September has been a bit hectic, ain’t it?

I didn’t expect my September to be so busy! I haven’t had a chance to sit down and plan posts, which is something that I usually do. Anyway, here’s a post now and a round up of my September.

ALOPECIA AWARENESS

September marked Alopecia Awareness Month and so I made a big decision to shave the remainder of my hair off! I didn’t have much left anyway, but there was always this feeling that that’s still my hair and shaving it is a big deal.

For once I can actually look in the mirror and not cringe anymore. It’s still a bit of a shock being completely bald, now, but I’m so glad I did and ultimately I’m just looking to raise awareness as well.

My plans next are to raise money for Alopecia UK by doing a skydive – so keep an eye out for that.

SHEFFIELD SHENANIGANS

Have you ever met anyone who gets excited about E. coli? Well, meet Pauline. 😂

My sister had an open day in Sheffield (she’s grown now and actually looking at universities to attend and I’m really not ready) and I got to meet up with Pauline and Hamdah, who were gracious enough to be our tour guides 💕

Honestly had the best time exploring Sheffield and being at an open day gave me so many uni feels and made me miss it! Definitely need to keep my post-grad applications moving, otherwise, I’m not going to get anywhere 😭

#LFWSS18

British Style Society sent me to Fashions Finest’s London Fashion Week shows and I had the best time! The atmosphere was amazing and I really enjoyed capturing everything. There were so many amazing collections and talented designers! I’ll have a post up on the BSS site, so keep an eye out for that too.

FOOD FOOD FOOD

I discovered Binging with Babish on Facebook who makes food from different films and TV shows and I’ve been obsessed ever since. HE MADE SZECHUAN SAUCE, GODDAMNIT. Following one of his recipes, I made this bomb ass fried chicken and I was so gassed I took so many pics of it – so here ya go 😉

For my sister’s birthday, we went to Lutong Pinoy where we had Kamayan. I most definitely had a food baby after I finished eating. With Kamayan you eat with your hands – you can choose what you want to have in yours with this restaurant, so my sister chose lechon kawaii, BBQ pork, chicken inasal and it also came with vegetables, rice, spring rolls and sinigang. YUMMMM.

My friend chose the restaurant for this month’s meetup and so the student becomes the master. We went to Belgo in Covent Garden with is is a Belgian restaurant and oh my god the food was amazing 😍 I went for the chicken with beer and beef dripping gravy and Stoemp mash (mashed potatoes with carrot, savoy cabbage and leek). DELICIOUS. Food Diaries entry soon come.

I hadn’t been to Wagamama in ages, and honestly I’m not that big of a fan of it HOWEVER I was pleased with the chilli ramen I ordered went with my friend the other day. They also do really tasty green juices as well!

Mukbang? YES. THAT HAPPENED WITH KAYELA AND YOU SHOULD GO WATCH IT NOW 😏 I ate too damn much, but that’s nothing new really.

WALKING FOR THE ANAPHYLAXIS CAMPAIGN

I was up at 4 AM in the morning to make the long journey to Chiswick for my 8 AM start. I truly underestimated how tough this walk would be but the feeling I got when I finished (after I received my medal, collapsed to the ground and cried) was elation. Lil ol’ me managed to walk 26.2-miles and not die and also raise money for a charity close to my heart.

Several things happened – I developed two fat blisters on the soles of my feet, there was a point where I thought I wasn’t going to make it and my hands swelled up. It was a very emotional finish, ngl. I feel like this walk definitely tested out my fitness level and granted I’m not as fit as I’d like to be, but at least I know if I keep working on it then I can get swol 😂

The next day was a write-off but I still had to go to work. Thankfully, I sit down anyway but it genuinely took me 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop whereas usually, it would only take me 5 😭

Thank you SO much to everyone that donated – you are honestly all the best and it’s all for a good cause 💕

PS. I’ve also made the move to HTTPS, so if you have me on your blogroll please update my link to https://theinvisiblechild.info 🤗

I always find there’s no need to go out and eat Filipino food when I can just get it at home. I actually only visited a Filipino restaurant for the first time in London a few years back – totally worth it; but you’d understand why I don’t need to really go. It’s like for our Christmas lunch at work, my colleague suggested a place called Dutchies that specialises in Jamaican food – again, why? When I get that at my Lola’s every week?

Anyway, I digress.

Whilst I was in the Philippines, I actually got to meet up with Tiff of The Pandie Explorer for lunch! It was so lovely seeing her again, and even nicer for the fact that I was on her home turf. Meeting up with bloggers in real life is so awesome. It’s so nice to put a face to the blog – like, even though you know what the person looks like already, it’s so much better in real life. I honestly can’t wait until I get the chance to meet even more bloggers 😊

We went to a restaurant called Victorino’s located in Quezon City, Metro Manila. I was lucky enough to have my Tito drop me off, so I didn’t have to brave public transport to get there. I would have totally got lost, I bet.

The restaurant is lovely and spacious. I actually arrived first and was seated in the front dining area. They have a little shop located in that area selling various products from Ilocos, which is cute. The waiter immediately filled my glass with cucumber water, and continued to do so throughout the entirety of the meal which was nice. My mum hung around cause she’s a loser and wanted to meet Tiff 🙄😂, but she actually bought a scarf from the shop whilst we were waiting for Tiff.

Once Tiff arrived, we immediately poured over the menu to decide what we wanted. Boy, was it hard. Everything on the menu sounded so delicious. I’m not an expert on food from the Ilocano region, so I settled on what I already knew which was a longganisa platter serving 3 different kinds of Ilocano longganisa (longganisa refers to sausages flavoured with indigenous spices, with each region or province having its own variation) alongside vinegar dipping sauce.

adobo rice × tender beef cubes in olive oil × longganisa platter

We also opted for the adobo rice, which had adobo bits with garlic chips and lastly beef salpicao, my absolute favourite dish of the three, which was tender beef cubes in olive oil.

The longganisa was so so tasty, especially dipped in the sauce and the beef was so tender and melted right in my mouth. The rice? You cannot go wrong with rice especially when it has adobo in it. Honestly, everything was so righteous and the portions were so massive we couldn’t even finish it all. I got to take some back in a doggy bag, and whilst the food was being packed away we were able to concentrate on ordering dessert (despite looking like I was about to burst 😆).

We tried the red velvet cake because I have a stupid weakness for red velvet, and my eyes nearly dropped out of my head at how big the slice we were given was! Were my arteries clogged afterwards? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell. yES. A good red velvet cake, in my opinion, has not-too sweet frosting with a perfect creamy consistency that it just slides on your tongue like butter. If this cake didn’t do JUST that 😍 Sigh.

hellooooo, fatties 🎶

Overall, my experience at Victorino’s was really good. Thank you to Tiff for recommending the place, and when I’m back in the PH I will definitely be back here to try some other Ilocano dishes.

11th Jamboree, Diliman
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines


T: +63 2 922 8558

I was reading through some old posts earlier on this week, and I stumbled across a post from 2014 in which I listed the ‘Top 10 Places I’d Like to Visit‘. Whilst I’m far from completing even half of the list, I can proudly say that I have now visited Amsterdam and now, finally, after many years, I’ve visited Boracay. How do I even begin to explain Boracay? That magical little island famous for its white sand beaches and is honestly one of the most relaxing places on Earth. If you’re looking for paradise, well look no further…

Day 1

I realised that at this point I had been up early everyday since I arrived in the Philippines. I don’t ever remember actually having a lie-in. Nevertheless, it was probably a good thing because we managed to get more done during the day that way. Anyway, the morning we flew to Boracay my mother and I were up at 4AM. We were staying at my Tita’s in Manila, so we had to drop off my cousin and Tita to school before my Tito drove us to the airport. Traffic in Manila is something else, I tell ya. I remember when I was in the Philippines a few years back and the traffic then, but I swear it’s gotten worse. God forbid I ever use public transport there (I know I sound like a snob, heh). 

Our flight was at 10AM and we arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport with plenty of time to spare. We walked around a bit before deciding to head to Jollibee for breakfast because who denies fried chicken for breakfast? Not me, that’s for sure. I love how they have a special breakfast set, which is basically just Chickenjoy but with a fried egg and fried rice instead of normal rice. Ang sarap, though.

Because of course Filipinos are generally a late people (I try not to stereotype, but it’s true), our flight was delayed by an hour (or perhaps it was 2 hours) and it was ages before we arrived at Kalibo airport. Side note: We were standing near the conveyor belt waiting for our luggage when I overhead this guy mentioning that he’d been living in the Philippines for almost 5 years and that he had recently visited “Say-boo”. 5 years in the Philippines and you can’t even pronounce Cebu correctly? OKAY.

Heading to Kalibo was only the first part of our long journey to Boracay. My cousin had booked us transport to Caticlan Jetty Port, so it was a 2 hour bus journey to there in which I obviously fell asleep during the whole ride. Once we arrived at the port, it was a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay! We all got ferried onto this rickety little boat and I was holding on for dear life just trying to board. I genuinely thought I was gonna drop off the side, but thankfully I made it.

In the little rickety boat with our sexy life jackets on

Once we finally arrived on the island, it was another short journey to La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel. The hotel itself was lovely. Our package included breakfast, so that was a bonus and whilst you had to pay for wifi per day in your room there was free wifi in the lobby so it wasn’t too bad. Also, you get fresh juice drink upon arrival which was lovely.

Our first day was spent literally walking the most of the beach on the island. Like I mentioned previously Boracay is famous for its white sand beaches, and goddamn it is so fucking beautiful. No words to describe the sense of peace I felt whilst strolling alongside the ocean. I’ll mention briefly that before I went away, I wasn’t in a great place but that moment, on that beach, 1000 miles away from all my problems, I was at peace. It was what I needed to get myself out of my stupor.

So in love

It’s like a dream

We visited the activities area where we booked island hopping and scuba diving for the next day. The island hopping promised a delicious looking buffet, which I was looking forward to. We also witnessed a wedding, which made my icy heart melt ❤️

We were meant to go out to dinner that evening after we got back to the hotel, but it had honestly been such a long day that we slept all the way until the next morning. 😆

Day 2

We had breakfast at the hotel, which consisted of the usual: fried rice, spam, scrambled and fried egg, corned beef. They also had toast with butter, pancakes, fruit, mango and pineapple juice, and coffee and tea. It was quite a selection. I had enough to feed a small army (you think I’m joking). After breakfast, we on a morning beach walk, which is something I could do everyday to start my day. I know for sure that my days would definitely be better starting that way.

Morning beach walks, FTW

We then headed to the meeting point for the boat for island hopping. You know I said previously Filipinos are generally a late people… yeah, it showed again that morning. The boat was meant to arrive at 9… it did not arrive until 10.30 😒 We also basically had to swim in the ocean before we could even board the boat, so my playsuit was hella wet once I was seated. It was quite hot that day, anyway so I dried quickly. I was planning on wearing my swimsuit underneath but decided against it – had to wait until we got to Crystal Cove Island to change into it, so missed out on the snorkelling the first time around.

The boat was basically in the middle of the ocean 😆

Mummy’s bighead

Our first stop was Crystal Cove Island located about 10-15 minutes away from White Beach, Boracay. There are various pathways that will lead you all around the island – there is quite a lot to discover from museums to the sea coves. You have to climb down quite deep to get into the caves and I was the only one brave enough to do so, but it was so worth it. I didn’t want to risk my phone whilst down there because the waves were crashing pretty high, so I left it with my mum whilst I was exploring. It was spectacular, though! I did manage to get some other pictures, though, including one of me desperately looking for bae. 😆

Views from Crystal Cove

Living that mermaid life

After exploring Crystal Cove (which actually got pretty exhausting because there just SO much to explore. Great workout, though), we headed over to a different island for lunch. We had to wait fucking ages, though, because they only had one bus when we arrived so they took one batch over to the lunch area first and then we had to wait for it to come back and take us. The food wasn’t even anything to write home about, anyway, which sucked. We didn’t even get the prawns we wanted, which were advertised as part of the buffet 😒 Definitely wasn’t happy with that part of the island hopping.

✌🏾

Before heading to Puka Shell Beach, we stopped for some snorkelling. I had changed into my swimsuit at that point, so I happily donned a snorkelled and jumped into the clear blue sea. I’ve never snorkel before that, so it was an amazing experience and something I would not have passed up despite nearly ruining my wig 😆 It was so worth seeing all the corals and fish in the sea – made me wish I had a GoPro so I could have documented it all. Thankfully, some hair oil I bought in 7/11 saved my wig and it actually put some bounce back in it! Thank God.

Our last stop was Puka Shell Beach, also known as Yapak. This is definitely one of the quieter islands, as there are no hotels or anything on the beach. It seems so untouched and is probably the best place to be alone with your thoughts. You can walk for miles and not encounter anybody. It is so peaceful. We stumbled across a man offering to take our photo in front of his Puka Beach sandcastle in exchange for a few pesos. It was for his family, so we couldn’t resist. Also, the sandcastle was hella awesome! I can barely make a normal sandcastle let alone that amazing sculpture.

I was also totally feeling myself in my new red swimsuit from Pretty Little Thing and made my mum do an impromptu photoshoot on a secluded part of the beach 😆

I’ve officially become that person who takes picture like this ☝🏾

Cheesing

Unfortunately, the island hopping literally took the whole day and so by the time we got back, it was too late to do the scuba diving. We got our money back, but my cousin and my mum let the lady who sold us the activity HAVE IT. Naturally, the island hopping was great but the service was abysmal. Will definitely not be using D’Chosen Fun Tours again.

After heading back to the hotel for a quick shower and rest, we headed out for dinner. We ended up in Victory Divers Resto-Bar where there was a buffet, which was much better than the one we had on the tour! We also had a jug of iced tea, so refreshing. Just outside the restaurant, there was a coconut water seller. There are quite a few of them on the strip, but this is only one I saw that sold fresh coconut water mixed with THREE shots of rum. Yeah, that’s right THREE. You can view this video and hear my mother voice her obvious disgust, lol.

I, for obvious reasons, was feeling like a hot mess after finishing my drink. The coconut itself is actually really heavy! Also, there was tons of water in there. The urge to go toilet was strong after a while. Nevertheless, I carried this heavy ass coconut whilst we went around D’Talipapa Market. I managed to get a shot glass for my collection and a personalised keyring. My mum bought a shit ton of dried mango to bring back home, haha.

After exploring, we wondered back onto the main strip. We managed to catch the fire dancers that were actually dancing outside the hotel we were staying at. There were a few others at another restaurant. It was so cool! I also got henna done; I let the guy freestyle his design and it turned out so pretty. It’s been ages since I’ve had henna done on my hand. My cousin also got me to try Isaw ng Manok (grilled chicken intestine) and Inihaw na Isaw ng Baboy (BBQ pork intestine), which was actually tastier than I thought it would be! I mean intestines, amirite? I was feeling pretty tired at this point (also slightly drunk) and so we decided to head back to the hotel.

Day 3

My cousin had arranged for a bus to pick us up from our hotel to take us back to the port at 1PM, so we had some time to kill. After breakfast and check out, we decided to head back to D’Talipapa Market to pick a few more gifts for family and friends. We actually spent quite a bit of time there, so by the time we got back to the hotel we were hungry. We ended up at the Hangover Kitchen, which was located quite near the hotel, and I had some delicious chicken inasal. We also had sizzling pork sisig, which was equally delicious. I love Filipino food 😍 I also spotted this awesome sign which resonates so much with me. Tell ’em!

After eating we chilled out in the hotel lobby whilst we waited for our bus to come pick us up and to start the loooooong journey back to Manila. Once we arrived in Manila, we stayed at my cousins house and in the morning we took the coach back to Tarlac 😊

Overall, Boracay was an amazing experience and I am just dying to go back and experience it all over again. Everything from the beaches, sunshine, to the food and stunning views, everything about that island is freaking perfect. Boracay is breathtaking and I know I will be back. Fo’sho.

bye, boracay. you’ve been breathtaking; i’ll be back 💕

This week went by really quickly! Lots of exciting things happened, and I learned lots of stupid sh*t informative things. Here’s to another good week! 🍷

  1. I get really cranky on Mondays and nap way more often during the day
  2. I’m a hoarder when it comes to Time Out and ShortList magazines
  3. Most Americans don’t have electric kettles (say what?!)
  4. I need to stay away from the Bershka sale
  5. The London Underground is my worst nightmare
  6. How ah-mazing Magic Mike XXL was
  7. How unfit I really am (this was from climbing some damn stairs)
  8. London is really polluted. Almost every single London borough failed the air pollution limit for toxic NO2 gas  x_x 
  9. I’m the coolest
  10. There’s a legion of angels anxious to do my bidding according to the Universe
  11. McDonald’s breakfast is really tasty, but I should probably stay away from it because fat
  12. Cheerleader by OMI is super catchy
  13. OMI is Jamaican
  14. If I collect 6 stickers, I can get a free regular 7th cup of coffee from McDonalds. How can I stay away?
  15. Hutong is always fully booked and they put you on hold for like 1249072384737 minutes
  16. Fargo is really, really good and Martin Freeman is my bb for life
  17. Danny Wallace is my spirit animal
  18. How amazing the Terminator series is
  19. #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines
  20. Graffiti is amazing
  21. I’m obsessed with saying “Halo-halo!”
  22. Also, I’m obsessed with bbq chicken that I may one day turn into a bbq chicken

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Now, let’s begin.

Well, guys. I made it to the ripe old age of 22, somehow. I’m not even exaggerating when I say it’s been a hell of a year since my 21st. Nevertheless, you live and you learn. I had a really good birthday and it was much more toned down from last year. Must be a sign I’m getting old.

I opted for a family dinner with the inclusion of Mutay and another one of my closest friends. We all went to a Filipino restaurant called Lutong Pinoy for a Kamayan dinner. Kamayan means to eat with your hands and that’s exactly what we did. You reserve ahead of time and choose what food you want – I chose: lechon kawali, BBQ chicken wings, tocino and Filipino beef steak. It also comes with sweet corn, vegetables, rice, spring rolls and sinigang.

Just look at this picture and you’ll understand why I had to unbutton my jeans after I finished eating.

Lutong Pinoy

It was actually the first Filipino restaurant I’ve been to in London. Definitely going again. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the awesome presents Mutay got me. She’s such a sweetie and actually saw my tweet about wanting Hannah Hart’s new book because Hannah is amazing and cute and I love her. So, Mutay got me just that and a personalised Coke bottle 😀

Coke bottle, Hannah Hart

I also got a Cheshire cat t-shirt and Pharrell t-shirt from friends at work. Definitely wasn’t expecting anything from them, but it was nice anyway!

Friday night I gathered my friends from secondary school, university and work and we partied the night away at Be At One in Shoreditch. Best night ever. The bartenders were hilarious, the music was amazing and I was just so happy that my friends were there to celebrate my birthday with me. I drank one too many cocktails, but then again can you blame me?

Got complimented on my teeth, as well, which was a first. I also got more cool presents including shot roulette, two Marvel comics, a Harley Davidson t-shirt and magnet and bookmark. Present round up = top notch!

Thank you to all the people who wished me Happy Birthday on Twitter. Y’all are cute 🙂

Here’s to many, many more years.