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2019 BTS Summer Package Vol. 5 (Korea Version)

2.26.2020

Spotlight | Human Heart Nature Sunflower Eye Cream.

I have one rule when it comes to eye creams - It's okay to splurge, as long as the product works.

Well, I almost always end up splurging since I gravitate towards Korean brands (think Innisfree Eco Science Eye Cream and Laneige Eye Sleeping Mask), and on very rare occasions, Western brands like Estee Lauder (Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream).

Recently, however, I've discovered an eye cream that works but costs only a fraction of what I usually spend on the aforementioned products. And the best thing about it? It comes from my favorite local skincare brand, Human Nature.
Human Heart Nature Sunflower Eye Cream.
Launched on the last week of January, the Human Heart Nature Sunflower Eye Cream is the latest addition to the brand's ever-popular sunflower line. I had the chance to get first dibs on this eye cream the day it was launched, and I've been loving this product ever since!

The Human Heart Nature Sunflower Eye Cream is an all-natural eye cream made with jasmine and hawthorn essences that help smoothen and de-puff tired eyes. It also contains rosehip seed oil that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes, and cocoa seed butter that treats and fades dark circles under the eye. Last but not the least, this eye cream is infused with Human Heart Nature's bestseller and miracle worker Sunflower Seed Oil that helps nourish the skin and protects it from anti-oxidants.
Product swatch.
Just a little goes a long way!
I've been using this eye cream for almost five weeks now, and I love how it makes my eyes look less tired and puffy even after pulling an all-nighter on my Korean dramas (lol). No dark undereyes, even for the sleep-derived!
What dark undereyes? 
The Human Heart Nature Sunflower Eye Cream comes in a 15 mL squeeze tube and retails for Php 295. You can purchase this product online at the Human Heart Nature website or at Human Heart Nature branches near you. 
The Human Heart Nature sunflower line!

2.25.2020

Korea vs. COVID-19.

We currently have no travel plans to South Korea, and rightly so, with the coronavirus aka COVID-19 outbreak and all. New cases of infections are being reported everyday, and as of this writing, South Korea now has 977 confirmed cases - the most outside of China. Eleven deaths have also been reported, with a Mongolian patent being the latest COVID-19 casualty in South Korea.
Royal Guard at Gyeongbukgong wearing a face mask amidst the snow and virus scare.
Photo credit: Ahn Young Joon
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses, as defined by the World Health Organization, "are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)".

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted between animals and people. Previous studies showed that SARS-CoV (identified in 2003) was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV (first identified in 2012) from dromedary camels to humans.

What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the official name for the new corona virus that has not previously been seen in humans. This new disease was first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person through close contact or via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?
Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms of this disease.
Initial findings revealed that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. However, further studies have confirmed that a person can carry and transmit the disease without even showing any symptoms (asymptomatic).

How can we avoid this disease?
They say prevention is better than cure - especially when there's no actual cure for this disease. At present, there is no vaccine that can prevent COVID-19, and it would be best to avoid being exposed to it.

The World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued the following guidelines to prevent the spread of this disease:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Follow CDC's recommendation for using face masks - only wear them if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above. People who are well and healthy do not need to wear masks. 
Ambulances in Daegu, South Korea.
Photo credit: Kim Hyun Tae.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, South Korea is now on the highest alert level which means authorities can order the temporary closure of schools and reduce the operation of public transportation and flights to and from the country. Nearly 500 schools have delayed the start of classes, while visa-free entry to Jeju Island has been temporarily suspended to all foreign nationals.

The following entry restrictions have also been issued by the Korean Ministry of Justice:
  • Travelers with passports issued in Hubei, China
  • Korean visas to travelers who were issued in Hubei Province, China will be cancelled 
  • All foreign nationals who visited Hubei Province, China in the past 14 days will be restricted entry
  • Visa-free entry to Chinese nationals and foreign nationals who are traveling from China will be suspended.
Royal Guards at Deoksugung Palace.
Photo credit: Jeon Heon Kyun.
Museums and parks in Seoul are also temporarily closed, and the four royal palaces (Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung), the royal tombs, and Jongmyo Shrine have stopped their guided tour services indefinitely. Several festivals such as the Nonsan Strawberry Festival, Snow Crab Festival, and Busan International Buddhism Expo have been cancelled, while the Comic World festivals in Seoul and Busan have been postponed.

The Philippines has not issued any travel ban to South Korea just yet; however, the Department of Foreign Affairs strongly advises Filipinos to forego travel plans amidst the virus scare.

Edit, 26 Feb 2020: The Philippines has imposed a travel ban on Filipino tourists going to South Korea. However, OFWs, Filipinos leaving for study, and permanent residents of South Korea are exempted from the travel ban. In addition, travelers coming from North Gyeongsang Province, where Daegu is located, shall not be permitted entry to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Korean government is working hard to contain further infection and is constantly providing reports and updates of suspected and infected cases of COVID-19. Press releases are published twice daily at 9am and 4pm at the Korea CDC website.


2.22.2020

Foodie Goodie | Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant.

Sundays, as customary, are for dining together with the family. And for this particular Sunday after our visit to St. Martin de Porres' Kids Home, Mum chose to have our family dinner at Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant.
Travel back in time at Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant.
Located in Brgy. Del Remedio, San Pablo City, Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant gives its visitors a glimpse of the past as it reimagines the Filipino cultural heritage through its colonial era architectures and traditional Filipino cuisine.
The stairs leading to the restaurant.
Blast from the past! More of Sulyap Gallery Cafe and Restaurant after the jump!

2.19.2020

Sneak Peek | Colourpop x Sailor Moon Collection.

Colourpop is launching a new collection in two days' time, and OMG I have never been more excited for this one! Their latest collection is actually a collaboration with Toei Animation - Sailor Moon, to be exact - and the 90's kid in me is super stoked!
The pretty guardian of the Moon is here to make y'all pretty!
Reminisce your childhood and take a trip down memory lane as you get a glimpse of the Colourpop x Sailor Moon collection. Moon prism power, make up - literally! :)
Pretty Guardian Shadow Palette.
The Pretty Guardian Shadow Palette features 12 gorgeous shades, with an array of warm and cool tones. The glittery ones are sure to make your eyes dazzle, while the matte shades are perfect for your everyday look.
Gliterally Obsessed.
Jazz up your look with these Gliterally Obsessed body glitters! They're loaded with tiny flakes of moons and stars and come in two variants - Moonlight Legend in pink and Moon Prism Power in purple.
Pressed Powder Blush.
Luna, the black talking cat, also makes a special appearance in the Pressed Powder Blushes! They come in two shades - From the Moon (soft magenta) and Cat's Eye (light pink). There's even an imprint of her face on the blush itself, which makes this product even more adorable! 
Lip Bundles.
Finally, we have the lip bundles, which also come in two variants. The Daylight Lip Bundle comes with the shades Bun Head and Sailor Moon, while the Moonlight Lip Bundle comes with the shades Usagi and Moon Tiara. Each bundle comes with an Ultra Blotted Lip and an Ultra Glossy Lip.

The Colourpop x Sailor Moon Collection will be launching on February 20, 10 AM PST. That's February 21, 2 AM here in the Philippines so set your alarms if you want to get first dibs on this limited edition collection! :)

2.18.2020

A Day at St. Martin De Porres' Kids Home.

And just like that, my Mum's two-week holiday has finally come to an end.

Mum came home for a quick vacay to celebrate her birthday. But unlike the previous years when she'd throw a huge party or the entire family would go on a beach trip, this year, she chose to celebrate her birthday differently - more meaningful, if I may say. Mum celebrated her 57th birthday (yes, that's how young she is) with the kids of St. Martin de Porres Kids' Home.
Not even the rain can stop us from visiting St. Martin de Porres Kids' Home!
My siblings and I had extended help to SMDP KH previously by sending some toiletries, toys, and pre-loved books for the kids. Mum learned about our 'mini charity work' belatedly, so she pledged her birthday to SMDP KH instead.
Welcome to St. Martin de Porres Kids' Home!
Founded in 1997 by Rev. Fr. Gregorio Raymundo OP (+), St. Martin de Porres Kids' Home is a non-stock, non-profit educational and charitable institution in San Pablo City. It serves as a transitional home for male street children who have been neglected, abused, orphaned, maltreated, unsupervised, and uncared for.
Kuya Jorelle warming up to the kids. 
The shelter is located at Brgy. Concepcion, a ten-minute drive from the city proper, and currently houses 16 kids, with the youngest kid at just three years old.
Getting to know the kids.
Our visit to St. Martin de Porres Kids' Home was slated on a Sunday, from 11 am to 1 pm. It was raining heavily that day, but not even the bad weather could stop us from spending time with the kids.
Having fun...
It was so nice of our dear friend Jorelle (who is a balikbayan himself) to come along with us. He's a pro when it comes to children's parties, and he made our visit to SMDP KH more fun by entertaining the kids with some pep talk and parlor games.
Playing games...
No party would be complete without food, of course, and nothing says party like a hearty meal of Jollibee Chickenjoy. :)
Sharing food and smiles!
Aside from the fast food, we also brought grocery items and other food stuff for the shelter. The kids were so nice and appreciative, and it was such a humbling experience to see how positive they are about life.
Morgan had the most fun with the kids of St. Martin de Porres. :)
Mum with Ate Sally, who looks after the kids of SMDP KH.
Truly, it was a birthday made more meaningful for Mum, and a weekend well-spent for all us, especially the three kids (Yue, Maggie, and Morgan). The entire family is looking forward to doing this again with the kids of St. Martin de Porres.
Thank you, St. Martin de Porres kids for having us! 
They say we should always be a blessing to others, and yes, you too can be a blessing to these kids. :)
Purok 3, Brgy. Concepcion, 
San Pablo City
(049) 562 5288