Provo MTC 1st Week: Best Christmas Ever!

Hi, everyone! I just had the best week ever!

December 22, 2017

I arrived safely here at Provo MTC. I had about 30 hours of travel and yes, it was very tiring. Spending December 22 for like 2 days feels so weird but I'm really happy I'm here now! I had such a massive headache from PH to Japan. and the worst is my meds were in my checked baggage so yeah, had to endure it, hahaha! I tried to watch and listen to the plane entertainment (TV and some music) but I realized I'm not allowed to so I did not do it, hahaha. I realized I should really be obedient. 😃 Japan to Portland was a 9-hour flight and I'm so happy I slept most of the time... When we arrived in Portland, my headache was gone so the sleep was such a good thing, but it was really so cold (hahaha) and I met 1 sister from Utah who served in Baguio. It was really nice talking to her but we parted at the SLC airport. Btw, I traveled with one of the elders from my District who is also a Filipino, Elder Pastores...

2 Soaps Everyone Must Try

          I think I finally found someone the right soap for me! :) I mean, I’m not really in a search for the best soap but this one fits just right on my skin. 

             It is PERI effective and PERI amazing. And yes, it’s the PERI ALL NATURAL SOAP from CartJ.

            I’ve been hearing about PERI for a while now and I had the initial idea that it’s just like any other soap in the market which aims to whiten skin and later on leaves it dry and itchy. Surprisingly, it does not! I’ve been using Peri for almost two months now and I love the effects so far. Peri offers two types of soaps which I both ordered online.

            The first one is the PERI PAPAYA with Dead Sea Salt. Here are some deets!
All natural
Cold Process
Anti-aging effect
Treats skin problems 
Brightens Skin Complexion 
Fades skin’s dark spots 
Hydrates skin 
Helps heal skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, pimples, and oily face
Vit E that moisturizes dry skin 
Exfoliates skin 
Helps slow down the aging process of skin 

Ingredients: Virgin coconut (cocos nucifera) oil, deionized water, glycerin, caustic soda, papain, apricot seed powder, dead sea salt extract,oxidized glutathione, ascorbic acid, niacinamide (vit. B3), tocopherol (vit. E), coco mea, fragrance.

APRICOT Heals damaged skin, reduces wrinkles, removes blackheads, and treats skin disorders.
PAPAIN is very effective in skin renewal and skin lightening. It also functions as an exfoliator, skin softener and moisturizer and helps fight acne. What's more, the enzyme helps the body combat free radicals, thus preventing premature ageing.  
          Research has demonstrated that DEAD SEA SALT helps relieve skin problems such as dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin irritations and common skin ailments.

Deep Cleansing, Whitening, Moisturizing, Antiaging,
Detoxifies skin
Gets rid of unpleasant odor
Vit E and B3 that moisturize dry skin

BAMBOO CHARCOAL, also known as black diamond, is a skin absorbent with revitalizing, cleansing, and aromatherapy benefits. It naturally helps keep skin avoid presence of comedones and unpleasant odor.
GLUTATHIONE is the body's most powerful antioxidant, unknown by most. It is an antioxidant that can help fight off free radicals and lighten skin and other discoloration such as dark armpits, acne scars and alike.
LEMON is a natural skin toner with brightening and moisturizing benefits. It helps rejuvenate skin to reveal a fresher-looking complexion.
          This is a Cold-processed soap, which ensures retention of valuable active ingredients. It is ideal for most skin types due to efficient, quality and mildly scented ingredients.

          I personally recommend these soaps. Both work well on me so far. The papaya one is so light on my skin and I always feel refreshed whenever I use it. Since i don't really get breakouts, I cannot testify on its effects on pimples. It sure is effective in whitening skin though. I feel like my skin is now two tones lighter (will post photos soon). On the other hand, the charcoal soap helps in making my skin smooth and clear. I use it to wash my face after a day of light makeup. It is also good in toning skin. 

I alternately use Peri Papaya and Charcoal soap for more effective results. I use each every after two weeks. Why? Someone told me before that our skin gets immuned to the effects of a soap after a period of time resulting to minimal effects so it’s better if you have two different soaps to use alternately. This has worked for me. J

This post is just a semi-review of PERI since I wasn’t able to take photos of myself after using the soap. I didn’t think I’ll blog about this soap until I saw the effects on my skin. I’ll be posting a full review soon!

Opening a Mission Call - A Personal Decision

Waiting for mission calls is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking moments in the lives of prospective missionaries. Yup, I’m going on a mission. I am going to serve a mission. I finally decided to process my papers for missionary application last June and it’s been the best decision so far. Sisters aren’t really required nor obliged to go but it is always wonderful when they decide to. As for me, I felt the Spirit. I knew I have to go. So, I will. Mission will never go wrong with anyone.
Going on a mission is a very personal decision, for me. I can still remember how I told my parents about it and how they responded. :) The rest is history. Someday, I’ll be telling that story – the story which is very special and dear to me. I can only tell you of how Heavenly Father loves me/us and how blessed we are to have our own parents. I’m truly grateful for that.
Our stake president gave me my mission call yesterday. I think it took a month until I finally received it. The moment I saw my call packet, I knew the feeling is better than being a kid again who is excited for a piece of candy. It reminded me of the moment I was baptized. It was pure happiness.

To anyone here who had the same experience, you’ll know how thrilling it could be to finally open it. How you’re going to open your mission packet depends on you. It’s your decision to make. It's something you'll remember forever because it happens only once in a missionary's life. 

Did you decide to read it first on your own?

Kneeling down to pray and open the call in the serenity of my room was the initial plan. I wanted to make it more personal and spiritual experience.

Did you read it from the pulpit? 

As for me, I did not want to read mine in front of everyone. It would put a lot of pressure on me and I really want to make it more personal. :)

Did you decide to invite some friends and relatives to celebrate your call together?

                This is what happened yesterday. The happiness that I felt was something that I wanted to share with my relatives and some close family friends. We were so happy, excited and nervous yesterday. It was really something to celebrate. I knew everyone would be happy wherever I’ll go because that is where I am needed and that is where God wants me to go.

                My brother (who is currently in Cebu) and my cousins wanted me to go live on facebook so they could witness it. Sadly, it happened so fast! Hahaha We had no time to video call with them. My aunts and uncles have been waiting for 3 hours already. Here’s a video clip of what happened last night:

Thanks to my younger brother who captured the moment.

It doesn’t matter how you open your mission call as long as it is your personal decision. I chose to invite some close friends to celebrate my call with and had a simple dinner after. It was a very memorable night. It was something I’ll cherish forever. 

will report to the
Provo Missionary Training Center
on December 19, 2017

If you're an RM or a prospective missionary who opened a mission call already, I would love to know how your mission call opening went. :) leave a comment below!  

Minalungao National Park (Nueva Ecija)

MINALUNGAO. I heard of this tourist place just last year and when I found out that it wasn't really a long drive (not that I know how to drive or anything because I don't/can't lol), I immediately shared a post about it to our family's group chat. I was hoping they'd get the hint that it was an awesome place and that I lowkey wanted to go there but as expected, I was seenzoned. None of them replied so I took it as a NO. LOL

I guess it was after a month when we finally went there. It was a spontaneous trip for my mama's birthday last January! Actually, this post is one of  my backlogs and should have been posted 4 months ago. hahaha But, NO PRESSURE! Here's what happened:

It was just an hour and a half drive from Victoria, Tarlac to Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija so it was less hassle especially that it was not an entirely sunny day. 

Entrance fee is P50 per head.
No fee for parking since the place is spacious enough, I guess. Some kids will offer to look out for your cars/motorbikes. The payment for it depends on you since they will not demand any price.

After we parked, we decided to eat first. There's a canteen in the place but we have our baon with us so we just had to find a cottage. 

Cottages range from 200-500.
200 - near the entrance, souvenir shops and canteen
250 (small) and 500 (big) for BAMBOO RAFTS along the Penarada River

Since it was a very spontaneous trip, we just brought our supposed lunch from home and chose the cottage near souvenir shops instead of bamboo rafts. We didn't swim and we did not stay for long after some activities at the park. Luckily, a lady from the S Shop agreed to watch our stuff for us and got us a tourist guide. You don't have to worry about the fee for the guide since they told us they do not demand a specific price. It is really up to you. They are really kind. Our tourist guide was ate Rona. She's not really the guide who will talk about the place but of course, I had to ask a lot of questions to squeeze out trivia and information from her hehehe. She was really kind and a bit shy.

We crossed a long bridge and hiked thousand steps to reach the top of the mountain and to get a view of the river and the park. It wasn't really that challenging and hard since the view is amazing and there is already a path to follow. Just make sure to bring your camera with you. There's a big cross at the top but I was saving battery life so I wasn't able to take a picture. I just used my phone to take a video of it.

I am just so fascinated by these rock formations. I was actually expecting a green Penarada River but since it was after a rainy day, the river's color was different. It's looking like a creamy one. MILKnalungao, it is! This was our view while we were on our way to the cave. We went inside and saw a lot of stalactites and stalagmites!

After all the hikings, my brother and I decided to try the zipline. The fee is 100 per head. I used my phone to record myself! hahaha You can watch our quick getaway to Minalungao National Park here:

That's it! It was a very fun day for adventures! If you're a nature lover, you'll definitely enjoy this place although there's nothing much to do! Hahaha BTW, it's a bit crowded during the weekends so try to go on weekdays.  It's a good place for relaxation and simply chilling. :)

Potipot Island (Candelaria, Zambales)

Happy Easter, Everybunny! 🐇
Planning a family camping trip? 
          Well, you might want to check out one of Zambales' islands! Here are some photos of our getaway in Potipot Island, Zambales. I was wondering why it is called Potipot until one of the locals told me it came from "Puting ipot". Why? Well, you just have to see it for yourself! It's really just a small island. You can watch this: POTIPOT GETAWAY (Youtube Video)
          We went on a holiday season so it's quite packed during the day. Don't worry! It's safe for an overnight stay. It's either you bring your own tent or just rent one! Kuya Steve (our friendly and very accommodating boatman) and his assistants could help your family when it comes to car parking, boat travel to the Island, tent rentals, etc. You can reach him through this number 09102652053 especially for directions and pick ups. 

Boat service: 400php (back and forth) and just 100 for all the help of kuya Steve
Entrance: 100php: 300php for overnight stay

          There's no water source that's safe for drinking/cooking on the Island so I suggest you buy your water supply at the jump-off point. Also, just bring powerbanks as there's no electric supply for those who are going to pinch tents. There are cottages but I guess it's pricey so just get the full experience and go camping! :) There's also a small store but again, some are quite pricey since it's the only one on the island. You can also purchase some souvenirs there.
            Sadly, I don't have any idea on how you'll get there via public transportation. I don't know which bus offers trips to Zambales but for those who want to drive, just take NLEX-SCTEX. Just take the Tipo Exit (last toll plaza and exit) of SCTEX then drive to Uacon, Candelaria, Zambales. Thanks to gadgets for we now have Waze and Google maps, you can rely on that. We actually just used Google Maps.
          That's it. If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city or work, Potipot Island should be on your list! <3Stunning views, Kayaking, swimming with fishes, candy-colored skies and camping! 

Have a quick weekend relaxation! 
(if you have questions, just comment below!)