Archive for the 'Reality Bytes' Category

One of my favorite writers, Ramna Safeer, posted about The Nice Thoughts Challenge on her blog recently. It seems like a piece of cake at first—say 5 nice things about yourself in public—but coming up with this list was actually so much harder than I thought. I guess we tend to focus on being kind to other people and affirming their worth and value that sometimes we forget to do the same for ourselves. If you agree that this should change, then this challenge is a great start.


Here’s my list:
1. I’m a great travel buddy. I like all the researching and planning and will gladly do it for the group, but I’m also pretty spontaneous and low-maintenance. I’m a neat roommate, and I bring extra sunblock, and I won’t hog the shower.
2. I’ve been living alone for almost a decade, and I’m really proud of this fact because it means I’m independent and disciplined and in control… most of the time, at least.
3. On a good day, if you leave me alone with a cup of coffee and a cookie, I can write you a good poem in less than an hour.
4. I don’t fight dirty, and I rarely give up on people.
5. I’m becoming better at saying no when I need to, and saying yes when it counts.

I’d love to see your own list, so please please please take a few minutes to do this challenge—it’s pretty enlightening stuff. Have a good week ahead, Candy Girls!


Kickin’ It

by guest
Sunday, August 17th, 2014
Posted in Candy, Reality Bytes |

What’s something new to try, will help you get active, and give you a bunch of new friends all at the same time? Last August 9, I figured out what that is at the launch of Loro in HMR Philippines, Sucat. Loro is the newest sports store in town, and it’s the first sports store that specifically caters to the sport rugby, giving us Filipinos a chance to get physical and hone our athletic skills.

Okay, first things first. Rugby Football is a lot like American Football (cue: The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights, etc.) with a slight difference in rules and without those bulky paddings and helmets that quarterbacks wear (oh hello, Channing Tatum in 22 Jump Street).

Photo: Columbia Pictures

That being said, the game is full of tumbles, tackles, and throws all for the purpose of getting the ball past the other team’s goal. For us girls, it may sound a little too rough or intimidating, but I met a group of young ladies who think it’s a great way to have fun!

The Philippine Lady Volcanoes sashayed down the runway wearing their rugby shirts and carrying Loro sports equipment. The fashion show did not only showcase the equipment, but the team itself, who embodied camaraderie and friendship as they cheered each other on as they modeled. I was able to meet the team captain, Ada Milby, who told me all about their team. She said that most of the girls actually come from different sporting backgrounds from soccer to ice skating but were recruited to play rugby. Another thing? You can’t be too young or too old—the team even has players in their thirties, which means you can totally fulfill your dreams of competing in team sports even after you graduate from playing for your high school and university teams!

blog bianca

Want to try your hand at rugby? Head over to Loro, get your equipment, and start practicing! Who knows? You might just be the next member of the Philippine Lady Volcanoes! ;-)

Bianca M.
COC 14

Last week, I gave a confidence talk called #BeYourSelfie to a group of college students in Ateneo. What started out as an analysis of selfies and how we shouldn’t let other people dictate how much we like ourselves evolved into a discussion on happiness, self-worth, and using that happiness and self-worth to make others feel good about themselves, too. “The people you surround yourself with says so much about what you think of yourself,” one guy offered. Another guy talked about being brave enough to accept that what used to be his biggest dream now has to be set aside for something he can actually flourish in. One girl asked, “What if you know your worth but other people think you’re weird?” I told her the difference between a happy weird person and a miserable weird person is that the former has come to terms with her weirdness and grown into a version of herself that she’s comfortable with, even if it’s not what other people are used to. “It’s about owning all the parts of you that other people find strange, and being proud of what makes you different,” I told her. Of course, I had to cite my favorite adorable weirdo as an example:

Um, what do you mean I can’t go to work in my pajamas?!

I give workshops to students several times a year, but that talk has to be one of my favorites. I liked how everyone seemed to be listening intently, reflecting on their own experiences and recognizing that they are responsible for boosting their own self-esteem. I liked that everyone was so honest and open with one another, and so generous with their thoughts and words (as a closing GD, they wrote compliments on Post-its and stuck them onto one another). I liked that it made ME realize that although we are all so different, our hearts wanting and chasing different things, we all need the same thing: to be okay with who we are, and to know that if this isn’t the case today, there are still so many tomorrows ahead of us.

Do you have an inspiring story on confidence, self-worth, overcoming your insecurities, and getting to know yourself? Share it with us! Email me at marlaATcandymagDOTcom. I’ll be waiting. :-)


The other day, former Managing Editor Mimi (she’s now the EIC of Total Girl!) were talking about how I started with Candy. Here’s the story: I won a fiction contest on in 2003, became part of the Council of Cool in 2004, and was officially hired as editorial assistant in 2006. Back then I didn’t know I’d be staying this long–it was my dream job, sure, but the creativity has to run out sooner or later, doesn’t it?—yet I’m still here, and hopefully still churning out ideas and issues that make you girls happier, smarter, and better equipped to deal with that tough thing called adolescence. Mimi and I both freaked out a bit when we realized we’ve known each other for almost 10 years, but later that night I lay in bed and thought about how Candy has truly shaped me into the person I am now.

As both a thank-you and a trip down memory lane, here are 10 things I’ve learned from my almost-decade with the sweetest magazine in the world:
1. Don’t procrastinate. Discipline yourself to do everything you can today, even when there is so much you can leave for tomorrow.
2. …But at the end of the day, forgive yourself if you can’t finish everything you set out to accomplish in the morning. Do better tomorrow.
3. “Shy” is just a state of mind. Program yourself to be more open, warmer, and friendlier, and in time you’ll find that you don’t even remember what it feels like to to be the shyest girl in the room anymore. Start with smiling; it totally helps.
4. Don’t take everything personally. Know the difference between people criticizing your work and criticizing you.
5. Learn to laugh at yourself. Your mistakes make you complex, interesting, and vulnerable in a good way.
6. Show up. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you’re having a rough day. Never reach a point where you no longer feel bad for cancelling, flaking, or not being around.
7. Don’t stop writing. Don’t stop reading. Find the online home (a blog or a site or a Twitter page) of someone you admire and visit it as often as you can.
8. When the inspiration starts getting harder to come by, pack your bags and go away. Go some place strange. Go some place beautiful. Go some place you can lose yourself. Then come back.
9. Always say thank you. And please. And “I love your shoes/dress/lipstick/hair.”
10. Remember how lucky you are to be working at a job you absolutely love, with friends you genuinely adore. Remind yourself every day. Never forget.

Here’s my very first appearance on Candy‘s pages in 2004, as a Council of Cool member. Stop laughing.


Rainy days are slowly easing their way into our sunny days. Was lucky to have traveled to two islands this summer! Here are a few snapshots from my two trips. I can’t wait till I can go back and be by the ocean. It really is one of my happiest places on earth!











Where did you go this summer? Let’s swap travel postcards (you can upload yours on Snaps!). (:


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