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6 Fun facts about Davao City

What do you know about Davao? For me, it’s synonymous with Durian, the smelly fruit-slash-aphrodisiac that many people go crazy about. I know of Mati, the popular pristine beach and surf spot in Davao Oriental, and of course Samal Island in Davao del Norte.

For this post we’ll focus on the largest city and 3rd most populated metropolis in the Philippines (next to Metro Manila and Cebu), Davao City. Home to President Duterte and deemed as the “safest” city in the Philippines, here are 6 facts you must know about Davao City:

1. Kadayawan is a unique festival in the Philippines

The Kadayawan Festival is celebrated every 3rd week of August and is a must-see if you’re headed to Davao for the first time.  What makes Kadayawan different from Sinulog, Masskara, or Ati-Atihan? While these are all fabulous festivals (and I urge you to go to every one to experience our rich culture), Kadayawan is the only non-religious Thanksgiving celebration in the country.

Kadayawan Festival 2017

Kadayawan Festival 2017

Davao has long been considered as “garden of the Gods” for its fertile land and bountiful harvest, which is why during the 1800s Americans and the Spaniards tried to conquer this province. Food here is affordable, fresh, and delicious, so much so that there are weekly food fests in different malls and parks where a meal can go for Php 20-Php 150. I tell you, we never stopped eating in Davao City!  Read More

PSA: I am an Introvert

Most people think that because I work in sales and I attend blog events regularly, I like going out and socializing. While it’s true that my work requires me to meet people on a regular basis and I do enjoy going to events, I really am an introvert in real life and need to exert a huge amount of effort just to be pleasant, gregarious, and mentally present.

The old school definition of introversion was believed to be someone who does not want to socialize (and this is how my Mom initially understood it) but so many articles now prove otherwise. We introverts do have a social life though with a handpicked set of really close and relevant friends, and we are okay with staying home on most days (yes, really). But we are not to be mistaken as shy as when the situation calls for it, we can be in our element and work it like nobody’s business.

With old and new friends in Baler

Believe it or not, some of us are introverts.

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Mittens: The Dumpster Kitten

While traversing Scout Rallos at 9pm, I had noticed incessant meowing of teeny proportions coming from a stacked heap of plastic garbage bags. I looked down and saw a small black kitten, barely a week old, running towards me and finally parking itself haphazardly on my new Flossy Mary Janes.

“Gera! It’s a kitten!” I was unsure if I wanted to pick it up. It was so tiny, so scraggly, so pitiful. Plus, it was crying nonstop. Gera, who had walked on ahead, turns to me and tells me sternly, “You don’t pick that up, Kira! It’s so dirty and we’re late to a party!” She trudges on leaving me behind.

I take a deep breath, try to walk away, but later decide to take in this little critter. I yell, “Gera, we are taking this kitten home and you have no choice but to come with me!”

There was no plan to take on another pet, not to mention a kitten. I had grown up with dogs, chickens, turtles, pigeons, pigs, fishes, rabbits, even squirrels at some point — but never did a feline join our household.

Mittens_Elegantly Wasted 1

So as any responsible pet owner would do, I fed it Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR for short also known was Kira Mae Ramirez lol), housed it in a comfortable kennel, took care of it, and tried to make her ready for adoption. The last one was a major fail as we ended up loving her so much.

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Mid-year Musings: On Surf and Life

“Ever since I started surfing, I realized that there is more to life than just work.”

I heard A say this during the 5-hour drive back to Manila. I was feigning sleep and listened in on the conversation. Her purported awareness was belittled by a snigger: How will you pay for the bills, he said. Or sustain yourself while living in a surf town? What, leave all responsibilities and comforts of the city behind? How is this even possible?

Admittedly, A hasn’t figured out what to do yet. All she knew was that she was dead tired doing 22-hour shifts at work and needed a break.

Surftown_Elegantly Wasted

While I totally would support her and her plans of quitting her job (I am a supporter of going on a sabbatical and taking a break if need be, for your sanity’s sake), I decided to let it simmer and think about my own battles.

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Pixi Multi-Balm in Wild Rose

I’m writing this in sweltering Manila, eating my Chia Pudding (that I made myself, thankyouverymuch), and thinking about our upcoming wake boarding activity this weekend. As someone who’s a fan of the sun (I use copious amounts of sunscreen, don’t worry), my beauty routine has been whittled down to just the essentials. Not that I have an array of makeup products at my disposal in the first place. But I really can’t imagine being all dolled up at the beach with full-on contour and foundation (check Instagram, people do that) — that.is.just.wrong. It’s too hot and sweaty to have to pile on anything else save for sun protection.

Pixi Multi Balm_Elegantly Wasted 1

But I get it, we still have to look decent at the beach. So, in the pursuit of looking at least glow-y poolside or at your next surf destination, I’ve turned to multi-purpose and skin-friendly brands and products. Less stuff in my carry-on, less stuff to fuss about.

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My Experience at Brigada Eskwela 2017

My family (Father’s side) are educators, born and raised in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. Brigada Eskwela has been a joint effort of the government and community for 12 years running. I first heard about it in 2016 when I was on vacation in my hometown and promised I’d be back next year to help.

Brigada Eskwela_Elegantly Wasted 1

A few weeks before the scheduled 2017 Brigada, I got a message from my cousin that it was slated for May 15-20 — a month earlier than last year AND the same weekend I was supposed to set off for Apo Reef and swim with the sharks.

But, a promise is a promise, I booked a ticket and flew home. The sharks can wait.

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