#wanderlust a solo revisit years later — Malaysia

It took me a while to get back at my feet and my hands on this site…Got a bit under the weather for the past days, so here it is guys…This is just an intro nutshell of a recent pill to a wanderlust ^_^

Year 2008 — My mom and I got our very first out of the country trip, in the most unexpected way I thought of, winning an all-expense trip to an Asian city via a tv network. Six years later, I headed back to that place where my wanderlust out of Pinas adventure started. This time though, I ended up going on my own.

It took 3 years for me to keep saying to myself that I will plan to come back, but unfortunately, I (and surely along with the rest of the world) have the habit of procrastination combined with unforeseen circumstances in my life. Thanks to a piso-fare booked a year ago, some saving up, little research and the confidence to face unexpected possibilities, I headed to Malaysia last August during the Merdeka holidays. Just for quick info, Malaysia celebrates their Merdeka or Independence day during the last day of August and usually, the folks in Malaysia take this time to have some break from work and school. As for me, it was my time to get a break from close to a year stressing project and just explore.

As many might know already, the trip from Manila to Malaysia is just a 3 1/2 hour flight. Believe me, if you’ve got that wanderlust, the love for airports and setting foot on a different place gives a surreal exciting feeling (I even get goosies when I hear this “in minutes we will be landing at…”). So that 3 1/2 hrs is like…decades to me? Anyway going back, most flights are either Manila to Kuala Lumpur (mainland) or Manila to Kota Kinabalu (in the East Malaysia — Sabah area). Since I flew via low cost carrier, Cebu Pacific, I landed at Malaysia’s newly built KLIA 2 (known before as the LCCT, Low Cost Carrier Terminal). For the very loyal folks of NAIA #sorrynotsorry, but KLIA 2 exceeded my expectations of being the terminal for low cost carriers (shall share more related to these in my next posts).

and yessss...this is now their LCCT aka KLIA2

and yessss…this is now their LCCT aka KLIA2

Going back again (hehe ^_^), I rode the KLIA expres (a 30-minute train ride) to get to the city proper of Kuala Lumpur, the KL Sentral station. On my first night there, I was fetched by my long time online now real friend (hehe…cause she’s not just virtual now), Mia, at the KL sentral station to head to the place where I stayed, Cube Boutique Hostel. I arrived around early night time so I was just able to spend my first eve there eating dinner and unpacking stuff in the hostel.

KLIA expres on the way to the city...

KLIA expres on the way to the city…

The next day was a road trip out of KL to the Historic State of Malaysia, Melaka. It was a 2 hour road trip, but definitely worth waking up sooo early, with some sickness mode starting to seep in. Yes, announcement, I got sick again in the middle of my trip. Anyway, going back, there are bus trips from KL to Melaka and back. Just so happened my friend took me via her transport, which became a blessing in disguise for my end though. And of course, a short trip to Melaka won’t be complete without walks and eats.

early morn in Melaka

early morn in Melaka

the place where you can walk and eat...Jonker Walk (a little more deets on Melaka in my posts soon ^_^)

the place where you can walk and eat…Jonker Walk (a little more deets on Melaka in my posts soon ^_^)

Of course, a Kuala Lumpur trip won’t be complete without getting those feet roam around within the city. I did some revisits to places I stopped by 6 years ago such as Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) and the National Mosque, after our whole day roundabout in Melaka. However, it was slightly congested in this area when we visited as some streets around the said spots were closed due to their Merdeka holidays.

you know when there are much visitors around...the way one takes a pic of the place...hehe --- Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)

you know when there are much visitors around…the way one takes a pic of the place…hehe — Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)

National Mosque

National Mosque

One of the iconic places in KL is the highest twin towers in the world — the Petronas Twin Towers. Completed in 1996 but officially opened in 1999, it consists of 88 floors on each tower connected with a skybridge on the 41st floor. However, it ain’t an easy task to get up in this awesome structure. Well, for one, you have to reserve online and pay 80RM to experience of seeing KL from the Skybridge and the peak part (86th floor). I would suggest that if you really plan to head there, book online in advance — less hassle in falling in line and minimizing the frustrations of not getting the chance to get in the Twin Towers. This structure is easily accessible via KLCC station (Kelana Jaya LRT line). Once you get off the train, you would be able to see the KL Twin Towers affixed with a mall on the first six floors called Suria KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Center) while KLCC itself is in the first few floors. It may not be for adventure seekers, but it would be worth somehow of your 1 hour to pay a visit — being way up in the air minus the exertion of muscles and good for folks with fear of heights (like someone I so know…haha *wink*).

Skybridge at the 41st floor (damnnn...just covering up the fear *nailbites* hehe)

Skybridge at the 41st floor (damnnn…just covering up the fear *nailbites* hehe)

and that's when your entrance ticket could be of dual purpose...with mah friend, Mia...

and that’s when your entrance ticket could be of dual purpose…with mah friend, Mia…

looking below from up above...at the 86th (huwaaaatttt?!!!) floor

looking below from up above…at the 86th (huwaaaatttt?!!!) floor

Apart from roaming around, a visit to Malaysia wouldn’t be complete without two major activities (hypocrisy aside…haha) — eating and shopping. Traveling alone and having local friends of that country are really a good mix especially if you are on the semi-adventurous type when it comes to eating.

And who would ever miss out on shopping a thing or two? Bargain stuff or luxurious ones ain’t a challenge in Malaysia, especially in KL, cause you will always find shopping malls or market stalls to buy something to bring home. I was lucky enough to stay in the busy area of Bukit Bintang where malls and hotels / hostels are just a few walks away.

Malaysia may seem to be like our home or of the rest of Asia, but to me, I was opened to a different vibe. Their country’s uniqueness and union of mixed cultures energized me amidst my illness on that trip. I must say, 6 years ago, we were welcomed and blessed. 6 years later, I’m still blessed and welcomed, with no regrets of going back to this place…And no regrets of going back again soon…

Allow me to share a few more experiences from this trip in the next posts…This is just chapter one ^_^

inspired by travels...xoxo, Calai

inspired by travels…xoxo, Calai

ps. The interest of traveling never ceases to amaze me of how life is good, God is good, and what I can and should do in this life…More thoughts and tinkers ahead…Cheers and xoxo, Calai ^_^

#musttry The Wholesome Table

It’s no secret that Filipinos love to eat. From the adventurous street foods to the fancy restaurants and buffets, there’s no denying that food becomes our avenue to keep up with family and friends. However, there are still some things about food that we Filipinos should improve on — like munching out on healthy stuff. We maybe fed with much inputs about what and what not to eat, but translating it into restos or food stores catering to organic, healthy food still need to catch up. Good thing there is one adding up to the list — proving that healthy food doesn’t have to equate to bland, “blah” dishes. Right across the Bonifacio High Street Central is a resto serving organic comfort food called “The Wholesome Table”.

Owned by former tv personality – model now mom – entrepreneur, Bianca Araneta – Elizalde, “The Wholesome Table” offers dishes that may actually have been your typical dishes munched at home, but with organic and some locally grown ingredients. To me, the place seems to give you a vibe of what restos are like in New York. The setting is very quaint and cozy with nice interiors. However, expect crowded moments during lunchtime and dinnertime, much more you might event encounter celebs on your visit (but don’t take my word on this one). Just so happened that on our lunch visit, I saw Bianca and some very familiar visitors (IT Girls, Solenn Heusaff and Georgina Wilson) which I didn’t request for photo ops with them (respecting their privacy that time…kumakain kaya, hellowww?!).

Majority in their menu are to share, so I can personally say that they are reasonable. For starters, they have complimentary potato bread while waiting for your orders. Given that I just had lunch with a friend, we tried only a few.

potato bread with butter

potato bread with butter

Hearty Tomato Soup (160PHP)


Chicken Parmigiana with Parmesan Fries (690PHP) — I loved how the chicken was cooked well and surprisingly, of a big portion. Not failing to mention that I heart their fries ^_^


Plain Brown Rice (90PHP) — If you guys are ordering their to share dishes, better not go for the individual orders of rice (unless you are more of a rice-luvin kinda folk).

Be Dreamy (I would say this is one of my fave drinks in my list…It’s mango with banana and chia seeds) and Tickled Pink


Despite that they are just on soft opening, they have already been creating a buzz in the blogsphere and social networks. Well, in a way, it’s not just all publicity. They are delivering what they can aim for — a healthy, good, wholesome food experience.

At the same time, this place also made me change my perspective when we talk about organic food. Some entrepreneurs sell their products or dishes in sky rocket prices. When you come to think of it, the rates should be generally fair or affordable for the masses because the produce are not being fed with fertilizers or feeds. These are one of the restos I’ve eaten wherein they don’t show too much fancy — just good, healthy food, simple but quaint place and good service. As I mentioned in my IG post, this place is really a keeper. Again, kudos to everybody in “The Wholesome Table” and to Ms Bianca Elizalde. So guys, though being a food critic is far from reach for me just yet, I’m saying this is a must try…


ps: Thanks Ms Bianca for your sweet gesture of replying to a simple folk like me in IG. ^_^

The Wholesome Table
30th St Corner 7th Ave Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig
(02) 867 0000
FB: https://www.facebook.com/thewholesometable

#EtiquetteCheck On Attending Weddings

It took a while for me to get back tinkering on this page…Well, ‘vrybody’s gotta do more stuff at times.

Weeks ago, I attended a wedding ceremony of one of my friends and fellow fangirl. It’s actually a first for me to attend a wedding outside Manila (that I needed to ride a plane…and those close to me just know my excitement on heading to airports :D) and a non-Catholic ceremony. Just a little revelation — I’m not a big fan of attending weddings. I have nothing against it okay?! It’s something to celebrate and be happy for. I guess I just don’t have the feels cause: 1). there are just some parts of ceremonies I feel should be excluded in the modern weddings now, 2). whether you are a guest or part of the entourage, it’s costly, and 3). it ain’t MY wedding (no further explanations on this).

I must admit, it came to a phase in my life that attending to those are just too cliche for me…AGAIN, LET’S STRESS THIS, IT’S ME…So instead of being the wedding bomber – slash – event spoiler (cause I feel forced attending to it), I would skip and make the couple enjoy their momentous event. But of course, as they say, it shall pass and it did.

One more thing that makes me cringe (a bit) at times in attending weddings are the folks or guests who make themselves feel they are the stars of the event, whereas, it should be the couple — THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM, right? After a couple of weddings I attended to, it’s about time I share some guests forget or intend to forget — the etiquette…

How should or what should a guest generally be like in weddings??? Here are just the basics:

1. Be punctual.

Yes, even if you are not part of the entourage, this should apply to you too, dear guest. Unless you were caught in an emergency (and I know we are all mature enough, who are reading this post, to understand what really falls under emergencies!), be there on time. If you think you can’t make it on time in the venue for the wedding ceremonies, then just go straight ahead instead to the reception. Don’t make a scene of being the only person standing and walking straight towards the vacant seats in the church. That should only be for the movies and telenovelas.

2. Follow the bride and groom’s request — THE DRESS CODE.

For the love of our Supreme Being and the couple to be wed, please wear what they request on the dress code for THEIR WEDDING. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common broken rules in a wedding. I’ve been attending weddings that mentions a thing or two of the requested dress code in the invitations, but still there are a handful who can’t comprehend — either they intentionally didn’t read the whole invite or intentionally wanted to show off.

Guys and gals, I understand it might end you stashing that wallet to buy for new clothes, but I think this ain’t a good excuse anymore. It’s just a matter of being resourceful and creative. I wan’t to share an example from the recent wedding I attended to. My friend required the guests a dress code. The moment I read that, I was like “WHY OF ALL KINDS OF REQUESTS?”. What was that? Hmmm…something that I’m not used to or even my friends aren’t used to seeing me wear it — NO PRINTS. For my family, friends and colleagues, I’m more of a person who wears prints and bright colors, especially for dresses. But for the love and support for the newly weds, I just worked my ways to find a dress following their dress code (but still to make me fashionably ok) with less than 1500PHP. I just said to myself, I am sure they had reasons for it. And true enough, they did because their entourage were dressed with prints. Good thing, I followed.

Ok, there won’t be a fine or fee if you don’t follow. But following doesn’t just make you show your love and support for the couple you are gonna attend to, it also shows how you as a person follow or understand instructions (gamit gamit lang ng brain minsan ^_^).

3. The one thing majority of Pinoys still don’t abide to — Call or Inform for RSVP!

Seriously…majority of Filipinos don’t give a damn of a few minutes to notice and to act on this part in an invitation. It’s as if a part of their eyes were closed or their hands covered this.

For the benefit of everyone, RSVP is a abbreviation in French for “respondez s’il vous plait” (“please respond” in English). When a wedding invitation indicates this with a contact number, it means please take a few minutes of your time to confirm that you are attending the wedding. Does it matter??? HELL, YES!!! Why??? Let me tell you.

Gone are the days when the couples and their parents invite almost anybody their eyes would see or neighbors they even haven’t had a close encounter with to celebrate with them. Nowadays, it is costly to have a decent church wedding (majority of my wed friends can attest to this) unless you have super major sponsors or you are uber rich. Couples now limit the number of guests to close relatives and friends. Confirming that you will attend not only will help them budget their wedding well, but also is a sign of RESPECT to the couple that you wouldn’t drag other people along to add up to their cost.

The last one I said is the one that annoys me in wedding events. I mean, ok, you should be generous to share your joys to other people. But c’mon, let’s not abuse the fact we are invited to drag along folks. The next time you see an RSVP with a contact number in a wedding invitation, PLS RESPOND AND CALL THEM…

4. Respect the wedding ceremony by simply being silent.

I’m sure we are not enclosed to having friends with the same religion as ours. There will come a time we will be invited in a wedding ceremony of a different religion. That doesn’t give us an excuse not to be a chatterbox or do other stuff to kill time and boredom in ceremonies.

Again, respect their way of doing union for the bride and groom…How? Keep quiet if you can’t relate. Pray in silence for the couple, as simple as that. Well, you wouldn’t want your friends to make a scene in your own wedding too, right?

5. Eat decently…regardless.

Should I seriously elaborate on this? Hell no…Maybe a few simple statements — Fall in line properly if required. Don’t eat in a manner as if there’s no tomorrow, so others can eat too (every guest deserves it, right?). Well, I haven’t attended a wedding that caused mayhem when it comes to eating. But, there are just some guests whom you would see their attitude and level of thinking in a matter of minutes, by simply being impatient to get their food and eat or by simply piling up all food in their plate like the Tower of Pisa. Ok, I would understand if the ceremony is held in provinces cause there are some wed couples who intend to invite the whole village. But if in a hotel or a classy venue or resto? Hmm…some reality checks, please.

Sad to say, if people get used to certain behaviors, this might not be easy. But if we try to tweak those actions one wedding at a time, the actions will eventually lead to good habits. I hope in the next wedding ceremonies you will attend to, one or two of these might help. It doesn’t require a college degree to be of proper etiquette in events like these, self control and discipline will simply do.

Who knows, you who’s reading this post might bump into me in one of the wedding events I will attend to, or perhaps, in my own wedding? ^_^

credits: getupkids.net

credits: getupkids.net

#insight Unplugged (What the Facebook Hiatus Has Done…)

I mentioned weeks ago that my own simple way of observing the Lenten Season (apart from the praying and reflective activities) is to abstain from Facebook…Just like any other person who is starting to create a habit, I had the fair share of being surrounded with temptations to not finish my weeks’ pursuit. However, Holy Week is here and just days away till Easter Sunday, so this would be an easy get-go for me.

For the past few weeks, I’ve come to think that if for some they can’t live without logging in Facebook, how come there are also those who even don’t have an account in there and yet survive? Now that motivated me all the more to keep abstaining for the site. But did it help me or did something nice to me in a way? Well, since I’m sure most don’t have an idea, let me share to you the ways…

1. Time Management

Ok, some of you would say, yeah sure…it’s like you don’t spend the whole day logging in Facebook. Hmmm…True. But let me ask you, how many times in a day does a user go lurking, sending a message, posting photos and status messages, liking posts and photos and commenting on them? This is considering that anywhere one goes now, the thing is “Do you have free wifi?”. If we multiply the number of times a person spends in it to the number of minutes spent on it, that could have been an ample time spent for other activities. Somehow, the hiatus made me spend time on other stuff like reading, blogging and even sleeping more.

2. In Focus / Concentration

Admit it or not, getting hooked in social networking sites sometimes distracts us in our work or important activities. We can’t help but open that FB account and go lurking once in a while, but at times, it leads us to lurking some more. Before we know it, our boss is calling us already for what we need to work on for the day. We even try to minimize the window so our bosses won’t see what we are doing in between workloads…The hiatus made me move away from the FB addiction and just concentrate on the things I need to do (of course, sleeping is an exemption to that).

In addition, not just a way to focus on the daily grind, but even on the non-work related things I need to deal with. Being online in FB leads one see the status messages or updates of their connections. In a way, it is nice because you get to be updated. However, one can’t help but compare how far you have progressed from others in various aspects. No matter how many times we say or hear on quotes of not comparing yourself to others’ lives, but FB indirectly affects us.

3. A step higher towards healthy lifestyle

It has been proven so many times in the news that getting hooked much on the internet, gaming and other related stuff can cause weight gains, poor eye vision / eye strains and long-term diseases due to immobility. Before the hiatus, I used to check on my FB account either after office hours or weekends / holidays. Lately, it may have just been a few weeks but now it lead me to less munching while in front of the computer and less eye strains. It also improved a bit of my sleeping habits this past few weeks (though there are still in between sleepless nights, due to work…grrrr). The hiatus made sleep earlier than usual on weekdays and go on power naps on weekends (when I’m just at home).

4. Connecting folks — direct and/or essential

True enough that social networks helped us in a way to communicate with family and friends who are across the miles or whom we haven’t seen for years. However, for our other connections who are just a few streets away or within our vicinity, networks become an excuse not to move around and enclose ourselves in front of that box. Relationships aren’t built by merely words and lip service. It’s more on the moments and interfaces you make with people. The physical presence and the efforts of taking time to be with loved ones will always matter more than virtual connections. That’s what I learned from this hiatus.

5. An added dash of optimism and motivation

This actually sums up what the previous items can lead to. If those listed are what we become or learn, this is what happens in effect. Instead of being bombarded with hate or opposing comments or thoughts or rumors from other people, it lessens the possibility thru making self a step away from this social network. No need for much explanation in this area, but sure enough, it will eventually lead to this path.

True enough, social networks can make or break a person depends on how one will utilize it. Thanks to these technologies, we can now communicate to anyone, anywhere in the world. It helps bridge the gaps of distances, but it can also break hearts and relationships, if abused or misused. There are days when I wanna log-in and update a bit of me. However, I must admit, there is now also a part of my social-networking-junkie-in-my-system that wants to step back on the Mark Zuckerberg founded site. There’s also that side of me that starting to feel that I’m soon to outgrow the fondness that Facebook is giving to most of its users. It may look like an introvert’s move to anti-socialism, but let me emphasize that I’m just choosing and preferring to eventually be a sensible social networking individual. There are other avenues wherein I can express myself with collective thoughts that would make people relate or inspire, rather than simply sharing updates.

In this plight, I’m not sure for how long I would try to keep having a personal FB page and soon deactivate it. Maybe if I would maintain one soon, it’ll be for my blog or for a business I might work on in the near future. For now, to all my connections in Facebook who might be taking their time to read this, let’s keep ourselves updated.

And to add, in observance of the Holy Week Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday), I will be unplugging myself from my other social networking sites (Twitter, Instagram and even here in WordPress). This is just my online detox moment…Besides, though it should be a daily habit, it’s the period of setting aside everything and offering time for the Lord without complaints or questions.


To all my fellow faithfuls around the world, may you have a blessed and meaningful Holy Week Triduum ahead and advance Happy Easter!

Temporarily signing off…xoxo,


#insight Response… (David Archuleta: Called to Serve)

To shed some light to the readers of my blog for quite a while, ever since I became a fan of any artist (singer or actor), I don’t just go for the talent but the attitude and outlook in life. Nobody is perfect, but somehow, idols who have tolerable attitudes and perspectives in life make me admire them all the more. I’ve been vocal of who they are and I am sure you have come across their names already or my stories of them in this site.

Two years ago, one of those I admired thru the years, David Archuleta, took a time off away from the spotlight and screams of people to serve on a full time mission for his church, Latter Day Saints. There were mixed reactions about his absence in the music industry, from the family, followers and colleagues, but the common response was an overwhelming support of his choice. Fast forward to 2014, he is already back from his mission in Chile. Still adjusting and taking his time well spent for his family and friends, he started resurfacing on Twitter and doing his signature video blog with the intro “Hi, It’s David here…”.

Last April 6, he showed to us a part of his journey as a missionary in Chile thru a documentary entitled “David Archuleta: Called to Serve”. The docu enlightens to make the viewers understand what Mormons go thru on a mission. It lasted for less than an hour — enough to keep one glued to every word David has been uttering and to lead one to reflect on his life’s journey.

Talking about religion is one of the difficult topics to touch, in my opinion, but allow me to let my hair down on this. We may be coming from various religious groups (with different foundations of beliefs, different rules that govern), but there are a few things that unite us and makes each similar from the rest — a Supreme Being that one believes in, the concept of doing good towards self and others, and serving the Supreme Being. While I was watching it, reflections and reminiscing ran thru my head (apart from being the emo fangirl attached I always am to this being)…

Not to brag, but it just reminded me of the years I was serving in the Church and how it became the foundation of my faith, beliefs and ideals. I may not have committed a full time 2-year mission like David did. In a way, I was spreading the word and love of God thru music as a choir member which started at the age of 9. Back then, it was just because I loved to sing and that I loved music. As I aged, the points of view changed. Same with David though, serving in the Church isn’t a walk in the park. David had to sacrifice a part of his time as an international artist. He had to enclose himself in the world minus the fame and limelight. As a choir member, it may not be fame (cause I’m not showbiz anyway, lol) but there had been parts of my social life that had to be put aside — time with friends, me time to pamper self and time to travel or do adventures. If other folks splurge and getaway during religious holidays, for me back then, there is no rest as I have to be in church and be an instrument for people to reflect during church activities. When sick, I still had to be on call unless my body really can’t get up from bed. For churchgoers, they either see that to be a laity (term for church servers) is a privilege or a sacrifice. To me, being laity is a mix of both.

Looking back now of having served in the church, I don’t regret the choice I made of doing it for a couple of years. However, I don’t regret as well the choice I made of letting go and being the plain churchgoer now. I miss being in that choir loft and being with my berks during our bonding moments. However, for now, it’s time to catch up on exploring the world and doing new things. His documentary opened up a portion of me tho, that even if I’m now in the stage of exploring and discovering the joys and pains of life, to still do my share of responding to God’s call and serving the Lord thru doing efforts for others. It isn’t enough that one knows God’s words and teachings, but how will you live up to His teachings. What is God’s message to me and how will I have to heed to it is something I have to notice and work on. It is up to me…

In a way, I really applaud and admire David for taking that sacrifice of serving God thru a 2-year mission. I’m sure he didn’t just do it because he is required as a Mormon, but more of he really wanted to do it. To him, it’s his manifestation of love for God and his way to offer his life thru being a man for others. When he announced his decision to serve in a full time mission, I never felt an itsy bitsy feeling of “why did he do it” kinda thing. Being a missionary before in my own simple little way, I totally understood what he meant. I just missed him for two years, but I always give myself a thought that “Carla, it only goes to show he really is just plain, ordinary and wouldn’t want to be succumbed to fame so much.” For now, whatever choice he makes now that he returned is something I’ll just come to accept all the more because I believe God is working His ways to David, regardless of how other people will take it. Rather be selfless than selfish, easier said than done, but why not try it?

Nuff said now, leaving you guys, fangirls or not with this. If you haven’t watched the entire docu or you just wish to share to a friend, here is one of the links where you can view it…You may check it via The David Chronicles’ website, which also includes some exclusive photos from the docu…


credits: @jackryan4DA / The David Chronicles

Another, I’m sharing this message from David message in the last part of the docu that bit me, which hopefully could bite your train of thought too…

“I’m still David, but I feel so different…
I am not afraid to show people who I am, and I am not afraid of what I believe…
not afraid for people to know that, and hopeful for the future regardless of how it goes…
I know music will always be a part of my life, I know that it’s a gift that God wants me to use…to not only bless my life but the lives of others
It’s about moving forward with faith, not always knowing what’s going to happen with the decisions that we make
Well…to see what happens from here…”

- David Archuleta

Blessed, inspired and gonna make things happen…xoxo,


#reviews Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (and the Chris Evans effect…)

Captain America, The Winter Soldier is a sequel to the Marvel superhero Captain America (and the ninth installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe). The movie is about how this first Avenger adjusts to fit in the present times and how he continues to save the world. So as not to preempt those who are still about to watch this movie, I won’t go thru the gory details. What’s for sure? His trust to the espionage he is with, SHIELD, was tested. Along with Natasha Romanoff  aka Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson, Sam Wilson played by Anthony Mackie, and a few more old colleagues from SHIELD, they were able to prevent a major disaster to cause wrath and deaths of innocent people to happen. Their major hindrances? First, a group within SHIELD called HYDRA planning to kill people handpicked by an algorithm and also their fellow colleagues in SHIELD who will be against their plans. Also, the Winter Soldier who happened to be Steve Rogers’ (Captain America) best friend, James “Bucky” Barnes played by former Gossip Girl actor Sebastian Stan. All the while, he thought his best bud died decades back but was preserved and transformed into a disastrous being (and a supposed-to-be-death of Captain America).

It was more than 2 hours of action packed scenes. Unexpectedly, there were surprising twists in the plot that might leave you at times like “huh” “how come”. However, the only thing me and my friends expected up to the end was that Captain America won’t die (given that most Marvel movies or maybe all don’t allow the lead heroes to die in the end). Well, I wouldn’t want Captain America go thru that anyway. Compared to the 1st installment of this hero, this one is way better. I guess that is also because it didn’t involve a flashback of how the hero originated anymore. It’s the hero and our modern world. Just a friendly reminder, never stand up until it totally ends! I mean that! No further explanations, just follow me at least once…hehe

Not a Marvel comics fan or reader…only when they materialized into the big screen and not in cartoons kinda movies, but real actors portraying those heroes. And from all the Avengers, there’s been really one I kept screaming for in me, not the character but the actor himself — Chris Evans!!!

Well, he’s one of my celeb crushes…years back and until now. Haven’t watched so much of his films just yet, only Fantastic Four and What’s Your Number (which gave me an idea now to start browsing and collecting them to watch for the upcoming Holy Week…lol). But there’s no denying, his stint as Steve Rogers aka Captain America really made his followers grow in lotsa numbers…And if it’s true that he might set aside the acting career towards directing, once his contract with Marvel ends by 2017, then I really have to make the most of his appearances as Steve…For now, I have to keep enjoying him on the big screen being Captain America on the sequel of Avengers by 2015 and his own sequel by 2016…

Ok, enough of the fangirl moments…hehe…overall, not considering Chris Evans is my crassss (crush I mean), I’m giving this movie a 4 out of 5. Besides, I’m not the only one saying this movie is worth watching. So go ahead, allot a little of your time after work or on a weekend, get that ticket and watch it!

From a girl who hearts Chris Evans much, xoxo,


via Instagram (therandomPinay)

via Instagram (therandomPinay)

ps. Capt America, este Chris Evans, if you just plan to stop by Manila, please do…if you would consider, you’re most welcome (in my residence perhaps)…hehe *daydream mode, which is free, btw*

#inspire How to Save the Earth…Without Hurting Much Your Wallet…

The current generation is starting to feel the wrath resulting to what has been done by men to Mother Earth — global warming, climate change, lack of natural resources. It’s hurting every nation one after the other, one different case to another. But, as we are not going to allow the future generations to suffer so much, there have been a lot of efforts as well to somehow lessen the pains we are getting from calamities and disasters.

There are organizations collaborating to somehow make that difference…but are we simple citizens excused not to? Hell, no! You and me can actually do something for our Mother Earth. Well, some would challenge me with the “I-dont-have-enough-moolahs-to-do-something” or “I-dont-have-enough-time-to-make-that-difference”…Let this simple post of mine be the way for you to realize your challenge for me would go to waste…

So the question for sure is how…Here’s my list and to tell you, this comes with experience…

1. Start spending wisely.

This might give you the thought bubble for a moment there, but this is indeed related to saving the earth…Let’s give you a quick sample…For those who work especially, how many times to do you buy new clothes or bags or shoes? C’mon, be honest to yourselves ok? But, from the times you bought something new, how many of those were really sooooo frigging used up everyday? Spending less on material things or maybe just choosing when to buy something new or something you need would minimize things that will just end up being disposed or being in dumpsites in a year or two.

2. Eat what you can only digest or take them home.

When I went on a trip before and ate to a restaurant with a friend, we weren’t able to finish the food. There were even some meals we haven’t touched almost half. When we were about to go, I told my friend to take home the food. But I was told, it’s ok to have it left and not taken home as it isn’t their custom to do so. That night, I suddenly realized that there could have been a few folks who have still eaten that. If I wasn’t just traveling solo, I could have taken that home and given it to those who still want to eat. Somehow, it’s a good thing for Filipinos that we have this attitude of taking home food we aren’t able to finish cause we don’t want stuff to just go down to waste.

So for my fellow readers, who aren’t accustomed to that idea, just think of this. A lot of people across the globe cannot afford eating full meals or good food. Let’s not allow the leftovers go down the drain, as resources deplete too thru time. Otherwise, just buy what you can eat and finish what’s on your plate.

3. Make use of your body. Don’t be lazy.

Ok, not literally in a bad way (green minded…lol). Being lazy most of the time causes us to seek for convenience. However, to get convenience it requires a lot of energy spent from Mother Earth…Connect??? Like going from one place to another, that’s just less than 3-5 km…Do you really have to ride a tricycle or jeep? Sure, that applies when you travel late at night for safety reasons. But how about in the morning or late afternoon, do you really need to? Another example, when you want to eat, do you always rely on fastfood chains or microwavable meals to fill your tummy? How about cooking your own meals? It doesn’t only minimize your munching down of junk and MSG filled stuff, but you also burn calories while you cook.

4. Going back to basics.

We’ve been seeing so many posts of the #100HappyDays which makes us see the little things or blessings leading to happiness. So why not extend it to more than a 100 days? Instead of tinkering fingers to send text messages or chat on Instant Messaging applications, spend time face to face with your friends and family. It’s more personal and makes us realize that life is short so spend time well with them.

Playing games on your gadgets? How about getting into sports or Pinoy games and eventually you build social networks or friendships? Not only you save energies of charging constantly because you are hooked on your gadgets, but you also save the planet by minimizing the usage of gadgets that aren’t easy to dispose and recycle, btw. And the best part, it makes people realize the barest of essentials in this world as they mature.

5. Patronize local products or items.

When I head off to malls, I get amazed at times to those who have unleashed their creativity and made it their means of living. Well, not all though are given the talent to be artsy fartsy. But if creativity isn’t your thing, minimize the carbon footprint and unleash your patriotism by buying local products. Sad to say, some entrepreneurs sell their environment friendly items a bit pricey than foreign goods. No wonder, some aren’t patronized. Hopefully, soon they would realize to make their items at least affordable for the Pinoy market so our fellows would buy their items.

6. Switch them off.

Very simple! It won’t cost you a million bucks for this. Anything you don’t use, turn off — appliances, gadgets, vehicles.

So, if your gonna ask me again if saving the planet should cost you to spend so much…It definitely shouldn’t cost you much…Time? Well, if you spend so much time going on window shopping and gimmicks, then spending minutes or hours to save the planet shouldn’t be a pain for you. It only takes a matter of DISCIPLINE and WILL POWER.

Like tomorrow, hope you can spend that 1 hour to turn off your lights at home and join the Earth Hour…Save the date and do it ah…March 29, 8:30pm to 9:30pm! And in our own simple efforts combined, we can indeed save Mother Earth for our future generations…

Saving the Earth one switch off at a time…cheerios,


#confessions That Dream I Had

Hypocrisy if never in one’s life did they dream — whether while in sleep, daydreaming, a long one or in series. However, usually it has been said that our dreams are product of what we are going thru or what we have been thinking about. Sometimes, it comes in symbols and that’s where dream interpretations come into surface…

Clearly vivid to me, I dreamed yesterday while I was having my afternoon nap. I was asleep wearing the same outfit I wore while sleeping. Suddenly, my spirit separated from my body. While this was happening, in my dream, my spirit was nervous and trying it’s best to get back from the body. In a matter of seconds, I moved myself to get up and then I woke up from my dream.

It scared me inside as I’m not totally aware of what it meant. Well, though there is no scientific basis of what my dream meant, but I’m sure there just some things we have to believe beyond science. Just this AM, I looked for it in various sites and I got the same thought…

via dreammoods.com

“To dream that your soul is leaving your body represents your feelings of self-guilt. You may have compromised your own beliefs and values. Perhaps you are feeling numb and out of touch with those around you. It is time to change some vital part of your waking life in order to feel fully alive and whole again.”

This interpretation suddenly led me to a quick reflection of the things I’m going thru. I just wanted to share this to my fellow readers, since this doesn’t seem to be something that should be kept in the closet (like saying they had STD — sexually transmitted disease, ayt? lol). Lately, I’ve been out of the radar much when it comes to personally meeting up with friends and folks. Social networks have been my channels to express what I have and talk to those out of Pinas. I guess this all started when some friends and constant companions went thru milestones making me indifferent — got married, had kids, moved out of the country or have been busy with their pursuits. Then, it came to a point I had to keep myself busy and it lead me to a different set of interests and thoughts. Through time, the constant companions and meet-ups became random-once-in-a-while. And yes, I ended up feeling numb, alone and out of touch.

Well, despite that, I just kept telling myself this comes with age and people change…However, I know there are a few areas that I may be at fault causing my non-virtual social life to be like this. One of which is I’m partly introvert — not too obvious, but this has been noticeable since I was a kid (my parents can attest to this). No wonder I am getting first impressions as a major snob. Plus, I stopped joining core groups / organizations years ago, that’s why I’m stuck when some of my friends can’t be with me.

I know what I’m going thru won’t be surpassed in one big leap, but in small steps, I will get better. Somehow, my other aspects in life are moving positively little by little, hopefully, my social aspect will be better too…I will do my best one at a time…

For now…To my dear friends (you know who you are), I just have a few simple requests — Don’t hesitate to give me a wave or a smile when you see me somewhere…Give me a buzz to meet up and let’s chat, kahit having a simple McFloat at McDonald’s pa yan…

And to my dear readers, keep on buzzing me on my social networks…Who knows I might see you one day in one of my encounters or travels, which might lead you to be my constant companion and cushion in life…But if there is only one caution I would give, please no harassing ah! No pushy or foul words…Thanks!

Twitter and Instagram: therandomPinay

Email: carla.charisse@gmail.com



#wanderlust Zambales adventure weekend (literally!)

According to PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services), we’re approaching the summer season, though we still get some cool breeze blowing during the early morn and night time. Our current team at work declared it by having our early summer teambuilding just weeks ago…After some easy breezy urgent-inian and rush-ian planning (that is very generic for the kind of team I have…hehe), we ended up with a four hour road trip for some sun, sea and sand in Zambales.

The team stayed at the Canoe Resort in Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. Upon our arrival, we really didn’t put high hopes and expectations on it. The good thing though was, the resort wasn’t bad looking and poorly facilitated at all. No wonder they are listed in the ranks also via TripAdvisor. The rooms are air-conditioned and with bathrooms in each of them. There is a centralized area where folks can chat, eat, watch tv and even sing out loud (videoke, I mean). An additional swimming pool and playground are the added attractions in the place.

Canoe Resort

Canoe Resort

The whole afternoon till late evening were just allotted for food, drinks, card games and videoke mode. Early morn till afternoon was for island hopping and dipping in the cool waters. Sure enough, the small known islands within Zambales have already been featured in majority of the travel blogs.


Familiar name? The island serves as a campsite for those who wish to stay overnight. If you are looking for a comfy bed, free breakfast and airconditioned room with separate restrooms??? Hush and stop dreaming, this ain’t for you. Basically, there’s no resort — just the beach, trails where you can hike, small stores and a camping area. Way back 2011, I was with some colleagues when we camped out. It may not be my cup of tea, honestly (that’s why I haven’t done mountain climbing folks…sorry), but it’s nice to give it a try at least once and step out of your comfort zone.

the other side of Anawangin

the other side of Anawangin


Also known as Capones Grande Island, what sets it apart from the rest is that here there is a lighthouse. Majority of folks I known to have done island hopping in Zambales prefer this as one of their must visits. If your standard is Boracay, Coron or Camiguin, please stop here (but of course, that’s just a joke). Compared to other beaches close to Manila, it can already satisfy a beach lover — clear waters, white sand and peaceful. Only good for day trips though, as there are no allotted camp sites in this island.

Capones Island

Capones Island

Camara Island

Comprising mostly of stone structures, it is just minutes away from Pundaquit main land. It has a sandbar that shows up during low tide while during high tide, one would think Camara consists of two separate islands.

Camara Island

Camara Island

Just like Capones Island, it has clear waters, white sand and uninhabited. The only difference is that there are more huge stone formations here and a sandbar. Again, please…don’t compare it to very familiar islands in our country. Just embrace and appreciate it the way you see it.

For those who have been planning to make a summer in their lives pretty soon, with less wallet stashing and just close to Manila, this is one road trip-slash-island hopping-beach bumming that you should consider.


Hello, summer season!