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Chasing Planes Day 0: First, A Wedding

31 March 2014
One of the main reasons why I had to take three planes to Japan instead of one is the wedding of a dear friend. In our high school barkada of twelve, three are getting married this year in two month intervals - the first being Jakes's wedding last January. Crazy. And a sign of my age. Gasp.

Anyway.

This time instead of a crazy boat ride it was a road trip to Laguna. It was on a Friday, so I had to take a red-eye flight to Manila so I can meet up with the girls before heading down south. As is customary with evening flights (or any flight, for that matter), there was a flurry of packing beforehand so I did not get any sleep. It was partly intentional, so I'd fall asleep during the plane ride instead of being a tangled mass of nerves. It works most of the time. 

Changi airport
My travel buddies chilling out at Changi

I took Jetstar because they offered the cheapest flight (CebuPacific is under some sort of identity crisis these days with their exorbitant fares), and the schedule works for me. I don't even mind landing at Terminal 1 of NAIA. I know it sucks, but I don't get all worked up about it anymore. Something about managing expectations, I guess. Plus, when I was a kid this was the terminal where we'd see my dad off, so it's a bit nostalgic in that respect.

The flight was uneventful; in fact it landed ahead of schedule, which I unfortunately did not appreciate as that leaves me with more time and nothing to do - it was a good three hours before our meeting time. 

It was so early the boyfriend and I were the first customers at the Early Bird Cafe, and this was after having coffee at Krispy Kreme. 

Early Birds

The girls and I booked a bed and breakfast in Laguna so we don't have to hightail it back to Manila right after the wedding. We weren't expecting much because it was pretty affordable, but the Sulyap Gallery was such a pleasant surprise.

Sulyap Gallery

I wish more places looked like this instead of trying to go "modern".

We had lunch in the cafe downstairs and it was pretty good. In fact we enjoyed it so much we almost didn't get to see the bride walk down the aisle. Whoops. But thanks to Chelo's awesome driving skills we made it with a couple of minutes to spare ;)

Untitled

Where there are weddings there are photo booths and where there are photo booths there are wacky pictures, which is something my friends and I fail miserably at. We're wackily-challenged. It's a thing.


We actually got together and decided that today was the day we conquered wacky shots. Eight seconds later and we collectively knew it just wasn't going to happen. Ah well. We tried.

My makeup was a complete rehash of the look I did for Jakes's wedding, except I did it in half the time.


The next day we headed back to Manila, and I decided to get some eyelash extensions because a couple of my friends had them and I was so, so jealous. It wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but at the time I felt it was totally worth it. Tiis-ganda. 

It's not until a few weeks later (read: now) that I started cursing myself for coveting thy neighbor's (false) lashes. They're itchy, and annoying, and I have no idea how to remove them (the technician said they'd fall out eventually - but when?!?).

I also planned to get a haircut, but the lashes took longer than I anticipated so I ran out of time. Instead the boyfriend and I wandered about in Greenbelt and we stumbled upon an exhibit called Planet Ocean.


I enjoyed it immensely, but then again I haven't seen a shark photo that I didn't love. I would have lingered much longer, but I had some major (re)packing to do. Flight number two leaves in a couple of hours, and Japan awaits.

Chasing Planes: Tokyo Revisited

30 March 2014
I've been back in Singapore for almost a week but I have yet to regain my footing; it's been one crazy ride. Well, more accurately, six. Plane rides, that is. And for someone with a fear of flying that has got to be some sort of record.

Japan, from up above


Prior to this trip I was two days shy of having spent five hundred days in Japan, but that does not make me want to visit it any less. Tokyo is a city that has to be experienced more than it has to be seen, and I missed it terribly (heck, I miss it now).

Hopefully this doesn't end up like my European misadventure series, which took an entire year, but I'm not making any promises :p

Stay tuned ;)

Last Words

10 March 2014
I hate how obsessive I can get sometimes. Ever since news broke of the Malaysian Airlines flight that mysteriously vanished while cruising across the South China Sea I've been scrounging around the internet trying to find every single tidbit of available information. In a world where nearly everyone's GPS coordinates is available online it's difficult to wrap one's head around how an entire plane full of navigational equipment and state-of-the-art communication systems would suddenly disappear into thin air. At the time of writing, no traces of the MH370 aircraft have been found, more than forty hours after its disappearance, and the web is abuzz with speculation.

It didn't take long until I was reading about plane crashes, such as the AF447 flight that went missing as it crossed the Atlantic which drew a lot of comparison to this incident (very different circumstances, imho). Subsequent link-hopping led me to this site, and how I regret ever stumbling upon it. Last Words is a collection of transcripts of cockpit voice recordings from planes that crashed, prefaced with a word of caution: "may be disturbing to some individuals". Quite apt.

While reading the AF447 transcript I kept hoping they make it in the end, never mind that I was completely aware of the fate of the flight beforehand. I mean, that Bonin dude. All he had to do was relinquish the controls and they would've been fine. He would've been fired, maybe, but alive.

A lot of the transcripts are depressing and poignant, with last words like "Ma I love you", and some are just downright eerie like one of the 9/11 flights. The only one that did not leave me with a heavy heart is that of N106US which, thanks to a pretty awesome pilot, managed to land in the Hudson after a bird strike on both engines without a single casualty.

Tomorrow I stop reading anything related to aviation failures, lest I render myself unable to board an airplane (have I mentioned I have a fear of flying?), but my thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the passengers of MH370.

Random Finds: Muji Shredder

06 March 2014
I dropped by Muji yesterday to pick up some packing cubes when I found this in the office supplies section (which I try to avoid but just can't):

Muji Shredder

The label said "shredder" but I assumed it was an error in translation. I mean, it was way too tiny to be a shredder. And cheap (only eleven bucks!)

Muji Shredder

I think I already had this in my shopping bag a while back, but it got edited out in favor of (presumably) more useful crap. This was already the last piece on the shelf, and there was no display model so I still couldn't figure out how it worked, but I decided to get it anyway. If it doesn't turn out to be a shredder at the very least I'll have an eleven-dollar Japanese gizmo for something-or-other. Not bad either way.

It almost came as a surprise that it is, indeed, a shredder.

Muji Shredder

You insert paper into the center slot, and then rotate the knob on the right a couple of times, et voila! A pile of strips from what used to be a document. Kinda neat, right? Now I can finally get rid of all the spam that I've been collecting without worrying about whatever sensitive information might in there. Well, in theory, it is possible to piece the documents back together, but no one can be that desperate (I am of very little net worth). More importantly, I find shredding things very therapeutic. There was a time when I would go through reams of documents on our office shredder whenever I'm feeling a bit frazzled (I feel I should point out that the documents are meant to be disposed but everyone is just too lazy or too busy to shred them).

The paper slot is only about 11cm wide, so A4 sized sheets would have to be folded thrice to fit, so it's not something that would replace an office shredder. Nevertheless, it's still a very handy thing to have around. Apart from the usual document-shredding shtick you can also use it to make confetti for packing gifts if you're feeling a bit fancy.

Muji Shredder

Now excuse me while I shred every disposable document I can get my hands on ;)

Muji Shredder

Makeup Favorites

03 March 2014
If there's one positive thing that came out of this whole makeup obsession thing, it's that I can assemble my own face when the situation calls for it. For instance, we weren't able to book a makeup artist for my friend's wedding so I had to wing it, and I think it turned out okay.


It also held up amazingly well against tropical heat, crazy wind, and the occasional splash of seawater, so consider this a list of my tried-and-tested, hulas-proof makeup favorites.

Facial Assembly Tools

I didn't realise how many products I actually used until I gathered them for this post. I could've sworn I used only the bare minimum.

Facial Assembly Tools

Base: Estee Lauder Double Wear Light {Intensity 2.0}
This is my go-to foundation for when I need my makeup to last the entire day, and it has yet to fail me in that respect.

Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer {Medium2 Ginger}
This stuff is awesome. It's probably the only concealer that can cover my dark circles without looking chalky. I'm already halfway through my second tube - I love it that much.

Bronzer: MAC Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder {Nude on Board}
Blush: The Balm Instain {Houndstooth}

Face Brush: Real Techniques Buffing Brush
It's a shame you can't purchase it individually, but this brush is so good it almost justifies the cost of the face kit.

Facial Assembly Tools

Brows: Tarte Eyebrow Mousse {Medium Brown} + MAC Brow Shade {Ivoire/Walnut}
Lately I've been all about the brows, and after going through dozens of products I find that the Tarte eyebrow mousse has the best staying power (runner up would be the Makeup Forever Aqua Brow). The dual-ended brush that comes with it is also of very good quality, which is a surprise since most free brushes are total crap.

Eye Primer: NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
If you have lids as oily as mine, you have to get this. Beats the crap out of Urban Decay Primer Potion.

Eyeshadow: Chanel Eyeshadow Palette {Charming}
It's a scaled-down Urban Decay Naked Palette sans the crazy shimmer and the half a dozen identical shades.

Eyeliner: Shu Uemura Painting Liner {M Brown}
I still find gel liners to be superior in terms of ease of application (I use a MAC 211) and staying power, and this particular shade is not as harsh as black, but not so glaringly brown either.

Mascara: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander
Crying at weddings = waterproof mascara = Majolica Majorca (no question)

NARS Descanso

Lips: NARS Satin Lip Pencil {Descanso}
Oh, NARS. They make this wonderful lip pencil formula that does not dry your lips out even after an entire day of frequent reapplication, and they release it in the perfect nude shade, and then they tell you it's limited edition. Why.




That's okay, though, because I have two backups. Hah.
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