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Single and Available? 5 Things to Feel the Love this Valentine’s

Single and Available? 5 Things to Feel the Love this Valentine’s

It’s a commercial holiday, I know. Actually, it’s not even a holiday in the sense that we’re all at our offices. If it were a legitimate holiday, we should be either happily snuggled in our bed or off to another adventure outside the city borders.

Last week, we talked about the top romantic places for adventurers like us. I know it was a pretty biased piece because I wrote that for the people that had relationships or a partner to share tomorrow with or the long weekend that is Chinese New Year X Valentine’s. 

Although if you read last week’s story again, you’d notice that any place you’d go, whether with or without a date, is romantic in itself. Nature and creation is the greatest romance that our eyes have laid upon so whether single or in a relationship, it’s sure to take our breath away.

Then again, not all of us are planning to celebrate the way society would have us tomorrow or this weekend but then again, who needs a date when you can do all these things with your squad or yourself?

What I love about this list is that you don’t need an expensive getaway to some island paradise of your dreams. You can easily do it where you are, whether you’re in the city or outside. Not all of us have time and quite frankly, most of us would rather use the extra time to get that well-needed and well-deserved beauty rest. 

But if you’re like me who gets rejuvenated by enjoying a new scenery whether it’s looking at the ocean or a new image of yourself, these five tips will surely help you figure out how to maximize this long weekend.

Number 1 - Get a makeover

Both guys and gals need this even the least girly girl needs a sprucing up once in a while. Get your squad to go do a beauty session with you or if you prefer this as a “me time” then it’s a perfect opportunity to finish reading that book from last year while you lose track of time in the salon.

There’s no need for a huge makeover or even plastic surgery (uh no!). Even a simple haircut or a new hair color can brighten up your look and make you feel better about yourself. These days we all got to love ourselves a little bit more and allowing yourself to get pampered once in awhile is something we deserve - millennial or not.

For my mermaids and beach bums, getting our hair colored is always a struggle. Sometimes, it’s not always the latest style or shade that would suit us and our lifestyle. My hairdresser Shaad Maulana of Coiff It Up Salon, would always recommend getting a cut and color that both fits your personality and lifestyle. Don’t choose one just because it’s the latest trend. 

“Own your style!” He would always say.  It would be nice to get really light blonde or go gray since it’s the trend now but if you spend most of your time out in the sun and in the water (ocean or pool), your hair is going to get even lighter so he recommends a darker shade to start. Oh, and moisturize and moisturize - both your skin and hair.

Too much sunscreen? It helps protect your face and gives you a temporary mask out in the lineup. Zinc art by Bhrett Baker.

Too much sunscreen? It helps protect your face and gives you a temporary mask out in the lineup. Zinc art by Bhrett Baker.

Number 2 - Treat your skin

In case you forgot, our skin is our largest organ. It’s also the most exposed and it’s the first thing people would notice up close. While I had the blessing of being acne-free during my pre-teen years, hormones change and sometimes genes kick in and our skin isn’t the same as it used to be. 

I used to think that going to the dermatologist is a luxury and purely for aesthetic. I was so wrong. It’s like going to the salon - your skin needs maintenance just like your hair does. Not to mention our hair is also partly made up of skin (keratin and dead skin cells to be exact).

Once in awhile, a check-up to the dermatologist is in order especially when you feel that your skin has a problem. It could be skin that’s too dry or too oily. Maybe it could be that you’re starting to see pimples that never used to be existent, now that’s definitely a red flag. 

Don’t just prick them and pray they’d go away. They don’t. Doctors studied a LOT of years to let us know what works best for our skin or not, a professional always gives the best advice.

Our skin is as unique as we are so I certainly won’t start advising what’s the best way to have the clearest skin but my dermatologist, Skin Doctors’ Dr. Chris Calolot,  would keep stressing how important it is to wear sunscreen when we go out. Yes, you heard me right. 
Don’t just use sunscreen when you’re surfing or at the beach. 

Our daily sun exposure has an impact on our skin that we may not see immediately. Don’t wait for “I told you so”. Have it checked and again, we deserve to take care of our body’s biggest organ.

Remember when on retail therapy, check the labels! Sustainable fashion is the way to go!.jpg

Number 3 - Retail therapy

Nothing beats the feeling of having something new. Either you’ve scored great deals on those Valentine’s Day discounts in every mall in Davao or you’ve just had the time to check out if your favorite ukay-ukay stalls have new stock; shopping has a way of making us feel better.

Before you raise your eyebrows and say that this isn’t helpful, moderate and responsible shopping is beneficial. You’re spending money from your long hours working, it’s something that you deserve. But before you go and swipe your cards, make the extra effort of checking if the brand you’re buying from is ethically produced or even sustainably made.

I know H&M has this wonderful garment collecting campaign called “Bring It” where you can of getting discounts on your next purchase if you bring your unwanted used clothes or textiles of any brand. H&M collects and sees if they can reuse, rewear or recycle these items. I’m not sure on how much discount they give but I know that you can bring your textiles to any store worldwide.

If you're not feeling like spending why not create your own healthy indulgence this Vday? Here's Bhrett's own version of a healthy smoothie bowl.

If you're not feeling like spending why not create your own healthy indulgence this Vday? Here's Bhrett's own version of a healthy smoothie bowl.

Number 4 - Make your tummy happy

It depends on your personality if you’d rather be full than have new clothes but spending money on a great dining experience is a reward in itself. Davao has a lot of new restaurants and cafes that range from different cuisines. 

SM Lanang’s Food Hall is an amazing place to start if you’ve got a budget to spend on. They’ve got the best of Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese and a lot more I can’t pronounce right. If you’d rather eat a lot more on a lesser budget then Roxas Night Market is the ultimate place to be.

I’m not a food blogger so I would suggest to check out Kape Diaries (@kapediaries aka RJ Lumawag of Sunstar Davao) as the tummy behind this blog has been to almost all the foodie places in Davao and nearby. He’s also written his reviews and you can get the information you need before you even go.

Sometimes, solo travel is the best way to give yourself the proper time to relax.jpg

Number 5 - Travel with your best self

It used to be weird or unheard of but in this age, traveling with yourself has its own benefits. You get to meet new people and widen your network. You have more time to introspect about life. 

Your schedule doesn’t have to depend on other people’s moods or feelings. Knowing thyself is of utmost importance. It’ll save a lot of heartaches later on when you’re starting a relationship with another human. 

There a lot of options that don’t cost a lot of money when you’re traveling solo. Joining tours and staying in hostels where you can meet a lot of like-minded travelers is the perfect atmosphere to be in. 

If you’re looking for nearby places, Dahican Surf Resort has hostel-type accommodations to help you get settled. Thinking of traveling around the Philippines? The Circle Hostel has chains in Baler, La Union, and Zambales that offer the same culture and community #ThereAreNoStrangers.

I hope this empowers you to take life full on, whether you’re in a relationship with the waves or with yourself. ✨


Mermaid Firsts: Hello Zambales!

Mermaid Firsts: Hello Zambales!

5 Romantic Places for Budget Adventurers

5 Romantic Places for Budget Adventurers