Category Archives: Thoughts ni Tolits

Un Expert Review : Mockingjay Part 1

It was one of those spur of the moment, unexpected adventures. These types are usually more fun than the planned ones, especially since “mas natutuloy pag biglaan” is a line that is very true. Originally, I was only going to spend my Friday at Fully Booked, Marquee Mall along with a fellow bookworm. By the time we met, we were both hungry,  so I decided to hit two birds with one stone. I had to go to this restaurant for additional pictures for a blog post I was working on (#bloggerduties). We ended up having an early Korean dinner. While eating, a friend called my companion and the next thing we know we had a ride to Marquee and another companion for our Friday adventure. After enduring the Friday rush hour traffic, we finally reached the haven for bookworms, Fully Booked.

Apologies for the long introduction, it was necessary to make a point. As the title says this is my Un Expert Review of the movie Mockingjay Part 1. Normally this should be very predictable since I do blog about my adventures. However, I did not plan to watch a movie that night and the movie we watched was the third part of a movie franchise which I haven’t even watched the first two movies yet! Lol. It’s a good thing I was able to read the books few years back when the first movie was just in the works.

The Hunger Games is a best selling, three part dystopian book series written by Suzanne Collins. As the trend goes, the book series was also made into motion pictures. Like the books, the first two movies were box office successes. It’s probably what prompted the guys behind the movies to break the last book in to two parts.

Here are my un expert thoughts and opinions about the movie. This will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie or read the books, you know what to do.

The Mockingjay part 1 is another proof that Jennifer Lawrence is an excellent artist. When she visits District 12 for the first time and sees what’s left of it, the time she walks inside the hospital of District 8 and the people give her the silent salute, every time she sees Peeta on screen, when she realizes that Snow plans to kill Peeta, her breakdown when Snow tells her he knows about the rescue mission, her expression while Peeta tries to strangle her to death and the way she hauntingly sang The Hanging Tree, these are just some of the numerous highlights of Jennifer Lawrence flawlessly breathing life to Katniss Everdeen.

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The way Josh Hutcherson played his role as Peeta Mellark made me think about the sacrifices actors go through to make the role realistic. In every interview Peeta has with Flickerman there are subtle but noticeable changes. The change became even more pronounced after the rescue. Props to the people behind the scenes as well, they did a good job of making the torture Peeta has gone through implied but very evident. The way he looked in that last scene was perfect.

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I appreciated the idea of propaganda videos or “propos” as Plutarch calls them. Before the actual attacks, propos were used by District 13 and The Capitol to shape the belief of Panem’s populace, pitting Katniss and Peeta against each other. This seems to mirror our society today. What we see in the media, we tend to believe is true, not knowing that for the most part, a lot of planning and manipulation is involved for it look true.

The propos scenes that stood out to me includes the hilarious outcome when they try and fail to make Katniss believably deliver a script about her being the Mockingjay inside a studio.

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Next one was the edited version of  the footage taken during and after the Capitol bombed the hospital at District 8. The untouched version was powerful enough, but the edited version was the bomb! (Pun intended). “If we burn, you burn with us!” Lastly, the series of “interviews” of Peeta with Flickerman. They were believable as they were disturbing.

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At the end of the day you just need a person to look up to,  maybe a hero or a star, excellent script writing and awesome editing. Brilliant marketing.

The attack on the dam, where people willingly became the human shields so the ones carrying the explosives can get past the guards and set the explosives off,  with the Hanging Tree being sung in the background was a particularly powerful scene. It left me with goosebumps. The message was clear, even the oppressed can fight back when the the oppression becomes to much. They can fight with abandon since they have nothing left to lose. This is something the people in power now ought to think about.

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President Snow had it right when he told Katniss that the people you love the most are the ones that can really hurt you. This is so true both literally and figuratively. In Katniss’ case it’s even deadly as Peeta had been hijacked and set to kill her.

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My first thoughts when I saw Cressida were “Oh Game of Thrones!” and how hot she looked with the side of her head shaved and tattooed. Hehe. The role was a perfect for her. New crush alert! Lol.

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Alright, that ends the part for what I saw, let’s talk about the scenes I did not see. Sometimes its better to watch the movie version first, then read the book after, so you will not have any expectations.

Before Katniss consents to be the Mockingjay she had her demands. All of them were in the movie, except the one about killing Snow. I wonder why the producers chose to leave this out as this is for me a very crucial part of the story.

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President Coin in the movie was almost nice, a word I will never use to describe her in the book. She imprisoned Katniss’ and Peeta’s prep team, did not treat them humanely, this was not in the movie. She and Katniss even seemed friendly, which was not the case in the books. Even the military strictness and the frugality of District 13 was, I think downplayed. The only indication of frugality for me was the identical grey jumpsuits.

All things considered, the movie was awesome. They way it ended with both Snow and Coin thinking they now have the upper hand and Katniss in a neck brace helplessly watching an emaciated, hijacked, and tied down Peeta, set the tone of what is to happen on the second and final installment of the movie franchise. I’d give this movie four out of five stars just because of the difference from the book.

My fellow bookworm gave me good reasons why some parts of the books are not included in their movie versions. She said it can be because these scenes an either be too complicated or not really necessary and will not change the flow of the story. In some ways I agree with her, but I will still wait for a movie adaptation that will be able to stay faithful to every detail of the book, until then..

Are you, are you, coming to the tree..

more adventures coming!

Peace out!

Facing fears: The Aqua Peel Experience

The first time was unforgettable. I remember feeling apprehensive and excited at the same time. Then when it started, I just laid there and let her do her thing.  I had tears in my eyes when it was over. I swore I will never do it again.

Before your imagination runs wild, its not what you think! Haha. I was just reminiscing about the first time I tried to get a facial. Lol.

Face wise, I do not consider myself vain. Soap (Ahmm, green papaya. Haha.) and water, I’m  good to go. I believe I able to inherit good genes, I seldom get pimples, lucky me! Yey! Haha. If my memory serves me right, it was back in college when out of curiosity I decided to get a facial. I heard there was a dermatology clinic that offers good service for a cheap price. Being a student I had limited budget, so this was good news to me. Went there Friday for the session, what followed was one painful experience. My face was pricked and prodded. The pain was excruciating especially in the nose area. After the session my face felt clean but it also felt raw. It had these angry red spots where black and white heads were forcibly taken out.

That was the first and last time I had my face “cleaned”, I decided I’d stick with soap and water. I still get blackheads and whiteheads, but I just let them there, fearing the ordeal of a facial. I am vaguely aware that there are now new kinds of facial that will not cause that much pain but they are expensive so getting one  was not on  the top of my to do list.

That changed when recently I had a chance to catch up with a good friend of mine, Syril, whom I’ve known since we were kids. While sharing our stories, I found out that she is currently working with Care to Bare, a skin care clinic which offers a wide range of vanity services using state-of-the-art technology from Korea. One of her  stories piqued my curiosity. It was about what she says was a painless but very effective facial treatment called the Aqua Peel.  I was quite  skeptical about this, for me the words “facial” and “painless” do not belong in the same sentence. I told her this and shared to her the story of my first facial. Sy told me Aqua Peel was nothing like that, it does not use pricking to remove the black and white heads. It uses a specially-designed tip that suctions dirt from the skin by a partial vacuum then at the same time infuses hydration and nutrients to the skin. She mentioned that this procedure is quite popular in Korea, apparently this is the facial treatment responsible  for  the pore less skin of the Korean superstars. She said I can search Aqua Peel online and a lot of articles will show about it. She even invited me to visit one of their clinics and try the service.

Like any normal person looking for answers nowadays, I asked Google. I was able to find several  articles about the Aqua Peel and it’s counter parts. I found articles describing the treatment, I also found good reviews and  testimonials of the great results they had after the treatment. Some of the articles were comparing Aqua Peel to its counterparts, the Diamond Peel and Belo’s  Hydra Facial.

One article describes Aqua Peel as

“ New era in skin resurfacing and skin  rejuvenation. Needs no surgery, no injection, no downtime,  and no discomfort. Visibly reduces wrinkles, fine lines, acne, and much more. Instantly improves hyperpigmentation, congested pores and uneven skin Provides cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection at a time.

 credits www.neomed.co

I also found post of fellow bloggers doing reviews of Aqua Peel performed by Care to Bare itself.  Here are some excerpts from their posts:

The Aquapeel is a relaxing treatment and I wanted to fall asleep but I needed to document every step for you guys ❤ Could  you  spot  my dedication? 🙂 I highly recommend this to those looking for a way to clean skin and to infuse nutrients at the same time! They customize the  treatment  based on skin type and they have lovely staff!

 credits erikajjang.tumblr.com

After the entire process, I noticed that my skin looked brighter.  My cousin noticed it too! I thought it was just psychological. LOL kkkk~  but yeah. I was advised by my nurse not to wear any make up on for the next 24 hours and that I should not wash my face too before I go to sleep. When I got home, my skin looked really really glowy! You know how Korean skin glows, right? My skin is so moisturized, I love it!!” 

 credits shimmerjjang.com  

Unfortunately I was only able to encounter bad reviews for the much hyped Diamond Peel. One blogger recounted in her blog the “bad effects of Diamond Peel“.

According the article I found at www.sofeminine.co.uk, Belo’s Hydrafacial has a similar concept with Aqua Peel. I noticed some slight differences though. Belo’s HydraFacial, seems to be targeted more towards Caucasians customers and Aqua Peel, since it is from Korea, is developed for the Asian clients. Plus the treatment from Belo is a bit expensive, it is Belo after all. Care to Bare promises similar results in a more affordable price. At least that’s what Syril said.

credits www.karminaaguilar.wordpress.comwww.sofeminine.co.uk,  www.medicalling.com

All of these articles and the testimonial of a good friend made me quite curious about what this Aqua Peel really is. Last Saturday I decided to man up and accept Syril’s invite to try the treatment myself.

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During our catch up session, Sy told me that Care to Bare currently has three clinics, I went to the nearest one at Marquee Mall.  The other two clinics are at Ali Mall and Robinsons Metroeast.

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This is me doing my signature pose, “Talikogenic” Lol.

Sitting in the waiting area, I saw  some  of the clients walk in and out of the clinic all of them having impressive skin. This made  me very excited. The branch manager,  Ms. Paula asked me to fill up a form with basic information about myself, I believe aside from records purposes this is also to help them personalize their services. While I waited for my turn, I remembered  had  to document this adventure for the blog, (#bloggerduties Hehe.) Shout out to Ms. Paula, big thanks for for letting me  take pictures.

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 This greets the clients when they step in

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 Forget the blurred call card, focus on the flowers. Haha.

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A whiteboard filled with colorful  hand writing caught my attention, upon  closer inspection i found out that the writings were actually messages from Care to Bare’s satisfied customers.

 

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This one caught my eye.

Then came the point of no return, I was about to face one of my fears. Haha.  I was led to one of the rooms and asked to lie down and relax, it was like de javu, the memories of the facial torture I had before, flashed on my mind. Ms Diane, the specialist that was assigned to me started to explain the procedure. She sounded very knowledgeable,  I felt I was in capable hands. It was then that I began to relax. Relaxed to the point that the specialist thought I was already sleeping. Haha. So.. Disclaimer, I will try to describe the experience a best as my fuzzy mind can remember. Lol

Ms. Diane started the treatment by cleaning my face. She thoroughly but gently massaged my face with a pleasant smelling gel like substance, my eyes were closed during this so I’m relying on my other senses for this observation.

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this was the gel like substance, a brightening remover 

After the pleasant facial massage, damp cotton puffs were used to clean the brightening remover. She then proceeded to apply another great smelling liquid, this time it was the brightening facial cleanser with whitening.

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The first two steps were just preparations for the main event, the Aqua Peel itself. Before starting, the specialist explained what she will be doing. She will perform the treatment on one half of my face first leaving the other half for comparison later on.

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the Aqua Peel machine

I was told the Aqua Peel uses four types of solutions to suit all skin types. These solutions are all organic and were formulated specifically for Asian skin.

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Ms Diane, preparing the Aqua Peel machine

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the  specially designed non abrasive spiral tip

The most vivid memory I have about the experience was when the specialist glided the spiral tip over my face.  She ran the tip several times then handed me a mirror. The difference between the right half of my face from the left side on was very noticeable. After that I lost count, but I think she glided the spiral tip on my face a good ten to fifteens times. She paid close attention to the nose area which was the favorite spot of my black and white heads. There was no pain or discomfort, what I felt was suction and infusion happening simultaneously. It was exactly how Syril descibed it.

After the Aqua Peel machine there was no rawness or pain, just clean. She handed me the mirror and the the change I saw was quite remarkable. My face looked whiter and clearer, I noticed that my cheeks and nose were flushed red (#medyomestiso Haha.) Ms Diane said the redness will subside after the next steps of the treatment are done.

It was now time for the mask. I was waiting for this ever since she discussed the steps to me before the procedure began. I planned to take a selfie with the mask on. I prepared my phone and waited for her to apply the mask. The mask smelled like mint and was cool against my skin, it was intended to soothe the skin and close the pores that were opened by the massage and the Aqua Peel tip. What I did not expect though was that the mask will cover my entire face meaning my eyes had to be closed. Haha. Not easily discouraged, I tried taking the selfie while she went out to get what she told me was the infrared machine. I soon accepted that taking a selfie without seeing what you are doing is not possible so I had to let that go. Hehe. As luck would have it though, Syril had another friend trying the treatment as well, so..

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this is pretty much how I looked, just use your imagination. lol

The red light you see is coming from the infrared machine to help dry and solidify the mask. The mask stayed on my face for a good twenty minutes. It was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.  After the mask was removed, damp cotton puffs were again used to wipe off the residue. The specialist then proceeded to apply moisturizer to my face. I asked her why I needed it since I did not think I had dry skin, apparently we can all use moisturizer, not only the ones with dry skin.

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for oily skin

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 for dry skin

As a final touch, after applying the moisturizer, she then applied sunblock which had SPF 50, perfect to protect my face from the sun’s harmful rays.

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Ms. Diane advised me not to wash my face for at least five hours. This was to allow time for the serums to continue to be absorbed by the skin. This was cool with me since my face felt so clean that I did not see the need to wash it any time soon.

The whole Aqua Peel treatment took more or less an hour and the results were immediate and remarkable. It has no downtime so you can go back to your business right after. I would say it’s perfect for busy people who wants to relax and pamper themselves. The Aqua Peel machine is the same one being used in beauty clinics all over Korea. The products are all organic (no harmful chemicals and Earth friendly! Yey!) and FDA approved not only in Korea but also here in the Philippines. The manager and specialists of Care to Bare Marquee Mall are accommodating and knowledgeable, you will feel that you are in good hands. All of that, plus a glowing, clean, fresh face without the pain of pricking, is worth paying Php 1,500 for. Coming from someone who’s infamous for being kuripot, that is saying something. Hehe.

Most fears come from bad experiences of the past. The only way to overcome what you fear is if you face it. This time I literally “faced” my fear. Haha. It might seem shallow to others, but that’s their opinion. All I know is I’m happy I tried Aqua Peel and it helped me overcome my irrational fear of facials. Lol. I will repeat this experience in the near future, you should try it too. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself just do everything in moderation.

more adventures coming!

Peace out!