THE SUNDAY CURRENTLY : VOL. 2

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Surprise! Surprise! You’re right. It’s me! I’m back to blogging! Welcome back, my dear followers. It hurts to see my website traffic go down the drain after months of blogging hiatus. I missed this! There are lots of things happening lately and I’d like to share some with all of you. Welcome to another Sunday Currently series, the last one I made was way back 2015. Let’s do a round up of the things I’m doing at present.

CURRENTLY

Reading

my old blog posts (I missed doing these!), new recipes and baking techniques, and a number of skin care product reviews about Korean beauty products. I can’t wait to share with you all of the experiences with the new products I have. And please don’t forget to watch out for my new creations. Follow @DreiTalks and Drei Bakes!

Writing

this surprise drop blog post. It’s been a while since I last drafted and I’m taking advantage of this term break.

Listening

to Ariana Grande’s discography because I love how powerful she’s getting each day. With all the traumatic events that has happened to her in the past two years, I just admire how she’s able to overcome everything and how she’s able to produce quality music. She keeps on breathin and breathin and breathiiiin. Kidding, I honestly think that this era is her best! Thank you, next. Aside from Ariana’s, I’m hooked on Malibu Nights and the classic LANY songs.

Thinking

of Christmas and Holiday plans already. I have so much love for this time of the year and there are lots of things to be grateful for if I only divert my attention to things that really matter. #FaithHopeLove

Smelling

The Body Shop’s White Musk eau de parfum! It’s a combination of my favorite scents in one bottle. No wonder why it was Ji Eun Tak’s perfume in Goblin. Smells like heaven! Also, I’ve been obsessed with scented candles. I bought Krispy Kreme scented candles and now my room smells like a cute cafe. Looooove!

Wishing

for a looooong weekend. And for good final grades. Lord help me! Last na, I’m wishing for good restaurants to locate in Clark Global City. It’s my new fave place! Can’t wait to see how this place will look like in the next ten years! Amazing!

Hoping

that I’ll still be classmates with my college friends. I miss them so much I can’t imagine my second semester without them. Huhu.

Wearing

Uniqlo from head to toe. It’s been a year since I got featured! Haha! #smallvictories

Loving

everything in my life right now. No words.

Wanting

to lose weight and get clearer skin. Entering college and having a baking business is a bad bad bad combination. You gain weight, get stressed, and get acne. Haaay.

Needing

a catch up with my high school friends. Ahhhhhhh,  I miss you all so much. You all know who you are!

Feeling

happy because I am away from school. I’m. Not. even. kidding. If I could only focus on our business rather than going to college, I would. I am totally willing to devote my time and energy to business, actually. Haha! But of course, kailangan pa ring mag-aral. 


What I’m wearing: Uniqlo

Shoot Location: Clark Global City

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Life Lately : Summer Story Vol. 3

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They say that summer after high school is the best summer ever because you have it all to yourself and it’s upon you whether you waste your time or not. In hopes of making this statement true, here are a few things that’s currently making me live a not so mundane and boring life.

  • Growing my hair – Freedom it is! I’m finally free from any school rules and that includes the inescapable haircut policy. ‘Di ko gets mga Catholic school bakit bawal ang long hair sa mga lalaki, eh si Jesus nga long hair eh! Joke lang, wag seryosohin! Hahaha! Because everyone else is either shaving their head or coloring their hair, I’ll just sit down and let it grow. It’s been three months since I last had a proper haircut and now I’m on the verge of trimming it on my own. And I actually did. I mentioned that I hate how high maintenance this is but I’ll endure it because I want to have a hair like LA Aguinaldo’s. However, as of press time, I just had a new haircut and it just feels so refreshing and light. Adios, slicked back long hair. Haha!
  • Working from Home – While other people are traveling and having fun during summer, here I am working on my pending blog entries, and helping in our family business. Aside from that, I’m also a part time kasambahay. Sometimes I do the groceries, I cook meals, I fold the laundry and I do some of the household chores too. This is also the first break that I didn’t get to ruin my body clock. Maayos ang tulog ko. Habang nagwawaldas ng pera yung iba, ako naman kumakayod. Haaay, I’m such a good son talaga. I should be rewarded with skin products (hiiiiii mom and dad). Kidding aside, things are just getting bigger and better for our business! Can’t wait for this project to be finished. PSA: Kami po yung may-ari ng Old Town Ensaimada in case you’ve already tasted them. Hehe. And ako po yung gumagawa ng brownies and they’re my own recipe! Message me for orders! 😉
  • Major Plans – There are a few exciting things I can’t wait to share with all of you! First was purchasing my own domain which I’ve been dying to own since I was 15. Guys, welcome to ANDREIPARAS.COM.  Aside from that, the coming months will be very promising and there’s something waiting for you guys on my birth month. Only a few people know about it! Can’t believe I’ve painted my dreams. I’ve dropped hints in this post and on my Instagram stories before if you pay close attention. Truth be told, this has been planned long before I graduated. Can’t be thankful enough that the opportunities are the ones approaching me and not the other way around!
  • Spending time alone and with family – At long last, I was given ample time for myself. It’s actually very refreshing to stay away from school and from other people for quite a while and just spend time alone or with your family. Natupad yung wish kong magka-peace of mind. Iba pala talaga pag nalayo ka sa toxic na environment. I’ve spent time alone in the mall last month and it’s just very peaceful. Having a “me time” every once in a while is necessary too. I love the fact that I’m surrounded by my family and we get to spend everyday together. It’s just so calming and their presence makes everything feel better. We get to spend weekends going out and about (as always) and this makes this break more meaningful and fun. Every night is family night as well! Bawing-bawi yung nawalang family time ko because of school. 
  • Netflix – It’s my new addiction. Why did I not learn about this sooner?! I’m currently obsessed with the British Royal Family because of The Crown and other shows about the royals. Aside from that, I’m also into lifestyle (food and travel) documentaries too!
  • Rekindling my love for Arts – Since I’m on a long term break, it’s high time that I should go back to pointillism and coffee painting. The last time I did was three years ago and now’s the perfect time to make a comeback! My recent art works are for my model crushes Kelsey Merritt  and Maureen Wroblewitz!
  • Culinary Love – You should be aware that I spend more time in the kitchen than any other part of the house. I’m not even kidding! Two years ago I was into making my own Japanese cuisine which was so goddamn difficult to make. Last year was about American and probably the easiest. This year is all about Italian cuisine because I’m currently feeding on pasta and pizza. I make pasta sauces, pizza crusts and recipes, and breads all from scratch! It’s quite challenging but the results are worth it. Sana lumaki na biceps ko sa kaka-knead ng pizza dough. Haha! Actually mas marami pa akong nakain na pasta than rice this summer. Pizza all day every day!
  • Prepping for college – Honestly, I’m looking forward to going to college more than ever. I’m very hopeful and positive about this because Psychology is something that interests me and I can’t wait to explore this discipline more. I couldn’t wait to apply what I learn in Psych in real life. I strongly believe that this is made for me and I’m made for this. And I know it’s going to work on my advantage. There’s plenty of career choices if you finish Psychology, and that’s just great because I believe I haven’t picked the perfect career path for me yet. As of this writing, I’m actually thinking of pursuing medicine because I’m thinking of becoming a Dermatologist. Pero dahil may food business kami at mahilig naman akong magluto, naiisipan ko ring mag-chef. Bahala na! Dasal lang talaga. Hahaha! Future MD or future chef? Hmmm.

 

That’s it for the third volume of my Life Lately Summer Story series! Stalk me if you want to see the first two entries! See you all again in summer 2019. 🙂


(What I’m wearing: Denim button down from H&M, shorts from Uniqlo, aviators from Sunnies Studios)

Locations: Berthaphil II, Clark; Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City

 

Drei Talks ‘DreiTalks’

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Skin care is something I am really passionate about, like most of you know, and I do everything just to have a clear complexion.  You’ve all witnessed how much money, time, and effort I invest in skin care per se. My affinity for this started two years ago when I had a terrible case of acne. It was the worst I’ve ever had in my lifetime and my self-esteem was absolutely on the line. Nodules here and there, with pustules on the side, leaving stubborn acne scars afterwards. I felt really really bad about myself. Yikes. However, the seemingly bad situation made me discover that I do have a knack for doing skin product reviews because I tried everything I can just to cure my acne. Months and ten skin products later, my skin was at its prime. It was crystal clear and my skin quality has improved significantly.  I never thought it will be at its best. Thus, my love for skin care reached greater heights.


Last December, I thought of sharing new product reviews online because it’s been a while since I last did. But I don’t know where to post them, they weren’t blog worthy and I don’t like seeing them on my main Twitter account. Then it just occurred to me, “Why don’t I create a new handle dedicated to all my skin product reviews, lifestyle opinions and choices, and everything in between?“. Hence, I asked my Twitter followers to answer a poll about creating a new account dedicated for skin care tips, product reviews, and lifestyle talks. To my surprise, most of them wanted me to create a new one! Lo and behold, @DreiTalks was born.

Why create a new handle? It’s because I don’t want my reviews and tips to be combined with my personal tweets. I want a separate account for my lifestyle opinions because they might mix up with my personal thoughts and convictions. I want a microblog dedicated solely to skin care and lifestyle. This account is a compilation of my vanity and musings. Here I can talk about almost everything. Be it skin care, fashion, food, travel, arts, life tips, or anything I’m good at. It’s also a testament of my spontaneity because whatever comes into my mind, I usually post it here without reservations. When I get random ideas, I ask my followers to answer polls before posting. Another reason why I create polls is because I value my engagement with these people. They’re the reason why I continue doing this and they’re also one of the reasons why I get to do what I love and love what I do in return!  I post reviews about both expensive and affordable products because I have diverse followers. Some can afford proven and tested products while others settle for cheap yet effective ones. Nothing wrong with the latter, what matters is that it works!

Moving on, Why ‘DreiTalks’? Obviously, it’s just me who’s doing all the talking. Hence the name, Andrei Talks. Drei Talks. This account is a more honest @andreiparas. You guys are aware of that if you follow me on both handles!

In DreiTalks, I initially followed my friends and some loyal followers. But as days pass by, I noticed that there are other people who follow me aside from my friends and school mates. To my surprise, random people follow and message me too! Some of them are total strangers who ask for pieces of advice and I just get surprised that other people know me pala! This account is dedicated to all those who struggle with skin issues. What I love about creating this is that I get more connected to my followers and readers and this makes me value my relationship with them. It just feels so fulfilling when they send me messages that I’ve helped them, that their skin has cleared up, that I helped them gain confidence by imparting my knowledge. It just makes me instantly happy that I’m able to extend a helping hand to others. May magandang epekto naman pala mga capricho ko. Haha! And recently, this got me thinking if I should consider taking up medicine after I finish my course. I want to see myself become a dermatologist who owns a clinic and who develops his own skin products. Ahhh, what a concept! I’ll do my best to make it happen and not just let it become a ‘concept’. Who knows what’s going to happen next? Follow me @DreiTalks!


Photos by Verneil Batiller, HMUA: Carmela Cunan, as seen on FOCUS magazine January issue

 

How much GC is too much GC?

“Ay masyadong gc, di marunong mag-enjoy sa buhay ‘to.”

“‘Di na kita tatanungin, obvious namang nag-review ka. Memorize mo na lahat eh.”

“Sus, pabibo. Grades lang ‘yan!”

These are just some of  the most common lines that grade conscious students normally hear. And yes, I am one and I experience this all the time. I believe these lines are a testament of the rise of smart shaming in the society. The aforementioned lines are like music to our ears, to tell you honestly. The term “Grade Conscious” or “GC” has eventually become our scarlet letter that seems to be wrapped all around our head open for public scrutiny. Frankly, it’s already part of our identity. People think that once you belong to this club, you become that student whose attention is directed exclusively to grades and studies. You are that student who aces everything without breaking a sweat. You are that student who is stereotyped for being anti-social. You have established a reputation that your life revolves around your grades and you get anxious about the thought of getting 85 below. Being grade conscious is like joining a religion that is yet to be entered by the masses. I admit that I am part of that cult. For the record, let me answer those who keep on sneering at GC students like me.  No, we don’t know everything and we don’t claim superiority over others. And yes, we still have time to socialize and have fun. And of course, we get to experience difficulties in some lessons too. We are still considered normal students who also commit mistakes and encounter failures. But instead of dwelling on them, we search for ways to gain more knowledge, to learn from our wrongdoings, and to find room for improvement.

The only difference is our standards. What’s enough for others might be insufficient for us. A passing grade for some might be our most dreaded mark. Label us “fishing for compliments” but it’s unlike us to drag ourselves into the incompetence of others. We are always on the hunt for the best. We are afraid of being average. It’s not being papansin, it’s not being pabibo. It’s about striving for the best and adhering to your own standards. I know that some students have diverse thoughts regarding this. Yes, grades are just numerical and abstract representations of your academic efforts and they don’t necessarily measure your intelligence, creativity, and interpersonal skills. And yes, grades don’t guarantee you a brighter future. Your medals and certificates don’t determine success. But I digress. As opposed to majority, I believe that there will always be a correlation among the two. Your progress in one thing can lead to your excellence in the other. Grades can, somehow, tell how far you are willing to risk in order to achieve something. They are a concrete evidence of your consistent labor and discipline hence, they are more than just numbers.

Now you ask me, how much grade conscious is too much grade conscious? When does it become too much? On a personal note, I say as long as you keep everything balanced and your genuine desire is to learn and to give your best, nothing will ever be too much.  As long as you don’t step on anyone’s toes just to get ahead, as long as you strive, then it’s fine. After all, focusing on your studies is better than slacking off.


#GCLife

Is it difficult to be GC? Being the quintessential grade conscious student I am, I may say no because it’s innate in me to give my best in what I do. Since then, I’ve always been a studious kid. My level of grade consciousness, however, might be brought by certain circumstances such as being surrounded by competitive individuals for many years or being faced with the high expectations of my teachers. Admit it or not, being GC is not the hardest part. Maintaining your grades and assuring that you get past the cutoff grade is. Going the extra mile and spreading yourself too thin is. Keeping up with the pressure and the expectations from yourself and from your family is. It is draining. It can even lead to burnouts. But how do we keep up? It all comes down to your mental strength. It’s hard to be consistent. It’s hard to stay focused, and with the screwed up education system we have at present, it’s impossible not to be grade conscious. Hence, there’s a need for a  motivation. You have to visualize a finish line or a trophy for you to keep on pushing and hustling. You need to keep your eyes on the prize and when you see the result of your hard work, you’ll get motivated to do even better.


Best of You

In this age where people consider it normal to deliberately mock those who are vocal and firm about their beliefs and knowledge, it’s better to stay above it.  Don’t ever think that it’s wrong to study hard or it’s wrong to be aware. It’s your duty to educate and motivate yourself and not let anyone tell you otherwise. Turn their annoying edi wow’s to uplifting OMG How?!’s.  I kid you not. 

Being GC pushes you to your boundaries. It pushes you to your limits and this way, you’ll get to know how far you are willing to go for the things you want. In all honesty, I view school work as challenges that I need to surpass and complete within a given time frame. That’s how I see it. I always find a way to complete them in a systematic way, and there needs to be a step by step process in their completion. And this is what others don’t understand. Regardless of the merit, I always remind myself that learning should be the main priority. Learning is just as important and it goes hand in hand with getting nice grades. This keeps you motivated and competent. It makes you want to strive harder. And if you keep that drive, once you get to college or if you get employed, it’s going to work on your advantage. Your persistence and discipline will save you. You don’t underestimate the power of grades, they can help in your future as well. 


When is it inappropriate?

On the downside, if you use your knowledge or intelligence to blatantly display superiority and to belittle others, then it’s high time that you should reevaluate yourself. And if you think that getting into the honors list gives you a sense of entitlement, then settle your personal issues. There are those who deliberately pull other people down just to get forward. And worse, some even cheat their way up. I would rather enjoy my humble achievements than get awarded for something I didn’t work hard for. Academic dishonesty is a whole different story. Going back, instead of being condescending, aspire to be inspiring. Lead by example, you know, if others see that you have this unquenched thirst for knowledge, chances are they will do the same. And also, if you neglect your personal health, sacrifice family time, and ignore your personal recreation just to get that 98, you’re not helping. Stop normalizing and sensationalizing burnouts and toxic practices to get straight A’s. Quit glorifying sleepless nights to ace that exam. You have to rest if you need. Learn how to step back in order to make multiple steps forward. I know the dilemma of wanting to push yourself further and wanting to quit. Just train your mind to see the positive. The glory and prestige goes away with time, but learning does not. I repeat, it’s all about balance. There will always be a healthy and an appropriate method in achieving your aspirations in life.


Being gc isn’t only limited to getting good grades, it’s also about knowing the importance of learning, being competent, and excelling in your own field. It’s also about igniting the fire inside you. There’s more than what meets the eye. I think that’s what people should remember, it’s never wrong to be grade conscious. You just have to know your limits and have the perfect balance of everything. Again, grades measure how willing you are to exert effort on something. And I wish that people regard that value of persistence and labor in their daily lives. That’s all. 

 

 

Thoughts? Comment down below.