Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Swimming with the Whale Sharks.

I am captivated by the ocean. I am amazed by the vastly undiscovered world that lies below. When we heard that the whale sharks were only 3 hours away from the hotel, we cleared a whole day to go and see them. The 30 minutes we spent with them was well worth the long drive. My whale shark experience was INCREDIBLE. Now, I’m a diver and I’ve seen many great things on dive trips, but seeing  these gentle creatures up close just blew my mind! They are massive! I’m not lying when I say they are as big as buses. The first time I dived in, I was so amazed that I didn’t notice that they were coming really close. Since guests aren’t allowed to touch them, I had to be pulled up and reminded.  I took note of the instructions and stayed down for 20 more minutes. It was unforgettable. 

Now, if you wanna go on a whale shark adventure, I suggest you leave early. The sharks are only usually there till noon. So the earlier you leave Cebu City, the better. And oh! Pack a Waterproof camera or a GoPro. All the guides there know how to use them! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Perfectly at ease.

 When dressing up, I always make comfort my number 1 priority. I like to feel free and easy in the clothes I wear, and not fussy and hot. I guess you could say tiis ganda doesn’t apply to me. That’s why this ensemble, albeit simple, has made it on to my shortlist for favorite outfits. It’s all about the comfort with the right amount of sexy <3
These days, I cannot be bothered to fix my hair. And the funny thing is,  I love it when its disheveled. It feels (at least to me) very je ne sais quoi.

Forever 21 pants, Michael Kors watch, Forever 21 rings, Call it Spring shoes.

Friday, August 01, 2014

10 Days in Cebu!

Now, its no secret that I shuffle back and forth between Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. Mostly cause I was born in Cebu. I also lived there alone during my first year of college. But now that I'm in my senior year, I haven't really found the time to visit my home city, see my friends and other family. When a chance came for a trip while school was on holiday, I snatched the opportunity! It was a fun and well-needed vacation. I spent most days with my 3 cousins or my equally food crazy aunt. We were always just hanging out, eating and shopping. It was really a vacation with no strict planning. We'd wake up one day, figure out where we wanted to eat and move on from there.

My trip is sort of split between two places. For the first four nights we stayed at the Shangri-La Resort and Spa in Mactan island. This hotel was insane!! Beautiful beaches and pools, fun activities,great gym and an even better international buffet! I was stuffing my face all day! Now, for the next 5 nights, we stayed in the heart of Cebu. Very near everything we needed to see...and eat! 

Funny, when I got home, a friend told me that my photos from the trip followed a certain order, he said it was "OOTD, family, food." I checked, and he's basically right!! HAHA.

I kept everyone updated via Instagram and Facebook, but in case you don't follow me (@itsmiadurano) I'm putting the photos from IG and my scanned polaroids here along with stories about my trip. :)

This is my Aunt Joy, my dad's sister. She's the food crazy aunt I'm talking about. Aunt Joy was my buddy during the whole trip! And she was usually my photographer for IG too. 

These are my cousins (L-R) Justin, Alexander and little Aniana. I see these kiddos only once a year, but when they are in the country, I am usually assigned to watch them, and I don't mind! <3

Our first night, we took a service to the city to eat  Yakiniku at Moshi-Moshi. The Kobe beef was amazing! Melts in your mouth!

The next couple of days was all about enjoying the resort. I love this polaroid of my two aunts and grandma! Great smiles!

I captioned this very differently on instagram, but really, this is just me hanging out on deck before our boat ride.

The next day, we took the 3 hour drive from Cebu to Oslob. Not just to see the whale sharks, but to swim with them. It was AMAZING. I'll tell you more in another entry. ;)

My cousins at the airport. I love these two silly boys.

My first #OOTD in the city. That backpack is now my new favorite bag! I've been using it everywhere! A steal at one of the mall's end of season sales. :)

My food adventure started in Phat Pho, a popular Vietnamese Restaurant in Cebu. I loved my Pho! The place was recommended by a friend and I'm happy I took her advice. :) 

I went out with my college classmate and best friend Maria for lunch. We had that amazing fudge brownie for dessert. (See how intense this is? I have dessert after every meal. haha) After our  lunch+ dessert+ shopping date, I went out for pizza with a few more members of the family. (We had cake after. haha)

More shopping the next day! Here's an outfit I put together. Actually, here's a funny story. My parents sent me on this trip without a return ticket. So I thought I'd only be staying 5-7 days and I didn't know I was going to stay in the city. I stayed 10 full days in Cebu! Laundry in hotels are just as pricey as new pieces so I decided to just buy versatile clothes that I could mix and match.  

I had lunch in Larsian with my aunt the following day. Larsian is an old and famous barbecue spot in the heart of Cebu's business district. Basically, Larsian is a hawker center. We had to eat with our hands and on banana leaves. I'd definitely recommend a visit here if you really wanna experience Cebuano food.  

Please notice I am wearing pink. This is rare. hahah

Spent the rest of the afternoon at the well instagrammed La Vie Parisienne. The place is so cozy and relaxing. When you enter, the smell of bread welcomes you. Along with many more French treats. 

Inside La Vie's famous wine cave. We had a bottle of bubbly with some cheese.

Macarons. My favorite treat! I was really excited to try these and I didn't know what to eat first so I bit each one and then ate them after. 

My last full day of this trip was a Monday. And I have this rule about my fitness, never miss a Monday, so here I am with the CrossFitPintados family. They a crazy funny CF family that reminded me of my own at CGYfit!

What's a better last meal in Cebu than LECHON?

Well, that's most of my trip. There's honestly so much more I could have shared if I remembered to photograph it first (or before I ate it.). I had the best time during this very long vacation and I cant wait to go on another!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Take in the Fresh Air.

Here's a dress I wore to a busy afternoon all the way to 3am. From the family portrait shoot to the Opening of Islands Souvenirs to Style Origins (with Tim Yap, Allison Harvard and Divine Lee. More on that in a separate post.) then to dinner and the drinks with them after. A long, productive, happy day. 

Carlo snapped these photos of me right after the family shoot and its one of my favorite sets ever. For starters, I'm actually really laughing in most of them and taking these was a breeze! 

I've been really focused on positivism lately. See, I just came out of a painful experience and its true what they really say about pain, that no matter how ready you think you are for it...pain demands to be felt. So I soldiered past the hurt and with time and a lot of help, I learned so much. I learned why things had to be that way and that all you can do is accept it.  When I finally got around to accepting it, things got easier for me and my perspectives changed. I saw that there was a great value in staying happy and doing things that made other people happy. 

So to everyone going through something, here's what I have to say...
"It's going to be alright. You may not be okay now, but you will be. And when you are, the world becomes a more beautiful place."

"Smile and breathe in, you'll see that your radiance makes the world a better place..."

Here's a quick snap of me eating a magnum and my siblings mocking me and joining in right after. HAHAHA My big babies!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Family Portraits.

My mom has been looking for an excuse to take family photos for ages! And when Daddy's golden birthday came up, she snagged the chance and we got our family portrait taken by my friend Carlo Gaid. All these photos really show how crazy and gleeful we are. Spend a day with us and you'd probably laugh your head off. But that's just how we are. One big happy "dimsum crazy" family! 

I guess I might as well take this chance to say how thankful I am to have them right behind me. My family has always been there to help me out, give me encouragement and make me feel better any given day of the week. I love them to bits and I wish I could show them more.

 Check out the daddy's girls!!