Movie: Finally Find Someone

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Image from ABS-CBN

Last night, I found myself amidst the throng of people queuing to watch the tandem of John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo at Bitexco. It’s not usual to watch a Filipino film on the big screen here in Vietnam, so you can imagine why the Filipino community was raring to watch this. For some reason, I only got the wind of the film being shown in Ho Chi Minh City last Monday.

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Living here in Vietnam, I am amazed by the number of Filipinos that I haven’t met yet. We actually filled two cinemas for this movie.

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A lot left work early — and I was just happy to be among people who I don’t need to speak English to. Hahaha!

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I went with my 8 yo son and my friends — so totally fun laughing at Pinoy humor or crying about things that only Pinoys could understand – I guess especially the OFW portion where Tetchie Agbayani had to leave to work abroad and come back broken. That resonated for most of us — and also the fact that Sarah as Aprilyn is a school teacher — lots of Filipino OFWs here in Saigon are teachers.

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MOR 101.9 DJ Jhai’ho hosted the start of the film with a game. Love this DJ’s vibe and I knew how she was trying to keep everyone in check when we had to line up for the meet and greet with John Lloyd Cruz. Love that she kept her cool.

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The icing on the cake was of course meeting John Lloyd Cruz who played the role of Raffy.

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So how was the movie?

The plot of the movie is about these 2 unlikely people meeting in the most unusual of circumstances – Aprilyn (Sarah) recovering from heartbreak while Raffy (JLC) did damage control for Randy’s family, when he left Aprilyn at the altar.

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I’ve always been a fan of these 2 actors and despite the mixed reviews I from friends, I enjoyed the film — not much on the plot but the amazing cast behind it. You can really see how Sarah and JLC have grown such versatile actors over the years. So amazed at how people like them can just slip into character so effortlessly.

Was it worth watching? Definitely. Plus the fact that JLC came to meet the Filipino community.

Can I just say that it’s so much easier to meet celebrities here in HCMC than in PH? Hahahaha!

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Crafts Haven: Dai Quang Minh

I know I have these bursts of creativity and this month, I’ve been interested in aromatherapy bracelets. I didn’t know that beads for bracelets are expensive until I’ve started making them myself. LOL.

So yesterday, after much research online — there wasn’t exactly a lot of information on where to get raw materials. I gambled and decided to go to Dai Quang Minh with our Vietnamese helper.

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We actually got lost. I thought it was some market-like building. But it totally, wasn’t. We only got to explore a third of this place though.

I was interested to find lava beads and I did! 🙂

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Sharing with you some photos I took to help those who might be looking for arts and crafts materials. They also sell loads of things for sewing, accessories, and appliques.

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Then we found this shop. And I got confused.

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I don’t get why there aren’t more information on Dai Quang Minh so I hope this post helped a bit.

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Chợ Đại Quang Minh
31,33,35 Châu Văn Liêm
Phường 14, Quận 5
Hồ Chí Minh City

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Aromatherapy Bracelets

Cross-posting this from my other project in Oilbularyo.

Last Thursday, I checked the web on lava beads supplier in Ho Chi Minh City. Honestly, it’s not so easy finding stuff in Vietnam especially if you don’t know the Vietnamese equivalent. But I got lucky and came across Saigon Spring Jewelry. The lady behind this site, Trang, designs absolutely inspired jewelries!


Trang and I spent the entire morning of Thursday just exchanging messages and designing an aromatherapy bracelet. And by Thursday afternoon, it arrived together with some beads I ordered.


Yes! It was that easy. Shipping within the city is real quick as long as you’ve got all things ironed out.

And so last Friday, I spent the entire day trying my hand on bracelets. I honestly thought it would be easy but seriously, thinking of color combination and the sizing made my head hurt. The knotting was another issue. I had several tries on knotting and even had to redo some. Finally, I gave in and consulted You Tube University on advice on how to knot elastic threads.

Here are the aromatherapy bracelets I came up with and am super stoked that I got to try it out with my favorite Stress Away EO.



So far, my beads are on Day 2 and I can still smell the oil I put in. But like a friend pointed out, it would depend on the climate.





Okay so am obsessed with tassels too so I added tassels to all the bracelets — except for one that my son told me to make for him.


My son chose the beads and I didn’t want to argue with what goes with what. I just wanted to make sure that there was enough lava beads because he’s currently under the weather and needed some RC EO in his beads. This is also a perfect alternative for repellants. Now, if I could just order Citronella EO. 😀

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Breakfast at Eden Coffee House

I’ve been thinking about featuring different coffee shops in Phu My Hung — at least near my place. Aside from the abundance of Korean restaurants in PMH (with it becoming more known as K-Town), there is a coffee shop on every street in Hung Gia.

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We usually bike on Sunday mornings and end up having breakfast at either Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Boomarang or Mimi. But today, we decided to check out Eden Coffee House which have some great reviews online.

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With both my boys now having a say on where to eat, it’s now a bit difficult to persuade them to try a different place.

Eden Coffee House is tucked in a quiet street of Hung Phuoc 1.
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There is indoor and outdoor dining, and I believe they also have rooftop dining.

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We decided to stay outdoors. Today we the sky is overcast and looks like it’s on the verge of rain.

There were a number of customers around too and all foreigners.

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The coffee is delicious! Love the coffee here!

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We ordered the Bacon Benedict, Big Breakfast, and a crepe. There wasn’t any pancakes, so we got the crepe but it wasn’t what we expected.

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We didn’t realize how big the servings were! Would definitely recommend their food for sharing.

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Eden Coffee House serves Western dishes that are really good. I enjoyed my Bacon Benedict and would definitely order that again when we visit next time.

The price point however is quite on the pricey side. Think Boomerang. But I guess, you get your money’s worth and it’s a pleasant surprise to find this near our place.


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Pasalubong is a Filipino term which means “gift” – specifically for someone you’re coming home to. When I was younger, my dad or mom would always have something for me and my siblings when they get home from work.

My friend visiting this weekend is coming with lots of pasalubong for me and I can’t wait! As a thank you, am sending her a care package of my favorites here.

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I usually put em all in a Vietnam-designed eco-bag.

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Then it’s filled with some Vietnam goodies. There’s Con Soc Coffee with coffee filter, Amero’s Cappuccino-coated peanuts, Banh Sua which tastes like pastillas, and of course Jackfruit chips.

I’d be happy to hear suggestions on what else to add — specially those who visited Vietnam and misses stuff from here. Should I add in a banh mi?

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Notre Dame Cathedral Renovations

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Last week, I saw a group of workers putting this up around the Notre Dame Cathedral. Today, I saw that they’re done with the Cong Xa Paris side.

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Definitely an eyesore. And it wasn’t until I talked to chi looking after the entrance on Mondays that it became clear that the cathedral will be closed to tourists for its much needed renovation.

While I was there, an engineer was doing reconnaissance work.

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Chi was turning away tourists and the tourists were all incredulous when they hear chi explain that the church will be closed till 2020. Well, that’s what she said to me. She said like May 2020. But this article says it will be till 2019. Still a long wait.

But parishioners are still allowed to enter for the daily masses and the Sunday masses. They still allowed those who came in to pray. But if you’re a tourist (read: looks like a tourist), they will not let you in. You can still have photos taken from the outside.

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Saigon River Morning Cruise

Last Sunday, we celebrated the 1st day of our 9th year here in Saigon. What started out as a 3-year assignment became much more than we ever dreamed of.

So bright and early on Sunday, we headed to Tan Cang Restaurant in Binh Thanh District which is the starting point of most boat tours here in Saigon. The Saigon Boat Company was taking our family for a Breakfast Cruise.

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In our 8 years in Saigon, we haven’t done the river cruise. It was something that we’ve been meaning to do for the longest time and so finally, we did.

At 8 am, the boat arrived on the docks, with our crew, Ngan, Mia, and Captain Bau.

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Am one of those people who gets a bit seasick — especially on small boats, so I’ve been stressing over whether going boating was such a good idea.

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See me smile? Yup, that smile stayed on for the rest of our trip. The boat that Saigon Boat Company uses is well-maintained, stable, and of course equipped with life vests. The Saigon River is calm and can be easily navigated. The tour sailed smoothly except for that one time when a speed boat passed by and made big waves.
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The boat is spacious and can hold up to 27 people. We could actually lie down and get some shut eye if we wanted to because it’s that big. It’s also equipped with a toilet if you’re curious.

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My boys felt right at home on the boat and can I rave about the breakfast? I loved the breakfast spread of boiled eggs, pancakes, banh mi, banh cuon, yogurt, and fresh fruits. We were also served fresh orange juice and milk. My eldest kept coming back for the milk and I kept coming back for the fresh orange juice.

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I was worried that my 5 year old wouldn’t have anything to eat on board. But after seeing the pancakes, I knew we’d have no problem on this trip. My eldest loves eggs as well so he was happy. The banh mi served is one of the best tasting banh mis I’ve ever tasted so far in Saigon and the banh cuon? That’s one of my favorites!

Seeing the food photos make me wish that we’re back onboard. I wish I could have stuffed myself more!

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While my husband and I were stuffing ourselves, Sam was learning how to steer the boat and my youngest was lazing around. He was that comfortable on the boat.

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Ngan gave us a short lecture on the geography of Saigon and where we were headed. As it turned out, we were going round Thanh Da Island — which is still very much part of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a rural island right smack in the middle of HCMC. Tourism is alive in Thanh Da and it’s actually where tourist attractions like Binh Quoi is located.

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Lots of residents from Thanh Da worked at the mainland and they usually travel by ferry so they could bring their motorbikes with them. However, the ferry closes at 6pm. So when they get stuck in the mainland, they have to go around the island to get to the bridge.

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Saigon River is really bustling with life as boats go up and down to ship cargos, construction materials, and other products.

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We just had an amazing time watching the boats pass by and seeing the structures on either side. The weather was perfect and I was mentally patting myself on the back for choosing the breakfast tour.

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One of the reasons why we were not really that interested in doing river cruises is because we were not so sure about the water of the river. But now that we’ve done so, I am actually pretty amazed how “clean” the river is and that it doesn’t smell.

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We’ve actually seen lots of folks fishing beside the river. In fact, there are a lot of restaurants along District 2 that opens up right beside the river. The only problem would be the water lilies (which actually get caught in the boat’s motor every now and then), but otherwise, the Saigon River is such a pleasure to cruise on.

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I can honestly say that I’d recommend Saigon River Cruise to tourists visiting Saigon. And am actually going to convince friends living in Saigon to take a trip too!

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Our trip ended at Mong Bridge just between District 1 and District 4. We got off on the District 4 side.

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I have to say that this trio, Mia, Ngan, and Bau, were just the perfect team for our trip.

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The Breakfast Tour is just one among the many tours offered by the Saigon Boat Company. They also do private charters — best for parties! Ngan shared that they’ve had 2 wedding proposals done on the boat! So romantic!

Do check out their website for more information.

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