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When It Comes to Presents, It’s The Thought That Counts

It’s the thought that counts, indeed. Prepare your materials and get your loved ones the DIY gift that they deserve!

Instead of spending a lot of your time roaming around the mall or looking for products online for the perfect gift for your loved ones, consider doing it yourself. All you need are some stationary, pencils, markers, stickers, etc.—just some crafty stuff for a perfect gift, but you’re going to need to channel your creativity and your love into this one.

Materials used to create your perfect gift ideas

Yes, we get that panic when we look at the calendar and few weeks from now, it will be the special day of a special someone. Worst case scenario, we still haven’t prepared their anticipated birthday gift!

Well, it takes time to think of the perfect gift for them, you’d be thinking, “Should I get my sister the bag that she wanted since last month?”, “Should I get my mother the latest Victoria Secret perfume?”, “Should I get my best friend tickets for a concert?”, “Should I get my brother another shirt?”, “Should I get dad a new watch?” or “Should I just greet them a happy birthday?”

Remind yourself, “It’s the thought that counts.”

Give them something that reminds them of your bond. More than anything, it’s important to make them feel special. A DIY craft will guide you in deciding the perfect gift for your loved ones. You can get it done by the weekend without disappointing your budget.

Art involves unstructured activities where one can enhance and explore their imagination, while craft involves activities where one can identity their goal in mind. When you combine these two together, it’s a symbolic communication through the art and craft that you can create. You can always use your DIY crafts as an expression of your feelings and trust us, your loved ones will appreciate them because it involves your effort, time, creativity and heart.

Gather your friends for a fun and creative art and crafts session

Do-It-Yourself or also known as DIY, is a popular trend. It’s about repairing and enhancing materials in order to come up with a masterpiece. It boosts your inner craftsmanship and uniqueness, while at the same time it’s recreational and a cost-saving activity.

People are appreciating the power of crafts and recycled art in order to create a product that is useful and creative. You think of a gift and you come up of different materials in order to create that product and with the help of the magic pens, scissors, glue or stickers, you are able to manifest a good idea. 

The more effort you put into your perfect gift idea, the more creativity and the more love can be shown in the final product. 

Here are some DIY gift ideas for your loved ones:

How about a Jar of Sweets for you loved ones?

DIY Jar of Sweets (As easy as 4 little steps):

  • Buy their favorite candies or bake their favorite cookies. You can always exert an extra amount of effort when you have little notes inside the jar.
  • Look for a recycled jar. (Make sure it’s clean)
  • Don’t forget to decorate your jar.
  • Pour all your love sweets into the jar.

How about an awesome memory box?

DIY Memory Box (As easy as 5 little steps):

  • Prepare a shoe box.
  • Decorate your shoe box with paint or crafted papers.
  • Put your memory photos with your loved one.
  • Put cute letters and notes.
  • If you can, put all the stuff that you’ve collected with them. (Movie tickets, friendship bracelets, etc.)

If you’re up for more creative and awesome gift ideas, you can always check Pinterest and YouTube. On Youtube, you can always check DIY videos if you prefer visual tutorials.

The process of making our creation provides appreciation of our feelings through symbolic communication. DIY guides us into our own individual craftsmanship and self-expression. You don’t even need to spend too much for a gift to make your loved ones feel special.

It’s the thought that counts, indeed. Prepare your materials and get your loved ones the DIY gift that they deserve!


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The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:


Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.


Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.


In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.


Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.


Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.


In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

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Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+


Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

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PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.


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