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Monday Motivation: 4 Tips to Start Your Week Right



If you’re always experiencing the Monday blues, and feel like the weekend went by too quickly, maybe it’s time you don’t give in to the Monday stories and try something new! Your week might be hectic and the incoming stress might already make your anxiety kick in, but these 4 tips will help get you through it easier.

1. Replenish during the weekend

– In this fast-paced world, we often find ourselves always up and running. It’s important that you take some time off to recuperate to perform tasks better and be more energized.
2. Plan your week on a Sunday night

Take an hour or two on Sunday evening to prepare yourself of how your week’s going to go. That way, come Monday, you’re ready to take on the world again!

3. Create a morning routine

Getting out of bed earlier than your usual, has great benefits for your overall well-being instead of snoozing your clock. So get up and talk a quick walk outside, or start making yourself breakfast to get your blood flowing, and to wake yourself up.

4. Indulge in inspiration

A little something to push your optimistic vibes throughout the week can keep you going. A simple inspirational quote, a motivational article, or probably even a video from TED Talk can certainly help.

How’s your Monday going? Are you still feeling the blues?

Monday Motivation: 4 Tips to Start Your Week Right 2017-12-10T14:04:53+00:00

Rock Your MIBF Experience!


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Nope, it’s not Christmas – at least, not yet. But for book lovers everywhere, it’s that time of the year again–the annual Manila International Book Fair is here!
Now on its 38th year, the MIBF gets bigger and better, occupying two floors. That’s right, TWO! It’s held at SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia, from September 13 to 17, 10AM – 8PM.
But before you get overwhelmed with all that excitement and pacing about, we’ve listed down some tips on how you can make the most out of it!

1. Get tickets

The registration ticket costs P20 per head, and you can get it at the lobby near the entrance of the event. But if you want to beat the long queue to get in, there are printable tickets online from several publishing houses such as Adarna Publishing House. You can also get it for free in Fully Booked branches, which you can ask for at the customer service.

2. Prepare a list

Preparation is key, and this is the time to get those highly coveted books you’ve put on your to-be read list. Amidst all the chaos with rows of books and the sea of people, trust us when we say that it’ll be more convenient for you.

3. Plan a day for it

The best day to come in is at the first day to beat all book hoarders. But if you don’t have time to do that, you can always come in during the weekend. You have to brave the crowd though, and hope that some publishers do restock their supply during those days.

4. Watch out for Bargain Steals everywhere!

Everyone is there because of this! Great discounts from every publishing house everywhere! But what’s even better are the bargain sales, where they sell books for P100 and above. It might be quite tedious to look for the books on your list that might be there, but wouldn’t it be so worth it?

5. Participate in Programs / Book signings

You can meet authors and attend their book signings in several booths at the venue. You can also attend the talks they host, which you can find on their website. You never know what kind of surprises and freebies you might encounter!




Most of all, don’t forget to have fun! There are two days left, so make the most of it while it lasts!

Rock Your MIBF Experience! 2017-12-10T14:05:35+00:00

Top 5 Tips To Win At Commuting


So it’s hump day –
   A little more, and before you know it. Bam! You’re dancing your way out of the office with a huge smile on your face because it’s finally Fri-Yay! But before you go ahead and do that, you have to face on the remaining few days which means that you’re going to commute to work.
   I know, I know. It can be such a total hassle with the long queues, train delays, and jumping from one mode of transportation to another. Going to school or work is actual work in on itself already! You’d think that spending that much time trying to get somewhere, when you can actually just be there already is a total waste.
   Well, that’s where you’re wrong.
    We’ve rounded up our top five tips on how you can win at commuting and be less stressed…

1. Prepare the night before

It’s always good to spare fifteen minutes to organize all the things you would need for the next day. You can set up your work bag and all the necessities you’d need to bring, prepare your outfit, plan your breakfast, pack lunch, and set your to-do list for the next day. With being more prepared and organized, you’ll feel more calm and your commute will be smooth sailing.

2. Leave early

Remember that how you should feel calmer during your commute. It’d be good to make sure you leave early from your home because let’s face it, running late doesn’t help with making you feel less stressed. Plus, you would feel more in control of your time that way. You can make a stop to get some coffee or a bagel. Either way, it’s a win-win.

3. Set your goals for the day


If you ran out of time the night before – or maybe you just want to relax after a long day, so you never got around to setting your to-do list – here is the time to do so. Mentally preparing your day can save you a lot of time, instead of getting lost into the whole clutter of your tasks.

4. Be productive

So you’re done setting your to-do list, and now you wonder what else there is to do. Should you stare out of the window and watch as everything passes you by? Do you watch funny videos on your Facebook feed? Why not try and be productive? Here’s your chance to catch up on your e-mails and declutter. You can read a book. You can listen to an audiobook or a podcast. Better yet, you can socialize and catch up with your family and friends. This is your personal time – use it wisely.

5. Prepare for the inevitable


A train or a bus delay? A cab breakdown? A major accident that’s causing a non-moving traffic? Now before you panic, you can instead immediately inform your colleagues that you’ll be running late. After that, rearrange your priorities to what’s more urgent, so you can quickly work on it once you get to the office.

How do you win at commuting? Share your advice with us, and comment down below!



Top 5 Tips To Win At Commuting 2017-12-10T14:06:09+00:00

Relationships Without Future: Should You Stay?



It’s true that nothing’s ever certain in life.
  The same goes for relationships.
  There always comes a moment when we unconsciously think about the future, and it could make us feel either daunted or relieved. If it’s the latter, then congratulations – it seems the future is bright and promising for you and your SO. But if it’s the former, then don’t panic. This may just be the right time for you to re-evaluate your relationship with your SO from the good and the bad, and either start making changes or take a hike!
  If you’re looking for a more serious relationship but suddenly have the revelation that you actually don’t see a future with your current SO, here are five important questions you should consider asking yourself and your partner.

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1. What do you and your partner seek in relationships at the time being? Are you on the same page?
– Are you looking for a serious, long-term, committed relationship or not? Is he looking for the same thing? It’s important that both of you set your terms and expectations for you to settle what kind of relationship you are in.

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2. When you think about your partner and your relationship, how does it make you feel?
– Can you count more times when you are angry or sad than when you’re happy? Does your partner make you feel comfortable, safe, nurtured? Or do you constantly struggle between setting your wants and needs to the way they treat you? The very basis of any romantic relationship should be friendship and mutual respect, but if there’s none of those and you don’t feel as though your partner takes you or your feelings into consideration, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

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3. Do you completely trust and support each other?
– Your partner should be your number one supporter; going out of their way to make sure that you achieve your goals and picking you up when you’re down. They should never do anything to potentially threaten your relationship or be one-sided in this aspect. And vice versa.

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4. Are you both equally invested in your relationship?
– It takes two to tango, as they say. True partnership means that you are a team, and it certainly can’t be unfair. Sacrificing or compromising your all into this relationship or to your partner, wouldn’t be healthy for you or for your relationship.

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5. When you think about the future, do you see your partner included in it?
– Here it is, the BIG picture. So you’ve got plans on how you move forward with your life, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be anything specific. Let’s say, you don’t see yourself working long-term in your job at the moment, and you have dreams of changing your career path in another state, city or country. The thing is this, do you see your partner in that picture? That no matter how both of you move forward in your life, you are still together and you consider each other’s life goals as your own to support one another?

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  If you don’t, it’s okay. At the end of the day, it’s a matter of choice. We all want different things, and if this SO of yours makes you feel happy and fulfilled, then there is no reason to break things off for now. What is also important is that you consider the questions given above, and that you set your own expectations of having a possible end date or the possibility for both of you to carry on…

Relationships Without Future: Should You Stay? 2017-12-10T14:06:37+00:00

Three Must-Try Dishes in Singapore


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Few peoples in the world can match the reverence and fervour Singaporeans reserve for food. Colombians brawl over football teams; Italians have passionate love affairs with their cars. Singaporeans hold hour long deliberations over which street stall serves the best chilli crab in Glutton’s Bay. Singaporean cuisine is of course, a diverse affair of Malay, Chinese influence (served with a dash of Indonesian, Indian and Peranakan and Eurasian tradition.) Faced with the perils of recommending Tim Ho Wan’s dim sum over Swee Choon Tim Sum’s, I will content myself with merely listing the best Singaporean dishes every tourist must try.

  1.      Hainanese Chicken with Rice


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Even the uninitiated among you will probably have already heard of this one. If Singaporean cuisine were to disappear, and the nation had to choose one dish to preserve, this would probably be that dish. While the preparation method may sound unexciting (essentially boiling the chicken), every native knows that if done well, a tender Hainanese Chicken paired with the broth infused rice (with some soy sauce, and a kick of ginger on the side) is an addictive classic.

  1.       Bak Kut Teh


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There are many legends surrounding the origins of this fiery, spicy soup. One of the most famous tells the story of a charitable but poor street food hawker who threw together some leftover pork bones and cheap spices into a stew to feed a hungry beggar by the side of the road. Another recounts a concoction cooked up to rejuvenate tired Chinese laborers working along the Singapore river. The only thing the numerous legends agree upon is the dish’s humble origins. While Bak Kut Teh can now be found in many gourmet restaurants in Singapore, the dish remains accessible to the rich and poor alike.

  1.       Chilli Crab


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Singapore is surrounded by three large bodies of water: The South China Sea to the northwest, the Pacific Ocean to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the southwest. It is no surprise then, that seafood is irreplaceable to the national palate. This iconic dish calls for stir fried crab doused in a sweet and spicy sauce, and served with deep fried mantou on the side.

I would be amiss not to mention the numerous other mouth-watering dishes that Singapore has to offer. The tiny island nation’s unique spin on Laksa, fish-head curry, satay, and oyster omelette are only a few among the infinite list of dishes that one cannot hope to cover in a year.

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Three Must-Try Dishes in Singapore 2017-12-10T14:07:05+00:00

Another Delay?


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So there you are, trying to get to work on a fine Wednesday morning. You arrive at Jurong East MRT station, and you stand in queue when you realize that it was time for the train to arrive. By now, you should be hearing it chugging down the track, but then…

No train.

Your brows furrow in wonder. You check your watch, you see you were right on time. You check the station’s clock, and it’s the same. Still… There’s no train right in front of you.

Does that sound familiar?

You’ve heard about SMRT’s service disruptions happening lately, and you may have experienced it yourself. You would think that what was once a convenient, quick, and not to mention, affordable way to get to your destination, now it turned into a chaotic and irate mess. Seas of passengers flooding the stations, waiting along and withstanding hour-long rides to get to another stop that’s just one stop away; venting to SMRT operators and at each other.

Like you yesterday, I basically just gave up. I couldn’t wait another five minutes standing there with much uncertainty over when they could possibly start operating in a proper manner again. I couldn’t bare the thought of the possibility of getting stuck in the train due to delays. I immediately thought of other modes of transportation I could use. So what else could I have possibly done? I whipped out my phone and checked Grab and Uber.

I know. You’re probably not surprised at how I didn’t book any car since the prices were soaring beyond my daily budget. Cabs weren’t an option either. So I thought of another alternative – the SMRT bus (which was what everyone thought of, too).

I had to face the fact that I was going to be late regardless, and decided to withstand the long queues. Eventually, I got to take my turn and took a seat next to the window. What was a forty-minute train ride, an additional twenty was added just for me to get to downtown. But as I sat back, already stressed out at how my morning was going, I couldn’t help but empathize with my fellow commuters who ranted their concerns over social media.

I can only hope these “faulty track points” be fixed soon – and fast!

Another Delay? 2017-12-10T14:07:32+00:00

Kick Out Societal Standards


In a world where you can basically Google anything and find a wide array of articles dictating to you what you should do, what you should give and receive, what or who you should be, who you should be with (this article is no exception, apparently), doesn’t it all get confusing? Everywhere you turn you receive tons of voices screaming the type of standards you should have, in every aspect of your life. And sure, it can be quite helpful at times, but maybe there are times when trusting our own instincts should come into play. So let’s challenge the status quo for a little bit…

  When it comes to dating, there are certain so-called “rules” we get to follow. And these are the typical rules – ie. how women shouldn’t be the ones who would initiate courtships; how men should pay for dinner dates; how if someone was your soulmate, women wouldn’t have to communicate how they feel because men should just “know,” and the list goes on and on. Some still follow these to this very day, others don’t. And for those who do, they might think that once these rules are broken, it’d be a total dealbreaker.

   It doesn’t just stop there at all either. When one talks about their relationship with other people, they’d receive tons of opinions which could probably cause more confusion. You’d start questioning yourself and your sense of judgment, leading you to blow things out of proportions and failing to realize the more important values we should all be looking at.

   External pressures won’t be able to sustain a relationship, especially if it comes from a society that asks you to conform. Remember that not everyone’s situation in their relationships are the same, and so we should face them all differently by setting different expectations and being more understanding. These standards or ideals don’t exactly apply to everyone. It might be nice to tick off all those checklists that might make someone look good on paper, but how one treats you or what values and traits they hold, should be significantly considered.

   Setting your own standards to simply please what others say they want for their own isn’t going to help you achieve the long-lasting, nurturing relationship you oh so crave to have. Hold off on the judgment. Be true to yourself and stop looking at the superficial facets. From there, you’ll build deeper and meaningful connections.

Kick Out Societal Standards 2017-12-10T14:08:18+00:00

A Weary Tourist’s Guide To Hong Kong


If you’ve taken the Tram up Victoria’s Peak, walked the aisles of Lane Crawford more times than you can count, and utterly seasick of the Star Ferry, you may – like me – start to wonder what else is there to do in Hong Kong. There’s no disguising Hong Kong’s small size, though the sheer urban density and diverse culture can often obscure that fact. This is a city that definitely has a few more plates spinning than your average global metropolis. Here’s a quick guide to navigating the chaotic cocktail of experiences that is Hong Kong.

  1. Visit a Street Market

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    Along Tung Choi Street is an assortment of ramshackle street stalls known as the Ladies’ Market. Cheap clothes, trinkets and souvenirs that vendors hawk from shops that are open by noon. Elsewhere in Kowloon, night owls may prefer to visit the Temple Street Night market. Hong Kong’s famed culinary prowess is on full display here, as locals and foreigners alike put their Cantonese haggling skills to the test. Expect to see surprise street acts that run the gamut from fortune telling to traditional Cantonese opera.


  1. Go Bird watching at the Hong Kong Wetland Park

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   This Wetland Park should give pause to those people for whom Hong Kong doesn’t exactly bring to mind lush ecological spaces. While the park may be best described futuristic (facilities are modern and include a large theater, a viewing gallery and cafe), there are more than enough hiking trails, bird hides and viewing platforms to satisfy any nature lover.


  1. Wander around an ancient temple

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   I get it. You’ve already seen the Tian Tan Buddha, and that’s more than enough for a few days. But Hong Kong’s old temples are so intertwined with the city’s heritage that it would be a crime not to drop by. Top picks would be Man Mo temple, which served as a court of arbitration for legal disputes during the Qing dynasty. And Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple, which was dedicated to the eponymous Wong Tai Sin, the favorite god of local businesspeople.


  1. Escape the city

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    Tired of Hong Kong’s frenetic city life? Flee to ‘Lamma’ known as the “hippie island” to locals. You won’t find the prerequisite super malls or sky scrapers that Hong Kong is known for. In fact, Lamma’s skyline is punctuated by three lone coal chimneys. If you’re looking for quiet forests, beaches and rustic villages, Lamma has all three in spades.



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A Weary Tourist’s Guide To Hong Kong 2017-12-10T14:08:57+00:00

The Thing about H.E.A.’s


   Or y’know, Happily Ever Afters?

   It’s a format that many story writers use for years and years, and it has been an ongoing conversation for the audience as well. For a theme that people think has been overused, overrated, overly predictable, and what-overly-have-you’s, it’s something that still sells. And regardless whether it does or not (or whether someone actually admits it), a well-written story with a happily ever after can actually be good for the mind, body, and soul.
   But is Happily Ever After on the way out? Our team decided to ask some people on what they actually thought about it. The insights we received were mostly skeptical, which weren’t all too surprising. We see that people today like relatable characters, and stories where everything isn’t as simple as black and white. Most did not believe in the goodness and power of Happily Ever After’s, since it sets an unrealistic approach and expectation in life.
   Or they just think it’s a load of crap, deluding us into believing in our own naivete…
    How sad is that, right?
    So why all the skepticism to this kind of closing theme? Is it because of the daily  turmoil and endless struggle in our lives? And what of the everyday tragedy in our world that floods the news? Is it because it’s nothing but a cliche – too out of this world – that we don’t want to waste time thinking things could be different? And if so, is it too unreasonable to be glad for any bit of happiness we can get in a span of two hours, or three-hundred or so pages?

   There was one who was more optimistic than the rest. Here’s what she said: “Happily ever afters, in my opinion, are quite idealistic but makes everyone happy. It gives this sense of hope to people that even after all the struggles and heartache that the character, and whoever goes through in the end; everything would be worth it. Kinda like a rainbow after the rain.”

Not all that happens in movies or books are real. And true enough, there’s nothing wrong with hoping for something better at the end of the day. Happily Ever Afters are not only a form of escape, but something that could possibly motivate you to keep going. And as long as you know for yourself what sets apart reality from your own expectations and mere fantasies, it’s good to also remember that we can take command of our own ship if we really want to make the H.E.A.’s happen.

The Thing about H.E.A.’s 2017-12-10T14:09:16+00:00
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