Wednesday, April 8, 2015

My Sunburn Story

Warning:
one thousand words and unpleasant images ahead. 
Not for the faint of heart

I had always been dark skinned back in Elementary to my High School years, reason why I was oftentimes bulldozed in school, aside from being very tall, skinny and socially comatose. Feeling all emotionally scarred and uptight, I resolved to look my best as soon as I entered College. I was one of those teenage girls who were enticed by skin whitening products, from soaps to lotions to Glutathione pills. I succumbed to both the lotion and soap but not the pills. Takot ko lang lol. I was gratified with the use of one particular Kojic Soap which I used for years and I could attest how my skin turned from chocolate Brown to super fair. I was blissful and content, felt I was 10 shades prettier than my old self and than my colleagues. Needless to say, I was bursting with confidence. It really is true that people get to pay you more attention if you had a fair complexion, in the Philippines at least. So I indulged myself with all the admiring and envious glances thrown upon my way whenever I swagger my stuff in the campus, which was my catwalk. I was the Queen Tamarraw. charot.

 Anyhow, I had cited in my last post that we spent three days in Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur where we did some Island hopping which meant too much exposition to the Sea, Sand and Sun. Given that I am not a beach person, well I am at heart, but in reality, I haven't spent a good whole day at the beach. Simply put, I was oblivious to using Beach products. I wasn't exactly the one to research or scrutinize the active ingredients of a sunscreen one by one and thus, I bought the first and cheapest bottle I came by at the drug store. I did not even bother checking the SPF level since I thought they were all the same @__@;;. I swear I can never be a beauty blogger! So anyway, I was convinced that I was well prepared for the wrath of Summer. However, it was pouring hard when we reached Bicol due to the approaching typhoon. It did rain the whole day on the first day of our tour but just to make sure, I lathered the sunscreen on my face and body. My color did not show any signs of darkness and I assumed it was due to the sun not coming out at all. The following day was a similar scenario. So I opted to put very minimal sunscreen on my body. My roomate offered me to use her facial sunscreen, noticing that I did not put any on my face or neck. I DECLINED. I even exlaimed "keri lang. wala namang araw". *flips hair* ("It's alright, there's no sun anyway"). I was even wondering why she looked stunned at my refusal, like, big deal? So I marched outside the hotel in my teenie weenie 2 piece bikini and a kimono and my hair proudly up in a bun so that my face is entirely exposed into the wild. The rest of the day was history. 

That night, upon getting back to the hotel and I was about to take a shower, my jaw was literally on the floor upon seeing my intensely Red and swollen face. My shivering hands mechanically reached my cheek and it felt hot, the fever kind of hot and every press on my skin stung. I realized I also couldn't yawn or open my mouth properly because it felt like my skin was tearing apart. I never had Sun Burn my entire life, and I hated it. I thought it would go away if I slept on it. But I was so wrong. That morning, my face was Redder, more swollen and hotter than ever. Everyone felt sorry for me and kept asking me if I was okay. They gave me all sorts of aloe vera gels and wet tissues to sooth my parched skin. We had a stop over at a nearby Gas station and everyone in the rest room was staring at my face the moment I walked in so I wore my sunglasses. It was uncomfortable and awkward. One kid even called her Mom and said "Mama look at her" while pointing at my direction. I badly wanted to pull that kid's hair. It felt like I was the bullied little girl in High School once again. I entered the cubicle and wept. 

After 8 hours of travel, I got home. And obviously, I was scolded. My face has already darkened and it felt rough but my cheeks, nose and forehead were still bright Red, smooth and thin, like it would burst anytime. I spent many hours researching "How to cure sunburn" and I tried everything I have read. My face was drenched in ice cold water, was soaked with tea, covered in Potato shreds and herbs etc etc etc. They did me no good. I immediately went to see a Dermatologist the same day. I spent a hefty sum but I've heard that the doctor was good. I've been seeing his clinic since I was a kid and it was my first time to pay him a visit since I never had skin problems back then. He was very nice, honest and funny. I learned as well that my use of Kojic soap and lotion reacted negatively to the sun's UV rays hence I was burned severely especially that I did not wear sunscreen. If you are using whitening products like me, always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply after every 30 minutes to an hour if you are engaging in any water activity. Or you can get yourself a sunblock with maximum SPF that can last all day.

So the following photos are my day to day documentary. These aren't even nearly how I really looked like during my time of crisis. My camera phone could not justify the horror of it all but at least, I wouldn't look too disgusting in here:
cleanser 
for redness and swelling 


for itch

== DAY 01 ==





 == DAY 02 ==



See the division of the dark and fair skin from my neck to my chest? </3 


== DAY 03 ==




== DAY 04 ==



== DAY 05 ==


== DAY 06 ==

my whole body peeling== DAY 07 ==


I am quite thankful that my burns only lasted for seven days although my face is still considerably darker than my neck or the rest of my body. Last week, my family and I went to the beach again so I ensured to get myself a maximum SPF sunblock from Beach Hut:



So I learned my lesson the hard way. I'm still not giving up my whitening products though. I am not ashamed to admit that my fair skin was a product of Kojic acid or papaya enzymes or Glutathione and will continue to use them as I have before. Because now I am prepared and knowledgeable. I really am :p 

Do you have any sunburn horror stories to share? I'd love to hear from you :))

Ciao~

Love Lots,



Monday, March 23, 2015

[Travel Diary] : Caramoan Islands Getaway 2015 ♥♥♥

"Friends are like stars, they come and go, 
but the ones that stay are the ones that glow"

*** warning ; Photo heavy post ***


"Before I looked like a Tocino wrapped in leaves, I had fun..." This was the suggested introduction by one of my friends when I confessed that I could not think of a decent prelude for this post. I would have hated him for ridiculing my extremely sunburned face but alas, it was the most fitting picture of myself at this point. But it was also true that I had fun, no let me reword that, I felt glorious! Alive! Resplendent! Allow me to tell you that this was my very first, legitimate out of town trip in all of my 28 years of existence thus imagine my reverence for Camarines Sur. Not that I am not thrilled with the idea of travelling. I would forgo the universe to be able to travel the world, but that would be in my own perfect time. 
And that perfect time was last March 20-22, 2015. So let me tell you a story... :)


It was October of last year when we began brainstorming for our Summer Outing. Yes, it was 5 months in the making, to ensure that everyone could join and to finally realize all those years of planning trips which never really happened because of impending interventions (such as laziness perhaps). This time though, everyone was all up for it. After days of relentless debates, we have decided to book with GAFA Tours under their Caramoan Islands Fever package tour in Camarines Sur.

We left Trinoma in Quezon City at exactly 8 PM on a Thursday. As we have been advised by our tour guide and researches as well, the land travel was approximately 10 hours. With several stopovers in between, we reached Naga City at exactly 5 AM of Friday, had breakfast at McDonalds and headed immediately to Sabang Port to take the boat on the first trip to Guijalo Port where the Inn's guide would be picking us up. Another grueling 2 hours was exhausted at the ocean. Due to lack of sleep incorporated with a stiff neck and back ache, I resolved to doze off all throughout the boat ride. 




 I woke up halfway through the ride and was glad that I did. Because my slumber-some eyes feasted themselves on these majestic panorama of powdery white sands and grandiose mountains of limestones and immaculate blue waters that I thought I could only get to see in the internet and movies. Too bad my phone's camera is too shitty and will never give these justice. So I had no other discourse but to grab them from my friends' albums :)) 

Finally reached Guijalo Port!
We reached Rex Tourist Garden Inn at 12 in the afternoon. We had a scrumptious lunch, an hour of rest and at exactly 2 PM, we headed out to our first Island Hopping activity!


This was where we stayed at for the next 3 days and 2 nights. We honestly minimized our expectations of the hotel since the place was not yet commercialized. But behold! Another piece of confined paradise <3





It was already raining since that morning and the downpour worsen during the afternoon. We were all worried should the tour be cancelled because of the horrible weather. With huge rolling waves and nimbus clouds in my head, I was ambiguous to continue with the tour. But what the heck? It was now or never! The rain did not stop and so did we.



Day 1
First Island: Lahos Island






Second Island: Matukad Island (with secret lagoon)




Third Island: Cabagnilad Island







Day 2
First Island : Sabitang Laya








Second Island: Cotivas Island








Third Island: Manlawi Island (Sandbar and lunch at floating cottage)






Stopover swimming at the Pacific Ocean (^_^)




This was the last water activity of the tour. We visited the Grotto Island with 527 steps and reveled in the beauty and grace of the peninsula.





Day 3: Going Home

After an early check out at 5:30 AM and a quick breakfast, we headed back to Guijalo Port. There were not many photos during the ride since almost everyone was asleep. Just like this:


You can already see from this angle that my face was red and shiny. I was badly burned upon swimming at the Pacific Ocean since I was not able to put sunscreen on my face. It was an honestly stupid mistake. I very seldom go to the beach and I do not get burns. You really wouldn't want to see my face right now. The red is almost gone but my skin has gone totally black while from my neck to the rest of my body is still fair skinned. It is quite depressing. I look absolutely horrendous so if there are any beauty bloggers out here who's reading right now, please shoot me an email or just leave a comment. I badly need help!

Our tour ended with a visit at the Basilica of Our Lady of Penafrancia and buying souvenirs. Another 10-12 hours of travel by land and we are finally back to reality. 









Now I am back home, still on vacation and tending my burns with herbs and all those stuff I've read from blogs. It felt a little sad that those three days and two nights had rolled by just like that, considering the length of time you've spent on planning and waiting for it. But, without a doubt, it was one, if not the most, illustrious adventures I will ever have in my lifetime. I am forever grateful for my friends whom I have grown up with, spent my most despairing times with, celebrated triumphs with and for just being themselves: silly, stupid and all that crap. I love them to bits and I just can't wait for our next getaway! Hope you all have a great summer guys. Ciao~

Love Lots,