30 December 2015

2015 Instagram Recap

As we reach page 365 of the 2015 book (I wonder if anyone actually managed to keep up that thing), we can't help but look back at how the year has been for each of us. I love how my blog has made it easier for me to reminisce on things, especially since I love browsing through old photos. But I have always been more active on Instagram over my blog, so I thought of sharing here some of my 2015 snaps.

23 December 2015

Christmastime in the City

Iba talaga ang Paskong Pinoy (The Filipino way of [celebrating] Christmas is truly one-of-a-kind). For one, we have one of the longest Christmas seasons in the world, starting as early as September, when the Ber months roll in. Since Christmas Day will be in two (!!!) days, I thought I could share with you something that has somehow become our Christmas tradition: witnessing the lights show at the Ayala Triangle.

13 December 2015

Take it to the Streets

Contrary to the meaning of the idiomatic title, I actually don't have any problem. In fact, I'm happy that I finally got to shoot two outfits during APEC week (see the first one here)! In case you haven't noticed, I have become inclined to wearing neutral colors and basic pieces lately.

05 December 2015

Tough on the Outside

(... soft on the inside.) One of the best style tricks is to dress up in contrasts-- and I don't just mean colors. For example, I mixed delicate and rough textures by wearing a black lace romper from NewDress, and a fatigue jacket over it.

12 November 2015

Taking Gifting to the Next Level

As if the carols playing and decors shimmering in the malls don’t make it obvious enough, it’s already Christmas season!!! You know us Filipinos: we just might have the longest Christmas season in the whole world, starting as early as the arrival of the Ber months. Now, we’re only less than two months away from Christmas day! Can you believe it???

25 October 2015

Turning Twenty

I have always thought that twenty was a pretty lame age-- you drop the "teen", but you don't quite get any more "adult" either: still can't quite play in the casino, nor drink in the United States. But don't get me wrong, I don't have any vices nor do I plan on turning those into such. (I probably would just spin once in Las Vegas when I'm twenty-one, and bet on beginner's luck.)

04 October 2015

Shopping in Singapore (A Haul Post)

Finally posting about my Singapore haul!!! I definitely love the items that I got during my trip almost five months ago. It's been a while, so at this point, I've worn everything already at least once haha! By the way, you'll notice that I ended up getting monochrome pieces. Actually, I've been pretty hooked on basics lately, so that figures. (Meanwhile, my mom is glaring at my increasingly-turning-black wardrobe hehe.)

05 September 2015

Lace-y Daisy

Ask me what my favorite outfit is as of the moment, and this would be it. My brave moments in fashion always seem to involve lace (see: Brave Moment #1). But if I were a bit more brave in terms of showing skin and getting sun-kissed, I'd probably have done away with the lace top. After all, one thing I love about being in America-- and even more in a music festival--  is that you can get away with wearing almost anything.

29 August 2015

Bohemian with a Twist

We all know that music fests are events wherein you can pretty much wear anything (or in the case of some people, not wear anything). Besides the music, fashion is also quite a big thing in festivals such as Lollapalooza, which I attended almost a month ago.

28 July 2015

Haji Lane

On our last day in Singapore, we managed to squeeze in some time to stroll down Haji Lane before heading to the airport. We also managed to chance upon this adorable cat cafe called Meomi. Since we had some time to kill and we have a soft spot for cats, we decided to check it out.

25 July 2015

Fullerton and Food

On our fourth day at Singapore, we found ourselves at the Central Business District of Singapore. From Clarke Quay, we followed the Singapore River further downtown. After taking obligatory tourist photos with the famous Merlion, as well as Marina Bay, we headed back to Somerset for a hearty food fest courtesy of my uncle.

19 July 2015

Flora and Fauna (Gardens by the Bay + River Safari)

Here's my second post on our 2015 Singapore trip! (Read about Day 2 in Universal Studios here.) On the morning of our third day in SG, we decided to head to Marina Bay and check out Gardens by the Bay

The Gardens were still under construction when we visited Singapore in 2011, so it was cool to finally see them this time around. It's actually a pretty big place, but we decided to check out only the Supertrees since they were the most iconic part (and also the nearest one). By the way, admission to every section of the gardens is sold separately!

09 July 2015

Universal Studios Singapore

Howdy y'all!! I'm back with another post, finally! For most people, school just started; but due to my school's unconventional trimestral system and the looming academic calendar shift, I'm actually nearing the end of my special term (also the end of my junior univ year). Roughly two more weeks (or so-- there'll probably an extension given the multiple suspensions lately huhu).

With that, I guess you can say that my summer break is kind of split into two-- the one week gap between my third term and this special transitional term, and the one (?) month break after this and before the start of another academic school year (AKA my senior/ fourth/ last year in college!!!!11!1).

During that one week break after my third term, my family and I flew to Singapore for a 5-day vacation from April 30 to May 4. Actually, we were supposed to go to Japan (as in we had our flight booked already). Unfortunately, we discovered that our visit fell on Golden Week, which just so happens to be the time where there is an influx of people everywhere because the Japanese are on a week-long holiday. Frankly, I was fine with dealing with a lot of people because I have always, always wanted to go to Japan (T_T), but my parents were wary. They thought that we may not be able to enjoy the experience as much, and I guess hotel accommodation and other rates were higher too. With that, we decided to rebook our flight and head to Singapore instead. (I'll see you Japan soon, I promise!)

It was our second time in Singapore, so we decided to go by without city tours or whatsoever. We just arranged from hotel transfers and also transportation to and from Universal Studios Singapore (which I will talk about in a few). We stayed at V Hotel Lavender. It was a great choice because it was situated right above an MRT station, making getting around the city extremely convenient. Of course, their train system was VERY efficient. I can only dream of the day that the same could be said of our own country. 

Day 1 was virtually uneventful because our flight got delayed and therefore we landed in Singapore at around 5PM already. Upon checking in, we just decided to eat dinner at the hawker center (read: food court) in the same block as our hotel, Pretty sure our whole stay in SG mostly had us eating at hawker centers, which was definitely not a bad thing! I mean, there were a lot of choices, and I'm talking about good choices. More on that some other time! For now, here's the first part of my Singapore story (yes, I will never be out of alliterations)!


Day 2 was spent mostly at Resorts World Sentosa, specifically in Universal Studios Singapore. We arranged for transportation to the place for convenience, since it also meant our entrance tickets were already pre-purchased. (Side note: the driver was even nice enough to answer our questions on how to get to certain places. He even gave me a bag of cookies for snacking!) We got there just in time for the opening of the whole theme park. As soon as the gates were opened, my family, together with other eager tourists, finally got in!

An F&F exhibit! More photos below
We've already been to Universal Studios Singapore back in 2011. Nevertheless, I was excited to go back mostly because of that one ride that wasn't operating yet before (it was still under construction back then). Can you guess what it is?

TRANSFORMERS: THE RIDE!11 I probably haven't mentioned it here before, but I'm a big fan of the franchise. My favorite Transformer is definitely Bumblebee; call me a big fan, I actually collect the action figures (I bought new additions to my collection too-- will share them in my Singapore haul post)! Of course, this was the first ride we went to as soon as we entered the theme park.

Shameless selfie bc I'm proud of my eyebrows and winged eyeliner heh (waterproof makeup ftw)

 The ride was really awesome, it felt like you were in the movie! They had a Transformer exclusively made for the ride, too. If you've been on The Amazing Spiderman 4-D ride in other Universal Studios locations, it's kind of like that.

(Note: Not all photos are in chronological order; I've rearranged some of them according to theme.)

Childish or not, one of my goals was to have my picture taken with two certain characters: Bumblebee (duh), and Puss in Boots. Visitors will find the schedule of character appearances in the map.


In Sci-Fi City, it was Optimus Prime that showed up first. It was really cool because he speaks! I took a photo with him, and then waited around for my favorite. After around 10 minutes, Bumblebee finally came out! There was some interaction between them, and some guests had the chance to be with them in one photo. I was in the queue again, waiting for my chance. Optimus Prime left a few minutes after, leaving a Bumblebee who kept on dancing to the music. Too cute!

People were asked to keep distance from the mascots because they were on stilts. As you can see on my photo with Optimus, I did not know what pose to make.

Yes, it's a GIF!

--- And I don't understand what I ended up doing in this photo either lol. Look at my face though!! I was surprised when Bumblebee imitated my weird pose. Awesome moment right there.

This ride was closed when we were there-- but I think it's up and running again already now.
Being a theme park, of course Universal Studios boasted a lot of sights. I could not resist taking snaps everywhere we ended up! (Which is also why it deserved its own blog post haha) Even though I have been to two other Universal Studios parks (the one in California, and the one in Florida), the experience never gets old! Yes, there are similar attractions/rides, but the themes/zones are not exactly the same. And there almost always is something new every time we come back (ehem, Wizarding World, I hate you for not yet being open in when we went to Orlando in MAY 2010).

If I remember correctly, Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando don't have an Ancient Egypt (which is a shame because architecture). But they do have the Revenge of the Mummy ride. I've ridden it before in Hollywood aaand let's just the dark isn't exactly my thing lol.

Was actually taking a photo of the scenery but check out my parents!

The Lost World-- Jurassic World!!! Have you guys seen the movie? I did and I loved it. If only it was possible to have something like in real life (sans the carnivorous dinosaurs), then I would totally love to go. I mean, imagine petting baby dinosaurs and all that!

Now this is another major difference between the 3 locations. The Jurassic Park ride here in SG is a river rapids kind of thing, where you sit inside a donut-shaped raft and prepare to get soaked as you get tossed and turned in the river. Most people prefer to have ponchos on, which we inconveniently forgot-- luckily we didn't get much wet. (Honestly, I wouldn't have minded getting drenched since it was hot anyway.)
In FL and CA, it's not a river rapids ride. At all. It's more of a roller coaster that gives you a pleasant tour at first, until things go wrong and you're dropped from an elevated height at a CLOSE TO 90 DEGREES angle. But there is still a chance of getting wet after that drop. Really fun though-- I remember our ride in FL: we're pretty sure something did go wrong for real because we were stuck on the peak for a few uncomfortable minutes (which was not supposed to happen). Oh and btw, the Jurassic Park ride in FL is in the Islands of Adventure park (kind of the like their very own Disney California Adventure which means you'll need a separate ticket to enter).

Another thing that makes USS special? Far Far Away. Yes, it's the fictional world from Shrek! We went on the Shrek 4-D ride which was the same as it was before, but it was still fun. They have a new ride though the Puss in Boot's Giant Journey which, unfortunately, we were not able to try because the waiting time was unbelievable. I also did not chance upon Puss in Boots anywhere, sigh.

a c c u r a t e

From a fictional world, we ended up in a real city (or at least, a model of a real city) in search of food-- Hollywood!

We ended up eating at Mel's Diner, where we got burgers and fries (no picture because we were so hungry already lol). It was good enough, given that  you can't exactly expect a lot from theme park food in the first place. I love how the place had the ultimate 50's feels though! From inside the diner, we even heard a live performance of a male group. 

Vintage cars parked outside

And from the west coast, we went to the east-- New York! We wanted to catch the parade, so we stayed here. To kill time though we decided to ride the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase which was kind of cute.
Adorable model of the Rockefeller Center

Cars from F&F7 on display

The parade started later than scheduled, but anyway.

I unfortunately forgot to increase the shutter speed, hence the motion-blurred photos.

those abs tho...... dayum

The colors!!! The details!!!! L O V E

The parade was enjoyable! It showcased many characters. We were actually expecting the Transformers to show up, but sadly they weren't part of the lineup.

After the parade, we went back to Sci-Fi City to buy goodies! I'll share them in my Singapore haul post (which I will put up after all the photodiaries)

A teaser of what I got, this commemorative coin!

To cap off our tour at USS, we rode the Madagascar ride. It was a very chill water ride (think It's a Small World in Disney).


But of course, I did not forget to pose around for photos! I found this wicked alley in the New York zone for my backdrop.

Did you guys know that my top is actually a swimsuit? Yes, you read that right! I decided to wear a maillot because (1) it looks good enough to pass as a top, and (2) I was prepared to get wet in rides haha! 

To complete my theme park-ready outfit, I wore denim shorts, comfy white sneakers, and a snapback to shield my head and eyes from the sun. I love the snapback because its appliques remind me of Marc Jacobs Daisy! (And yes, that's a walkie-talkie in my pocket; my family always brings a pair when travelling so we can keep in touch in case we split up.)

Swimsuit (worn as top): Coco Cabana (from The SM Store)
Shorts: Terranova
Sneakers: Marithe + Francois Girbaud
Cap: The Landmark
Backpack: Longchamp

Remember that time I won an OOTD contest sponsored by SSI almost a year ago? I was initially planning to buy a pair of Zara shoes with the prize but I decided to get myself a Le Pliage backpack from Longchamp instead! They only opened in Greenbelt 5 recently (the gift card could not be used in Rustan's), so you can just tell how long I waited to use my winnings. The backpack was available in many colors, but I got the dark grey one because I found it most versatile. It's totally my new travel bag now!

(Note: The automatic snap came off after a few days while I was in Singapore. Thankfully, they were gracious enough to exchange it with a new stock when I returned it as soon as we got back in PH.)

After exploring USS, we decided to go to VivoCity via the Sentosa Express. VivoCity turned out to be a really big mall with high-class stores. Their top level was wonderful-- they had manmade outdoor ponds where children can swim and drive mini-boats. Adults can also relax and dip their feet in the water. It was like a mini Nuvali on top of a mall. It drizzled in a while though so we had to go inside (but we saw a rainbow!).

Since it was already getting dark, we decided to eat dinner there already. There was this Chinese restaurant selling flavored xiao long baos which would have been nice to try, except they were full, So we ended up eating at FoodRepublic which is a contemporary hawker center/ food court (with many locations throughout SG). The interior was nice, it looked like an ancient Chinese marketplace; also, there were over 10 food choices, no kidding!

I think my mom got noodles while my dad got peking duck, not sure. But I got cereal prawns from this establishment that served them in a mini wok with rice and egg. It was delicious, just as good as it looked! Actually, I saw the same presentation (but different meal) in another table, and I thought "hey I want that!" because it looked really good. I'm so glad I found the store that sold that food. I also got lychee juice with real lychee, and it was sweet and tasty!

After eating and rounding the mall some more, we just had to take the MRT back to our hotel. (Because we called off our pick-up at Sentosa, so we can stay longer.) We got a Tourist Pass worth SG$30 (inclusive of refundable $10 deposit) which granted us unlimited rides on trains and buses for 3 days! Incredible, right?

That's what happened in Day 2. You can find other photos on my Instagram, under #ErikainSG2015. Stay tuned for Day 3 in my next post!

x Erika Rosales