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For girls like me who frequently travel and with so many activities going on, I learned that I should be taking good care of my skin more than ever. I am not getting any younger and investing in good skin care products is my saving, but sometimes it's not enough (especially to those who are in constant battle with acne). That's why I'm always on a lookout for effective products and sustainable approach to step up my skincare routine and satisfy my skin needs.

A few weeks ago, I was able to try the service at Blue Crystal Facial, Slimming, And Spa and I would say it was one of the best beauty treats I've experienced. I have gone to facial before, it was my first time, but the experience wasn't out of the ordinary so I did not bother to try another one until recently. I'm glad I did because this time Blue Crystal Facial, Slimming, And Spa this did not fail me.


Blue Crystal Facial, Slimming, And Spa is owned by Charity Young who's been in the business for 25 years. Her 6-year established first branch in Tagbilaran, Bohol paved its way to finally open its second branch here in Cebu, located at the 2nd level of Queensland Manor Condominium in Rahman St, and has been operating for a year now.

I knew right away I was in the right place when the beautiful aesthecians, Rain and Ivy, greeted me upon entering the facility. Their radiant skin will show you how you badly need their services. Haha! At this moment, I was thrilled for my facial to start which is called Aqua Doll Facial.


Aqua Doll is a non-invasive treatment to rejuvenate skin. With the use of exfoliation, iontophoresis, hydration, and integrated vacuum extraction. The procedure is an all-encompassing tool to combat impurities.

To understand more about the procedure, here is the step-by-step guide.

The Steps in Aqua Dolls Facial:

1. Cleanse - the first and basic step using a cleansing milk to remove the dirt, oil, and make-up on my face. I learned that milk clean is quite gentle on skin and suitable for all skin type, whether you have sensitive skin or dry-oily skin.

2. Scrub - a gentle exfoliation to help smooth the skin by scrubbing away dry and dead skin cells.
3. Steam - the steam part lasted for a good 10 minutes for my pores to open up and prepare for the next step.

4. Wax - this is where they use wax strips to remove blackheads and whiteheads on the prone areas - your T-zone! The strips were placed on my face and removed after 10 mins. Weird but it was satisfying to see the condones pulled out from my face on a wax strip. My face feels squeaky clean!

5. Cleanse - re-applying the cleansing milk with a sonic cleansing brush to remove the wax residues

6. Prick - kudos to Rain, she's very gentle with this part. As for me, it did not take long as the waxing helped eliminate what hasn't to be there. The wax did the trick.

7. Aqua Peel - this step differs with other facials. All through the process,  the tool used to vacuum the skin also releases whitening serum which provides moisture and can decrease the scrubbing irritation to the skin.

8. Oxyjet Peel - this is to treat the age spots, dry, dull, and damaged skin that requires skin smoothing and polishing with the use of oxygen infusion. Then it was followed by applying collagen and anti-ageing serum/capsule.

9. Mask - facial mask to help close the pores and give my skin time to absorb all the nutrients from the serums throughout the procedure.

10. Vitafusion with Collagen - Lastly, applying collagen cream all over my face.


The session took for about 1 hour and 30 minutes and I'm loving every minute of it. I tried not to expect much in the beginning because my first facial experience was a major fail.  But Blue Crystal Slimming and Spa has set the standard for me when it comes to facial. Instantly, my face looked so healthy and glowing after the treatment! I'm very pleased with the result. No soreness, redness, or stinging sensations that often associated with other facial treatments. I can still run errands worry-free.

(Left) Selfie Taken Right After the Facial  (Right) My Bare Face on the Next Day

If you are confused on what facial to get, I asked Rain regarding the difference of Aqua Doll Facial among others like the Diamond Light-Facial. I learned that during vacuum extraction in both procedures, the machine used in Aqua Doll releases whitening serum while there's none in Diamond Light-Facial. In my understanding, these facials are pretty similar in procedures there are only steps being modified according to your need. And based on my further research, Aqua Peel is for those with sensitive and dry skin as the tool used to peel or vacuum the skin releases serum. Diamond peel, on the other hand, is ideal to treat a heavier skin problem.

Aside from facial and treatments,  Blue Crystal Slimming and Spa also offers underarm whitening, face & body lift, eyelash extension & perming, eyebrow microshading & microblading, and more.

If you have more questions regarding the services you may reach them through their Facebook page and contact number below.

2nd level Queensland Manor, Rahman street Cebu City
0999 223 5399


There's no need for us Cebuanos to travel the Netherlands just to see the famous flower strip in Amsterdam. Resting in a remote area beyond the boundaries of the city lies a bright and colourful garden that has opened its gate since 2015.

Sirao Garden Farm or aptly named as "The Little Amsterdam of Cebu" is situated in the mountain village of Sirao, Cebu City.  It is one of the tourist destinations near the heart of Cebu. Thus, whether you are a local or a tourist, it is one of the go-to places we love because of its proximity to the city.



Sirao Farm has first gained its popularity for its plantation of the Celosia flower. Celosia comes from the Ancient Greek word, kḗleos, which means "burning". Its flame-like flower head comes in red, yellow, pink colors which makes it more attractive when in full bloom.

The variation of flowers in the farm changed from time to time. But Celosia is a main stay. The garden houses different kinds of  flowers like cleome, gomphrena, buttercup, coleus, cockscom, and my fave, sunflower.


Aside from the plantation of flowers, you will also see the newly added attractions like the windmill, fountains, and statuaries you may enjoy taking pictures on in case you missed to see the vibrant flowers in full bloom or if you came in just right after the harvest.

Other activities you may also enjoy in the flower farm are below:
  • Take Instagram-worthy pictures
  • Wear your OOTD or rent a Dutch costume (available for php 30) and do your own pictorial session
  • Enjoy a picnic with the family (corkage is free) or buy a cold buko juice and banana cue sold from the food stalls outside 
  • Buy some freshly picked flowers or potted plants 


Public Transportation: You can either hire a taxi cab from JY Square for a higher price or take a habal-habal for P400 round trip good for two persons.

Public Transportation: If you have a private vehicle then the better, no haggle and less hassle. You can use Waze or Google Maps to navigate to the flower farm. The ride will take you 30-40 minutes to get there.

Sirao Flower Farm Entrance Fee: Php 25

For more information, check out the contact details below:
Contact Number: +63 946 183 1320


Starbucks Kape Vinta Card, exclusively released with the Starbucks 2018 Planner
Rejoice coffee lovers! In keeping with the Christmas spirit and the habit of ‘giving good’, Starbucks will start sending cheers with its biggest present to coffee enthusiasts: A YEAR'S WORTH OF COFFEE for lucky customers bringing home the Starbucks 2018 Planner.


Starbucks lovers will be thrilled with this Christmas treat, as twenty (20) winners will bring home a year's worth of Starbucks Grande handcrafted beverages and twenty (20) more will receive a month's worth of Grande handcrafted beverages of their choice.

These incredible prizes are up for grabs for holders of the special edition Starbucks Kape Vinta Card, exclusively released with the Starbucks 2018 Planners. Customers simply need to activate the card with at least Php300 and register the card to a My Starbucks Rewads account during the promo period to earn a raffle entry. All raffle entries included from January 1-31, 2018 will automatically qualify for the Starbucks for a Month and Starbucks for a Year promo.


  1. The Starbucks for a Year will run from January 1 to 31, 2018.
  2. The Promo is open to all Starbucks Philippines customers who own a Kape Vinta Starbucks Card.
  3. Starbucks Philippines customers earn a raffle entry by:
  • Loading the Kape Vinta Starbucks Card with at least ₱300 at any Starbucks store in the Philippines; AND
  • Registering the Kape Vinta Starbucks Card to a My Starbucks Rewards® account within the promo period.
    1. Raffle entries will be electronically generated by Starbucks Philippines. There will be two (2) Draw Dates with a total of twenty (20) winners per draw that will be chosen through raffle. Prizes for each draw will be as follows and announcement of winners will be through Starbucks Philippines’ Facebook Page.

      January 19, 2018 (5:00 PM)
      January 1 – 15, 2018
      Twenty (20)
      Starbucks for a Month
      January 22, 2018
      February 9, 2018
      (5:00 PM)
      January 1 – 31, 2018
      Twenty (20)
      Starbucks for a Year
      February 12, 2018

      The following number of Beverage Stars will be credited to the winner’s My Starbucks Rewards® account:
      • Starbucks for a Month – 360 Beverage Stars equivalent to 30 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons
      • Starbucks for a Year – 4,380 Beverage Stars equivalent to 365 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons
      *1 complimentary Grande handcrafted beverage with up to 2 add-ons is equal to 12 Beverage Stars based on the Starbucks Philippines’ My Starbucks Rewards® Program.

      1. A DTI representative shall be present during all the draws, which will be held at 4/F Rustan Coffee Building, 14 Jupiter St. cor. Asteroid St., Bel Air 1, Makati City.
      2. Prizes cannot be transferred or converted to cash. 
      3. A Starbucks Philippines customer can win only once during a draw. Non-winning and winning raffle entries will automatically be included in the next draw.
      4. Winners will be notified through their e-mail address based on the customer’s contact details in Starbucks Philippines’ records.
      5. To claim their prizes, the winners must personally appear at Rustan Coffee Corporation, 4/F Rustan Coffee Building, 14 Jupiter St. cor. Asteroid St., Bel Air 1, Makati City and present the copy of the email notification they received, the Kape Vinta Card that matches the card information of the winning entry, and a valid I.D with picture.
      6. Prizes may be claimed within sixty (60) calendar days after the receipt of the official notification from Starbucks Philippines. Otherwise, they shall be forfeited in favor of sponsor with prior approval of DTI.
      7. Once a winner has claimed the prize the Beverage Stars will be credited to the winning My Starbucks Rewards® account following the schedules:
      • Starbucks for a Month – all 360 Beverage Stars will be credited one time within 24 hours
      • Starbucks for a Year – 1-month worth of Beverage Stars credited within 24 hours then every first day of the month for the succeeding 11 months using based on No. of days in the month x 12 Beverage Stars.


        As early as November 2, Starbucks fans can already start collecting stickers to redeem the much-awaited planners. You get to choose from the three handcrafted holiday beverages to savor the flavors of Christmas; the  Christmas Tree Peppermint Dark Mocha, Vanilla Nougat Latte, and the returning, Toffee Nut Crunch Latte.
        Starbucks Holiday Beverages

        • A customer can avail of a Starbucks® Christmas Traditions Promo Card from November 2, 2017 to January 8, 2018 with no purchase required.
        • One sticker is awarded for each Starbucks® handcrafted beverage purchase. Holder must accumulate a total of eighteen (18) stickers, to redeem one (1) Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner.

        Required Number of Stickers

        Holiday Featured Beverages                                                                     
        choice of any of the following:
        ·         Toffee Nut Crunch Latte*
        ·        Christmas Tree Peppermint Dark Mocha*
        ·        Vanilla Nougat Latte*

        *(hot, iced or Frappuccino® blended beverage)

        9 stickers

        Any Starbucks Core Handcrafted Beverage of your choice
        EXCEPT bottled beverages

        9 stickers
        18 stickers

        • Customer must present the Starbucks® Christmas Traditions Promo Card to the Barista upon purchase to get the corresponding number of stickers.
        • In case any of the holiday featured beverages are not available (ex. Toffee Nut Crunch Latte), customers can substitute it with any of the remaining holiday featured beverages (ex. Christmas Tree Peppermint Dark Mocha or Vanilla Nougat Latte). Should all three (3) not be available, only then can customers substitute with any espresso-based or Frappuccino® blended beverage of their choice.
        • A customer must complete the required number of stickers to qualify for the redemption of one (1) Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner. A combination of up to two (2) promo cards will be allowed, provided that the 9 featured plus 9 core beverages have been purchased. Excess stickers for combined cards will be forfeited.
        • Once all stickers are completed, customer must submit the Starbucks® Christmas Traditions Promo Card/s to redeem one (1) Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner from any Starbucks store in the Philippines.
        • Customer may choose from the available planner designs/sizes at the store at the time of redemption.
        • Tampering with and/or transferring of stickers to obtain the required number of stickers will render all promo cards null and void.
        • Every purchase of a handcrafted beverage using a Starbucks Card will be awarded one (1) sticker and one (1) Beverage Star. Terms and conditions that apply to the Starbucks Card are available on
        • Single receipt bulk purchase of food and other retail items (merchandise, whole bean and Starbucks VIA®, Teavana®) worth at least ₱7,000 will entitle the customer to one (1) Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner. Combination of receipts is not allowed.
        • Bulk purchase of gift certificates and Starbucks Card load/reload of at least ₱7,000 will not entitle the customer to a planner.
        • The following transactions and discounts are qualified for this promotion.
                            ·Senior Citizen discount
                            · PWD discount
                            · VAT Exempt
                            · Personal Cup/Tumbler ₱5 discount
        • The following coupons and discounts are disqualified for this promotion.
                           · Service Recovery Coupon
                           · Free Tall Beverage Coupon
                            · Customer Voice Redemptio
                            · Rustan Coffee Partner discount
                            · Rustan Group of Companies discount
                            · Starbucks Card Registration Treat
                            · Starbucks Card Beverage Treat Redemption
          • Promotion starts on November 2, 2017. Stickers may be obtained from November 2, 2017 to January 8, 2018.
          • Redemption of the Limited Edition Starbucks Coffee 2018 Planner starts November 2, 2017 up to March 8, 2018, at Starbucks stores in the Philippines only.
          Starbucks Christmas Merchandise

          STARBUCKS PLANNER 2018

          Here is a sneak peek of the Starbucks Planner 2018. The design of the new planner highlights the Kape Vinta Card. Customers can choose from the blue and green hues and the warm pigments orange.

          Encased in leather sleeves, both designs give off a classic look for the Starbucks staple item. Inside, there are plenty more surprises such as a stencil ruler and a cleverly-designed calendar that can be folded in a shape of a cup. All planner sets are available in regular and mini sizes.

          Catch the flavors, cheers, and excitement of Christmas this season at Starbucks. There are plenty more of ‘give good’ news heading your way, so make sure to stay updated by following Starbucks Philippines’ Facebook page or visiting



          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures

          There’s more reason to travel and enjoy the West of Cebu, because aside from the well-known attractions like the Adventure Café, West35, Florentino’s: The “The Little Tagaytay of Cebu”, Mt. Manunggal, and Mt. Mauyog, is the newest flower garden called Buwakan ni Alejandra.

          Buwakan ni Alejandra is located in Brgy. Gaas, Balamban, Cebu, situated right across Adventure Café. It houses varieties of local flowers and bushes of different colors. It had its soft opening last May but only captured the attention of Cebuanos recently as its flowers just began to full bloom.

          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures


          Luckily, I was able to talk to one of the caretakers in the garden who gladly shared to me the story behind of Buwakan ni Alejandra.

          The landscaper, Eleuterio Gentapa, of the beautiful garden is the son-in-law of Alejandra. Alejandra is the owner of the land and had 3 children, one of them is Mrs. Gentapa. Alejandra once loved to plant and collect a variety of local flowers. Thus, they named the garden in memory of Alejandra.

          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures
          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures
          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures



          Although the flower farm is already big, the Gentapa family is currently working on the development of phase 2 and 3. Apparently, one of their goals is to make the local flowers known to Cebuanos. And because it's a "buwakan", they dislike building additional attractions inside the farm and want to highlight the different varieties of flowers by planting and breeding more flowers in the area.

          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures
          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures


          PRENUP SHOOT

          The good thing is these flowers are blooming all year round so everyone can visit Buwakan ni Alejandra anytime in its full glory. Just a note though, there could be times they are closing the garden farm for prenups. As per Mr. Gentapa, an exclusive prenup session in Buwakan ni Alejandra would cost 2000php fee in a span of 2 hrs.

          The time I went here, there was a scheduled prenup session in the afternoon from 4PM-6PM - written on a poster in the entrance of buwakan. But the owner cleared out that they don't want to consume much time with prenups so other guests traveling from the city will have a fair share of enjoying Buwakan ni Alejandra.

          Buwakan Ni Alejandra - Hanventures

          HOW TO GET THERE

          Public Transportation: Take a V-Hire from Ayala Center Terminal for a 1-hr ride going to Balamban with a fare of P100-120 per person. You may inform the driver in advance to drop you off at Buwakan ni Alejandra.

          Private Transportation: Use Waze or Google Maps to navigate Adventure Cafe where Buwakan ni Alejandra is nearby. It takes less than an hour of drive time from JY-Square via trancentral highway.


          Location: Brgy. Gaas, Balamban, Cebu
          Operating Hours:  7AM-6PM, Mondays-Sundays
          Entrance Fee: Adults - 50, Kids-20

          A DAY IN BOHOL


          A day in Bohol may sound outrageous but with FastCat’s new route plying Cebu to Tubigon (Bohol), we did it! With its FerryFast, FerrySafe, and FerryConvenient we traveled Bohol like never before. Although it's my second time in Bohol, coming here has always been exciting. From exploring its beautiful countryside to walking through its white and pristine beaches, the Bohol experience is always unique in its own way.

          Our day started at Pier 3. We waited for our other friends to join us for the first trip at 7:30 AM. It was my first time to ride with FastCat, I didn’t know what to expect since I rarely travel by the sea. But I was very impressed at how modern and huge the vessel was. I learned that it can accommodate 275 passengers, 34 cars, and 7 trucks or buses in its meter lanes. This roro also has Wi-Fi on board, televisions sets, air-conditioned spaces, a canteen, and luggage area. And if that isn’t impressive enough, FastCat is the only vessel that caters to the needs of the disabled with designated elevators and storage for wheel chairs.

          We were lucky to get into the bridge and meet the Captain who was manning the vessel. They showed us around and educated us on some of the navigational equipment. I learned that the average speed of a FastCat vessel is 16.5 knots, powered by four engines. And guess what, most roro vessels only possess one -which explains why FastCat is faster than any other roro vessel.


          At 9:00 AM, we docked at Tubigon port. It only took us an hour and a half from Cebu to enter the Bohol’s scenic countryside through Tubigon. From there, we wasted no time and chartered a tourist van to Tubigon Loom-Weaving Multi Purpose Cooperative.


          The Tubigon Loom-Weaving Multi Purpose Cooperative is Bohol's pride. It has been operating for years already, producing indigenous bags, curtains, placemats and banig which are made of what we call in Bisaya dialect as puso sa buli.


          Our next stop was Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) located in Carmen, Bohol, an hour and a half travel from Tubigon. I have visited the Chocolate Hills once the first time I went to Bohol but it was not via CHAP.

          CHAP is an eco-tourism adventure park in Bohol with over 30 thrilling adventure activities for kids and adults including bike zip line, horseback riding, wall climbing, and many more. But aside from the adventures and attractions, CHAP also offers lunch buffet in an alfresco restaurant setting.


          After our adventures and sumptuous lunch at CHAP, we went to see the Philippine tarsier, an attraction you will only see in Bohol.

          In its sanctuary, you will not see them just anywhere. In fact, each of them is being stationed in a tree or area so the tour guide can easily show them to the tourists. Besides, tarsiers are a small species. You don't wanna play hide and seek with them all day because they're so hard to find. But I swear they are the cutest, although their big eyes bothered me at first. You'll love them eventually. They are just so fascinating!And oh! They're shy by the way, so no loud voices and camera flashes.


          We had a mandatory stop at the Bohol Man-made forest on our way to Tagbilaran City from the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary because this kaleidoscope of green foliage is a definite must-see! A pro-tip though: advise your driver to stop at a non-crowded part of the forest if you don’t want to pay entrance fees and get photobombers.


          The Bohol National Museum is an often overlooked attraction. This museum presents Bohol through the various traces of the islands. It houses remains of past survival, pictures, archeological materials, and unearthed objects mainly from Anda Peninsula, Mabini, Trinidad and Talibon. These relics give us insights to the prehistory of Bohol. The objects and images we found inside the museum embody a vital interlace of Bohol’s heritage that shapes its present story, just like the dioramic explanation of how the Chocolate Hills were formed, or how the island developed throughout the years.


          A few minutes away from the museum is the Bohol Compact Shrine. A shrine that represents a very important event in the Philippines history that we only read in our textbooks in grade school. This site serves as a memorabilia of the historical event between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol where they performed a blood compact or known as Sandugo to seal their treaty of friendship.


          We ended our day at Gerada's, a well-known family restaurant in Tagbilaran to replenish our energy after the day. They served Filipino dishes and their own specialties. The place is pretty impressive. They say it's an ancestral house converted to a restaurant. Sisig and Pancit were my favorites from our order. But next time I want to try the Dinakdakan and Kare-Kare. I have seen good reviews and people raving about it online. The price for me is reasonable for its generous serving. Gerarda's is worth a try if you are looking for a good place to eat in Tagbilaran.

          After Gerarda's, we had a spontaneous stop-over at the Buzz Ice Cream before heading to the port for the last trip at 10:30 PM. At 12 MN, we arrived at Cebu safely, thanks to FastCat for making our trip to Bohol worthwhile.

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