Saturday, September 15, 2012

Less is More with the Floating Soap

 Ivory's Advertising Campaign Print Ad (Photo: Business Wire)
Keep it pure. Clean. Simple.
That is Ivory's brand promise.

My relationship with Ivory started with its bar soap - the only floating bar soap that I know. Ivory is one of P&G's oldest products (first sold in 1879), reason why P&G is sometimes called "Ivory Towers" and its factory and research center in St. Bernard, Ohio is called "Ivorydale".   My mom made me use this for my face years back as I was the teenager who, yes, experienced some years of acne-prone face. A doctor also advised her to use this for her face when she was younger. This soap is so mild babies can use it.  It's clean scent just makes you feel so fresh.  When I outgrew my  pimples-stage I have stopped using this soap and tried different facial washes and bars being advertised in the market which promised a beautiful and glowing skin.  But my breakouts suddenly returned due to tremendous amounts of stress maybe, and I, in panic, tried so many facial washes hoping I would someday find "the one".  

Accepting defeat, mom advised me to use Ivory again, nothing else.  I heed to her advice, as I had no other choice, and my breakouts have disappeared and, more importantly, stopped returning.  From then on until this day, I have remained loyal to this simple and pure floating soap.

1898 Ivory Advertisement Poster
Did you know that this soap was made to float by accident?   

According to an urban legend, a company worker accidentally left the mixing machine on too long which whipped air into the mixture.  The company still decided to sell the "ruined" batch because mixing air longer did not change the basic ingredients of the soap. When appreciative letters about the new, floating soap inundated the company, P&G ordered the extended mix time as a standard setting.

However, company records indicate that the design of Ivory was not a result of an accident.  In 2004, over 100 years later, the P&G company archivist Ed Rider found documentation which revealed that chemist James N. Gamble, son of the founder, had discovered how to make the soap float and noted the result in his writings.   Anyhow, by accident or not, many consumers from all over the world enjoyed, and still do until this day, using this floating soap.

Make sure you buy the imported ones wrapped in paper, not the boxed ones.  (Shown in photo above) This does NOT come in different scents.  I know the locally manufactured Ivory bar soap comes in various scents and packed in boxes, not those ones.

Ivory's old packaging in Original, Aloe and Lavender scents
From bar for face, to wash for the body...
My skin has been usually sensitive to body soaps and other heavily perfumed and moisturized washes, they give me breakouts.  And soap-free body washes do not seem to be enough for everyday use.  I am glad to have discovered Ivory's version of body wash.   It's mild formula leaves my skin clean and fresh, while not stripped of its natural moisture.

New look of Ivory Body Wash in Aloe

It comes in Original, Aloe and Lavender scents, at least here in the Philippines.  I have tried all three, and my personal favorite is Aloe. I am into it's fresh, clean and mild scent.  But currently I am using Lavender just to break the monotony of scent.  I can buy it cheapest in Landmark for Php 178; while it is sold at Php200+ in other stores.  It only comes in one size which is a 709 ml bottle.  It has a new packaging recently.  I have to admit I still like the old simple look.

For those who like to keep it pure, Ivory is the perfect bath companion as it keeps it clean and simple for you.  Indeed, big things come in small packages.  Mundane and simple things that we fail to recognize can sometimes be the answer to our most perplex questions. ;)

Not too much and not too little.
Just the right amount of bubbles.
Just a little scent. And there you go. ♥

What do you think about these products?  Drop some comments.

See all HEALTH and BEAUTY posts. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Date A Girl Who Travels

One of the perks of having a boyfriend who works with planes is getting a free monthly subscription of the in-flight magazine (from him).  For me that is a biggie!  In the August issue of Mabuhay Magazine handed to me by Yan when I came back from Mauritius, I stumbled upon this so cute, well-written, and truthful (yes I am biased as can be) article by fellow blogger Aleah Taboclaon.

by Aleah Taboclaon

Cebu, Philippines
Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes. She may not look like a fashion plate, but behind that tanned and freckled face from all the days out in the sun, lies a mind that can take you places and an open heart that will take you for what you are, not for what you can be.

Date a girl who travels. You’ll recognize her by the backpack she always carries. She won’t be carrying a dainty handbag; where will she put her travel journal, her pens, and the LED flashlight that’s always attached to her bag’s zipper? In a small purse, how can she bring the small coil of travel string, the wet tissues, the box of cracker, and the bottle of water she’s always ready with, just in case something happens and she can’t go home yet?

Yes, a girl who travels knows that anytime, anything can happen and she just has to be prepared with it. Nothing takes her by surprise; she takes everything with equanimity, knowing that such things are always a part of life. She’s reliable and dependable, traits that she’s learned while on the road.

You’ll also recognize a girl who travels by the fact that she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home town or in a place that’s totally new. She sees beauty all around her, not just the ones featured in travel guides or shown in postcards. A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life. She won’t judge you, or pressure you to do things you don’t want to do. She knows too much about the importance of identity and self-efficacy, and she will appreciate all the more if you won’t pretend to be who you’re not.

You can make mistakes with a girl who travels, and you can also be as idiosyncratic as you can be. Trust me, she has seen so much worse in her travels, and knows firsthand the vagaries of human nature.

Sunway Lagoon, Kuala Lumpur
Date a girl who travels, because when you’re with her, you’ll realize that even though she’s napped at a temple in Angkor Wat, went boating down the
Mekong Delta, ran by the streets of Saigon, or went skinny-dipping in the caves in the Philippines, she still retains that humility that is the mark of a real traveler. She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled by the fact that the world is still a big place and she’s only seen a small part of it. Seeing this in her can make you feel all right with yourself too; there’s no need for you to do more, to be more. What you are is enough. 

When you meet a girl who travels, ask her where she’s been and what she’s going to do next. She will appreciate your interest, and if you’re lucky, she may even invite you to join her. When she does, do. Nothing bonds people better than traveling. On your trips, you will both see each other’s best and worst characteristics, and you can then decide whether she’s worth fighting for.

It’s easy enough to date a girl who travels. She won’t want expensive gifts; you can buy her (or both of you) cheap tickets to Thailand for the weekend, and she’ll be more than happy to take you to the longest wooden bridge in the country. You don’t even have to go overseas; you can take her out on day trips, caving or hiking, or treat her to a full body massage.

You can also buy her the little things that she keeps forgetting to buy for herself; that carabiner that will attach her backpack to her seat so that she will feel easier about sleeping on her bus trip, or a backpack cover, a small alarm clock, a money belt, or maybe another sarong that will replace the one she lost in China.

She won’t mind if you get lost on your way to a date. She knows that oftentimes, the journey is more important than the destination. She will help you see the lighter side of things. She’ll walk along with you, not behind you, pointing out the interesting bits of things you’ll see on the way. Before long, you’ll realize that yes, the journey has been more memorable than the destination that you’ve planned to take her to.

Sunset at Kuta Beach, Bali

Is a girl who travels worth it? Yes, she is. So when you find her, keep her. Don’t lose her with your insecurities and doubts. Because when she says she loves you, she really does. After all, she’s seen so many things, met so many people, and if she had chosen you, better grab that opportunity and thank the gods that you were lucky enough she’s chosen you and not that bloke she met while watching the sun rise in Angkor Wat, or while whitewater rafting in the Padas Gorge in Sabah.

If she says she loves you, she must have seen something in you, something that can always call her back from her travels, something that can anchor her to the world in the way that she wants to after weeks and months of being on the road.

Date a girl who travels. Make her feel safe, warm, and secure. Make her believe that no matter where she goes, and however long she’s gone, you’ll always be there for her, the one that she can call home.

Find a girl who travels. Date her, love her, and marry her, and your world will never be the same again. ♥

Aleah wrote this article in Copenhagen, Denmark during her 70-day solo backpacking trip in Europe.  This was first published on her blog,, where it became viral with over 30,000 shares in Facebook and Twitter. (Courtesy of Mabuhay Magazine August 2012 Issue) 

See all TRAVEL posts.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Going Goa in India

When I went to Little India in Singapore a year ago, I was fascinated by the feeling of being transported to an entirely different world. The music, the colors, the people, the houses - they just speak out loud of what an Indian culture is about. And I wonder what would it be like to be in India for real.

I have been to Goa, India twice.  On my first visit, I was both excited and anxious about what awaits 3,000 miles from home.  The 24-hour travel time, including hours of waiting at the airport, definitely took its toll on us. Took us three plane rides before we reached our final destination - Manila to HK, HK to Mumbai, and finally Mumbai to Goa.

Goa was better than what I was expecting. It's very laid back and people are friendly.  We stayed in a resort called Vaniguinim Valley Resort. It's a 30-minute drive from the town, but will only take you 2 minutes to walk to the beach.  This beach is stretch of yellowish sand shore where a five-star  hotel and resort can be found.  I always think about how lovely it would be to just hang out by that beach at night and just chill, though I never got a chance to do that.

Vainguinim Beach

The RayBan Wayfarer I am wearing on the photo above is purchased at Specto Opticals in Goa.  I bought it for about Rs 6000+.  And I bought my sister an Aviator for about Rs 4,000. RayBans are really cheap here!

This year we stayed in a much convenient location right in the heart of Panjim very close to the jetty terminal, where we go to everyday for the event we are organizing, and is surrounded by shops and restaurants - Hotel Fidalgo.

Floating Casino

We were in India for a business trips, to hold the APT Asian Series Goa aboard Casino Royale Goa - a floating casino.  This is interesting... in Goa, it used to be illegal to build casinos, so clever businessmen put them on the water, afloat Mandovi River in Panjim.  You can see several casino ships anchored in their own territories.  It's quite an attraction for locals and tourists alike.  In Casino Royale, to enter the ship you have to pay an entrance fee of INR 2,000 which is inclusive of a buffet dinner, drink and INR 1,000 worth of casino chips. Aboard the ship everything's for free - from drinks, to food, to cigarettes, name it.  Families, groups of friends, couples, people from different age groups go to the ship for a night of fun.  There are a lot of kids too! There's a room for the kids called Turks Room where parents can leave their kids under the care of a babysitter to play, watch TV, or just sleep.

Aboard the jetty, on the way to the ship

During the APT event in 2011, they set up a nice dinner place at the top deck because the even occupied the restaurant level.

Aboard the ship with Rachelle and Asha

Sahakari Spice Farm

When we got the chance to get away for a few hours last November 2011, we went to Sahakari Spice Farm.  Entrance fee is  Rs 400.  A guide will tour you around the farm stopping to explain about different spices that they grow as we go along the way.  The fee covers welcome drinks, 1-hour tour, and lunch.

Sahakari Spice Farm is situated amidst lush green surroundings at Curti. The taluka of Ponda in which it is located, is extremely popular amongst tourists for its rich cultural heritage and magnificently designed places of worship. This Spice farm adds to the variety of tourist destinations that Ponda has to boast of.

We were welcomed warmly at the farm.  An  Indian lady in Sari put a Bindi on our foreheads.  We were also given garlands.  There's also a group of girls who will start to dance whenever new guests arrive.  Before the tour. all guests were gathered under cottage and served with tea and cheeselings. And groups will be formed with a tour guide each, and the tour then will begin.

A Bindi was put on our foreheads. 
We were welcomed by garlands.

Before the tour started, we were served tea and cheeselings.

The tour guide explaining something about turmeric.

A girl is being "blessed" by the elephant by putting its snout above her head and letting out a loud honking sound.

At the end of the tour, the guide poured cold water at tour backs to freshen up.

Lunch consists of  traditional Indian food.

Of course, there's a spice shop inside the farm where you can buy different types of spices grown in the farm and Indian delicacies.  During the tour, the guide mentioned that if you put twigs of vanilla inside a jar of sugar, the sugar will be infused with vanilla flavor.  So I bought some. As I tried it when I got back home, I was not really satisfied with the result. I'm not sure if I did something wrong.

For more details on the farm, you may visit their website at

Churches in Goa

During the drive from the airport to our  hotel when we first went to Goa, I was surprised to see churches and cemeteries on our way. There are about 27% of Christians in Goa. The rest are Hindus.

Last year after the Sahakari Spice Farm tour we went to St. Francis Church.

Last May 2012 during our stay in Goa, there's this beautiful white church we always pass by going to the jetty terminal.  It's also close to some shops we go to and George's, a restaurant we love.  It somewhat resembles the majestic Taj Mahal.

Parasailing in Goa

Our recent trip in Goa just last month gave us a chance to go parasailing at Baga Beach.  What's special about parasailing in Goa? It's incredibly cheap! Believe it or not, it will only cost you INR 600 to experience this really fun water activity.

It was frustrating though that the guys doing the parasailing thing were quite rude to the customers. They would even shout at you and tell you to hurry up, they're speaking in Hindu most of the time so it's hard to really understand.  Once hooked to the parachute, they would not even give you safety precautions nor tell you to get ready.   You will just be released to the wind's mercy without warning.  My camera was soaked wet because the driver of the speed boat we took to get to the parasailing boat got washed up by a giant wave, on purpose. Good thing it was in a thick case the camera itself did not get so wet. If it did really get wet, it would be my third camera casualty due to carelessness in water.

Well in spite all these bad things, we still certainly enjoyed parasailing. The food at the restaurant in the beach was good too.  Baga Beach is more of a hang out for local people, not really a tourist destination, though I spotted a few foreigners lounging here.

These colorful bangles in the night market just shout INDIA out loud!  It was so difficult to choose which to buy and bring home.

Food trip is another thing.  I am not used to the very strong flavors on Indian spices for my daily meals, though I love eating from time to time in Indian restos in Manila.  But being here, in India, with authentic Indian food served everyday can be a little overwhelming.  This is one of the times I would miss food back home the most.

This pepper chicken is really good!  Too bad the next time we visited, the restaurant is no longer serving this.

We ate at this famous family-run steak restaurant in Goa, Ernesto's.  The restaurant is situated among the residences, and the tables are located at the balcony of what seems like a home.  The dishes they serve are superb!

Steak for lunch at Ernesto's
Goa, India is a place so unique and interesting.  I envy the way its people live their culture and tradition until this day. ♥

See all TRAVEL posts.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...