Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Summerfeels Blog Tour: Spotlight on Author Rachelle Belaro

Spotlight on one of our #romanceclass authors whose story Flying with You is featured in SUMMER FEELS Anthology 2017.

Here's a sneak peek of her short story:

“Flying with You” by Rachelle Belaro

All that Arci ever wanted was to visit Lake Sebu with her friends. When they backed out at the last minute, she was forced to continue her trip alone. Then she met Blue Shirt Guy, and she kept bumping into him. He became her impromptu travel buddy . . . and maybe a summer fling.
Will the way he holds her hand tight be enough to turn this something into a real relationship? Or is it just a fleeting summer encounter?

We interviewed Rachelle and she shared with us some interesting facts about herself.

                                Author Rachelle Belaro

Name three of your favorite authors when you were growing up.

Hmm. This is a tough question since I really like a lot of authors. But if I have to name just three, they would be Meg Cabot, Jennifer E. Smith and Mina V. Esguerra.

Why did you become a writer?

Honestly, it wasn’t a part of my plans in life. It sort of just happened. I started writing stories (which were not required in school) way back when I was in first year college. I didn’t have a block back then and my schedule was a mess. I had super long breaks and I didn’t get to meet my high school friends that often because they have different break times. When the freshie fair (I totally forgot how it was called. Lol.) happened, some sort of inspiration popped out of my mind and I tried to write a story and posted it on candymag.com's forum called Teentalk (where I read stories as well).

Who in your family inspired you to write?

None? Haha. Actually, my family didn’t know that I write not until one of my stories got a publishing deal.

How do you work as a writer?

I just write whenever and wherever I like. Sometimes, I write my chapters down through pen and paper but most of the times, I use my laptop. I don’t force myself to write and I don’t use outlines (Yeah. It’s a crime, I know.) Usually, I face writer’s block a lot or maybe I just procrastinate a little bit too much. Haha. So yeah, I really don’t take writing that seriously but things do change when I need to work on a deadline.

Describe your working space.

I really don’t have a definite working space. I write wherever I’m comfortable but most of the time, I write while sitting on my bed with my laptop placed on my lap. And oh, music helps me a lot! I usually write while listening to music (mostly Kpop even if I can’t understand the lyrics).

Where would you like to live someday?

If I were in an alternate universe, I would love to live in South Korea and maybe find my own source of inspiration. Haha. But in reality, I would still live in the city and travel to different places.

As a writer, it is a big plus to keep fit in between marathon writing. How do you keep fit?

I’m not sure if I could really be considered fit. Haha. My only exercise is walking from our house up to the tricycle terminal (around 5 minutes) and from the unloading area of the UV Express up to our office (around 10 minutes). By the time summer ends, I promise to use the stationary bike in our house religiously.

What have you learned so far as an author that you wish to impart to newbies?

There’s always room for improvement and success isn’t an overnight thing. If I were to compare my first story to my latest one, I could say that I really improved a lot. But that doesn’t mean that I will stop at that level. I want to continue growing as a writer and explore more things. The same thing goes for everyone. As long as we continue writing, we could eventually improve. Writing and publishing takes a lot of effort, patience and practice. So don’t lose hope and keep on going!

So there you have it. Here's looking forward to reading more stories from this statuesque beauty.

Rachelle is a published author of Pop Fiction, an imprint of Summit Books. She chooses watching Kdramas over writing stories, which makes it difficult for her to finish a chapter. If daydreaming were a profession, she could have made a great career in it.
To learn more about this author and for updates on new releases, please
Visit her blog, rachellebelaro.wordpress.com
Follow her on Twitter @areysieyts
Like her Facebook page, facebook.com/rachbelaro
Follow her on Amazon at amazon.com/author/rachellebelaro

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Burgos Circle / Bonifacio Global City Rising

The Burgos Circle in the Forbes Town Center is probably the most "hidden" place of the BGC owing to the fact that it requires 30 minutes of walking if one is coming from the more public Market Market area. This is why I love this place because it's not too crowded. This place is also a hip residential place where new condominiums abound.
One of the more popular food stops in the area is the Bar Dolci which serves Italian food and ice cream. It is also a stone throw away from the Mind Museum.
The circle offers great ambience, relaxing atmosphere and high end dining experience that includes  American, French, English, Spanish, Thai, Korean, Chinese and Filipino cuisine.
There's a gorgeous topiary tree in the middle of the park where dog owners usually walk their pets.

Restaurants in the Burgos Circle
Wrong Ramen, Burgers and Brewskies, The Farm, Rue Bourbon, Tipsy Pig, The Bowery, Max's'
Chicken and Beer, Big Bad Wolf, Atelier Vivanda, Just Thai, L 'Entrecote and a lot more.

Bar Dolci

Melo's Angus Beef

Mind Museum

Mind Museum

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Siquijor on a Lark

San Isidro Labrador in Lazi Siquijor

Siquijor. In this day and time, many people still shake their heads when you say you are visiting the island. It is well known for kababalaghan, black magic and other paranormal activities. But this is exactly the reason why my friends and I were thrilled to visit the enchanting place.

To get to Siquijor, you must ride a ferry from Dumaguete.

Dumaguete port is very modern and convenient. This is located at the Rizal Boulevard. Being the jump off point to Siquijor, we walked, backpack and all, at the breakwater one morning just in time for the 11 am boat ride to the island, an island known for mystical and strange happenings. 
I admit, I was one of those millions of Filipinos who have believed in the supernatural stories about this place. It is kind of embarrassing that a Japanese colleague of mine was the one who enlightened me about the beauty of Siquijor.

Port of Siquijor
So along with two friends, we decided to make it a part of the itinerary. Perhaps it was the mystery that we want solved. Once and for all, we want to be part of the mystical journey, even if only for a while.

While  waiting for the boat we drank coffee and read newspapers inside the airconditioned  lounge of Dumaguete Port.

Dumaguete Port

The boat at the back was our ticket to ride. Can't wait.

When we arrived, we were amazed at the stretch of white sand which promised a delightful trip.

We hired the usual tricycle which took us thru the coastal route. First off to the old Balite Tree.
At the old Balite tree you can have fish spa. The fish will eat away at your dead skin cells. My friends took of their shoes and sat at the edge of the pool. But when it was my turn, I got the jibbies and quickly pulled my legs out of the water.
You can also buy some love potion from an old man. He will be hawking several bottles that cure headaches to muscle pain.

The Lazi Convent was an impressive structure but it was not restored. I just hope landmarks like these can be restored because of it's historical significance. I can imagine it as a museum for Siquijor.

Lazi Convent

San Isidro Labrador Church

San Isidro Labrador Church

The way to the falls was steep, a one hundred  steps descent but it was doable. I like what they did with the stairs, fairly smooth rocks which were serviceable and beautifully laid.

Since we didn't like the beaches in San Juan (a lot of debri because of the rain), we went back to Syquijor proper.
Dondeezco resort is in Syquijor proper. There were many beaches in the San Juan area but we decided to stay near the town Syquijor.

Dondeezco Resort

Our room. The bedsheets were sooo clean, we loved the place. This room with twin beds is 1,200 Php(w/ TV and aircon). 

The beach was empty of guests so we had it all to ourselves. The water was heavenly clean as we hoped it to be but when we walked farther up we saw a more astounding beautiful stretch of white sand.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Fort Entertainment Complex / Bonifacio Global City Rising

The Fort was the first attraction at the BGC, (long before Serendra, High Street and the Burgos Circle.) At that time, the area was all wide fields and carabao grass. I literally saw the rise of the condominiums as I have been working at an international school for the past 15 years in the University Avenue.

Biking as well as running is a regular pastime in these areas.

Rules if you own a bike:
Bring your chain. Parking is not allowed if your bike is not chained.
Secure your bike and do not leave valuables.
Park only in bike park.
Wear your safety helmets when you ride.

Whether the sun is rising or setting, one can see urbanites exercising their right to a healthy body. In full gear or just plain shorts and tees, jogging and biking is the way to go.

Some of the best Italian restaurants and ice cream parlors reside in the vicinity like Cafe Puccini, Va Bene Pasta Deli (best pasta in town!) Trio, Jona's Noodle House, Heaven, to name a few old and new.

How about an old fashioned banana split? The good old days are back. Fast food food joints are now becoming more laid back, more elegant utensils are used, charming ambiance and the good life now has been given to the discerning public.

Farmacy Soda Fountain

Farmacy Soda Fountain

Cafe Puccini

Caffe Puccini