Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interesting trends in the Philippines

No pictures, just observations...

1. Actors/actresses/singers/celebrities after a hiatus will return in the public eye - in the Senate, Congress, or municipal halls...

2. Parents dream that when they grow up, their children would either be a lawyer, a doctor or a showbiz personality...

3. Most Filipinos dream their entire lives to get out of the Philippines - work and live in another country...

But these migrants will remember the Philippines when they're old and retire in the Philippines...

4. If you speak in English, you look smart. If you speak Taglish (English and Tagalog combined), you look cool and posh...

5. International performers will hold concerts in the Philippines either when they're still making a name for themselves or they're already out of the limelight...

6. Most Filipinos say "awwww" when they hear foreigners say good things about the Philippines but when asked themselves, Philippines is the worst country...

7. Imported things are believed to be of higher quality...

8. Rich, famous, and intellectual people don't watch local TV shows and movies... Apparently, local shows and movies are "cheap"

9. Politicians become celebrities, and celebrities become politicians...

10. Filipinas marry foreigners and live abroad. Their good-looking children will return and live alone in the Philippines to become a celebrity...

Time will come when Filipinos don't look much like Filipinos and other nationalities would look more Filipino...

11. Roadworks are everywhere as elections draw near.

12. Hearthrobs and gorgeous actresses get platinum awards for their records. Real singers don't.

13. Indie movies cost less but have award-winning plots and cinematography. Mainstream ones are costly, mushy and funny...

14. People visit their doctors when they're already sick and calls the visit "check up".

15. People eat dinner during local news' slot so as not to miss their favorite telenovelas and blame PAGASA when it rains the following morning and they don't bring their umbrellas...

Friday, November 23, 2012

the List

By now, you should know based on my posts that I love lists so here's more...

I love musicals. I even watch musicals turned into movies, e.g., Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera. Then there are movies that have characters singing. So I thought I'd come up of a list of fun movie scenes where characters are singing. I did not include movies that are about singers, e.g., Rockstar, Dreamgirls.

5. Ashton Kutcher in "A Lot Like Love"

Ok. In our modern times, no guy really does serenades to win a girl over. But Ashton Kutcher's character did - rock n roll style. Ashton sang Bon Jovi's rock ballad "I'll be there for you". He even carried his electric guitar and amplifier. Who wouldn't say no to that? It wasn't the best vocals but hey, the effort is greater... Hopeless romantics would fall for this every time. Here's the video...

4. Cameron Diaz in "My Bestfriend's Wedding"

Cameron sang the entire song "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself". She was out of tune most of the time but the crowd loved her towards the end of the song because she really made an effort to sing given that she's a posh, rich girl who wouldn't really sing in a videoke bar. Of course, Julia Roberts character wasn't successful in her attempt to ruin her bestfriend and the latter's fiancee's wedding. Normally, one would be annoyed to hear a person sing this bad, but I guess beautiful girls like Cameron can get away with is, even charmingly.

3. Brad Pitt in "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"

What makes this scene fun is not entire because it was Brad Pitt singing. Although I guess for some, it is. The fun part is the choice of song "Making Love Out of Nothing At All" by Air Supply. This song is a videoke favorite. Plus the context of the movie where it was injected. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are hired assassins. They got married knowing they are CEOs. They soon learned about their identities when they realized they are up to kill each other. Prior to the singing, they were discussing what lies they had, e.g., Angelina bringing actors to play as her parents during their wedding, dinners bought not home cooked. Thus, Brad began to sing a verse or two of Air Supply's hit. Here's the video (sorry, it's of poor quality but this is the only thing I can find in Youtube so far).

2. Tom Cruise in "Topgun"

You've lost that loving feeling... But people got that loving feeling for Maverick, naval aviator (played by Tom Cruise). Tom Cruise started the song then the entire navy crew sang. Who wouldn't dream of being serenaded by an entire fleet of men in gorgeous white uniform? Let alone Tom Cruise singing the first verse! It definitely tickles women and Tom Cruise was one of the first artists (in contemporary time) that sang in a movie. Here's the video.

1. Heath Ledger in "10 Things I Hate About You"

Before the late Heath Ledger became an Oscar nominee for Brokeback Mountain and before he actually won with his unforgettable Joker role, he was a teen hearthrob. I always say that among the teen flicks from the 80s to early 2000s, 10 things I hate about you is the best. The story is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare's Taming the Shrew. Heath played the role of Patrick Varona in the movie where he was paid by Joey, a conceited model, to date the sister (Julia Stiles) of the girl (Larisa Oleynik) he likes. The sisters have a very uptight father who won't allow his younger daughter to date until the older daughter dates. The older daughter happens to be anti social, temperamental and extremely difficult. Heath paid the school band to play some music while he sings. He ended up in detention but he won the heart of ms. difficult. I think during my teenage years, this has raised the bar for guys saying "sorry"... Say sorry in a song... =)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My style heroes

She's posh - what else can I say? I love Victoria Beckham's style post-Spice Girls. Ironic that Mrs. Beckham was first known to be Posh spice but I didn't like her style that time. I thought Spice girls were made too commercial thus her style back then was meant to be trendy rather than classic. This high collar for instance, with stockings and black heels - the get up is classic. Winter usually meant bulky jackets and coats but this look made winter fashionable.

That signature bob! Victoria Beckham made bob feminine and posh. Be it unruly or just-out-of-bed or with this tiny black headband, Victoria rocked with her bob. I thought she looked best with bobs. I wish I can wear this short hair myself but I can't. Her hair colors are not outlandish. It's always on the traditional brunette colors. She wore her hair blonde but she usually kept it brunette. But be it brunette or blonde, he hair is always fixed.

One thing I like about Victoria's style is that she looks professional. Most of her outfits are fashionable corporate pieces such as this one. The skirt and boots - Oh my! I love wearing boots to work. I can go to work with this style. I think that if she was a regular girl who goes to work, she would redefine corporate power dressing. Not a lot of style icons wear fashionable corporate looking ensemble. Victoria can... 

 Victoria rocked the bob hairstyles but she also wears her hair long. This hairstyle was a little unkempt but boy it is stylish. I also like the way she wears her make up. it's mostly subdued. In this photo, she wore nude lipstick. Her eyes are dark but they're not overdone. I's say her make up is kept minimalist most of the time. The hair and the make up allowed her natural beauty to glow. 

 I like black a lot. She wears black a lot! Again, this outfit looks classic and wearable to corporate work. The little belt accentuates and flaunts her little waist. Her wavy, long hair gives her a mature look. And she has a balance between runway looks and fashionable street wear. On the photo, she's wearing a black shirt, denim daisy dukes and black flip flops. The outfit is rather simple but she still maintains it stylish. Runway or street, corporate or casual, short or long-haired, she is POSH!
 Gwyneth Paltrow is almost synonymous to elegance. She has the height of supermodels; she has the ultimate blonde good looks. Any clothes fit her perfectly. Her outfits are sexy but  not sleezy. This is a magazine photo. Look at how that dress fits her. Now look at her red carpet look in the photo to the right. She keeps it simple, plain and one-colored.

Headband! Gwyneth looks young but not trying hard. She looks even more elegant when her hair is pulled back. Her beautiful, radiant face is emphasized. No earrings or necklace. Her style is simple but classic. Timeless, I should say.

 Like Posh, Gwyneth's street fashion looks straight out of the runway. Look how simple her look was in the photo to the right - gray shirt, white pants and sandals. Not all streetwalkers would look this fashionable with this rather simple look. But Gwyneth does.
Blazer and shorts - Gwyneth is only one of the very few who can pull this off. I can't say more. I just love this outfit.

Being the rocker that I am, Gwen Stefani is also one of my style heroes. Look at those abs!!! She has revolutionized female rockstar outfits. This look is majority white. Blazer on top of her bare abs. I think this is one of Gwen's signature looks. This is how her wax at madame tussauds looke as well. She puts sexy to rock.

 I work in the corporate world so I am really thrilled to see fashionable ensemble that I can wear at work. I love Gwen's look here. White collared shirt with tie and I believe cashmere on top. Like Posh, she also launched her own fashion line - my dream.

 Now, look at her street fashion. In more street fashion photos, Gwen looks more casual with rubber shoes and sneakers. But regardless, she is effortlessly fashionable and edgy too. She can rock any outfit she wears.

There you go - my style heroes. They're classic, timeless, edgy, simple and everything fashionable!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Voice Season 3

I love music and in the past decade or so, I've come to love watching reality singing contests, American Idol, Rockstar, and the Voice. I watched all seasons of the Voice. What I like about the show is that contestants were pre-selected already, i.e., everyone really knows how to sing. In American Idol, I enjoyed watching the audition episodes because some really are just gutsy. In the Voice, however, everyone can sing. The four judge/merntors also produces a good deal of following. The four judge/mentors, Adam Levine, Ceelo Green, Christina Aguillera, and Blake Shelton are all accomplished singers. They came from different genres: Adam is of course, the front man of Maroon 5, a pop-rock band; Ceelo Green is into pop (the good one that is); Christina is also into pop but she's more into the diva kind of thing; and Blake Shelton is into country music. When I watch the show, I felt that the judges' commentaries are reasonable and really helpful to the contestants - I hear technical comments. The fact that they fight over a contestant also makes the show fun and interesting. When two or more judges turn their chairs to a contestant, the contestant needs to choose which judge/mentor he/she would like so the judge/mentors will throw their sales pich to win over the contestant. This season, Trevin Hunte's audition made Blake Shelton come over to Adam and asked, "what the hell is wrong with you" or something. All the judges except Adam turned their chairs when Trevin sang the belter song Listen by Beyonce.  

Also this season, when a contestant loses in the battle rounds, the other judges can steal and ask him/her to join his/her team instead. Adam stole Amanda Brown from Ceelo. During the first performance rounds, when asked to comment about Amanda's performance, Ceelo said, "you know you're my favorite mistake". I like Ceelo's play of words and subtle comedic spiels in the show. Adam once told (somewhere along these lines) Ceelo this season, "you used lyrics to comment. I like that". Ceelo replied, "well Adam, I'll try to call you on the payphone." Payphone is of course one of Maroon 5's 2012 hits. Ceelo is also crazy flamboyant. I don't necessary like his outfits but every week, I am eager to see what crazy outfit he would wear. He also brings animals - parrots, cats. Christina would always wear skimpy, body-hugging, cleavage-showing dresses. This season, she always brings a fan. I don't know why. I guess it's one of her fashion statement? I'm really not sure. But the funny thing is, among the four judges, she seems to be the oldest because almost everytime, she and other judges turn their chairs to contestant, she would be chosen especially by teen girls or 20-something girls because apparently they grew up listening to Christina or that she's their idol, etc.

Blake also has his comedic spiels. Sometimes, he's sarcastic, and I love it. He messes with Adam a lot. This season, he won Cassadee Pope from the other judges. During the knock out rounds, Cassadee sang Payphone and Adam commented, "Oh Cassadee, you broke my heart when you chose Blake over me. Now you broke my heart again because you sang my song." Adam would look like he's the lazy type but boy, the very first The voice winner came from his team, Javier Colon. When videos are shown on how the rehearsals and mentoring went, it would show Adam was hands on and he gives the same amount of mentoring the other judges do.

The contestants are unique as well. Most of them are not too commercial or mainstream like Melanie Martinez and Nicholas David. When Nicholas sang during the knock out rounds, Adam commented, "when I listen to you, I wanna make babies." You may wanna try watching the show, too. For this season, my bets are Trevin and Nicholas from Ceelo's team, Dez (boy band, hottie material) from Christina's team, Cassadee from Blake's team, and either Melanie or Bryan from Adam's team. Amanda should also be fine as long as she chooses the right songs. Catch it on NBC. In Asia however, it's shown in AXN.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Filipino Christmas habits

The Philippines' current tourism tagline is "it's more fun in the Philippines". I'd say it really is during Christmas season and we have arguably the longest Christmas season... I listed down some of the Filipino Christmas habits through the years... Enjoy and advance Merry Christmas!

10. The countdown! How many more days before Christmas? We all love to count the days before Christmas and the closer we get to Christmas day, the happier it gets. In the Philippines however, though it's still September, we start counting down the days. It's really true when they say that Philippines has the longest Christmas season. Ber-months usher in the Christmas countdown and the season officially closes by Three Kings celebration sunday early in January (first Sunday after new year).

9. Christmas shopping. People would rush to the malls to buy presents for their family and friends. Tiangges (small shops) would be everywhere. People would also buy something new for themselves. Filipinos especially, will usually buy new clothes and wear them to the Christmas Eve or Christmas day mass.

8. Christmas decors. Homes and offices are decorated with Christmas lights, balls, garlands, trees, traditional belen (replica of the manger where Jesus Christ was born). Ayala Avenue, Manila's prime business district is lighted, decorated with lanterns and so much more. Malls would also light giant Christmas trees.
7. Christmas carols. Caroling is so much alive in the Philippines. Mostly, the kids will go house to house to sing Christmas carols. People traditionally give money to the carollers. In the malls and even in the houses, Christmas songs are played as early as September. Filipinos love music a lot. Christmas would definitely not be complete without the Christmas music.

6. Homecoming and reunions. High Schools, Colleges, families, friends will get together. Some even makes it an annual event. From grand reunions to simple dine outs, people would just love to get together.

5. Kris Kringle. "I love my monito/monita..." When we were kids, we sing that song before you give your gift to your monita/monita. Schools and offices would exchange gifts. Every day or weekly, there would be a theme, e.g., something sweet, something hairy, etc. People gets creative with the gifts. Monito/Monita is the one you chose, your "baby", the one you'd give your gifts to. The coolest gift I received is a slimy toy rat. Lots of people were tricked (and scared) because it looks real.

4. Giving gifts for the older ones and asking gifts for the younger ones. Kids will search for their ninong and ninang (godfather and godmother) in the hope that the latter would give Christmas gifts, which oftentimes are monetized.

3. Christmas parties. Offices prepare for lavish Christmas parties as early as August since bars, hotels and other venues are booked early. More often than not, it will be a costume play as most parties will have themes and you have to dress according to the themes. Groups will unleash their comedic prowess, singing and dancing talents on group presentations. Filipino would work overtime to prepare the props, rehearse and convince the boss to join so as to get audience impact.

2. Simbang gabi (nine early morning masses before Christmas day). Filipinos would try their best to complete these nine consecutive early morning masses in the traditional belief that if they do, their wishes will be granted. Churches are unusually packed during these days. Puto bungbong and bibingka (Filipino delicacies) await Church goers after the mass. People even say that some are only after the food =)

1. Noche Buena on Christmas Eve and Buena Noche on New Year's Eve. Yes, we don't have huge ball dropping at Times Square but firecrackers are everywhere, you'll be deaf after New Year's Eve. And yes, we have food everytime. Be it lavish for the well off families or simple for less fortunate families, families will gather and are expected to be home and should not miss the Christmas Eve dinner. People will kiss and heart warming greetings will flow...

Did I miss out anything?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spoofed: 2012's Greatest Hits

We're reaching almost the end of the year so I thought I would have my share of recalling this year's greatest hits... in a cool way. Filipinos are good impersonators. We love parodies and spoofs. Let me share you my favorite Filipino spoofs for the year...
3. There has been so much craze about 50 shades. It's a trilogy comprised of "50 shades of Grey", "50 shades darker", and "50 shades freed". All three books are erotic, I couldn't say more. I declared this blog to not have adult content and well I watched this parody again and again and I think it's funny more than erotic haha. A Filipino dad wants his sons to sleep but the sons said that their mom usually tells bedtime stories to put them to sleep. The dad then comes to read 50 shades. Imagine?!!! I find it funny so enjoy watching...

2. Oppa Gangnam style! Psy was phenomenal this year. He was the first Korean artist to hit it really big in the US and all over the world. Heidi Klum danced with him during the MTV Europe Awards. Among all spoofs (Filipino) I've seen of this song, I thought Jugs & Teddy's video spoof was the most creative. Jugs and Teddy are two Filipino band frontmen who host "It's Showtime" a Filipino noon time variety show. In the show's third anniversary week, the hosts need to present anything to win Php 100,000 for their chosen charities. Jugs & Teddy came up with Psy's Gangnam style video spoof. You may want to check out the real video of the song and compare how detailed Jugs and Teddy's spoof was. They also changed the lyrics of the song. The song was now "Epal ang yong style". The lyrics talks about annoying people. "Epal" loosely means annoying and the title means "your style is annoying". Why the spoof is creative? Because they did the video in 5 minutes with all the set changes and people dancing. The original music video may have been shot for at least an entire day.

1. Before Psy's Gangnam Style, there was "Call me Maybe". Yup Carly Rae Jepsen's hit has been the biggest LSS for most people this year. It was played everywhere I go. People around the globe did their own videos and covers of the song. With its popularity, some are pleased while some are annoyed. But whatever you felt about the song, it doesn't change the fact that this song was arguably the biggest hit of 2012. Among the Filipino spoofs of this song (and all spoofs this year), this is my favorite because hard core rockstars made a funny version of it. Basti Artadi of Wolfgang and Tirso Ripoll of Razorback did the spoof. The new lyrics is in English so just listen and enjoy. I just can't imagine my rock hero to be doing a cover of this very pop song. It made me love rock even more. Warning: Excuse their French... =p

Monday, November 12, 2012

Coffee and me

 I  am from a Philippine province known for its brewed coffee (kapeng barako) hence, I have an intense liking for coffee. I didn't grow up in the time when people would literally brew the coffee beans in my province but I saw my dad while I was growing up, pouring coffee over his rice and that was delicious he said. I never tried doing that but some people - the older ones - never outgrew that habit. My dad has now been living in the US for almost 15 years but he still missed mixing his coffee with his rice. Weird? Perhaps, but it doesn't change the fact that it brings an unfathomable happiness to my dad's eating. Perhaps, it always reminded him of his childhood because every time I saw him do that or he tells me and my brother stories about coffee + rice, his childhood stories will come next - them having to do hard labor just to go to school in the 60s and 70s, his funny yet rebellious escapades, etc.

Unlike my dad, I grew up with commercial coffee. We have Nescafe at home. I'll add sugar and creamer then smell the aroma... That was coffee for me while growing up. The nice part of coffee is smelling the aroma. I never forget to do that before having my first sip. It's very relaxing. I started doing that while I was a kid and I haven't outgrown that habit. In fact, I smell any food before eating them. But the best part of it is the chat that comes with it. I remember when I was a kid in Batangas. Every Saturday morning, we will have coffee and pandesal (bun). Morning breakfasts took forever because it goes with stories - how the week was for my parents, how me and my brother did in school, what are the plans for this weekend, etc. The stories are endless and coffee gets better with the chat...

I moved to Manila when I was in college. I lived (and still living) with my brother and my aunt. My parents decided to work in the US that time. I had less of coffee on weekdays but I did taste Starbucks. I am a habitual kind of person. When I like something, I will stand by it for like forever. When I'm in Starbucks, I only order caramel macchiato or mocha frappuccino (on hot days). They taste best for me. Chat time has changed. I then shared stories with my college friends - accounting homework, hunky university varsity player, etc.

When I started working, my friends and I discovered an alternative - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Guess what I order all the time? Ice blended mocha! haha =p    I love spicy tuna linguine. In fact, I tried doing my own version of it at home. My boyfriend loved it and he's a good cook. But Coffee Bean's is unbeatable. Chat time changed again - toxic work week, boss from hell, upcoming movies, etc. With my second employer, I was sent to Singapore for work. There I discovered another coffee place - Ya Kun Kaya. From that time on, I declared that Ya Kun's was the best coffee I've ever tasted. Going home, I missed the coffee. I will never enjoy coffee as much as I enjoyed Ya Kun's coffee. I missed the coffee for years until this year...

My family and I go to Robinson's Place Ermita in Manila to do grocery weekly. The mall had a renovation in very recent years. Midtown was added which now houses higher end stores and al fresco dining. I always have fun going to Robinson's with my family and do grocery but very early this year was momentous for me. Beside the supermarket was a familiar store - it was a Ya Kun Kaya!!! I can't explain my happiness. Finally I can taste that wonderful coffee again.

I introduced my aunt and my brother to their coffee. My brother is not a coffee drinker though he grew up in Batangas like me. On the other hand, my aunt is in love with her home mixed coffee. But both of them tried Ya Kun's when I insisted. They liked it! Now, almost weekly, we go there to taste their best tasting brewed coffee with condensed milk. The store's vintage posters say that the secret is in the socks! What???? that was my reaction when I first saw it. They're fresh new socks, don't worry haha. In fact today, they're not using socks anymore. They use clothes that filters the coffee. I watched a crew prepare a coffee once. He filters coffee with one container with cloth filters then pours it to another container with cloth filters. He will repeat the process a number of times before he finally pours the coffee on their trademark cup and serves it.
Its aroma is perfect! Smelling it for me is heavenly. It is even more wonderful when paired with their famous french toast with kaya (coconut jam). Whenever I eat this combo, I feel like nothing could go wrong. I'm not kidding. For coffee addicts like me, coffee is therapy. They offer meal options and I always order meal E - brewed coffee with condensed milk, french toast with kaya, and egg. Prices are reasonable (and cheaper than Starbucks' or Coffee Bean's)
Here's Ya Kun Kaya's menu from Munchpunch.
I'm not sure if these are the only branches in the Philippines but here's a list from muchpunch as well.
Coffee drinking has evolved for me but I am just glad that I found a new coffee experience, this time chat time again is with my family... I don't know what coffee does to you but to me it's a total experience - the aroma and the stories. Coffee and me... You can try Ya Kun and see for yourself... Enjoy! :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fab Tips of Girls

Girls love fashion but runway and street fashion are the ones mostly talked about. Little is said about career people. Hence, here are my tips on power dressing and/or merely keeping it fashionable at work/school

1. know your style. don't copy somebody else's. create your own. I am a rock 'n roll kind of girl but with fashion, I like it timeless. my closet is 75% black! that's my style! like me, you should have your own...

2. ensure that you have key pieces in your closet, i.e., little black dress, blazer, black heels, white shirt, skirt, black trousers/pants, pair of jeans
- you can never go wrong with these key pieces. your little black dress can be worn at work with a blazer and on your date after work :-)
- your black heels with black pants will set you to your corporate interview and everyday work while you can use the heels for a party too
- your black pants will go with any top you like (any color will match it)
- white shirt can be worn inside a blazer at work, and can work on your jeans for a movie night or dine out (you know that girl-next-door look)
- your skirt could go well with any top for work too and if you feel a little sexy for malls, you may wear it too :-)

3. learn how to mix and match so that you create an illusion that you have many clothes when you only have a handful, just make sure your colors are coordinated. you need to wear at a maximum, 3 colors, to keep you stylish yet not looking like a Christmas tree =p

4. make sure you are dressed for the occasion. you don't want to wear short skirts at work and you also don't want to wear long skirts in the mall

5. be confident. nothing's more fab than being confident

6. wear your style with a smile. ;-)



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanks to Coke's ad: Open Happiness

Don’t complain and frown, instead do something and count your little blessings – you woke up alive, there’s food in your plate, you have work. Don’t make money your ruler.

You’ve work so hard to earn, sacrificing dinners with your family when upon your retirement, all you wanted was to have dinner with your family who may no longer be there. Know no regrets instead, learn from your experience. Move on, stand braver and conquer the world. Don’t let media tell you what you need. Forget about ipads, mp3 players, notebooks that we coped for years to live without.

Instead, listen to the radio. Dance in the rain. Play good old street games – they foster camaraderie, teamwork and REAL socializing. Take public transport – traffic is hell but hey, you’re not driving and you pay fixed fares though you consumed more gas. Talk to the taxi driver – I’ve been educated by them for years of taking the cab. I’ve learned great opinions on social matters from them. Be with people who have the same wavelength as you and who will be there even if you don’t have an LV or Hermes. Respect differences. We are all created unique. You may find people who watch romantic movies cheesy but hey, you sang once when Taylor Swift’s song was played. Don’t bash. Karma, like love, works in mysterious ways. Sing even if you’re out of tune – people would appreciate your passion. Learn something new or better yet, do what you really love to do – most people are more successful with their second professions simply because that’s what they are really passionate about. Lessen your TV time and talk to your family – your brother might have a rough day. Go to his room which you never visited all this time, you’ll be surprised to know you’re living with a great guitar player the world has yet to know.

Take time to talk to your shy officemate, he/she might be a coffee addict like you. Forget about whip creams – coffee is best tasting and smelling when brewed.

Read books and newspapers instead of status updates. Forget about the superficial. Appreciate makeup-less faces, sunset, humming birds and fresh air of the province. Be proud of your stretch marks – you have a child who will tell you you’re the best parent in the world. Or your wavy hair – celebrities take time to perm while all you do is wake up and your hair is done. Smile more often. Say “sorry” to the man/lady you bump into during rush hour – who knows, he might be the one... Don’t fancy a prince charming (they don’t come in horses these days) or a supermodel (they fart too). Go for a person that compliments your personality or at least understand it. Go for a person you’re comfortable with – a person who appreciates your love handles and bears your foul temper.

Realize that you can’t have everything. Dream big – they’re free. Once in awhile, do thoughtless actions – it’ll be fun. Don’t take yourself seriously – goof around. Take chances. Live life. Be happy. The key to happiness is us, ourselves. Open happiness =)