Change is good
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2014 is a time to change.
For one, I stopped drinking Coke everyday and dropped 6 lbs. I never thought I could achieve this.
I allow myself to drink Coke maybe once a week or less but the goal is to lose 5 more lbs.

Japanese Coke

Second, I’m no longer obsessed with Twitter, and yes, it can be done. I have friends who no longer go on Twitter because of all the negativity, preferring Instagram instead. There seems to be less hate in there, at least for non-celebrities like me.
Twitter death
Third, I decided to stop watching CNN all time time.
My obsession with CNN started in 1991 when I was studying fashion at Parsons New York, where all week long, everything was about fashion. I thought that watching CNN would make me a more well-rounded person, so I would keep it on while doing my homework or eating. It was either that or Tagalog movies I rented from the Filipino store.

Michael Bublé helped me unpack

I’d watch CNN in hotels while traveling, watch it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
I like to keep informed. Until this year, two big events made me extremely sad—the missing Malaysian Airlines airplane, and the sinking of the Korean ferry with high school students on board.
Everything is about death and accidents, and why both in Asia in such a short span of time?

Patrice and Penny watching CNN
Patrice and Penny watching CNN in Hong Kong

After a psychic told me they will never find the plane, I started to get depressed watching CNN.
After the ship sank, I decided to take a break from all the sad news. But how to break a more than two-decade habit?
Today I decided to give E! channel a chance but then I felt my IQ points going down. The highlight of my evening was to watch my very first episode of the Kardashians, like EVER. I watched because it was about Kimye’s marriage proposal and I began to understand what the Kardashians are all about. I won’t say it here because trolls are waiting to pounce and I don’t want to judge.
Since Channel E’s not working for me, maybe I’ll just stop watching TV at all.
Here’s what happened at Kim and Kanye’s wedding proposal.

Smart announces partnership with Deezer
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Smart Communications, Inc. recently announced a strategic and exclusive partnership with global music streaming service Deezer to bring a new kind of musical experience to mobile users in the country through Deezer’s Premium+ service.


With Deezer Premium+, more than 72 million Smart mobile subscribers nationwide can enjoy unlimited web and mobile access to a huge library of music tracks online and offline—all in high-quality and without the interruption of ads.
Deezer’s availability in more than 180 countries will also allow Smart mobile users to listen to their favorite songs whether they are in the Philippines or overseas.

Smart will soon announce affordable streaming rates and promotions with Deezer, so that Smart users will be able to purchase a Deezer Premium+ subscription using their prepaid or postpaid accounts.
On mobile devices, the Deezer app can be installed on iOS, Android, Windows Phone as well as Blackberry 10 smartphones and tablets. It can also be enjoyed using laptops and PCs.
For more information, visit or

How I spent Good Friday
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I dread the ghost town.
Even though I love staying home, I dread the thought that everything is closed outside on Good Friday.
We checked out of Solaire Hotel past 1 PM and I stayed mostly in bed playing Candy Crush and watching the latest episodes of Scandal and the new season of Awkward.
I know, I am obsessed with Candy Crush. It relaxes me and here’s where I am now.

Candy Crush level

How do you like Scandal Season 3? At first I hated it—the plots were too complicated for my brain. Then I started to like it again towards the last few episodes.
Kerry Washington used to be my girl crush until she got pregnant in real life and her wardrobe turned frumpy to conceal the baby bump. Suddenly she wasn’t cute anymore, and I wasn’t feeling kilig with the President.
I don’t find them hot anymore. I prefer Jake Ballard (played by Scott Foley).

Kerry Washington Explains Why She Is So #TeamMellie!
L-R: President Grant (played by Tony Goldwyn), Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), Jake Ballard (Scott Foley)

Here’s a cute reel of Scandal bloopers shown recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Behind the Scandalabra, where Scott Foley joins Kimmel and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes at Olivia Pope’s “apartment.”

Awkward Season 4 just started last April 15, 2014.
Now on their senior year, Jenny and Matty are both single again, but go back to being F-buddies.
A new character named Eva is introduced and threatens to come between the two.
Jake and Tamara’s love story continues to bore me, while Sadie still rules as the show’s queen negatron.
I’m excited for Jenna’s new love interest and hope that she just moves on from Matty (sorry, I don’t find him cute) #notsorry.
Here’s what you can expect from Season 4.

How to survive Manila on Maundy Thursday
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It’s tough staying home in Manila when everyone’s Instagram photos show adventures in foreign countries and local beaches.
Our family chose to stay in the country because we’re traveling instead next month for my son’s birthday.
Going out of town was not an option because of the traffic and the lack of chuva-approved accommodations.
One day we will own a rest house we can drive to because of my fear of small planes, bancas, and scary hotels.
Such is my life.
We decided instead to check in at the Solaire Hotel on Maundy Thursday.
We booked two connecting rooms and arrived to a bustling lobby at 3 PM.
There were 400 staycations booked at hotel, we were told.
The kids and yayas stayed in this room

Solaire Hotel Manila

while Jeroen and I stayed here

Solaire Hotel Manila

The bathrooms are chuva-approved—spacious and clean with marble tiles, separate shower and bath, counter sink and Kohler toilet

Solaire Hotel Manila
Solaire Hotel Manila

Solaire is one of the few hotels with bathrooms that are chuva-approved. The other one is Raffles Makati. The only thing that needs to be changed or removed is a wooden towel tray that has seen better days

Solaire Hotel Manila

We loved this convenient shelf under the TV

Solaire Hotel Manila

and this welcome note (thank you Mr. Ort!)

Solaire Hotel Manila

The TV was easy to use and the aircon was consistent in temperature and easy to control.

Solaire Hotel Manila

I thought I would spend the day blogging and doing my nails. Instead, I collapsed into a deep sleep and woke up for dinner.
We took most of our meals in-room and appreciated the efficient room service.
The boys mostly played Minecraft on their laptops as the pool was filled with staycationers.
The following day they enjoyed the breakfast buffet before hitting the pool and checking out at 1 PM.
One day is all we really needed to get out of the ghost town feeling.
Thank you Myk and Solaire for the restful stay 🙂

Solaire Hotel Manila