What is real beauty? How can you gauge someone’s beauty? Is there a sort of like an instrument that would give you a reading on how beautiful you are, much like how you measure Body Mass Index (BMI). Correct me if I’m wrong, but no such thing has ever been invented yet.

Thus the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, because the only thing or person who can measure or determine how beautiful a person is through that person’s eye or perception.

And then there is what we call “beauty flaw”, which without it some popular celebrities would not be famous. There are Hollywood stars that really refused to fix their flaws and still celebrate beauty.

Ashley Judd, Photo: prevention.com

Ashley Judd, after being criticized by the media about her puffy face which draw speculations on her use of cosmetic fillers, took to the world wide web and spoke in behalf of women all over the world and wrote that the abnormal obsession about women’s faces and bodies has got to stop.

Tina Fey, Photo : prevention.com
Funny woman Tina Fey is also vocal in her book about not trying to fix the scar on her face that she got when she became a victim of a knife attack, nor the acne scars on her right cheek because it has spend more time with her than any boy in college.

But because people’s minds are forever curious, this prompted creativity to conjure up an alternative way of measuring beauty, by analyzing the symmetry of your face. How’s that for perfection.  The more symmetrical one facial feature is to another feature, the higher will be your score.

 But it is a known fact that very few people have symmetrical features. So I guess, few people will have a perfect score of 10 for their faces.

This website called Anaface is an online tool that one can use to gauge your beauty. You need to upload a picture of yourself, which I would suggest should be a close-up photo of your face .  And then, your beauty will be calculated based on the distances or symmetry of your facial features.

The site needs you to agree first to their disclaimer and to the Terms and Conditions before it will allow you to upload your photo. To my understanding, it just means that the results should not be taken seriously. I wonder how many disputes they have settled on results. J

I tried out this thing and it’s funny how it gave different results on different photos. 




So, I am back again to my original thought, that you really cannot measure real beauty. As cliché as it may sound, real beauty radiates from within. That’s why, in my humble opinion, we often associate beauty with glow. And I guess when you got a certain glow, it can only come from how you feel inside, and what you put inside.

But, I also believe that it is our privilege and duty to improve ourselves not just for us but for our loved-ones.  And by improving, I also mean enhancing. Beauty can be enhanced by using cosmetics to cover up physical flaws that’s been bothering us. If you are losing your confidence because of that flaw on your face, then by all means, cover it up. I myself wont’ be too happy walking around town with a large zit ready to erupt anytime sitting on my nose.



What about cosmetic surgery or injectables? Again, if the result will make you feel better, then go ahead. You and only you can determine what would make you happier and boost your self-esteem. I myself had an extra help from Botox, on points 3,5,7 on the photos above.

But then, no amount of Botox could change the way my face looked years ago, because of the stress I had back then. I did not see too much of a change really, I still looked old and wrinkly. Not even Dr. Joaquino was able to make me feel beautiful at that time.

Only when I started to change my outlook in life, when I finally started to be happy about myself and made myself healthier did I see a lot of change in the way I looked. My face is still the same face I had since birth, but the only difference between how I looked 2 years ago and now, is the glow that comes from within.

Before    and    After

Indeed, an extra boost of confidence can do a lot for your beauty. Real beauty is not just what is visible to the eye, but what’s visible to the subconscious. Ask any man what makes his wife beautiful and most of their answers would be about her personality or character. Seldom would a man enumerate his wife’s facial features to answer what makes his wife beautiful.

 After all, beauty is not just skin deep.

I was inspired to write something about beauty when I saw a photo of my Feast Builder and renowned author Bro. Arun Gogna having his warts cauterized. The caption said, "Warts removal. Loving myself, so I can love others". He never fail to make me laugh. Funny, but in an honest way. See his photo below. (Sorry Bro. Arun, just had to post this. :))
Photo grabbed from Facebook

Love yourself. All the time. Because God loved you first.



Earlier, I was thinking of not going through posting this but again reading about the latest news, and the flood of comments from other people who are so judgemental, I knew I just have to make this post. Plus, I have this strong urge to write and a need to convey my special message to all women out there. I know that I may cause some eyebrows to raise, well, just raise them.

The recent series of unfortunate events in Ms. Ai Ai de las Alas’  life, triggered me to set up arms once again against what we have been fighting for since who knows when. Some say that it is another publicity stunt for the actress, but I don’t believe so, because the trauma of any kind of violence against women is something that you won’t even think of making up to get publicity. But I do respect other’s opinions.

Here's my open letter for her.

Photo grabbed from Facebook

Dear Ms. Ai Ai,

First, I can say that I can truly relate with what you are going through right now. We may have different stories, but I share the same pain with you brought by separation and abuse.  I have moved on, and the process took quite some time before I could say I am finally free from the pain and trauma.

But because of what happened to you, the dream that I have in my heart came alive once more. I dream of a "world without violence" for women. I am one with all victims in condemning what your ex-husband did to you.

I applaud you for coming out and telling your story even though everything you have worked for was put at risk. Not many abused women have the courage nor will have the courage to do so. What happened to you got me thinking even more. I thought, if someone as famous and rich as you are is still susceptible to abuse, how much more the uneducated women and those who live in the rural areas. These poor women will not have the courage to walk out of their situation, more so fight for their rights. Their situation has become what is normal and acceptable for them.

They said that when you seem to be lucky in your professional or financial areas of your life, some areas will suffer, particularly, your love life. But I do not personally believe in this. You just haven’t met the one person God has saved for you. Please don’t stop loving, because if you do, you miss the opportunity of meeting the one who is going to make you truly happy and never hurt you. But you must first take time to heal and this is very important.

We belong to the same spiritual community, the Light of Jesus of Bro. Bo Sanchez, and you are one of the few celebrities who always do their part on sharing, whether life experiences or financial sharing. You are blessed to belong to the best Caring Group (composed of Bro. Adrian Panganiban, Bro. Michaelangelo Lobrin, Fr. Erick Santos to name a few)and I know that through your CG, you will have the best support system. I know I did with my CG. You will bless many people with your sharing and in return be blest by the outpouring of prayers and wishes. Seeing your photo in Bro. Adrian Panganiban’s wall, I know You are on the right path to healing, and bouncing back. You are a woman with a strong personality,I know it won’t take long for you to bounce.

Photo grabbed from Bro. Adrian Panganiban's Facebook account


The world is getting more and more unsafe for women every day. Plenty of women are abused in any way,  from something as simple as office harassment, to rape. And we could only stop this from happening to us once more if we start standing up for our right to live in a peaceful world.
Thank you for stepping out and standing up to fight for our rights. The journey is long, and emotionally draining. Sometimes the people or agencies that should protect women have lapses in their services. That’s why a lot of women are discouraged to even report a simple act of abuse, for fear of the stigma our society brings.

And then there are the bashers and the haters. You are the victim and yet you still end up the one to take all the blame for what happened in your life. True, we should be ready for the consequences our actions bring, but loving someone is just like that. When we love, do we anticipate that we would end up getting hurt instead of being loved by that person? No, but we give unconditional love, just like how we are loved by God.

May your decision in stepping out help more women realize that no matter how successful we are in life, we cannot escape abuse unless we take a stand against it. May more women learn from you how to value themselves more and not surrender to degrading acts such as harassment and domestic abuse.  

May you find true love once more in the Feast, in your family and friends and most of all from our loving Father in Heaven.

Yours truly.

Abuse knows no race, gender, nor religion. Abuse is just one of the manifestations from a  person who received the same abuse at some point in their early childhood years. And any form of abuse must not be tolerated but stopped and heal the abuser.

Love on the other hand is pretty much like abuse, it knows no race, gender nor religion. But it is the only thing that will stop the abuse. Love.  Love God above all things, love yourself next.

By the way, I am in no way related to Ms. De las Alas, nor have I met her in person. And most especially, no one paid me to write this post.  And even though she made some wrong choices in her life, as we all did at some point in ours, she still deserves some respect and for what she is going through.





Tonight, I am supposed to write something funny, but I ended up sad and wishing some things never happened. I was looking for pictures that I can use for my posts when I stumbled into a picture that I haven't seen before.Maybe it was God's way of putting an end to whatever it is that's bothering me.

Last month, I got a message from someone and I didn't know how to deal with it, so I ignored it and continued with my life.Everyday,I would have the urge to write back, as if it was God or the Holy Spirit prompting me to reply, but I held on to my hurt and pride.



Two years ago, in the midst of the chaos that I got myself into,one person suffered the consequences of my actions with me. It was unfair in a way because everything was supposed to be all about me and my family life, but just because she was with me at that time, she got herself into the same trouble as I had.

But I didn't saw it that way then. I was hurt and broken by the series of events that happened to me. And when more people become involve in the situation, the misunderstandings can happen. I was angry at how the situation was going to make me choose between my kids and them. It's really a no-brainer, and I would not trade my children for anything even if it meant letting go of some people.




Yes, I have to temporarily let go of some people in my life because of my children. I never regretted that move and it was one hell of a sacrifice I made. Only a real mother would understand my predicament. Upon reflecting and assessing my life, I realized something that made me think about it from time to time.Sometimes it is easier to forgive a certain person over another regardless of how much the person hurt you. But can you really weigh the pain you feel ? Is there a standard mode of measuring to determine how much you hurt emotionally?



 Pain is still pain, I think. So why can't I forgive the one person who has been a pillar of strength for me in the past and forgive someone else who has brought me to the brink of insanity? Maybe because I expected her to understand me more than anyone else and I didn't expect her to bail out on me.And that to me hurt a lot. Any kind of falling out with a family member is very painful.







She was always the very first one to come to my rescue every time I need to be rescued, the very first person to visit me in hospitals the countless times I was hospitalized since 2008. She was my wine buddy, eating buddy, laughing buddy, gossip buddy and shopping buddy. We were so close that some people cannot help but feel a bit jealous. And bringing me to the Feast is the biggest contribution she had in my life.

Because of the hurt which I nurtured and entertained, I intentionally hid her Facebook profile from my feed so I won't see any of her post. I don't want to know anything that's related to her and what she does anymore.And I guess that's also because I learned that she was too angry at me and cannot face me without being mad. And so I just tried to steer clear off her path as well.

The worst part is not getting invites to family occasions, just because they thought that we should not see each other and ruin the event. Talk about shallowness and narrow-mindedness. The "family" avoided me, and so I avoided them as well.And I proved to them that I do not need them in anyway. After all, I have done my part in helping them in the past. 



Many times I asked myself why I have to go through this and suffer being an outcast when I did nothing to intentionally hurt or harm them. What did I do to them that they need to choose sides?

I guess it is time to acknowledge the feelings that are kept hidden. Honestly, I can still feel a slight pang of anger at her and for the rest of the clan for not understanding me and the situation I was in, but I miss her. And this is the first time I acknowledge this feeling when I saw our pictures together. But, it is time to move on.




I don't know what the future holds in store for me. I just want to reminisce the good times we had. I am not being arrogant in not answering to her message. It's just so difficult for me to find the right words. I don't want to be misunderstood again. Some say it's easy to forgive but hard to forget. I wish it was that true and easy. To forgive and forget is difficult especially if you've been hurt badly. But we all know that time heals all wounds.

We've both moved on with our lives and started new chapters, made new friendships and connections. But as I always said, we may have misunderstandings big and small and no matter how long we heal from the wounds of the past, in the end, we are still family. We still have the same blood running through our veins. Only time can tell when we can finally forget everything and start anew and rekindle relationships. God has that in his plans already, we just have to wait for the right time, in His time.

It's time to be free!


♥♥



Photo source: mobileapples.com

I'm no Aileen Santos, I'm no relationship expert, and I don't claim to be one. I admit that, after two failed relationships, I really don't know how to start going out and seeing men again, on a different level. The kind of level that don't belong to these categories : colleague, former classmates and childhood friends. The kind of level that would send your insides turning, butterflies in your stomach that makes you feel alive once again. Definitely not with the two former relationships I had, the thought of it makes me shiver. The way I feel for them is like the way I feel for my brothers. I remember someone once told me that the difference between how you would feel for your brother and how you would feel for your husband or partner for that matter , is the "malice or lust" between the two of you. When this "malice or lust" fades off, then the relationship starts to die and the way you'd feel for them is similar to how you'd feel for a sibling.

Last night, the whole family went out with my sister and her new beau. I am shocked at how fast she was able to move on. She's been single for about 5 months or so, and look, she's in a new relationship now. I've been single for what, two years. Good thing though that her kids seem to like the guy. He is a great guy, by the way. But, I'm not into competing with anyone. Well, there were a couple of times that I saw someone with "lustful" intentions, but I think I am more matured right now to be thinking about someone with hidden desires ALL THE TIME. LOL!

I've been thinking about stepping out into the dating scene again, but I am still having some apprehensions on how my kids would feel about that. They are young, and I am not so sure how they would react if I ended up introducing a new man into their lives again. I enjoy being single and love every single moment of it. But there are moments when I start to feel a different kind of loneliness that somehow even prayers cannot ease. (sorry, God) After all, I'm just human. I am a complete woman with or without a man in my life, but sometimes just when you think you're okay, a situation comes up when you'd wish you have someone to take care of you. It's like an itch that you want to scratch but you don't know where itch is coming from. Annoying, right? :)

But, there's a special assignment that I need to do that makes me feel like I'm shooting for the moon. I have to write an article for a site that's launching soon. It's really not difficult to write an article, the hard part is to make your article believable. So, whether I like it or not, I have to step into my dating shoes once more to make my articles believable. If cupid won't miss this time, then I just might bag myself the biggest reward, the man below. :)

John Cusack



After an hour of deliberation, finally I got the idea of how I would start my journey into the world of dating AGAIN. I think it won't do any harm, I signed up for Tablefly.com.It's a website that will match you with a dining companion according to your preferences. I don't really know how much it's going to make a change in my life, but I think it is a believable site. Dinner dates are safe for first dates, it has been tried and proven. I love good food, good conversation, so, what do I have to lose?

The website is in it's initial phase and they are looking for sign-ups before the big launch. I personally signed up because I find it interesting. So, if you're feeling adventurous,like me,  you can start your dating escapades by signing up. Who knows we might just end up with "the one". Oh cupid, please don't miss this time!


Check out their introductory video below.


♥♥
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Finally, the election hullabaloo is done and over. We can get on with our lives now.

It's been a while since I last posted but I really got so very busy. It just never crossed my mind that I could actually do so much. God indeed is so great! Just when I was starting to feel depressed, He gave me so many things to do. I got very busy I forgot I was even feeling depressed!

Anyways, my title really has nothing to do with my post. It's just that I get so overwhelmed with my latest project that I don't even know how I can even finish it. Anyone dare help me? Literally, I am lost in translation. I am doing this big project of trying to transliterate the whole movie and just thinking about it makes me want to collapse. But, I have to finish it or else it's "good-bye to my favorite job".

And because I have a problem focusing on repetitive tasks, I sometimes shift my attention to something else so I don't get bored and lost interest. And this time, I shifted a bit (yes, just a bit) of my attention to my other favorite thing, learning how to cook. I've updated my cooking blog too and there are new posts which I want to share with you. There are actually four new posts and I hope you learn something from it. No matter how good you are in cooking, there is always something new to discover.

So, please check out my posts if you have the interest in cooking healthy and nutritious food.

Cooking Milestone: The Next Level
The Six Ingredients
Homemade Tomato Sauce
Breakfast: Eggs, Anyone?

Hope you learn something from it. Stay tuned for more!



I feel so guilty of being mad today and I feel sorry for my kids that they have to see me in this condition. They've done nothing wrong, but just be kids. I can't really help it. I am trying my best to relax, but somehow anxiety is getting the best of me. I know in my other blog, I try my best to think positive at all times, to be happy and to tell the world of the state I am in right now.But that's not exactly how I feel. At some point yes, but for most of the time,this. I feel the pressure of having to be the prefect mother, so that no one can take my kids away from me. But at some point, I pray to God to take them away from me if He will allow me to hurt them in any way.

I know my kids do not understand me, but I do not know how to explain them of the mood swings I have. Lately, the mood swings have been frequent. Maybe because there's been a sudden change in my life , and I am anticipating a bigger change. If there's one thing I can't handle it's sudden changes in my lifestyle. I need at least a month to settle to the idea, to let it sink in me so I can make the necessary changes needed from me.

My life is a big lie right now. I tell people how great I feel. What they don't know is that I feel like i am sinking in a quicksand, and struggling to survive.

I want to hug my kids and tell them the truth so they'll understand me, but I don't think they will.They're just too young for me to destroy the image of the good mother they have of me.

How can I stop my nerves from trembling, the things that are in my mind all the time. I have started to lose focus with the things I am doing at work. Two weeks ago, I was in a manic state of trying to do everything at once. My mind was full of ideas I don't know where to start. And then suddenly, bam! I feel so low, lower than how I felt high the past two weeks.

Can I really go on with my personal choice of stopping medication? Or am I risking my life and the kids' in this prerogative of mine. One thing's certain, either way, I am at the losing end. And my kids, I do not want them to go down with me. The only fear I have of putting them in their dad's care, is that he may be in a worse state than I am.

So I pray:

Father God, you're the only one who can deliver me out of this situation. Deliver me Lord and take away all the demons playing with my mind. I love my children so much. I do not want to see them suffer by what they see me go through. And I do not want them to be like me. Help me make the decision you want for me to do, for their sake. I pray that you bless me with extraordinary patience to be able to persevere through life. Help me see the beauty of life once more. I cannot go through this on my own. Help me through it. This is one big problem for me to handle. Take it away, O Lord. This is for you to solve. In Jesus' name. Amen



-Anne



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