Lifestyle is about our lives: why Pinay Lifestyle is here

On May 10, 2010, Pinay Lifestyle published its first post. It was about the Philippine national elections held on the same day. I wrote about how proud I am of the Filipino citizens who, despite the heat and the crowds, stayed on to cast that single vote. Looking back, it was quite apt that this was the topic of the first post. It somehow embodies what Pinay Lifestyle stands for.

Girl power!!!I built this site after seeing the plethora of lifestyle content out there, whether on TV, print publications, or the Internet. I realized that while the topics covered were legitimately about lifestyle—dining at restaurants, luxury trips, shopping, skin treatments, parties—they didn’t seem to touch on what most of my life is about. Like any average Filipina, I spend the greater part of my days working, having humble meals with family, colleagues and friends, strolling at the mall and enjoying affordable treats, staying home to clean up, etc.  I do get my own share of luxury on occasion, but that’s the point: it’s more the exception rather than the rule. It’s ironic that “lifestyle” tends to mean the rarer parts of our lives, or, from another perspective, the lives of rarer people. I found that a pity because I find the everyday lives of women quite beautiful. Even if an ordinary Filipina is just one more in millions, even if she’s only one vote, her life is worth hailing and forwarding, especially considering how Filipinas put so much love into daily life.

So, in 2010, I decided to set up a blog that represents this cause. Pinay Lifestyle started in Blogger as a personal initiative. Later on, I invited some people to blog with me, since my lifestyle alone would not be enough to forward the cause. Seeing the limitations of Blogger, I then moved the blog into its own home in 2011. Today, more than two years since the first post, Pinay Lifestyle is moving along as planned: a website with the necessary features and basic content. We also have a handful of people in our community, which we have yet to even promote.

I’ve been very busy with the backend. Many people know me as their go-to techie, but I’m not a web developer or a network administrator by profession, so I’ve had to do a lot of the site building by trial and error. I’ve made many errors, mind you, though you might see only a few left now. Hopefully it gets to the point that backend matters are minimized so that I could blog more (my last post before this one was in March!).

I’ve also put this site under the wing of my new business, Magnetic North Enterprises. Yes, this site is now part of a for-profit endeavor. How about the cause, you ask? Newsflash: a cause doesn’t run without money. I don’t plan on making gazillions through Pinay Lifestyle, but the profit potential at least justifies the investment, which has already been significant for this average-income Filipina.

But despite all the work that’s been done, many things still has to happen for us to move the cause forward. We need more community members and contributors. We need editors. We need sponsors. We need premium content. We need incentives (prizes! yay!). We need… so many more people and so many more things. How is this possible, with the meager investment we have? I don’t know, but I’m sure God does.

Filipinas are women of great love. This website is dedicated to them.

On makeup and being the real you

I like makeup. A lot. I believe that, while makeup is by no means necessary for existence, it nevertheless adds spice and interest to life.

Below are some of the reasons why:

First, makeup serves to enhance what’s already there. I never cease to be amazed at how just the littlest amount of mascara (one of the two items I am never without, the other being lip balm) make my eyes stand out just a tad bit better, or how a swirl or two of blush makes me look more awake and alive even after a late night out. Makeup takes what Mother Nature gave you and works with it so that you look like a better, more polished version of yourself.

Second, makeup is one of the many ways by which I can express myself. At work, my looks tend to be more sedate, although I do a smoky eye every now and then just to liven things up a bit. However, when I go out with family and friends, I tend to favor more colorful combinations (purple and plum shadows with teal eyeliner, you get the picture).

And while we’re on the topic of self-expression, I might as well say that I have a lot of respect for those artists and enthusiasts who are able to come up with avant garde looks (i.e. makeup that you wouldn’t really wear to work or any other real-life situation, unless you’re a runway model). Makeup is an art form, after all, with creativity and imagination setting the limits.

Third, you can work with as few or as many products as you desire or feel comfortable with. Sometimes when I do makeup on myself or on other people, I find that I will use four or five eyeshadows to achieve the effect I want (and that’s just the eyes). However, if for you a made-up face consists of using only concealer, powder, and lipstick, that’s fine, too. If there’s one thing I’ve realized over the years, it’s that there is no fixed rule on the number of products you “need”. Magazines and websites can go on and on about how a product like, let’s say eyeliner, is essential to anyone’s arsenal. But if you know that you’re not going to use it, why buy yourself a tube?

In the end, it’s about using products that work for you and your lifestyle. It’s about creating a look for yourself that makes your day just that wee bit brighter, your stride a bit more confident.

This post was written by Anj de la Cruz.

My pickled vegetables recipe

This is just a follow-up on an article about pickling fruits that I did a few weeks ago. You could consider it a series, but honestly, this is the only “pickled recipe” I have that I’m proud of. As mentioned in my first article, I’m really not fond of pickling, but this one is an exception. Aside from the hassle of prepping, I find this recipe easy to make… and it works all the time!


1. Equal parts of water and vinegar (I usually do 1 ½ C but it really depends on how much vegetables you’re pickling)
2. Sugar (for this recipe, I used 8 tbsp.)
3. Ginger, onions ( julienne or shredding will do)
4. Siling haba, or siling labuyo (no need to cut them, unless you want it to be spicy)
5. Your vegetables (I often use a combination of bittermelon and eggplant)

Ingredients for pickled vegetables
Ingredients for pickled vegetables

You could add a little bit of salt, pepper and garlic on this recipe. Also, if you want it to be fancier, add carrots, raisins and red or green bell peppers. It will look more festive that way.

First, you simmer the water and vinegar. You can add in the sugar but avoid stirring it. Let it simmer for a few minutes or until the acidity of the vinegar evaporates. I hate the raw taste of vinegar in my pickled vegetables.

All vegetables should be blanched. They don’t need to be tender, but make sure that they’re not raw anymore. Put them aside. When everything’s cooled off, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl then pour the pickling liquid slowly. Make sure that all the ingredients are submerged in liquid. Then transfer it to a clean, air-tight sealed container.

This type of pickled vegetable is good for fried fish and chicharon. And what’s good about this is that it’s not as sensitive as other pickled recipes, where they should be kept in a certain temperature, or else molds and or bacteria will start growing in it. But this recipe needs to be kept in the fridge to keep its freshness and to help it last longer.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.