2017

***SUPER LATE POST***

Happy New Year everyone!! Sorry for being inactive for quite awhile. I just started college a few months ago and didn’t find any time to write. Also, I decided to concentrate more on vlogging so most of my blog posts from now on would be simply further explanations of my vlogs. While my schedule is still somewhat not-hectic, I decided to give you guys a summary of how my 2016 went, because it was indeed a great year for me:

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New York, New York: Last Day

Days 1, 2 and 3 are finally done. Now I am going to share with you what we did during our last day in New York, our last few hours in the States, as well as our arrival back in Manila. It was Monday morning, and my aunt and uncle (the ones from New Jersey) have picked us up in our hotel. We requested if they could take us to Brooklyn because part of my bucket list is to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. We got to Brooklyn around lunch time, and my Dad and I had to look for the way in order to get to the bridge.

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City that Never Sleeps: Day 3

Hey guys! I have already shared with you our experience during our first and second day in New York. Now, I’m going to tell you what we did on our third day. We met with some of my mom’s friends outside our hotel, and they drove us to a restaurant on 5th Avenue called ‘8 1/2 Brassiere’. It is a restaurant that serves buffet, and they treated us for breakfast.

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The Empire State: Day 2

Hey guys!! I have already posted about our first day in New York City, and now I would like to share with you what we did the next day. So my parents and I spent the first night at our hotel, the New York Marriott Marquis. My cousin went back to her place in Brooklyn while my aunt and uncle went home to New Jersey. They let us explore the city on our own for a few days before meeting up again on the day before our flight back to Manila.

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The Big Apple: Day 1

Hey guys!! After going through 5 states, (California, Vegas, Arizona, Florida and New Jersey), I am now going to share with you the last part of our trip: New York. I have been to New York once in 2011, but we didn’t stay too long there. We would visit from New Jersey, look at some sites, then head back. I always dreamed that if I come back to New York, I would make the most of it by going to attractions we haven’t seen before, watching a Broadway show, and just simply walking around like  a New Yorker. For our recent trip, we stayed at The Big Apple for 4 days, and for now I will talk about what we did for our first day.

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Family Bonding at New Jersey

Hey guys!! As you recall, we had a looong stay in Orlando, with theme park hopping and all that stuff. After that, which was Thursday, we took a flight to New Jersey to meet with some of my relatives from my dad’s side. We stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house for one night and the next day, they brought us around New York City. At dinner time, we met up with one of my cousins for dinner.

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Universal Studios Florida

Hey guys!! Now I shall share with you our experience during our second day at Universal Orlando! The previous day, we went to Islands of Adventure, one of Universal Orlando’s theme parks. The next day, we went to the second park: Universal Studios Florida! As you remember, we got stranded by rain during our first day at the park but we were glad that the day after, the skies were clear and it was really sunny!! Luckily for us, most of the rides here are 4D simulations so my parents got to ride with me (since they are not really big fans of actual roller coasters and high drops)

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Islands of Adventure

After we visited Disney World and NASA the previous days, we went to Universal Orlando. It has two parks: Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, and we decided to go to Islands of Adventure first. The first attraction that we tried was the Spiderman 4D ride. It was a simulation of us riding a super fast car as we accompanied Spiderman in his adventures.

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A Day in Space

After spending the past three days at Disney World, we switched hotels and moved to Universal Cabana Bay in preparation for our visit to Universal Studios. After checking in, we visited the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was a really long drive from the hotel, but being able to visit a NASA Center was a big deal so we gave it a go.

Explored space for a day ☄

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Since we had to check in first, we arrived at the space center around 2 pm which was a little late already, hence we were only able to see a small portion of the center. We were greeted by the large logo of NASA at the entrance, and we also saw a rocket garden which showcased the different rocket ships that were used by NASA.

Rockets

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We mainly stayed at the Atlantis exhibit. Atlantis was one of the first space shuttles to be launched by NASA into space and we were able to see the actual Atlantis inside. (It’s the topmost photo of the post!). We were also able to ride the “Shuttle Launch Experience” which is a simulation of being sent off into space.

🚀🚀🚀

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Unfortunately, we weren’t able to catch an actual rocket launch and we didn’t go around that much due to the lack of time and we were still really exhausted from the activities done the past days. Nonetheless, we still had a great time and I’m glad that we were able to see a glimpse of outerspace just for a day.

*You can click the following links to check out my Disney World Posts: 

Exploring Disney World’s EPCOT

During our US trip, we went to 3 out of the 4 Disney World Theme Parks (Click here to read about Magic Kingdom and here for Disney Hollywood Studios), and the last one we went to was EPCOT. EPCOT stands for the ‘Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow’, which means it showcases futuristic landscapes as well as modern and sci-fi attractions. The theme park has two sections: Future World and World Showcase. Future World has the different rides while the World Showcase displays highlights of different countries. (To know more you can watch the video that I made above!!)

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A Wedding Video!

Hey guys!! It was my parents’ 23rd wedding anniversary yesterday and I just wanted to share with you the gift that I made for them. It is a video montage of their renewal of vows ceremony held in The Little Vegas Chapel last May. Enjoy watching!! (Read Parts 1 and 2 of our Vegas trip as well. And if you want to know about our experience of the wedding, feel free to click Continue Reading below!)

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Disney Hollywood Studios

The second theme park that we visited in Disney World was Disney Hollywood Studios! The previous day, we went to Magic Kingdom (You can read Parts 1 and 2 of my experience too!), and despite the magical yet exhausting day that we had there, it didn’t stop us from going to another theme park. Disney Hollywood Studios has rides that are similar to the Hollywood Experience, and they also had a lot of new Star Wars attractions that I was hyped about.

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Magical Day at Magic Kingdom

Here is the continuation of our visit to Magic Kingdom! Click here to read about the first part. Magic Kingdom is the biggest theme park in Disney World Orlando, so we spent the entire day there and we actually made it until the closing time which was at 12 am! Here you are gonna read about my experience in the different rides, as well as the Disney Electrical Parade and the famous fireworks that happen daily at the park.

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From the West to the East

Now that the Vegas part of our trip is done, our next destination was Orlando! I was really looking forward to this place since all the great theme parks such as Disneyworld and Universal Studios are here, and ever since I found out about the tragic incidents that happened in Orlando recently, I felt really disappointed about what happened. It really saddens me that innocent lives would be taken just because they chose to be who they are. We should treat everyone with the same love and respect regardless of gender, race and beliefs. As Lin-Manuel Miranda said in his Tony Awards acceptance speech, “Love is love. It cannot be taken away or swept aside.” However, I still wanted to hold on to that part of Orlando that is bright and happy so I decided to continue with this post.

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A Day at the Grand Canyon

During our stay in Las Vegas (You can read Parts 1 and 2 of my experience in Vegas too!), we decided to devote one day to visit the Grand Canyon West Rim in Arizona. We were able to book a bus tour online through Viator, and luckily, it was actually a great find! The tour bus (Grayline Tours) picked us up at the Bellagio Hotel around 6 am, and the road trip to the Grand Canyon began.

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Waking Up in Vegas Pt 2

For the continuation of our stay in Las Vegas, I’m going to talk about what we did during our third, fourth, and fifth days.( If you want to read about the first part, you can click here!) For our third day, we actually devoted half day to visit Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, so we got back on the strip around 5 pm. Since the bus we took dropped the riders off at their respective hotels, I was able to see other parts of the Las Vegas Strip.

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Waking Up in Vegas Pt 1

After our 3-day stay in Los Angeles (Click to read Parts 1 and 2 of my adventure!), we headed to Vegas. Our relatives brought us to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) at 11 am so that we could catch our flight at 1 pm. We rode at Delta Airlines, and the plane was really comfortable (a lot of leg room!). We arrived at Vegas around 2 pm, and the airport itself had the Vegas feels. The airport had a casino inside, and there was a huge “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign that greeted you once you get there. You can check out the video I made above to know more about the first part of our Vegas trip.

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Visiting the City of Angels Pt 2

Here is a continuation of my experience in Los Angeles! If you want to read the first part, click here. You can also check out the video above to see more of what we did and where we went.

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Visiting the City of Angels Pt 1

After five years, our family is finally going to have a vacation in the US again! The last time we went, it was a really long stay – almost a month, and we we went from the West Coast (LA, San Francisco) to the East (New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC). Although that was very very tiring, I looked forward to the day that I could come back to this place, and the dream came true! Above you can see the video that I made during our visit to LA, the first leg of our trip. The others (Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Orlando, New Jersey and New York) would follow soon. So here’s what happened during our first few days in the US:

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Afternoon Tea Party

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Macarons, Scones, and Club Sandwich

A few weeks ago, me, my parents, my aunt, and my cousin went shopping at EDSA Shangri-La Mall to buy stuff for our upcoming respective trips: my aunt and cousin for Japan and us for the US (I am waiting at the boarding gate right now while writing this!). After a ton of walking and looking around for stuff, we got super tired and hungry so we decided to eat. I suggestef eating at TWG Tea Parlor since I’ve been obsessed with tea lately and I wanted to try the restaurant’s dishes.

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Civil War Review

#4/13 of my Marvel Movie ChallengeI must be really grateful to Marvel because for some reason, they always release Marvel movies a week earlier here in Asia. Luckily, I was able to watch the third installment of Captain America, namely, Civil War, last April 29. Just a run-through of the story: The Avengers’ actions have already caught the attention of the government and decided that they should be watched. The government presents an “Accords” that if the Avengers sign this, they would be under the government’s control. Captain America/ Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is not willing as this takes away their freedom and thinks of “What if they needed to be in a place and the government does not allow them?”. On the other hand, Iron Man/ Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) agrees with the government. This forms the Avengers to divide into factions: Team Cap and Team Iron Man.

(FEEL FREE TO CONTINUE READING I DID NOT PUT ANY SPOILERS HEHE)

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Adventures by the Sea (Pt 3)

Part 1   Part 2   Photo Gallery

For our third day in Boracay, we did the usual thing we did for the past two days: have breakfast at Discovery’s buffet, swim at the beach, etc. But we decided to do a little more than the usual, so we headed out of the resort and did a little shopping. By the way, here’s my video of our Boracay trip so I do appreciate if you guys watch it!!

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Adventures by the Sea (Pt 2)

Part 1   Part 3   Photo Gallery

Day 2 at Boracay and we enjoyed what the beach had to offer! We started our day with a buffet breakfast courtesy once again of Discovery Shores. There was a variety of food to choose from, from continental meals to pastries and fruits to local dishes. Afterwards, we posed for some pictures at the beach then we tried the different water activities that can be done!

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Adventures by the Sea (Pt 1)

Part 2   Part 3   Photo Gallery

First escapade of the summer and where does this year take me? The tropical shores of Boracay Island, Aklan! We had a four-night stay here from April 16 to 19 and it was truly a great adventure. So we left our home en route to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at around 7:30, and due to heavy traffic and the really loooong line outside NAIA, we were able to enter the airport at around 8:15, and our flight was at 9!! Luckily our flight was delayed a bit so we had time to catch up haha. The flight from Manila to Caticlan, Aklan is 55 minutes. The plane left at around 10 am, so we arrived at 11 am in Boracay Airport.

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The Revolution in Manila (Les Mis Review)

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Stage before the start of the second act of the show

After falling in love with the musical about 4 years ago, I waited for the moment when Les Miserables would finally come to Manila to showcase its marvelous beauty. Luckily, it was announced late last year that the Australian production would be coming to the country + imports from the other productions of Les Mis, such as Earl Carpenter from New York to play Javert, and our very own Rachelle Ann Go to play Fantine. I was really happy to be able to watch the April 1 show at 8 pm in the Solaire Theatre.

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The Good Dinosaur: A Good Movie Indeed

Hi guys! I know months have already passed since 2015 ended, but I still haven’t posted my last entry for my 2015 Disney Movie Challenge. The challenge basically involves watching 10 movies released by Disney last year and writing a review for each. I only watched the last on my list, The Good Dinosaur, yesterday. So here’s the review to conclude my challenge! (Better late than never right?)

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Weekend With the Fam

 

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Eastwood, Quezon City, Philippines

 

Hey guys!! I know I haven’t updated in like, forever, but I was so busy that I just had to let school finish before I come back to the blog. After all, it was my Senior year, and I wanted to make the best out of it. So yay I finally graduated! I will be attending college in the fall, so now I have a ton of time to update (hopefully, because I might be out most of the time but I’ll really really try my best). So this post was supposed to be made for Chinese New Year, but I’m going to continue writing it anyway. (In the hopes that I could still recall what we did despite the months that already passed haha). So during the special occasion, we tried to be spontaneous and went to Eastwood for dinner.

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Touring the Queen City of the South

Cebu is one of the iconic cities in the Philippines. A place full of history and festivities, Cebu is the oldest city in the country and is widely known as the “Queen City of the South”. I was fortunate enough to be one of the representatives of my school in the recently held International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), a gathering of many church leaders and chosen delegates around the world. The IEC usually occurs every 4 years, and this year, Cebu is the host of the event. With this said, I stayed at Cebu from January 27 to 31 for the Congress and as well as to explore the different attractions in the city.
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Sundate with Dad

About a month ago, my mom went to the northern part of Metro Manila, sprcifically Quezon City, to attend a Christmas reunion with her friends. While she was having fun there, my dad and I decided to go around the shopping centers there, and as well as try the city’s iconic food hubs. Being from the South, it was sort of a new adventure for me and my dad.

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Happy New Year

Celebrating the coming of the new year was a blast for me and my family! Despite me starting 2016 sick with colds and literally no voice at all (which I shall explain in this blog post how it happened), I still managed to have a fun New Year celebration.

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Reminiscing 2015

Now that 2015 is coming to an end, I would like to take this time to reminisce and look back on the memorable moments that I have had for the year. Overall, I could proudly say that 2015 has been one of the most fruitful and fortunate years for me.

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2015 with the Cruz fam 🎄

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I would like to greet everyone a merry Christmas!!! So in lieu of the holiday season, I’m going to share with you guys what I did to celebrate the occasion.

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Sam Smith Live in Manila

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Last November 21, I was able to witness one of the greatest vocalists of this generation. If you are familiar with the 2015 Grammy Song of the Year “Stay With Me”, then I’m pretty sure you know who I’m talking about. He is no other than Sam Smith, who mesmerized the hearts of many Filipinos during his concert at the Mall of Asia Arena. Click here for more pictures.

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One Day Getaway

Classes were called off last November 16 to 20 because the Philippines served as the host for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC for short. To make the most of of the mini-break, my family went to Tagaytay on November 20 to feel the fresh cool air of the south and as well as to spend time with one another.

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Mockingjay Part 2 Review

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Mockingjay Part 2 is the epic conclusion to The Hunger Games Franchise. While the first two films focus on holding a hunger games and Mockingjay Part 1 revolving around the aftermath of The Third Quarter Quell, here we watch how Katniss leads the rebellion to overthrow the Capitol, led by President Snow. The last installment of the franchise amazing. Question is, real or not real?

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North Bound: Day 3

Click for Day 1 or 2.  Click here for photo gallery. For our last day at Baguio, we walked around the mini-forest beside The Manor, and snapped some pics! Then sadly, we already had to check out and head back to the road. For our last tourist attraction for the trip, we visited the BenCab Museum.

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North Bound: Day 2

Click to check out our Day 1 or Day 3 at Baguio. Click here for photo gallery. On to day 2. I woke up really early and decided to get out to the balcony to enjoy the fresh morning air and as well as to admire the magnificent view of the garden of The Manor. Afterwards, we met up with our relatives again at Baguio Country Club for breakfast.

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North Bound: Day 1

It was my semestral break during the last week of October, and my family rarely goes out of town during this time because we usually have our vacations during summer. However, we wanted to change things a bit so we headed to Baguio, which is known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines” and as well as the “City of Pines”. We wanted to breathe in the fresh cold air and enjoy the northern part of the country so we decided to stay there for three days, from October 30 to November 1.

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The Night Manila Felt the Sweetness

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She Will Be Loved. This Love. Misery. Makes Me Wonder. Maps. Sugar. The list goes on and on. Maroon 5 has been making hits for over a decade, and I was really hyped when I was able to watch their fourth concert here in Manila last September 17. The concert was sold out, and I was really stoked that I got tickets to see one of my favorite rock bands live, whose songs will keep you dancing on your feet and stage presence to bring you a whole lot of energy. Click here for more pictures. 

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Releasing My Inner Katniss Everdeen

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A few months ago, my cousins and I tried out a new hobby: Archery! We are huge fans of Katniss Everdeen, Hawkeye and Arrow so we decided to channel these fictional characters and tried to shoot some targets! There was a newly opened archery place here in BF Homes, Parañaque (PH) called Kodanda. It’s located along Aguirre Avenue and I think they also have a branch in Makati. The rates for an hour of archery sessions amount to Php585. This includes the equipment needed to shoot and you get to keep your target paper too!

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Why One Feeling isn’t Enough

6/10 of my Disney Movie Challenge. You know those times when you experience a certain event in  your life, and try to associate it with one feeling? Like all birthday parties are supposed to bring joy, death of a pet brings sadness, betrayal leads to anger, heights bring fears and vegetables lead you to disgust? Why is it necessary to associate something to one emotion? We all know that the complexity of life isn’t enough to suit us one emotion at a time. As humans, we are capable to comprehend all the feelings in the world, so why stick with one right? These thoughts came to my mind when I watched Inside Out a few months ago.

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The AlDub Phenomenon

AlDub: Maine Mendoza aka Yaya Dub and Alden Richards

Labeled as the most phenomenal power couple of our time, I’m pretty sure most Filipinos (and even people from around the world) have heard of the word ‘AlDub’ aka the ship name of Alden Richards, an actor and TV host from GMA, a Philippine television network, and Maine Mendoza, the Dubsmash Queen of the Philippines who is famous for her role as “Yaya Dub” on the hit Philippine Variety show Eat Bulaga.

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Earthquakes and Dinosaurs

Still from San Andreas
Still from Jurassic World

Time flies so fast and I didn’t even realize it was already the 3rd week of July! To celebrate, I decided to make reviews of two movies I watched last month: San Andreas and Jurassic World. With the former tackling major earthquakes that could happen in real life, and the latter showing the possibility of what’s to come when an artificially-created dinosaur gets on the loose on a theme park full of people, well let’s just say my June movie feels were like a roller coaster. Continue reading “Earthquakes and Dinosaurs”

Mom’s Happy Taste Buds

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It was Mother’s Day last Sunday and we didn’t only celebrate it once, not twice but three times! We had a pre-mother’s day dinner, a mother’s day breakfast buffet and a post-mother’s day lunch. Sure enough, these celebrations made my mom feel truly special.

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Singapore Diaries: Day 6

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Universal Studios Globe

Day 6 in Singapore and we went to Universal Studios (USS) ! This theme park is a must-see in the country and with many sections in the park such as Hollywood, New York,  and Ancient Egypt, USS will definitely make you feel like you’re in the movies .

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Courage and Bravery

2/10 of my Disney Movie Challenge. To check out the first one, click here. Everybody already knows the Cinderella story. A young maiden ends up being a servant to her stepmother and stepsisters. She was forbidden to attend the ball. With the help of her fairy godmother her life turned into a fantasy until midnight. She met the Prince and left her famous glass slipper as she raced against time. The Prince found out that she owned the slipper and they both lived happily ever after. With this knowledge before hand, what made this movie a big hit?

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OTRAT Manila Day 1 Gallery

Here are my pics from Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall’s On the Road Again Tour in Manila held on March 21, 2015 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. Read my article here.

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No One Is Alone

I promised to write a review of this movie the day after my previous post, and of course I failed to comply once again. Well better late than never right? Here’s my short review of “Into the Woods” (1/10 of my Disney Movie Challenge).

Are you a fan of fairytales? Well even if you feel old for them, deep inside your love for them will never fade. All of us have a favorite story, such as Cinderella or Red Riding Hood. So what if there was a musical movie that combined all of your favorite fairytales together? That would be called “Into the Woods”.

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1989

A record-breaking album with a whole new vibe, I didn’t really expect Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 to be a huge hit to be honest. I mean, she’s technically a country/pop-country artist and I wasn’t able to imagine how she could pull off a pure pop record. Till I listened to the album of course. Continue reading “1989”