Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Pokemon Alpha Sapphire Loot

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Hey guys! I'm back after like... a week? Hehehe~ Well, I have been busy in my cave hooked on to my Nintendo 2DS. Only now did I come to the light of a brand new day because I have finished the plot of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire! Hehehe

Honestly, I wanted to write this feature on the day of its release, November 21, 2014. But then I attended the ORAS Na! Event and I started playing my copy of Alpha Sapphire shortly after. Wheee~

Never did I imagine I would be addicted to the game because I have played Pokemon Emerald which has the same storyline as Alpha Sapphire. But 1, 2, 3... Ta-da! Angel Mariel forgot reality, and learned Pokemon. (^_^)

So guys, like I said earlier, I just finished the game and now let me feature my loot last November 21, the day that I hurried to DataBlitz and claimed my pre-ordered Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

My copy of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire (PhP1,850)
The reason why I chose Alpha Sapphire is because I like Kyogre. (^_^) Since I pre-ordered the title, I got the free Primal Kyogre plastic figurine, too.

The Primal Kyogre plastic figurine

It's very detailed
And... the kind lady behind the counter gave me a free Cosplay Pikachu sticker! Yay! I didn't expect that, so I was happily surprised. She gave me a Pikachu, Ph.D. sticker. I was wondering if there are other designs available. But nah... I like Science so I can really relate with Pikachu on a white lab coat.  

Pikachu,Ph.D. sticker
And yes, there are other variants of the stickers available, feel free  to visit my ORAS Na! post, I had a photo of the stickers there. (^_^) I think the figurines and stickers will be given out when you buy a copy of either Pokemon Omega Ruby or Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, but only until supplies last. Hmmm.. It's been two weeks since, so I don't know if there are still available. Just check it out from a store near you. 

So that's about my loot. (^_^) I'm so happy about it. Will you buy this game? The gameplay and new features are something to look forward to. 

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, Kyogre figurine, Cosplay Pikachu sticker
So what happens now that I have finished the game? Hmmm...  With Pokemon, there is literally no 'ending'. After you play through the story, the start of your journey as a Pokemon Trainer begins. Believe me. Hehehe~ So pardon me while I go back to my cave for that endless rounds of breeding, IV and EV training, and Abilities brainstorming. (^_^)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ORAS Na! To be a Pokemon Trainer

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I have reacquainted myself with Pokemon recently. Well, it is not new actually, I did play Pokemon Fire Red and Pokemon Emerald years ago. But the new features of Pokemon X got me hooked once again. Though the story plot bored me, the variety of Pokemon included within made me curious.The game focused more on Pokemon and made it more complex in terms of skills. Oh let me stop myself before this post turns to a full review of Pokemon X. Hahaha

Among my peers, I am somewhat alone in this Pokemon venture and I want to meet new friends who are into this game, as well. 

So, in my quest to find friends, I searched for "Pokemon Philippines" in Facebook and it directed me to PKMN-ph page with a link to a launch day meetup of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The event would also have a Pokemon X and Y send off tournament. Call me crazy but I decided to join the battle right then and there. And yep, even if I had work on Saturdays, I took my last vacation leave of 2014 for this event! I just knew it would all be worth it! 

Honestly, I would call myself a newbie in terms of Pokemon battles. I don't really understand IVs and EVs. Not to mention, you also need to consider Nature and overpowered Abilities! Gosh! Is Pokemon really a mere child's game? Sheesh

But even so, my main goal of joining the tournament was to meet new friends who also love Pokemon. So on the 22nd of November, I went to a Pokemon event for the first time. I was very excited! Yay! It was held in SM MegaMall Function Room and a lot of people attended. Yes, this means more Miis in my Mii Plaza! (^_^)

The theme was ORAS Na! Translating it to English, Oras means Time; and Na would be "It is". Yep, It's Time. Of course, it was an apt title to adapt as ORAS is the acronym for the latest Pokemon versions of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. 

I registered right away for the tournament. And the organizers told me that I was the first female to ever compete. (^_^) So I suddenly got shy. Hehehe~ So Uhm, you might be shocked... I went there not in cosplay but in my normal geek attire. Hehehe~ And even if I only had few photos, the event had their own official photographer. Some of the photos in this post are courtesy of Ricky's Photo Lab

That's me at the registration booth! Hehehe~ (Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab)
I was given a name tag and on it was written "Competitor". Oooh~ All of a sudden I felt the gravity of the pressure that this is indeed a tournament. 

A cute commemorative pin was given out as well.
The venue was filled with fans, both competitors and visitors, who love Pokemon! (^_^) Sorry for the blurry photos, guys, I was feeling a bit excited and nervous for my first ever battle! Hehehe~

People filling up the place

More players gathered around...
Then finally! It was time to fight! We had a tournament adapting VGC rules, best of five. Ahehehe~ My first battle was like... what happened? I didn't get the chance to even hit my opponent. But anyway, he shared his tips on how to raise Pokemon for battle. Well, it was not only him.. but all of my 5 opponents did. (^_^) And for that, I thank you all.

Me with my first opponent. Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab

Me with my third opponent. Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab

My fifth opponent and I are battling it out. Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab

Woah~ I know I looked like concentrating really hard as if I'm taking an exam. Hehehe~ Well, Pokemon battles are complicated like that! And you know what made it cooler? Pokemon theme songs were playing the whole time! It felt like really being in the game, except that now, it's not your game character in battle, but you yourself! (^_^)

Well, it wasn't at all a total loss for me. I won once! Yay! I think it was all a stroke of beginner's luck. But even if I didn't win the tournament, I got lucky in the raffle. My ticket number 128 won a Pokemon Battle Disc game sponsored by DataBlitz. Yay! 

The Pokemon Battle Disc game I won in the raffle
After battles, I walked around the hall to take pictures of the happenings aside from the tournament... 

A tarpaulin of the latest Pokemon versions
The DataBlitz booth had Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games for sale. On display were the Pikachu 3DS, Kyogre and Groudon figurines, and Cosplay Pikachu stickers. So cute!

The DataBlitz booth

Pokemon X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire, and Cosplay Pikachu stickers
Cosplayers also graced the event! I took a few shots of them. However, most of my photos were blurred. (T_T) 

As Team Aqua Grunt

The cosplayers of the event. Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab
It was an unforgettable experience! Win or lose, Pokemon battles are fun and it gives that never-ending feel to the game. After this, I think I like to go into more battles after playing the story of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. Hahaha~ Hmmm... now lemme breed that perfect Pokemon...

Mudkip or Dedenne? Cuteness overload! Photo by Ricky's Photo Lab
I would like to thank the organizers, PKMN-ph and the sponsors, for coming up with this event. I finally found a community where I can share my obsession with Pokemon. Hehehe~ I hope that there will be more events like this in the future. (^_^)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Starbucks PH 2014 Christmas x 2015 Planner

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Heya! Sorry for my long absence, guys. Time is a rare commodity for me nowadays. But no worries, whenever I wish for time to go slow, the perfect place to go would be a coffee shop. It's just fascinating to watch the skies, birds, and people pass by. I also write, read, or just stare at blank space with the invigorating aroma of coffee wafting in the air.

Speaking of coffee shops, my favorite place to go during the Christmas season is Starbucks! I love that place for two reasons: Toffee Nut Frappuccino and the Planner. The planner I can forego, but Toffee nut Frappe, not a chance! (^_^)

However, there is a new featured beverage this 2014: the Christmas Cookie Latte. The Peppermint Mocha and Toffee Nut are also available. Those two are the crowd favorites, eh? 

So on my visit at Starbucks a few days ago, I bought the newly featured drink. And oh, the plastic cup is specially decorated with paint strokes and it looks so festive, as well. Everyone... presenting the Christmas Cookie Latte Frappuccino! 

The Christmas Cookie Latte Frappuccino (tall size: PhP170)
It looks really good! Caramel drizzle and nuts rest on the whipped cream. The drink has a hint of caramel which complements the prominent taste of espresso. It is as sweet as a liquid gingerbread cookie! 

Look at all those nuts!
Along side my drink, I got the Chocolate Crepe Cake. It's a holiday featured cake and the name itself pique my curiosity. Crepe? Cake? Hmmm...

Christmas Chocolate Crepe Cake (PhP120)
This cake has layers and layers of crepe and something that tasted like condensed milk between the layers. Yummy! Everything is topped with dark cocoa powder and sugar. It's delicious, but I think it would taste better if it's paired with a warm and not-so-sweet drink. 

Look at those intricate layers! 
Since I bought a beverage, I was finally given a sticker card with one sticker. Hehehe~ I like the concept this year: Let There Be Bright

The sticker card

My first star! (^_^)

Complete the stickers! (^_^)
Completing all the stickers will give you a Starbucks 2015 Planner! Yay!

The Starbucks 2015 Planner in all colors

The brown planner is so well-crafted. It is my favorite in the bunch. It is so artistically designed and well thought of. I don't know about you, but the other colors seem boooooring! Hehehe~ I have a feeling that the brown planner will be gone first. :P

The lovely brown Starbucks 2015 Planner
The pages inside are beautiful in its simplicity. It features articles pertaining to coffee and the people. Here is the divider page of my birthday month of November. It is about your own favorite Starbucks drink. 

November month page
Planners are awesome! It gives you hope in foreseeing your plans for the upcoming year. Have you decided on what your 2015 planner would be? 

Woah~ All these thoughts for a time while in Starbucks. It's nice to relax, too. This season, I think my visits to Starbucks will be more frequent. Christmas Cookie today, Toffee Nut tomorrow! Yay! So, dig in...

Dig in, guys! (^_^)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Live It Up: The 2014 BDJ Fair

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October 19th was the BDJ Fair with the theme Live It Up! Yeah, I know it's been two weeks and I know this post is quite late. Sorry guys, you know how much I struggle with time. Hehehe... Well, I saw to it that I would never miss this event. Belle de Jour Power Planner means a lot to me and it has helped me get out of my shell to be the best that I can be. It's all thanks to the BDJ Team and their amazing concepts! Despite the fact that my registered talk was at 3:00 PM, I went to SM Mall of Asia Music Hall early! I was just that excited! (^_^)

The 2014 BDJ Fair at SM MoA Music Hall
I signed up for two talks: one presented by Tricia Gosingtian and another done by Edric Mendoza. But before that, I just had to try and visit the various gorgeous booths first! I love this fabulous photo wall for Bellas! BDJ Fair 2013 was about frames. This year, it was about hula hoops...

Me at the photo wall
Hula hoops because the theme of the 2015 Belle de Jour Power Planner is about dancing! Every year, the planner just gets better. Four years ago, I once remember telling myself that the 2011 BDJ planner was the best! Then come 2012, I changed my mind... then 2013... then I thought 2014 beat them all... But ah forget it... the 2015 BDJ Planner clearly stands out among the rest! Hehehe~

The 2015 BDJ Planners in leather and matte cover
The BDJ Fair is where the launching of Viviamo! planners take place! Their lineup of planners for 2015 include Belle de Jour Power Planners, Navi, Everything is Possible, BDJ Sticky notes, and Forget-Me-Not notepads. Check out their website at http://belledejourpowerplanner.com/  if you want to order online. The planners are available at leading bookstores nationwide, too! 

The Viviamo! 2015 planners. From left: BDJ, Navi (brown cover), Everything is Possible (green cover) , and more BDJ planners
If you ask me, the other planners look great too! The Navi planner is for the travel junkie. It is filled with photos and statistical figures of popular places all over the world. It would surely urge you to visit them. The Everything is Possible planner, on the other hand, is for everyone who likes to achieve. The pages are full of inspiring quotes that would encourage you everyday. Plus, its beauty lies in the simplicity of the pages. Here are page shots of the pages that I found striking. 

From the 2015 Everything is Possible planner! (^_^)

A page of the Navi 2015 planner
It's just that, I need to choose only one and that would still be... the Belle de Jour Power Planner! I love the theme for 2015: dancing! The BDJ girl on the cover is beautiful to look at! I wish I can be like her.... Hehehe~ I will write a separate feature on this wonderful planner some other time. It clearly deserves a page here in my blog! (^_^)

I bought the matte cover of the BDJ 2015 planner (the one at the left)
After buying my planner, I continued checking out the other booths. I got my hair done at the Davines booth. The hairstylist Myra did a good job of doing my curls. And it's not ordinary curls, it's big curls! I love it! She dabbed Davines oil on it to make it stay in place. It smelled great too! It wasn't the usual chemical smell of hair sprays. 

The Davines booth

A pic of me and my curls at the Subic Grand Seas booth
Oh yeah! The Benefit Cosmetics booth had this adorable doll that they were giving away. The booth was so cute and I just had to take a pic at the wacky photo wall! They were promoting the Porefessional balm and the freebie purse. Sadly, I wasn't able to win in the booth's lemon toss game... so no samples for me. (T_T)

The Porefessional balm
Cute Benefit  Porefessional doll

A close up of the doll

Oops! Sorry I'm not a doll! Me at the photo wall. Hehehe~
So here are the other booths that I visited...

I won a mug at the Ace Water Spa pachinko game! Alright! 

The Ace Water Spa pachinko board
I tried my luck at the Parisian Shoes and Bags booth. I really hoped to win a bag! But unfortunately, I didn't get lucky... I just got a notepad. Oh well... better luck next time I guess...

The Parisian booth
Well... one booth that I love is the TGI Friday's! They served non-alcoholic drinks that were quite refreshing. Oh... It was such a sight to behold, as well! Hehehe~

The handsome barista and his drinks

This drink is minty

This red drink is sweet

The cutest for me is the Pet Express booth. They displayed Maneki Neko cats that were all hand painted by well known personalities. Lucky Bellas got a slot for the painting workshop earlier on. I wanted to buy one and paint my own too, but it wasn't available anymore. (T_T)

Hand-painted Maneki Neko cats on display. I like that TMNT one (^_^)
I did all these while listening to the first talk. Take note: I only listened though I didn't register for it. And it was a good and inspirational talk from The Apprentice Asia's first winner Jonathan Yabut. He talked about his journey From Grit to Great. His book was available for purchase at the fair... and it's all autographed by him! 

A signed copy of From Grit to Great by Jonathan Yabut
After his talk, he dropped by at the kiosk and me.. of course, took the chance for selfie! Yay! 

A selfie with Jonathan Yabut
In every BDJ Fair, there is a Freedom Wall. Bellas can choose to write anything. You can either fill up the starter sentence or just write whatever your heart desires. 

The BDJ Fair 2014 freedom wall
Here's the surprise: one of the things I wrote in the Wall last year came true! I really thought hard on what to write this time. So I will #LiveItUp this 2015 by ____

Being my best self and an angel to others!
And then... time moved so fast... it was 3:00 PM before I knew it. While waiting on queue, I saw a spectacular flash mob by the dance group Move Manila. Some danced on stage, the others were scattered all over the venue. They were very energetic and vibrant! 

Move Manila on stage
Alright... so when I finally got in the talk area, I chose to sit in the front row. I saw the speaker, influential blogger Tricia Gosingtian, posing for a pic. So I took a photo of her as well. I was too shy to ask her to pose for my camera...

Tricia Gosingtian was dazzling in white!
...but I wasn't shy enough to ask for a selfie! Ahehehe...

My selfie with Tricia Gosingtian
Tricia's talk was themed as: Create Your Own #BeautifulStory. She shared how she started out as a photographer, then later on as a blogger. Honestly, being an avid anime and cosplay fan myself, I knew who Tricia was before she went to the lime light. I knew her as the photographer Slumber Doll on deviantart.com where she posted photos of Alodia Gosiengfiao in cosplay. 

And now, I am very impressed with her achievements and she has gained my admiration, too.

Tricia Gosingtian on stage

Tricia sharing to us about her life as a photographer
I learned from Tricia's talk that you should grab every opportunity that comes your way, even if you feel like you are not ready, as it does not matter whether the results will be good or bad. She gave us three advice on how to start our #BeautifulStory:

1. Traveling -it opens your mind; 
2. Giving back -to charities or volunteer for a cause; it's good to share our blessings, too;
3. Being Yourself -you don't need to be 'someone' to make a difference to the world; 

All in all, your #BeautifulStory is created by you; It is not given, you create it. It was a very inspiring talk, simple but left a mark in my heart. (^_^)

 I didn't fall in line right away for the next talk. Why? I saw Tricia at the Pond's booth. And this time, I grabbed the opportunity to ask her to pose for my camera...

Beautiful! Tricia at the Pond's booth photo wall
By the way, the Pond's booth was one of my favorites, I got a lot of samples of their newest product: the Pond's Flawless White Dewy Rose Gel. 

Up next was about my second registered talk: From Zero to Financial Hero by Edric Mendoza, the host of On The Money. One of my goals in my life is to learn how to handle and make money grow. Edric taught me a lot. Actually, he showed his expertise on this topic. He owned the stage with confidence and talked with mastery. He had no slides, just pure interaction with the audience. Amazing!

Edric Mendoza teaching us principles on money

His son Elijah shared his experience about handling money, too.
Edric taught us five concepts on how to be a financial hero. Ugh.. sorry guys.. no matter what I do, I can only remember four out of five principles taught. (T_T) So here it is: 

1. Set a goal
2. Make a budget and follow it
3 or 4. It is not how much you earn but how much you set aside to save and invest
5. Stewardship / giving back 

It was a very informative and educational talk. It left me much more determined to start reading and educating myself about finances. (^_^)

After Edric's talk, I decided to go home. It was a good day! I had fun at the booths, learned from the talks, and got a loot bag to take home! Sweet!  Belle de Jour always reminds me of how beautiful life is! So I leave you, dear readers, with a question Tricia Gosingtian left us before ending her talk:

What will your #BeautifulStory be this 2015? 

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