If I were to attribute my fondness for Korean Beauty products to a single brand, hands down, it would be Nature Republic. My K-Beauty journey began when I discovered their Aloe Soothing Gel, which I still use and recommend to skincare newbies till this day. Imagine my surprise when they announced that they were opening a branch of Nature Republic in Cebu City!

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic is a beauty brand from South Korea known for their nature inspired products. Their products feature star ingredients such as Argan, Aloe Vera, Bamboo, Shea, Bee Venom, and many more. Due to their effective and reasonably priced offerings, they have become one of the most well-known and trusted K-Beauty brands across the world.

With the K-Beauty craze taking over the Philippines, they started opening branches here since 2015. However, Nature Republic's first branch in Visayas, specifically in Cebu City, just recently opened last January 30, 2019. Luckily, I was one of the bloggers invited to witness their grand opening.

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic Cebu

The store heavily features Nature Republic's Aloe Soothing Gel, as well as the rest of their Aloe Vera line. It is their best seller after all, with the former helping secure the brand a place in the hearts of people and getting worldwide recognition.

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic Cebu

The shelves are meticulously arranged as well. There was not a product out of place! Trust that if you need to find a specific product, you'll definitely know which shelf to go to. 

Nature Republic Cebu

Sheet Masks overload! Sheet mask lovers will find heaven here since all of Nature Republic's Sheet Masks are available (may I also add, graciously arranged). You can buy 10 pieces of their sheet masks for 600PHP only. What a deal! See some of my reviews on Nature Republic's masks here and here

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic Cebu

Their salespeople are incredibly knowledgeable as well. They actually know what they are talking about. They are also very willing to help you decide which Nature Republic product is perfect for your skin type and which one will target your skin concerns. I enjoyed speaking to the salesperson assisting me. She was so accommodating and patiently waited for my indecisive self to finally make a decision! 

Nature Republic Cebu

Their store also features EXO merchandise, perfect for K-Pop fans in Cebu City.

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic Cebu

Nature Republic is not only known for their skincare products, they also sell quality make up and beauty tools as well. 

Nature Republic Cebu

Best sellers are highlighted through their own section. This is really helpful for people who are still unfamiliar with the brand. It gives them some pointers on where to start exploring.

Nature Republic Cebu

I'm glad we finally have a Nature Republic branch in Cebu. No need to make online purchases just to get their latest products. 

Nature Republic Cebu

The brand was kind enough to let us have a shopping spree. Take a peek at what I bought above. I'll make a review for items I'll try out. Some of the stuff I got are for my sister. I dragged her with me in my skincare journey.

Nature Republic Cebu

If you love the brand or are wanting to try good quality Korean Beauty products, head on over to Nature Republic. For skincare newbies, I swear, their products are a safe beginning for your skincare journey. 

Nature Republic's Cebu Branch is located on the 2nd Floor of Ayala Center Cebu (New Wing). See you there and stay beautiful!

Due to widespread financial literacy, young adults of today are well aware that the best time to invest is NOW. Studies show that they are spending on investments more than ever, with percentages rising year after year. This is thanks to social media accounts (such as The Bright Millennial) that are bringing relatable financial advice on a layman level. With this strong focus on financial investments, we may miss out on a lot of other worthwhile investments we could be making during the peak of our early lives. Here are the 5 non-money related investments you need to make during your mid-20s.


5 Investments to Make During your Mid-20s
5 Investments to Make During your Mid-20s.

1. Invest in Quality Pieces of Clothing

Clothes do not make the person, however, it does have a large input in the way other people perceive us. Investing in some basic key pieces in your wardrobe is beneficial. It doesn’t mean you have to throw away your entire life savings to buy a new trendy outfit, but a timeless piece with great quality will prove to be worth the purchase. Just be sure to tailor fit what you buy depending on your needs and what you can actually incorporate in your daily life. Work in an office? Get a nice suit or a blazer. 

5 Investments to Make During your Mid-20s
Your skin deserves some investment too!

2. Invest in Taking Care of Your Skin

Your mid-20s is the perfect time to start taking care of your skin. By this time, signs of the early stages of skin aging are starting to manifest. Your youthful glow, starting to fade. To keep your skin mum from revealing your true age as you grow older, work on showing it some love today. Provide it with much needed hydration. Find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Use eye cream. Wear SPF. Invest on your skin during your mid-20s, trust me, your older self will thank you for it.

5 Investments to Make During your Mid-20s
Invest in Traveling during your Mid-20s.

3. Invest in Traveling

       St. Augustine said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”. The world is huge. This means that your life was not intended to be lived inside a little bubble called your comfort zone. Travel changes you in a way only it can. It can widen your perspective and change how you view the world. You can grow a deeper appreciation for different cultures, thus developing how you understand and empathize with other people. It will give you experiences you will never forget, and you’ll always have a fantastic story to tell. At your mid-20s, you are in the best possible place in your life to travel. You have the income to support it, the adventure seeking enthusiasm to encourage it, the freedom to actually do it and lastly, the energy to survive it. Travel now or you’ll regret later. 


4. Invest in Your Relationships

       It may come as a surprise but the key to a long and fulfilling life is not money, fame nor success. Studies suggest that to live a satisfying life, you must have good relationships with other people. Researcher George Vaillant, when asked what he had learned from the study, responded “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people”. So invest on your relationships. Build strong connections with your family, friends and the community. Isolating yourself from others could lead to loneliness in the future.


You are the best investment you can make during your mid-20s.

5. Invest in Yourself

With your stress induced days on top of other priorities, you tend to forget about ourselves. All that’s running on your mind is work, responsibilities, bills, work, did I mention work? Investing in yourself is more important than you think. It unconsciously reaffirms ourselves that we are worth spending money on and that we believe in our own abilities. Allot money to spend on things you enjoy and things you want to achieve. Invest time in developing your talents and skills. Want to get a Master’s Degree? Go for it. Love cooking? Enroll in a cooking class. Want to be fit? Join a gym. There are always more ways to self-improvement and to be the best version of yourself. Remember that the best investment you can make in your life is YOU. Invest in you, if you won’t, no one else will. 

 Investing in money during your mid-20s is great but there are other things in life that are worth investing on too. Invest wisely! 




Danggit, a thin kind of salted dried fish, is one of Cebu City’s most famous ‘pasalubongs’. Various places in the city sell dried fish, but none is as popular as Taboan Public Market, also known as the Dried Fish Center of Cebu. The choices and variety of dried fish you can buy here is far wider than all other store in Cebu, that is why a visit to Cebu isn’t complete without going to Taboan. Continue reading below for some things you need to know about Taboan Public Market.


How to Get To Taboan Public Market?

If you’re a traveler, the best way to get to Taboan Market is through a taxi. Taxi drivers are very familiar with this place. It’s not too far off from key locations in the city too, so you don’t have to worry about your taxi bill being too expensive. However, if you want to go for a more ‘local’ route, you can easily ride a jeepney. Jeepneys marked with 04D, 08G, 17B, 17D will pass by here. If you’re not familiar with the place, talk to the driver or the conductor to drop you off at Taboan Market. Jeepney drivers and conductors are very helpful to tourists.

Taboan Public Market

Things to Know About Taboan Public Market

1. One kilo of dried fish usually costs around 350-750 pesos, depending on quality. 

Since there is a wide array of choices, prices vary as well. Some of the more expensive kinds are marinated with garlic or other flavors, referred to as ‘special’, for a more mouth watering taste.

2. You can haggle. 

Like all other markets, you can always haggle with the market vendors to buy any product at a lower price. Be sure to haggle reasonably also. The vendors are earning money through honest and hard work. Don’t expect them to give you a price that’s too low that they’re basically giving away their products for free. That’s not fair to the vendors and is bad for the overall health of the market as well.

Taboan Public Market
You can find all sorts of Cebu delicacies in Taboan Market also!

3. Other Cebu Delicacies are also sold here. 

When visiting Tabaon Public Market, you won’t just see dried fish for sale. There are also other famous Cebu delicacies available here such as dried mangoes, chicharon, otap, chorizo de Cebu and many more.

4. Danggit is just one of the many dried seafood displayed in Taboan. 

Some of the other seafood sold in Tabaon are dried shrimp, dried squid, fish tapa, fish tocino and other types of dried fish.

Taboan Public Market

5. Be sure to compare prices before buying anything. 

Prices offered by shops inside the market are cheaper than those of the stores near the entrance. To make sure you are getting the best prices, look around the market first before making a purchase.

6. It is not as busy as other markets. 

If you’re a bit hesitant to visit Taboan because you think it’d be too crowded like other markets in the Philippines, then worry not. Taboan is very quiet and low key, unlike the bigger Carbon Public Market. It is also surprisingly clean. You surely will not be uncomfortable.

Taboan Public Market

7. The smell of dried fish is strong enough to stick onto your clothes. 

Yes, when visiting Taboan Market, expect that you will be smelling like dried fish afterwards. Make sure to schedule your visit accordingly. Plan your clothes as well, you wouldn’t want your fave outfits smelling like dried fish. If you have somewhere to go after, a bath or a change in clothes would be a good idea.

8. You can ask vendors to pack your purchases in small sizes. 

On a budget? You can still get everyone on your list a pack of Cebu’s danggit. You can ask the seller to pack your purchases into smaller sizes (1/8 kilo) for it to be ‘pasalubong’ ready. Smaller packs can be easily distributed to your friends and it is usually enough for one meal.

Taboan Public Market

9. Dried fish can be placed on your carry-on. 

If you’re a budget traveler and you don’t have baggage allowance, you can still take these smelly delicacies home. You can bring dried fish from Taboan Market on your carry-on baggage. Just make sure to tell the vendor to pack it to be hand carry friendly. They will already know what to do.

10. Taboan Public Market is open as early as 4am and as late as 8pm.

Although at the earlier and later hours, fewer stalls are open. Schedule your trip accordingly.

Taboan Public Market

There you have it, the important things you need to know about Taboan Market. I hope that this has been helpful to you. If you ever find yourself in Cebu, a visit to Taboan Market is always a good idea. Also, don’t forget to enjoy your dried fish with some hot rice and spicy vinegar!


Budget Travel
Traveling on a budget can be hard, but not with these tips!
So, you’ve booked a flight from a seat sale, and you’re about to get jet set? Not so fast! Traveling on a budget requires careful planning both before and during the trip. Read on for some of our favorite tips here for seeing the world, without breaking the bank. 

1. Travel Outside of Peak Season 

It is tempting to travel during festivals and holidays, but these are also the times when airlines and accommodations post higher prices. Traveling outside of these busy times allows you to avail of special travel promos that can cut your costs considerably. 

2. Book a Hostel Early 

That suite at a 4-star hotel with room service and an in-house spa may offer the best in rest and relaxation, but these luxuries come at a high price. Most hostels offer comfortable rooms with amenities such as internet, cable TV, and a solo bathroom, but all at lower costs. Book a hostel room early to avail of lower rates and get that massage elsewhere. 

3. Plan Your Itinerary Smartly 

Every destination has its “must-see” sights, but these mandatory stops come with a caveat. Some places are also known as “tourist traps”, wherein less savvy travelers may end up shelling out on unnecessary services, tours, and the bane of everyone’s budget—souvenirs! Search online, read reviews, and ask seasoned travelers for recommendations that are off the beaten track, or for how to cut costs at the more touristy places. Look up museums, cultural festivals, outdoor shows, and other experiential attractions with free entrance or minimal door charges.

Budget Travel
Utilizing public transportation can reduce travel costs dramatically!

4. Take Public Transportation 

Booking taxis or transport network services may be the fastest way to get you across a busy city. However, these trips can add up significantly even over a stay of a few days. Allot more time for travel, familiarize yourself with bus and train routes, and get walking! Acquiring passes or multi-use tickets upon arrival will help make your public transport experience more convenient.

5. Get Local Food Recommendations 

Venture beyond eating solely at fast-food restaurants or worse, at convenience stores (even if those microwavable meals and instant noodles are cute). Ask friends residing at your destination or even friendly faces such as your hostel concierge for their food recommendations. Not only will you cut costs significantly, but you will have the opportunity to be acquainted with a hallmark of another place’s culture: its cuisine.

6. Watch Out for ATM Fees 

Traveling without cash is very convenient, but there’s a drawback to relying on ATM withdrawals or debit especially for overseas travel. ATM withdrawals at your destination may have additional fees especially for cards issued at your point of origin. Make such transactions sparingly, and make sure to carry just enough of the local currency, always secured on your person!

7. Be Haggle Savvy 

It’s a common enough scenario at the market: you are offered an outlandish price for a beautiful trinket or rare good, but you are given the opportunity to haggle. Before springing for your “lowered” price, make sure that you have compared selling prices for similar items from different sellers. You might be paying for a seemingly marked down curio, only to find that you could have bought it for less just down the road! As with all bargain finds, check the quality of your purchases to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.

8. Consider the Overnight Train 

Traveling over land? Taking the night train is an efficient option to get you from Destination A to Destination B, without the added hassle of paying for an additional night at your accommodations. Just make sure to secure your belongings if you must snooze en route.

9. Limit Pasalubong 

Lastly, keep the excess weight off your baggage by buying ‘pasalubong’ smartly. Don’t buy heavy and fragile items or anything that can lead to unexpected overweight baggage charges.

Having limited funds does not mean a damper on enjoyment. In fact, travelers regard a budget as an additional motivation to get the best value for their money when having a trip like no other. We hope these tips will be helpful to you, and bon voyage!

Note: This is a sponsored post. 


Over about month ago, the Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patch was all over Instagram, with all its glittering pinkish glory. The Barbie girl vibes in combination with the Bulgarian Rose Water factor earned it a place on my beauty product envy list. Luckily, Go Bloom and Glow was kind enough to send a tub for me to try. Proceed below to read my review. 

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches
So pretty, right?

About the Product

Perfect for tired eyes, this multi-functional Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patch not only brightens dark circles under eyes, but also helps skin stay firm and bouncy. With Bulgarian rose water as its star ingredient, each patch is full of skin-benefiting vitamins and minerals, plus ultra-hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties. Made with unique highly elastic hydro-gel material that allows essence to fully absorb into skin for maximum benefits, the Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patch can also be used anywhere on your skin that needs extra care such as your forehead and cheeks.

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Butylene Glycol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Pinus Sylvestris Leaf Extract, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Sucrose, Potassium Chloride, Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba (Guar) Gum, Calcium Chloride, Allantoin, Tripropylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Tin Oxide, Carmine, Calcium Lactate, Adenosine, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Hexanidiol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Chlorphenesin, Arginine, Fragrance

How to Use:

After cleansing and toning, place the eye patch on the desired facial area using the enclosed spatula. Remove after 20-30mins.

By the time I got to try this, a lot of people here were already discussing the proper way on how to position and use eye patches. They said that if your concern is mainly eye bags then you should place the wider part of the patch under your eye. If your concern is wrinkles/crow’s feet, then apply it the other way around.

Price/Where to Buy:

PHP 1200; currently on sale for at Go Bloom and Glow for PHP 841 (buy now!)

My Experience

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches

Packaging:

The hydrogel patches come in a tub that contains 60pcs of product. Patches are packaged this way to reduce the price of selling them individually. The tub is sturdy and has a pink chrome matte lid, which makes it a minimalist yet elegant design. 

Upon opening the tub, you can see a plastic cover that houses a spatula. I find this especially effective because you don't run the risk of losing/misplacing your spatula. Packaging is not only pretty, but it also protects the product from drying out due to its security.

The packaging has an expiration date indicated. However, it doesn't specify how long after opening it will last. For previous eye patches I've used, they typically indicate a 2 month period after opening. 

Scent:

I'm kinda biased with the scent. Although I am not very fond of fragrance in my products, I am a sucker for all things rose scented. So the product smelling like rose water doesn't bother me at all. It's not so strong anyway so I doubt it would be enough to bother anybody.

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches
Look at that glittery beauty!


Texture:

The Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches are practically transparent, except for the glittery effect. They are the most gorgeous looking skincare product I have ever seen, like somehow it was conceptualized having Instagrammable goals in mind. They are also slippery and delicately soft but once you position it on your skin, it sticks very well. Essence is generous but never did I feel that it got drippy. 

Application:

Using the spatula to take out the eye patches from the tub, honestly, was pretty challenging. The purpose of the spatula is that you don't need to use your hands anymore, so it doesn't get messy. However, I still find that I have to use my hands in conjunction with the spatula, careful not to touch the remaining patches inside the tub. The patches were way too slippery and I wished they used tweezers (but that would probably damage the patches, no?) 

These eye patches are very cooling upon application. I opt to put this in the fridge before using to amp up the cooling sensation, great for relaxing the eye area. After 20-30 minutes, the patches are still moist, but noticeably smaller. This means that product has been absorbed by your skin. You can also reuse it on other parts of your face, talk about multi-functional.

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches
Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches when worn.

I initially thought that these patches don't adhere very well. They tended to slip down and move out of place when I wear it. However, I realized that when you don't adjust it anymore after it has reached contact with your skin, the adherence is amazing.

Also, it did not fit my eye shape well enough. I think it was made having those with chinita eye shapes in mind. I have big almond shaped eyes. However, it did fit better than any eye patch I have ever tried. No eye poking problems too, yey for that. 

If you don't want to use it as a patch, don't worry. It is water soluble and will melt in water, resulting in a beautiful sparkly serum. 

Results:

I definitely did notice an effect on my under eye area. They were brighter, less puffy, moisturized, and less tired. Skin looks plumped and refreshed as well. I feel that it has given me the hydration my eye area needed. When I started using this, I didn't have any eye care products so it was glad that it was finally getting some love. Under eye circles are not fully gone but at least there is a noticeable improvement. Hydration didn't last as long as I would have wanted to though. I didn't see any effect of wrinkles. Brightening effect was not long lasting either. 

I didn't have any problems with stinging nor did it made my eyes tear up.

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches


My Thoughts

PROS:

  • Packaging is minimalist yet feminine.
  • Has a plastic over within the tub which holds an included spatula.
  • Water-soluble so it is eco-friendly because it contains no waste. 
  • Can be used for other areas of the face that needs extra care.
  • I found that it adheres well and easily hugs skin, including its contours.
  • No harmful ingredients and parabens.
  • Noticeable de-pufffing and brightening effect.
  • Lovely rose scent.
  • Essence left is not tacky once patch is removed.
  • Good price for a hydrogel eye patch. Especially now that it is on sale at Go Bloom and Glow.
  • Glitters makes me feel like a princess!

CONS:

  • Spatula is hard to use to separate the patches.
  • No visible effect on wrinkles.
  • Scent can be negative for people who don’t like rose scents in their products.
  • Hydration and brightening effects are not long lasting.
  • Did not fit my eye shape well enough.

Final Thoughts:

I loved using the Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patch. Why? First and foremost, every time I use it, the glittery aesthetic makes me feel like a princess. That to me is important enough. Haha. Every girl deserves to feel like one.

The cooling sensation it provides is also so refreshing and relaxing. Love the rose scent too! Definitely a great way to end a tiring day of looking at my computer screen. For a more cooling effect, try putting it inside your refrigerator.

However, I did have trouble committing to using it on a regular basis because it does take a long time (20-30mins) to be especially dedicated to it. I don’t want to use it under my sheet mask because that would be a waste of product. Also, I am someone who is impatient in my routine so waiting times are my enemy. I like doing my routine and then dozing off to dreamland right after, so in other words, I usually fall asleep while wearing these patches. Is that bad? ??

If you are like me and can't commit to using it full-time, I recommend that you use it before a special occasion or alternatively instead of adding it as another step in your routine.

Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches

Overall, I enjoyed these eye patches and would recommend it to anyone looking for hydrogel eye patches to try. If you’re up for a princess-y experience, then don’t, I repeat, DON’T skip these Heimish Bulgarian Rose Water Hydrogel Eye Patches.

Wow. Those are a lot of words. Didn't realize this review got way too long. Thanks for sticking with me. 

Have you tried any hydrogel mask? Let me know in the comments section!



Note: Product was provided by Go Bloom and Glow. All thoughts are my own. Your product experience might be completely different from mine.