Noelle’s Rules of Elevator Frustration

A few months ago my parents and I moved to a condo unit in Pasig. It’s cozy, easy to clean, and is very central because most of my work happens in the surrounding areas. However, moving from a house to a condo means we had to learn to deal with elevators — and how people use (and abuse) them.

Elevator symbol

I’ve been taking the elevators every day for a while now, and for a building with only five floors there is plenty to get frustrated about, such as people pressing the DOWN button to call the elevator down to their floor, but they intend to go UP. Or maybe the kids who seem to think the elevator is like an amusement park ride. But I’ve been able to condense all my ire and helplessness about the whole situation into the following five rules of thumb concerning what you’re going to be pissed at when using an elevator.

RULE #1: When you’re in a hurry, the elevator will make a stop at every floor.

RULE #2: It’s always headed the other way.

RULE #3: When you make a run for it you will miss it, no matter how fleet of foot you are.

RULE #4: Someone will get on who only needs to go down or up one floor.

RULE #5: Someone will fart or leave a smell that will be attributed to you.

Care to share any other elevator pet peeves or pains?

Dreaming of Traveling

Because of this photo of the Moai (otherwise known as the Easter Island statues), I’ve just spent the entire afternoon on Wikipedia reading about Easter Island’s history and how a whole people’s culture was basically lost. I like these kinds of days spent researching ancient cultures set in exotic locales because it almost feels like traveling there without having to spend a dime. Hehehe!

Lately I’ve also read Ursula K. LeGuin’s book Changing Planes. It’s a collection of her short stories about traveling between planes of existence, and the different cultures, societies, and beings that could exist on such planes. It’s fantasy yes, but once again I am transported to different places.

I’ve just finished rereading and reposting entries from my old travel blog. You can now read them by clicking on the “Travel” tab on my Categories menu. It’s been such a long time since I actually documented a trip for the sake of writing about it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been anywhere new, actually.

Hope you enjoy reading back on where I’ve been, and I hope I can add a new tale before the year ends. 🙂

Makeup or No Makeup

I love getting makeup done for shoots. Most of what I know about how to apply makeup I learned from how other people put makeup on me, but I still haven’t figured out how to do makeup that translates as simply flawless skin on camera. It usually looks like, yes, I’m wearing makeup.


This is how I look with makeup done by myself.

There have been some makeup disasters in the past — like when one makeup artist experimented on using green eyeshadow for my lids — but mostly I’ve been really pleased with how I get made up.

Makeup: for Women's Health
Makeup: for Christmas plug

Makeup: for Runners' World
They all look the same but were done by different people!

I usually reserve putting on makeup for special occasions, though, just to show a contrast between my regular self and my put-together self. I love getting dolled up but I never want to get used to wearing a “face” all the time. I did it before and disliked how sallow my skin looked without makeup. Going barefaced allows my skin to breathe, recover, and it’s so much less high-maintenance. And if babies can do it and still look great, why can’t adults? 😀

Makeup: No Makeup

photo by Hilary Isaac

I usually go out wearing nothing on my face but some moisturizer (with SPF included). So what’s your everyday face routine?

Drinking Up!

So many different drinks, so little time… I normally try to stay away from drinking my calories (hence I often just drink hot black tea with a little Splenda in the mix), but lately it’s been hard not to try out various milk tea, coffee, and even juice places. Here’s where I’ve gone in the past few months.


The last time I drank a milk tea with pearls, it was at an Ersao branch on E. Rodriguez two years ago. I’d been craving that for some time and Happy Lemon didn’t do it for me (the pearls are so small!) so when I heard about this place called Chatime from my sister and her husband, I was so there. My drink is a pearl milk tea with 25% sugar and less ice. Being the milk tea place with plenty of branches, I can always count on a Chatime to satisfy my cravings.


This place is a favorite of some online friends, mentioned plenty on their Twitter accounts. The branch in Burgos Circle was the most accessible when I had a milk tea craving in the BGC area, so I went and got myself a milk tea with pearls (I figure it’s easier to compare between milk tea places when you order the same thing at each of them).
The milk tea mix itself tastes a little grassy, like it’s been infused with that smell the ground has when it’s been dampened by rain. The pearls were a little less firm than Chatime’s. I was already at 50% sugar but it still didn’t pack that zing I was looking for. Hmm. Wrong drink, maybe?

Gong Cha

My sister and I were at Megamall during their last 3-day sale when I spotted a red kiosk at the Atrium. They were on soft opening, but I could see plenty of people already lining up. This Gong Cha must be good, I thought.
Gong Cha
That was the first day my love affair with Gong Cha began. I even came up with a song about it. “Gong Cha wish your milk tea was strong like me, Gong Cha wish your milk tea was fun like me, Gong Chaaaaaaaa!” My drink here was their house special wintermelon tea with additional pearls. I really love the Gong Cha cream (which is like the Happy Lemon cream cheese, less the saltiness) which blends with my tea as I sip it, creating an ever-creamier drink until the last drop.

Drink Tea

I spotted this place at Podium a few weeks ago while binge-eating Indian food at New Bombay. We couldn’t try it out back then because we were so full, but I came back the other day and ordered my usual: a milk tea with the least amount of sugar possible.
Drink Tea

The pearls were red, a departure from the black pearls I’d been used to. They also had a different flavor, as if the sago mix contained a little cherry essence. Mmm! I’ll definitely be back.

Jamba Juice

I missed my invitation to the private launch event for Jamba Juice because it landed in my Spam folder, but it piqued my curiosity enough to warrant a visit.
Jamba Juice
Aside from its imported name and imagery, nothing really makes Jamba Juice stand out from its local counterparts which have been here for some time (owners possibly inspired by a visit to a Jamba Juice in the US). Mondo Juice in Galleria has the same blended frozen fruit and juice concept, and at a cheaper price. I ordered here the Five Fruit Frenzy, managed to finish it all, but didn’t experience my tastebuds dancing in my mouth. I think I’ll just make fruit shakes at home.

Blenz Coffee

Like I said, I’m a hot tea drinker, but when Nuffnang invited a few bloggers and myself to a coffee break at Blenz Coffee in BGC where we would learn to do latte art, I jumped at it. I mean, where else do you have license to play with your food?

Apparently, when you pull your espresso shot correctly, and when the milk temperature is just right, you can create pretty pictures when pouring the milk into your latte, and the color swirls should hold. It’s supposed to be one of the hallmarks of a good latte. Here I am with my monkey-face latte.
Blenz Coffee

We also got to try out their Belgian chocolate drinks, which are made with Belgian chocolate bars melted in hot milk. So good! But what really stuck with me was their matcha latte. It’s real Japanese matcha (green tea leaves ground to a fine powder) blended with water using a bamboo whisk, which means it doesn’t clump up and look like pond scum. I’ve been on the hunt for a Blenz matcha latte fix since then.

Any other places I should try out? 🙂

A Little Bit of Catching Up

I figured since you missed me (yes, you stalker, you), I should give a little update on what I’ve done this year. Two things stand out for being quite out of the ordinary for normal human beings.

First thing is, I’ve been to Boracay not just once, or twice, but thrice this year! I kind of regret it now because I didn’t really do anything new except for island hopping with my balikbayan cousin and her husband last October. I promise next year I’ll be spending less on travel to that particular island, and more on travel to other places. I’d like to use my passport more.

Beauty & the Beach: Sunset

The second thing is, I dislocated my elbow! It was a freak bike accident, happening at a very slow speed when I’d finished my ride. I was riding up a ramp at a gas station when my rear wheel hit an edge and I keeled over sideways. I broke my fall with my hand, and my elbow gave way. It took me about six weeks to get my elbow back up to a full range of motion, but it’s taken far longer to get my fitness back, and I still don’t think I’m up to snuff. It’s definitely made me a bit more careful and less of a daredevil when it comes to trying new things.

Freak Accident:X-Ray

I guess that’s all for now.

The Return of the Comeback

Oops! So I popped up, shut up, popped up again, then went completely radio silent. Sorry about that (not that anyone’s still out there listening).

So anyway here’s what’s been happening with me. I ended up not getting a regular 9-to-5 job because I got hired by TV5 to do a regular segment for them. I got to keep my other regular gigs as well, and the other blog really took off.

But you know there’s nothing quite like a space where you can put basically anything you come up with. Twitter’s been great for short thoughts, but sometimes I like to write about places I’ve been, people I talked with, things I’ve done.

Here’s to hoping with this migration to WordPress, I can rouse myself to write more than just 140 characters at a stretch.