The Great Brands Sale at Tiendesitas

Striptop Outlet Store (SOS) will storm the new event center of Tiendesitas and hold the The Great Brands Summer Sale on April 27 to May 06, 2018 from 11am-9pm.

Shoppers will enjoy up to 70% discounts from participating brands like Herschel, Parkland, Hurley, Olukai, Fitflop, The North Face and many more. Customers will also enjoy great finds on great selections of shoes, bags, accessories, men’s and ladies fashion, just in time for the summer vacation.
The event is free admission to the public and all major credit cards are accepted. 

Striptop Outlet Store (SOS) will storm the new event center of Tiendesitas and hold the The Great Brands Summer Sale on April 27 to May 0...

Applying for a Canada Visa from the Philippines

Travelling is life as others would look at it. I love travelling but I've never been to a country that requires a visa. Why? Because processing a visa is such a hassle - from gathering documents to lining up to the embassy and paying for fees without even a guarantee that your application will be granted. Though I know I am already missing a lot, I'd rather visit first places that doesn't require much yet I'll get the same excitement and enjoyment with the people I travel with and the places that await to be discovered and explored.

Canada - Banff National Park
Banff National Park (photo credits:

Just last month, my boss surprised me with a great news - the company's bringing me to Canada! I can't really describe my initial reaction when I found out about it. Yes, it is pretty exciting because, finally, I'll get to visit a country that's on the other side of the globe. But what holds back the excitement is the fact that it is a work-related trip so I'm not sure if I'll have time to explore the place, not to mention the long flight, very cold weather, and my OOTDs (I have no winter clothes!).

Canada CN Tower
Toronto CN Tower (photo credits:

Anyway, before I think about those, I need to worry about processing my visa first right? So I did a little research and, apparently, processing a visa for Canada isn't that much of a hassle. Everything can be done online! The only time you'll have to go to an office and line up is when you get approved and asked to submit your passport for visa stamping. There's also an option to submit paper application through VFS Global but I don't have much time to spare so I opt to submit online application instead.


Regardless if you're going as a tourist or it's for a business trip, you will have to apply for a temporary residence visa. The instructions in the website are pretty much straightforward. So here are just some tips on how you can prepare for your Canada Visa (Temporary Residence) online application:

  1. Create an account on this website:
    *There's quite a lot of questions to answer but it's better rather than going to the office and process everything there. Just imagine the traffic and the long queue.

  2. Fill up and submit the following documents:
  • IMM5257e (Application for Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) Made Outside of Canada) - this is your application form. Once you have filled-up everything, you have to click on the Validate button in the PDF form. If all required information are filled in, then it should generate bar codes at the last page of the form. If not, then it will point you to those fields that need to be corrected.
    • UCI (Unique Client Identifier) - this is issued once you have applied for a Canada visa. If it's you're first time to apply for a Canada Visa, then you can leave this blank. Future applications will require this though when you have already got one.
    • Since you are applying online, you may leave the signature blank. A digital signature will be asked once you're ready to submit all the documents.
    • Travel History - I compiled scanned copies of my previous passport (should be within the last 10 years), phone snaps of entry and exit stamps from the countries I've visited before, hotel and flight bookings. You may also include visa/s or study and/or work permits.
    • Passport - Provide a snapshot of the page with your details (name, birthdate, country of origin, etc) and pages with stamps and visas.
    • Invitation Letter - this should come from the person you are visiting in Canada stating your purpose and duration of visit, relationship with the host, and contact information of the host. Since our purpose it to conduct business in Canada, the following are included and printed in our company's letterhead:
      • host's full name, title and business contact information
      • brief summary of the reason for the invitation, including details of the business or trade to be undertaken
      • full names of all employees from your company who are being invited by your host
      • intended duration and a detailed itinerary of the visit
      • statement specifying who will be responsible for all travel-related expenses
    • Digital Photo - Photo studios should be familiar with the size already. Just let them know it's for Canada visa. In case they don't have an idea on the size, a very detailed specifications are indicated in the website where you have to submit your documents.
    • Purpose of Travel - this is a compilation of proofs for your visit. Samples are your flight tickets and travel itinerary. 
    • IMM5645 (Family Information) - this is a form where you'll have to supply information about your family - spouse, parents, children, siblings (including half and step brothers and sisters)
    • IMM5257B (Schedule 1 - Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada) - difference with IMM5257e is that this one is about your personal history - affiliations with organizations, military or government service

    There are also some optional documents that you can submit along with your application. A application fee of $100 (CAD) is also required and you can pay online using your credit/debit card. There are also other requirements like medical exam, biometrics, and some additional documents but I think it depends on the type of visa you are applying for. 

    Reviewing and processing a visa application will take about 11 days (or longer). Whenever there are updates, we receive emails notifications and we just had to login to the site again to check the status.


    It took about 10 days before we got a notice that our application got APPROVED and we need to submit our passport for stamping. Since we're running out of time and our trip is fast approaching, we personally brought our passports to VFS Global's office in Makati. They are accepting passport submissions in their office until 3PM only. You may also send it through a courier but that would take days before it reaches them. Visa stamping will take about 3-5 days and another 2 days if you opt to have it delivered back. I suggest you choose to have it shipped instead if you are not in a hurry since we waited for more than an hour on queue when we picked it up ourselves.

    Hopefully, these information helps you in your visa application. I wanted to put download links for the application forms but it would be better if you just get those directly from the application website to ensure that you are using the latest versions.

    Now that I have my Canada visa, I can now think of my OOTD and list down nearby tourist destinations that we can check out after work hours. Got any suggestions? Please comment down below and I'd be glad to squeeze it in our busy schedule 😁

    Travelling is life as others would look at it. I love travelling but I've never been to a country that requires a visa. Why? Because ...

    6 Things You Should Know About Lazada's 6th Birthday Festival

    Release the inner Lazaddict in you! Having parcels delivered to your doorstep almost every day is not the only test. Listed below are six things you should know about Lazada as it soon turns 6.

    Shakin n’ Deals 

    Birthday parties aren’t complete without games! Lazada adds more fun to online shopping through its Shakin’ Deals. Just log-on to your Lazada mobile app, stay on the homepage and shake, shake, shake away! You get yourself a chance to win up to Php 1,500 that you can use to shop. Don’t forget to invite your family and friends to have some shakin’ fun!

    No ghosts, only intangible items! 

    Most likely you have bought everything on Lazada – the foundation on your cheeks, the earring dangling from your ear and the watch on your wrist. Do you know Lazada also sells intangible items? Go to the e-store and you can get yourself prepaid load, a tour in Cebu, Enchanted Kingdom online passes or the latest Microsoft software. You also get to buy vouchers from your favorite restaurants, beauty and wellness shops.


    There is no such thing but you can now follow the official stores of your favorite brands the same way you follow your favorite influencers on Instagram. Just click the follow button in the brand’s official store and stay updated with special offers and discounts from your favorites.

    Cashless? Get Cashback!  

    No credit card, no problem! Lazada recently launched its e-wallet. Now, you can pay for your Lazada order easily by topping up through BPI, BDO, Metrobank or any 7-11 branch near you. Also, enjoy cashbacks up to 25% for Lazada’s big birthday sale if you load your e-wallet from today until April 23.

    Chat Now   

    An avid user of Viber, WhatsApp or Telegram? Want to know if the makeup you plan to buy matches your skin tone or if the shirt comes in XL? Ask the seller through Lazada’s new instant messaging feature called Chat Now. Talk to the seller directly through live chat so you are more confident about your purchase! Who knows, your next BFF could just be your favorite seller.

    Six Eventful Years 

    Lazada’s biggest online shopping party is coming soon. Join its 6th Birthday Festival Sale happening from April 25 to 27, 2018 and celebrate great finds from your favorite brands, trusted sellers and the Taobao Collection. Discounts will be up to 90% off with daily flash sales, social media games and special partner vouchers. 

    Release the inner Lazaddict in you! Having parcels delivered to your doorstep almost every day is not the only test. Listed below are six th...

    Canto: A must-try resto in Baguio!

    Before our trip to Baguio, I asked my friend which restaurants are worth a try. She's mentioned quite a few and one of which is Canto. She even texted me day before we leave Baguio to make sure we don't miss it. We almost skipped this resto but we passed by it on our way back to our hotel so we decided to get off and give it a try.

    Canto Bogchi Joint

    Canto Bogchi Joint is located along Kisad Road, just outside Burnham Park. It's not that hard to find as it has a huge signage outside and you'll see a lot of guests dining and waiting on queue. This made me even more curious as to what this restaurant has to offer and why people are willing to wait just to get seated.

    We waited for about 15 minutes before we were given our seats. It would have been shorter though if only the staff have cleared up the tables as soon as their guests leave. Apparently, my friends also had the same observation from their visit months ago and the management should really look into this. But please don't let this discourage you because, I assure you, every dish they serve is definitely worth the wait!

    Canto serves American and Filipino cuisine. Their servings are big enough for sharing and it's really affordable. They didn't have that much on their menu so you won't have a hard time choosing which ones to try.

    Here are some of their must-try dishes...

    Php 250 (Half Slab) | Php 480 (Whole Slab)

    Lomo Ribs (half slab)
    Lomo Ribs is one of Canto's best-seller item on their menu. It's a grilled BBQ pork ribs covered with their homemade barbecue sauce. It also comes with Cascade salad, and your choice of rice or mashed potatoes with gravy.

    The meat is so tender and the sauce isn't that strong tasting. Their half-slab is supposedly good for 1 serving only, but since we wanted to try as much dishes, we had it for sharing and it's just enough for two I can say.

    Mashed Potato with Gravy

    Php 210

    Vegetable Pizza

    Since we already got meat on our list, we decided to get veggies for pizza. Canto's Vegetable Pizza is topped with tomatoes, onions, garlic, mozzarella cheese, alfalfa sprouts, and basil or arugula served on a baked crispy thin dough.

    They also serve Meaty Pizza (Baguio longganisa, pesto, mozzarella, alfalfa sprouts) and Fish Pizza (Tuna chunks in creamy pesto sauce, mozzarella, alfalfa sprouts) all priced at Php210.

    Php 199

    Grilled Chicken on Pita

    We were already full with the first two dishes we tried but, like I said, we wanted to try as much so we added Grilled Chicken on Pita in our order. This dish comes with grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, grilled tomatoes, onions, alfalfa sprouts, drizzled with their savory garlic sauce. Imagine a better version of chicken shawarma.

    Is Canto Bogchi Joint worth a visit then?

    Absolutely! Again, every dish is worth your wait. There are so many restaurants to try in Baguio, but this is by far the best that I've had during our trip. Will definitely go back to try their other dishes.

    Before our trip to Baguio, I asked my friend which restaurants are worth a try. She's mentioned quite a few and one of which is Canto. S...

    Love Yourself and Be Rewarded

    For most of us Filipinos, family and the people we love always come first. And there's nothing wrong with that really. But let's not forget that our top priority should always be ourselves. It's easier said than done, I know, but now is the best time to start if you haven't yet. Loving yourself doesn't mean you have to forget the rest anyway. It's just a matter of priority at the end of the day.

    Self-love is a major theme for 2018 and it’s no surprise. People are usually very busy living their lives and taking care of their loved ones that they tend to neglect themselves. We forget that our greatest love story should be with ourselves — take care of yourself and you’ll be rewarded; if you look good, you’ll feel great.

    Glad to have companies like Watsons reminding us to give ourselves a little more love with its recently launched online video. Check it out and learn a thing or two about self-love. 

    Self-love is a state of appreciation for yourself that is manifested through different means. Self-love involves taking care of yourself, not losing touch with who you are despite the stresses of everyday life. Taking care of your health, face, hair and skin are some of the basic aspects of self-love because when you look good, you feel great.

    Self-love starts with self-awareness, which means knowing your strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. It can mean anything from doing something that will make you feel great like wearing a new pair of shoes or applying red lipstick on a Monday to make you look good.

    So what steps can you take to love yourself more and, in the process, feel great? Here are some suggestions:

    1. BE AWARE. It all starts with knowing who you are and what you can do.

    2. DON’T PROCRASTINATE. So one of your New Year’s resolutions is to achieve glowing skin. Don’t wait until the year is over to have a realistic skin care routine based on proper cleansing, moisturizing and sun protection.

    3. BE GOAL-ORIENTED. Proper sleep, exercise and good nutrition are only some of the steps you should take to achieve your goals. List down your goals and think carefully how you can achieve them.

    4. DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF. You’re not perfect; nobody is. If you are overweight, you can do something about it. If you look tired, there’s a reason for that. It’s not because you were born that way.

    5. REALIZE THAT YOU’RE NOT ALONE. So many people struggle with lack of time or will to take proper care of yourself. Watsons encourages people to love themselves more to look good and feel great.

    For most of us Filipinos, family and the people we love always come first. And there's nothing wrong with that really. But let's n...

    C2 Cool and Clean Just Got A Fresh New Look

    Universal Robina Corporation (URC) brings a new and exciting look to your favorite C2 Cool and Clean.

    URC is a game-changer in the local beverage industry. In 2004, it stirred the market with the introduction of the first ready-to-drink tea in the Philippines, C2 Cool and Clean. Since then, Filipinos have developed an affinity with tea drinks and have grown to love C2’s refreshing flavors. 

    C2 Cool and Clean is about to excite the market once more, as the number one ready-to-drink tea brand launches a fresh new look. It’s the same C2 because it still keeps to its unique brewing process where it’s brewed and bottled on the same day, ensuring a fresh and authentic drinking experience. 

    And more than just refreshment for the hot days, C2 is packed with all the benefits that green tea, or camellia sinensis has to offer. Made from 100% natural green tea leaves, C2 promises a real and authentic tea experience.

    Everyone can also take their refreshing C2 experience further with varying flavor offers such as Classic Green Tea, Green Tea Apple, Green Tea Lemon, Green Tea Dalandan, Green Tea Melon and Red Tea Raspberry. C2 is available in 230ml, 355ml, 500ml and 1 Liter to cater to whatever occasion. 

    So get ready to #C2Refresh and experience a revitalizing and thirst-quenching moment with the new and refreshing look of C2 Cool and Clean. 

    Follow #C2Refresh on Facebook ( and Instagram (@C2CoolandClean) for more updates about the brand.

    Universal Robina Corporation (URC) brings a new and exciting look to your favorite C2 Cool and Clean. URC is a game-changer in t...

    Chocolate de Batirol: Worth-it or Overrated?

    I have been to Baguio a lot of times already but it was my first time to try Chocolate de Batirol just recently. We went straight here because my dear friend Robin has been craving for their food even before we left for Baguio and he is so convincing so why not give it a try?

    Chocolate de Batirol is located within Camp John Hay, which is about 10-15-minute drive from Session Road and they are well known, of course, for their traditional hot chocolate. They are so famous that they get already full as early as 8am. 

    I can say that my first experience is not that good. We had to wait for around 5-10 minutes to get seated and about 30 minutes has passed and no one's been getting our orders despite several follow ups. I decided to go inside straight to their counter and was told that a server will go to our table to get our orders. Apparently, there are also other guests who went there and placed their order because no one's been taking theirs as well. It was a long drive and we're really hungry so just imagine my disappointment there. Good thing their al fresco area is so relaxing and it was fun watching families having a really good time together.

    Now, about their food. 

    I ordered Daing na Bangus and Robin had Tocinong Kalabaw. He's a Kapampangan and he said they're used to eating it so he really enjoyed it. I gave the kalabaw another chance but I concluded that I'm not really a fan. Daing na Bangus, on the other hand, is just Daing na Bangus. Nothing special. I just want a traditional Pinoy breakfast.

    Daing na Bangus

    Tocinong Kalabaw

    We also tried their batirol and champorado. They're good, but I expected a bit more chocolatey taste. 


    Nice to meet Jaycel and her lovely family. CC is just sooooooo adorable!!! 😍

    So is it worth-it or just overrated?

    Well, it is worth a try. I love the cozy ambiance. The food is so-so. And the hot chocolate? Well, maybe I expected a little more chocolatey tablea drink. Sorry, but I find it a bit overrated. There are other better restaurants that offer and cost the same. 

    Try Tsokolateria and let me know which one you prefer in the comments section below. 😉

    I have been to Baguio a lot of times already but it was my first time to try Chocolate de Batirol just recently. We went straight here bec...

    Megabrands and Lifestyle Summer Sale


    Enjoy up to 70% discount on some of the trendiest summer fashion steals from brands like Reebok, Umbro, Toms, Sebago, Fitflop, Coleman, Diadora, and many more! Further, markdown items are also up for grabs ranging from accessories, men’s and ladies fashion, housewares, personal care and many more!

    The event also highlights the works of Elmer Padilla, the guy who uses scrap and old slippers to make "stinelas" action figures. He's gone viral months before as the stars of the Avengers movie, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo, showcased his works on their social media accounts.

    The 22nd MegaBrands and Lifestyle Summer Sale is happening from April 6-8 at the Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall. It is free of admission and they are open from 11am to 10pm daily. You may also enjoy 0% interest for the 12-month installment payment using your RCBC Bankard.

    SALE ALERT!!! Enjoy up to 70% discount on some of the trendiest summer fashion steals from brands like Reebok, Umbro, Toms, Sebago, Fitflop,...

    Balai Gloria: A Relaxing Accommodation at Nueva Vizcaya

    Within the quiet streets of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya lies a sweet haven for tourists wanting to explore what the city has to offer. 

    • Lots of greeneries and the place is so relaxing and peaceful. 
    • Cheap accommodation. Our room only costs Php900/night.
    • Friendly and very accommodating staff

    • Wifi coverage and Globe signal is poor at most areas. Smart network and wifi signal at the restaurant is ok. If you're on a business trip or can't live without internet, you might want to check other nearby hotels.
    • Security especially at night. We went out to buy food since the restaurant is already closed at 9:30pm. The gate was left open and the guard deeply asleep. The noise of our car going in and out didn't even wake him up.
    Welcome to Balai Gloria

    Balai Gloria, one of the hidden gems of Vizcaya, features several homy villas at really affordable rates. It is also an events place where you can host weddings, birthdays, and reunions in one of their function halls or pavilion.

    Balai Gloria - Pavilion

    Balai Gloria - Gazebo

    During our trip here, we stayed at Kubo 1, which I find really spacious for two guests. It's got two single beds (with pull-out beds), a bathroom, dresser, and cabinets. There's also a veranda with a real nice view of the greeneries and a long table outside the room which is perfect for your morning coffee or afternoon bonding with friends and family.

    Balai Gloria - Room 01

    Balai Gloria - Room 04

    Balai Gloria - Room 05

    Balai Gloria - Room 06

    If you are looking for a resort or amenities however, this place may not be for you then. All they have are just villas, a pavilion, restaurant, and spa.

    Cafe Angelo serves good food and is also quite affordable. Their service can be improved though. They close at 9:30pm so if midnight snack is part of your evening routine, there's McDonald's and other restaurants/stores open along the highway. Tricycle is scarce though at wee hours of the night plus it's really dark outside so you better have a car ready or prepare for a long walk to reach the main road.

    Balai Gloria - Restaurant

    The Wellness Corner looks really inviting from the outside. If you want to try their massage services, better reserve early because they tend to get fully booked especially if there are a lot of guests checked-in. Rate starts at Php 200.

    Balai Gloria - Wellness Corner 01

    Balai Gloria - Wellness Corner 02

    Overall, our stay at Balai Gloria is pleasurable. It is definitely worth a try if you're on a limited budget and want a relaxing place to stay. There are also tourist attractions nearby so if you're interested in checking them out, you may ask the front desk.

      Within the quiet streets of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya lies a sweet haven for tourists wanting to explore what the city has to offer.  W...