Your skin is your body’s largest organ. Having healthy skin helps fight skin aging and other viruses. We all struggle to have glowing and healthy skin. For women, beauty is everything. And having a good skin care routine tells much about you. So how well do you know your skin?
The idea of having a machine that can thoroughly evaluate your skin is somehow refreshing. The VISIA Facial Skin Complexion Analysis machine gives patients objective skin evaluation. It lets you see every detail and gives you a complete picture of your skin health. It doesn’t just evaluate but it helps your doctor determine how to treat your skin related problems and prepare for future aging treatments.
Dr. Neil Oropeza’s clinic is perhaps one of the most innovative clinics in Davao City. It’s the only clinic in Davao that offers PicoSure laser treatments and Visia Skin Complexion Analysis. Dr. Niel Oropeza is a part of my PicoSure laser tattoo removal journey and allowed me to experience the Visia Skin Complexion Analysis device.
Visia captures high-quality facial images to clearly analyze your skin. I was uncomfortable at first but managed to feel at ease because the assistant was really nice and friendly.
How VISIA Facial Complexion Analysis Works
Capturing images from different angles
Visia aims to gather clearly defined visual information on important areas that affect your skin health: pores, red and brown spots, wrinkles, skin texture, color evenness of complexion, UV spots and the presence of bacteria.
Showing porphyrins or presence of acne-causing bacteria in pores
Showing red areas on my face
Showing the brown spots on my face
Using the 3D viewer to clearly see skin problems and damaged skin cells
The result shows my estimated age based on my skin health on the right part of my face. No thanks to my wrinkles, spots and others for making me feel older. As you can see, it says here that my TruSkin age is 33 while my actual age is 28.
The result shows the left part of my face is healthier and younger than the other. My actual age is 28 but my TruSkin age estimate is 23 years old.
Happy with the result 😉
This is the overall result of the Visia Skin Analysis device. The result reveals that I have low UV spots percentage maybe because I work at home so I am not always exposed to the sun. Basically, I have a higher percentage of enlarged pores, red areas and bad skin texture. The result is upsetting yet it’s also helpful because it helps me learn more about my skin health. The treatment is unique and individualized.
How To Treat Acne and Discoloration Through A Machine
I had a sudden acne breakout on my forehead a year ago. My skin is not prone to acne, believe me, my parents didn’t suffer from acne during their younger days. So I thought it must be my hormones. I was convinced it has hormonal acne so I didn’t bother to treat them, I thought they would just go away. But they kept growing. I started to look for effective skin care routines online. I compared the skin routines of different beauty influencers and tried the products they promoted on their YouTube channels. After a few months, I gave up and focused more on taking skin vitamins and birth control pills instead. I also prepared a bottle of sunflower oil to treat acne scars just in case.
The skin vitamins worked but they did not completely get rid of the acne, specifically my whiteheads. Somehow, I became dependent on concealers to hide them whenever I would go out and meet my friends. I thought of trying out new treatments but I thought perhaps it was time to turn to technology.
I went to Oroderm again and the first thing that they recommended was to use the Visia Skin Analysis machine. Before they could proceed with the treatment, they wanted to have a record of my skin health so they can compare if the treatment is effective.
My old VISIA Analysis photo result (forgot to take photos of my latest results) can be used as a referencetoclearly show the bacteria prone areas on my face. The result is accurate because my whiteheads would only grow on three specific areas: my forehead, cheeks and along the edge of my nose. Now I’m more careful when it comes to my hairstyle. Since my forehead is prone to acne, I should avoid hairstyles with bangs to avoid whiteheads. Also, I make sure that my hair doesn’t touch my face. I was asked to go back to the clinic after a month and use the machine again.
What I really love about VISIA professional skin machine is that it helps you find the brown spots on your face, acne-prone areas, pores and red areas that we couldn’t fully determine without the machine. The results of the Visia Skin Analysis would be a patient’s baseline for future assessments. You can constantly monitor if there is progress with the treatment, it’s like seeing everything under a microscope where everything is transparent and highly defined.
What To Know About VISIA Facial Skin Complexion Analysis
What is the importance of Visia Complexion Analysis?
The device helps determine what kind of approach and treatment a certain patient needs. It helps to diagnose the problem and formulate unique and specific aesthetic treatments. The treatment is personalized and not generalized.
Does it hurt?
No, it doesn’t. It only captures your facial images so don’t worry, no needles.
How long does it take to finish the procedure?
It only takes a few minutes. It’s like letting a machine do your selfie.
How much does Visia Analysis cost?
It depends on your location and clinic.
A lot of people pay too much for skin treatments especially for those who have acne problems. But the treatment isn’t individualized so maybe that’s the reason why there is no progress with the treatment.
If you’re living in Davao City, you might want to try the Visia Skin Complexion Analysis machine. You may visit:
I planned to stay sober last Friday but was confronted by the fact that I couldn’t stay sober and alcohol and good music are meant to make you feel immortal for a day or two. Anne Sexton couldn’t even stay sober. She talked to me in my sleep telling me I would live forever as long as I write and drink and write and drink. But it’s a struggle to be poetic with or without alcohol.
Last Friday’s gig wasn’t merely about the launching of Kanubis Clothing but it was also about Mindanao bands and musicians, great music, free tattoo session by Tattoo Avenue, free shirts by Nine Nails and the artistic atmosphere of ZLeaf Bar.
Here are my thoughts about the gig performances:
JKid (Nhorm Quesada)
JKid is a rapper from Cotabato City who finds comfort creating music. He battles his own demons through music and struggles to find inner peace performing the rap songs he originally wrote for the past years.
One of my favorites is the song entitled “Ana”. It’s about a sex worker named Ana who offers sex services to support her grandmother’s medical expenses. It might sound like a typical story of most Filipinas who cannot find decent jobs here in the Philippines so they’re forced to become sex workers. But unlike songs that talk about prostitution and poverty, the whole song is not about blaming poverty and the society.
What I love about the song is how it provokes you to unconsciously imagine the whole scenario as you listen to her story, in his own words. I love the details and the tone of the speaker, giving you an impression that like her customers, he’s also drawn to her, sexualizes her yet a part of him also feels bad for her.
He doesn’t preach, but he tells you every scene pretending not to sound obscene. The obscenity lies not in its language but its images. My poetry teacher’s line will forever live within me – “Show, don’t tell.” Like Marshall Mathers’ songs, JKid’s songs are not the usual rap about sex, twerking women and flashy cars. I don’t hate rap artists that talk about such things in their songs, it’s just that they tell same stories they become boring. Most of JKid’s songs are somehow related to social awareness and his life experiences. To tell a vivid story and provoke emotion in three or four lines is a skill and Marshall Mathers does it all the time. Sad to say, the only thing that some people remember about Em is his “mom’s spaghetti”. It’s an effective representation of his nervousness and being in an awkward situation.
JKid continues to remind me that while rap is also a form of poetry, rap songs should not be criticized based on their meanings but their musical flow and rhythm as well. In literary theory, if I remember correctly, form and meaning are inseparable. In a formalist approach, the literary meaning of a particular literary work can only be achieved through its form and literary devices. When it comes to lyrics of songs, I think it’s inappropriate to criticize songs based on content alone. Don’t forget musicality and rhythm. That’s why until now I still can’t understand why some men from the literary society said that the “The Bohemian Rhapsody” isn’t very poetic at all, saying it is even meaningless. I adore Freddie Mercury and I think the melody, the lyrics, and the musicality are beautiful.
Side of the Moon
Side of the Moon made me more excited to hear Tool live. I rarely hear bands perform Tool covers. Also, maybe I was a bit nostalgic, annoying and drunk. I don’t openly worship them maybe because when I listen to music I’m more on the atmosphere, emotions and nostalgia. Side of the Moon performed well and I believe they left an impression on the audience.
Amana’s music is refreshing and can be nostalgic as well. Gojira, Tool, Deftones and Lamb of God are some of the musical influences of the band’s musicality, although Tool and Deftones have the strongest influences in most of their songs. I’ve listened to Amana’s raw riffs many times, leaving me an impression that they constantly aim to achieve sound progression. For me, there must be a sense of progression in terms of flow and sound in order to add excitement and definitely to provoke. I don’t know with you, but for me, music or art, in general, must be provocative.
Another interesting fact about Amana is that their drummer is a female. You see many female band members playing the guitar but you don’t often see girls play the drums. I think it goes against the common perception that girls cannot understand music and its technicality.
The guitarist whom I know very well is very meticulous when it comes to their music’s flow and musicality. Following Amana’s creative process, somehow there is a struggle to create something unconventional. The band even defies doing covers, all of the songs they play are originally composed. I think that’s the purpose of forming a band, to create and not just to recreate.
My first impression: Psychedelic. And they like effects. The vocalist has a psychedelic aura and listening by the way the vocalist sings takes me somewhere trippy and nice and wonderful. Also, I adore the fact that they play their original songs, I believe it’s one way to promote local bands.
I was already intoxicated when they started performing on stage. The only thing I remember was hearing them play “Omerta” and how excited I was when I heard them play. I feel lucky because the first time I heard Omerta live was played by Lamb of God itself two years ago when they visited the Philippines for the third time. They did “Redneck” and although something was a bit missing, perhaps the very low tune guitars made it difficult to achieve full clarity of sound, the vocalist’s presence was undeniably powerful.
Yolks isn’t just about eggs. And it isn’t just about flowers and cupcakes either.
I don’t usually go for cakes and cupcakes, I’m more of a semi self-proclaimed vegetarian who likes to post healthy meals on Instagram but actually devours meat ( I do cook veggies and make salads at home each time I gain a few pounds ). I go for restaurants that serve steak and everything meaty and unhealthy. But when I’m with my two kikay friends who love to eat all the sweet cute stuff, sometimes I need to compromise.
One of my friends suggested Yolks Flower Cafe + Cupcakery, one of the first flower cafes in Davao City. They offer boxed flower arrangements, flower pastries and other meals. Although hearing the word “cupcakery” for the first time made me cringe (basically because I’m not such a big fan of sweets), I convinced myself to try something different.
One of the reasons why I agreed to go for Yolks was we needed a quiet and comfortable place where we can hangout with our very pregnant buddy who wasn’t allowed to do long walks and other activities except lying on bed, getting lazy on the couch and secretly eating sweets.
The name “Yolks” isn’t tricky at all. Yolks remind you of eggs, flour and cakes – you get the whole picture right after hearing its name. What is actually interesting is how people pronounce the word yolks, which can be tricky.
So here are some of my thoughts about Yolks Flower Cafe + Cupcakery :
Yolk’s mango cake was delish. I like the fact that it’s creamy yet not too sweet. You can order it in slices for only 100php per slice or you can buy the whole cake for 920php only. It’s actually affordable, considering that they serve the cake in big slices.
I didn’t have any plans to eat sweets that day because I was trying to lose weight but I was tempted by its whole aesthetic appeal. I was comforted by the idea of going back to the gym next month. The whole workout experience would be a tough one for sure, I just need to look for the best gyms in Davao City.
Like I said, I like to pretend that I’m living a healthy life so I ordered a cup of hot cucumber lemonade. The lemonade was so-so, nothing extraordinary. But I love its natural taste and also it wasn’t too sweet. I paid 55php for it and though it’s more expensive than the ones I can get at a vending machine, I think it’s worth it. Unlike those cheap drinks, the drink wasn’t sugary. The cucumber lemonade can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference.
My friend, who’s very much into pastries, wasn’t really happy with this brownie. Maybe because she didn’t want the choco whipped cream on top of her brownie. Clearly, she’s not a fan of whipped cream. I actually love the idea of putting whipped cream on top of sweets because I think there should be a variation of taste. Also, I love whipped cream frosting.
The apple juice is the real thing – no sugar or any additives. It wasn’t sugared and it tasted natural. My friend wasn’t very much impressed. Maybe because she was expecting it to be a bit sweeter.
Seafood Pasta in Crab Fat Sauce
We weren’t really that hungry when we arrived at Yolks yet we were interested in trying this seafood pasta in crab fat sauce. For those who don’t like crab fat like me, then let me assure you that the crab fat pasta doesn’t taste like crab fat at all. The pasta was creamy and tasted good though I was a bit disappointed with the price. I think it was too expensive, although the fact that you have crab fat in it might be the main reason why it’s pricey.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOLKS
The place is euphoric. Every part of the place can literally melt your heart. Every girl loves being surrounded by beautiful flowers, colorful cupcakes and mouthwatering cakes. The wallpaper is cute too – a splash of pastel colors. The place is sure to charm girls who go crazy over pink and yummy treats. I enjoyed the quietness of the place.
Also, it’s a flower cafe so expect beautiful flowers around.
The place can also be fun for children. Maybe the owner of the cafe has children because he or she perfectly understands the struggle of most parents, especially mothers when they go out with friends carrying their children with them. Kids love colorful cupcakes and some cute stuff.
Good customer service
Everybody was eager to help every customer. We were like little kids in a candy store, only that we weren’t after candies. We were too busy taking photos while waiting for our food. One of the staff was nice enough to take photos of us and was even taking our photos in different angles. I was impressed by his eagerness and enthusiasm. The whole staff was really nice. We could felt like we could make requests without being guilty.
The place is great, you don’t just underestimate a flower cafe with flowers and cakes and cupcakes inside. Also, they just don’t serve sweets but they also serve hamburgers and steak. I was even surprised that they had breakfast meals on the menu. Too bad I was feeling full when we visited the cafe, I could have tried their steak. I was even dying to try their choco strawberry smoothie but I was also suffering from a very sore throat so I guess I’ll have to try it next time. The overall experience was so-so, nothing beats the mango cake, the staff and the place.
My pregnant friend Sem, feeling at home and surprisingly she was in the mood to be playful
Our last photo together before Gail went back to Dubai
If you love flowers, flavorful cakes, colorful cupcakes and the idea of eating pizza, steak and hamburgers in a fancy place such as Yolks, then this place is for you.
Yolks Flower Cafe + Cupcakery
Doors A & B, Bella Vie Building, Circumferential Road
Nobody wants to cook on Sundays. Even chefs and your mom. One of the things your mom doesn’t want to tell you and your sibling is that sometimes she just wants to get lazy and have a day off. Of course, it includes not having to think about what to cook the next day.
So last Sunday, we decided to get lazy. The original plan was to go to Calinan for some chicken mami, batchoy and halo halo. Instead, we went to Tugbok District and enjoyed two catfish dishes – the first dish was cooked with coconut milk and the other one was deep fried.
We chose Golden Egg Ihaw Ihaw Hitoan partly because it was the first hitoan restaurant we spotted and partly because my friend highly recommended the place.
Before entering the restaurant, we were welcomed by live freshwater catfish. It felt weird to watch them being brutally murdered before my eyes. Yes, it was brutal yet a beautiful kind of death at the same time. It was beautiful because it was quick. They were just there, waiting to be killed. And we were the predators, waiting for the prey though it wasn’t really a hunt. It wasn’t even exciting.
Until now, I still can’t figure out the story behind this restaurant’s name
Inside the restaurant
Yes, they don’t just serve hito, they also serve chicken and pork dishes. Also, the prices are quite reasonable.
Deep fried catfish
We enjoyed our crispy deep fried catfish with spicy soy sauce, fresh tomatoes, and some onions. I don’t usually eat fish because I’m a self-proclaimed vegetarian (don’t judge me). I’ve been told that catfish feed on high-protein foods, and that includes meat. Maybe that’s the reason why these deep fried catfish really tasted good.
Everything with coconut milk is dainty. I love coconut milk with vegetables so it was easy for this ginataan hito to steal my heart.
Overall, it was lazy yet satiated Sunday afternoon. Cheers to more lazy afternoons!
A friend who is living in a first world country was a bit shocked when I told her I don’t have a credit card. Then she started telling me how weird it is for people to survive without credit cards. Maybe she just overreacted.
Years ago, it was difficult to buy things online without credit cards. Paypal is another best option and here in Philippines, you can’t have Paypal funds unless you’re working for a US based company or your employer is a foreigner. One of my employers was an American and I was lucky enough to have Paypal funds. However, some sites won’t allow Paypal transactions, especially sites selling Chinese or Korean products. Before Zalora, there was Multiply and other Philippine sites that let you pay through Globe Gcash or bank deposits. I don’t have enough patience when it comes to bank to bank transactions. I don’t like long lines with a bunch of strangers – I feel obliged to smile and engage in small talks.
I like buying cheap tickets online though I don’t travel much. Cebu Pacific offers really crazy ticket prices. It’s a tough competition actually. You have to be quick in booking tickets. The website is always down and you need to have extra patience. Cebu Pacific accepts Paypal and credit cards so it’s convenient for those who have one.
I’ve always wanted to have my own credit card because I shop online. My friends didn’t really have good experiences with credit cards. As for me, I don’t like buying things on credit. Also, I have issues with money management so I have to stick to debit cards.
Last month, I got excited when I got my ePrepaid MasterCard from BPI. It’s a prepaid card and it’s reloadable, no credits. It’s definitely for those people who love shopping online. You can even use it when you buy at department stores or even supermarkets. It’s also possible to connect your card to your Paypal account so you can make an online purchase to sites that require Paypal accounts. You can also check your balance online or through text, making it easier for you to keep track of your money from time to time. The best thing about it is it guarantees 100% application approval so it’s hassle-free.
Completely fill-out the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
Nominate a branch where you want to pick-up your card by clicking the Branch Locator button
Print-out a copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form.
Bring the following to your nominated BPI/ BPI Family Savings Bank Branch, five (5) banking days for
GMMA branches or seven (7) banking days for branches outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao after submission of card application:
Print-out of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
Payment for the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao)
One (1) valid ID.
Note: GMMA consists of NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.
II. At BPI Branches
Visit any BPI Branch or BPI Express Banking Center nationwide.
Fill-out a BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form
Submit the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement form, present one (1) valid ID, and pay the card processing fee (P500 for GMMA, P600 for outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao) at the branch teller.
Claim your My ePrepaid MasterCard® at the same branch after five (5) banking days in GMMA or after seven (7) banking days outside GMMA, Visayas and Mindanao. Simply present your copy of the BPI Prepaid Card Purchase Agreement, and bring one (1) valid ID.
1. You can’t get your money back once you’ve transferred funds from your debit card to your ePrepaid MasterCard through ATM. That means over the counter withdrawal is not possible. And you can’t send the funds back to your debit account through BPI express online.
2. Your ePrepaid MasterCard funds can be viewed online since it’s connected to your BPI express account and as stated in their website, you can transfer funds from your debit account to your ePrepaid MasterCard account online. This is so not true. I went to the bank a couple of times to check and complain but I still couldn’t transfer funds online so I finally gave up. I already enrolled my BPI ePrepaid account but it’s still not added in my enrolled accounts so each time I plan to buy something I have to go to the machine just to transfer funds.
3. You can only book and buy Philippine Airline tickets with your BPI ePrepaid MasterCard. Sadly, Cebu Pacific is not included in the list.
Overall, I’m satisfied with my ePrepaid MasterCard. It’s a debit card that works like a credit card so it’s highly recommended for online shoppers like me.