishes the soul.

Kalamata Hummu

Kalamata Hummu

Meatless Moussaka

Meatless Moussaka

Greek Clams Pasta (solo version)

Interior Wall Art

La vie est trés belle (or as they say in Greece: η ζωή είναι όμορφη! Zoi einai omorfi!),

Freine

Time for You

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Yes, life can get in the way but before you let your energy be zapped by stress, make sure to make time for YOU!

What better way to release stress than to attend a beauty workshop? Benefit and beauty blogger slash makeup artist Nikki Tiu are sponsoring one. Learn to maximize the use of an eyeliner; it can instantly make you look more awake (especially if you’ve been pulling an all nighter), when used properly.

Plus…… It’s for free!! Grab this learning opportunity.

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La Vie est Très Belle,
Freine

Pinoy Ordurvz, S’il Vous Plait!

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Last weekend, as usual, I was scouring the streets of Makati for the next healthy find. This time, I was led to the numerous tents of the Salcedo Saturday Market at Jaime Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village. As I entered the park slash foodie-haven, I was greeted by a variety of fresh, cooked, fried, frozen and baked produce. There were fish, vegetables, fruits, cakes, ice cream, and so much more.

Thanks to my love for peanut butter (and search for homemade ones), I was instantly led to a tent which sold a variety of homemade dips, named Pinoy Ordurvz. (But it turned out, the ‘Peanut Butter with less sugar For Sale’ sign which caught my attention was of their next-tent co-seller. Oops!)

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Despite the slight faux pas, I quickly chatted with the owner, Ronah, who was super friendly (and who laughingly dismissed my peanut butter inquiry), informative and pro-health (yay!).

Their bottled foods are homemade, thoughtfully prepared and have a healthy twist thanks to their no preservatives, no additives core value. Plus, they use 100% pure olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. There are a lot of vegetarian-friendly options such as the bestseller, Malunggay Pesto (we all know how magically nutrient-dense malunggay is.), Tofu Adobo, Garlic Mushrooms, Chili Con Carne Champinon, Cracked Mustard, Baked Beans, Chili Garlic Oil, Dill Pickles and Feta Cheese in EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

Non-vegetarians, don’t fret! There are loads of options for you as well: Bangus Belly (Portuguese and Bistek Style), Sardines Tamban/ Tawilis in Olive Oil, Tuyo Pate, Tuyo (dried Herring fillets) in EVOO, Milkfish Pate, Healthy Bagoong (fish paste) in Olive Oil, Nitrate-free Corned Beef (woah!), Dulong in Olive Oil, Air-dried Beef Tapa, Boneless Bangus En Tocho (or Adobo), Chili Con Carne, Smoked Salmon Pate, Bangus Pasta Sauce, Smoked Barbecue Sauce and Fish Chicharon (Fish crackles). So full of Omega 3-rich options, right?

It is such a wonderful experience to know about Pinoy Ordurvz because it just shows that there are health-conscious individuals out there who know that delicious should be paired with fresh and nutritious. After all, food is what fuels our body. Why give our bodies anything less than it truly deserves?

Pinoy Ordurvz is located at:

1. Greenhills Shopping Complex- Lifestyle Center (food court beside the pearl shops) every Sunday to Thursday from 10 AM to 8 PM and every Friday to Saturday from 10 AM to 9 PM.

2. Salcedo Market every Saturday from 7 AM to 2 PM.

3. Legaspi Market every Sunday from 7 AM to 2 PM.

You could always check out their Facebook page or connect with them through their online partner Speed Regalo. Oh, they also have All Natural Sea Salt by D’Asinmeler’s (all natural coarse salt from Pangasinan).

La Vie est Tres Belle!

Freine ♛

Hazel and Augustus: Their Love Story

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Unless you have been living under a rock these past few months, then the book (and especially its movie adaptation), The Fault In Our Stars needs no in depth introduction.

For the sake of those who have been living under a rock, the book is written by John Green. It tells of the love story of two teenage cancer patients: Hazel Grace Lancaster (played by Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (played by Ansel Elgort).

They both meet during a cancer support group session and hit it off as friends thanks to their seemingly witty and intellectual personalities.

Together they tackle the ups and downs of living with cancer. When Augustus finds a way for Hazel to get in contact with her favorite author, they are set on another adventure; this time in the European city of Amsterdam. While in the city, they discover the love they have for each other; Which in turn overshadows the disappointment they faced when they met Hazel’s favorite author.

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I won't be spoiling the rest of the book BUT the movie version is worth watching. It doesn't exactly follow the book in its entirety but as a movie, it delivered. It was narrated in Hazel's voice and the romantic/drama- genre are well-balanced. So, it's not a very serious movie (which may be expected because it involves cancer). It's really as if Hazel is simply telling the tale of how she met Augustus and how he changed her world despite the expectations one has of cancer. It's one of those films wherein it gave the book justice.

Oh, and the quotes are totally quotable!

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La vie est trés belle,
Freine

P.S. if you're a softie, expect tears to flow.

Is the future truly set?

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Is the future truly set? 

This is the question which succinctly summarizes the message of the latest X-Men installment: X-Men- Days of Future Past.  

Luckily, in Manila, the movie premiered two days earlier than the scheduled May 23rd release, which was announced in the X-Men official website. Once again, Marvel and Twentieth Century Fox did not fail to captivate the audience. Other than the cinematic effects, the brilliant acting skills of the A-list stars gave justice to the story: which include Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, to name a few– and I’m only beginning. Halle Berry and Anna Paquin are back as well but their camera time is limited.

In the movie, the past and future collide (thanks to Kitty’s mutant ability) in order to prevent the war between humans and mutants.

Past and Future Professor Charles Xavier

Past and Future Magneto

Mutants in the future are exterminated by the Sentinels, robot-like technologies that can trace mutants and withstand any of their powers. To prevent this, they send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 to change the events which led to the inevitable war.

Yes, you may have heard that the award-winning actor, Peter Dinklage , of Game of Thrones fame, plays a significant role in this movie as Bolivar Trask- the human who envisioned the Sentinels.

 

Expect a lot of action AND humor in the movie. It is quite entertaining and worth every cent that you paid for the ticket. It doesn’t hurt that the story is set in Paris, Moscow and China as well. A little traveling while time traveling, you might say.

To answer the question posted in the beginning of this blog post, it is believed that our future is the result of our countless decisions. The future is not truly set.

Agree?

 

La vie est tres belle,

Freine ♛