Emerald

Hello! I know this blog was supposed to be posted two weeks ago but I got really busy and sick. Schlemiel me contracted some kind of infection, which left me ill all week. I’m not the kind of person who falls ill all the time. Maybe twice or three times a year, but not every month! Maybe time to re-evaluate my priorities? Something good came out of those two grueling weeks though–I realized I’m really fortunate for having the best and the kindest workmates and friends.

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Some of them covered for me while I was sick, and were genuinely concerned for my health. Being away from home for more than five years, I’ve become quite accustomed to taking care of myself–although every once in a while I would text my mom, telling her how much I miss the back massages she used to give me and my siblings everytime we’re sick. Sometimes it can get really lonely being alone, but that’s life I guess. At some point you have to leave the place grew up in and live in an unfamiliar city to actually grow as a person.

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Being in a strange place has its perks. When I arrived in Manila, I felt relieved. Finally I can leave behind all the bad memories and start a new leaf. I never knew anyone in Manila, save for my sister whose only address I know at the time. I and a college friend came with two big bags in each hands, traveled to Quezon City (a two-hour ride from my sister’s place) and looked for a room that we could rent. Our first months were not easy–our salaries were barely covering our needs; our room was too small for us both. We separated ways a year after and found myself living with three of my then-officemates afterwards.

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Many have told me how brave I am for leaving. Naga is a wonderful place, but I knew long before college that I’m destined for something greater, far greater than what people had set out for me. Maybe it’s because of my youth, but I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. Add to that my dream school, University of the Philippines – Diliman, is just a stone’s throw away from where I’m currently living. As soon as I settled myself in our new apartment, I enrolled in a Master’s Degree program, got a nice new job, and met new friends.

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SM GTW dress | Zapatto wedges

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I remember when I was just starting out in the big city, I made a dream wall where I posted things I wanted to achieve in five years–tangible and otherwise. I’m about 95% done. Looking back at some of the obstacles I faced, I think I deserve a pat on the back. For taking risks and facing the consequences after. For failing many times, but never giving up. Now I’m pretty much satisfied with what I have–really awesome friends, enough ‘resources’ at my disposal, and I’m marrying the love of my life. Things may have not started off right, but as they say–your end is always better than your beginning. Just hang in there. 🙂

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Mad Love

My friends and officemates often ask me: Do I ever feel sad? And I would answer with a resounding yes, but I try not to dwell on it. I always tell myself that no one else is responsible for my emotions but me. I can tell the whole world about my feelings but no other person can resolve it but me. While growing up, I have also discovered that negative emotions can be contagious. I want to be that person who’s a constant source of positive, happy energy. Each of us has our own struggles, and I don’t want to be that friend who always brings bad news. I do not want to inconvenience anyone by listening to rants and problems that (probably) do not concern them.

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My mom has taught me and my siblings to be independent. When we were kids, she would often talk to us about taking responsibility. As a child, I did not understand it then. I thought my mom was being too serious and ‘baduy’ by having those talks. I didn’t realize how much those talks have permeated my daily existence until today. Scoldings from parents do have a purpose after all. Sometimes I’d wonder if I can become an effective parent like my mother, especially now that I’m nearing that stage. 🙂

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A few weeks ago, Chad and I got engaged. YES WE’RE ENGAGED!!! 😀 😀 😀

I choose you @gypsealegs ????????

A photo posted by Daphne Benosa (@dafnyduck) on

Although having kids is not one of our current priorities, just thinking about it can be overwhelming. Seeing a little Chad and Daphne playing some day would be great, but we still have a lot of things to work on as a couple. Chad and I have had many talks about this in the past, even before announcing our official engagement, and I’m glad to have a partner who possesses the same line of thinking as I do.

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Many people think that when you get married, you can no longer have time for your own dreams. I disagree. That may be true for couples with kids but not for married couples. Chad and I still have lots of things to fulfill. More than a year ago we collaborated for several creative projects and realized how compatible we are, not just as boyfriend-girlfriend but as partners. We accomplish so much when we’re together and manage to weed through the challenges of long-distance relationship—these and many other things convince me that Chad and I will make it.

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Not that I need any convincing. I’ve loved Chad since meeting him more than a decade ago and nothing will ever dissuade me from marrying him. When he left for the States when I was in college, I totally gave up hope that I’d still see him. But he came back in 2011–and it was the right time. I’m not one to believe in ‘The One’ (oh boy, here we go), but that moment, our first conversation after so many years, I knew then he’s the person I’d marry. He’s my ideal man and my best friend, and it makes me so happy that I will be spending the rest of my life with this wonderful being. 🙂

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Top from SM GTW | Cotton On Trousers | Thrifted Parisian Sandals | MANGO Quilted Bag | Casio Watch
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Just thinking about Chad and our future makes all my worries go away. My officemates have remarked about my blooming aura since becoming engaged and I have to say it’s all because of the love I constantly receive from Chad, my family, and friends.

When you focus on how much you are loved instead of how unfortunate you are, it will show. It’s all about perspective. 🙂

Photos by Chad Verzosa <3

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8 Engagement Ring Shopping Rules

When buying an engagement ring for the one you love, it is both wise and correct for the groom-to-be to consult his future bride’s taste.

The engagement ring is generally not the biggest wedding expense – that’s typically reserved for the wedding reception – but for many women getting married is all about getting an awesome piece of jewelry.

But what if you are clueless as to what is the best approach to buying the perfect ring?

There is no need to panic. By following a few time-tested shopping rules, you can find a ring that is wow-worthy and a true token of your love.

  1. Become familiar with the 4c’s. A diamond ring’s value is determined by the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat weight. While clarity or flawlessness is an important factor when buying gemstones, color and carat are also important considerations. A reputable jeweler should provide verification that the stone is synthetic or natural and verify the stone’s color grade using the Gemological Institute of America’s grading system.
  2. Set a budget. While the jewelry industry recommends that you spend the equivalent of two month’s salary, you can figure out easily what is appropriate for the occasion and your paycheck. According to Modern Bride Magazine, couples typically spend around $2900 dollars on average for an engagement ring.
  3. Select the type of stone that she prefers. Some brides select a traditional diamond engagement ring with a round stone. While others prefer a setting featuring her birthstone. Many women skip the diamond and choose to wear larger semiprecious stones instead of a smaller and more expensive diamond rings. Aquamarines, sapphires, topazes and transparent tourmalines are lovely colorless diamond ring alternatives.
  4. Choose the proper setting for the stone. A ring’s setting frames the stone and sets the tone for the ring’s design. Modern designs like these Shaneco.com ring setting styles include: vintage, solitaire, yellow gold, rose gold, mounted bridal, and the option to completely design your own.
  5. Metals do matter. The metal of the ring should flatter the color of the stone and the bride’s skin tone or skin sensitivities. For example, 18-karat white gold is less likely to cause allergic reactions, but is more affordable than most 14-karat white settings.
  6. Consider her lifestyle. Think about the long-term ramifications of selecting the right ring for the wrong woman. For a woman who tears her pantyhose frequently, a heart or pear-shaped ring could prove to be disastrous. For a middle manager in a large corporate company a large 5-carat diamond may be perceived as gaudy and ostentatious by her coworkers or bosses.
  7. Don’t get ripped off by an unscrupulous jeweler. As with most expensive purchases in life, you should be careful of deals that look to good to be true. Although most jewelers are credible, diamond ring swindles still thrive. A legitimate jeweler should have no problem with you having a ring checked out by an appraiser before your final purchase.
  8. Take her to the store. Sure, it sounds un-romantic. But this is the best way to make sure you don’t buy a ring she hates. Make the first visit to the jeweler alone to discuss your budget and her stone and setting preferences. Then bring your fiancée to the store so she can choose the engagement ring she likes the best.

Presented by Shane Company