It’s a fresh new year again, so it’s about time we’ve curated the best upcoming trends for 2019 from international gardening experts. We also made sure that if you wish to plant with the tides of the times, these garden design trends will be friendly to our tropical greens and look culturally picture-perfect. Get ready to be inspired!
Ever noticed the increasingly popular travel trend popping out all over social media? Vacationing seems to be so much valued by this generation as people clamor more than ever for peace of mind and mental health. But for those who just aren’t the backpacking type, staycations also have become fashionable now—finding a way to enjoy the holidays or the days off right at the comfort of your own hometown or, better yet, your backyard. Designer Scott Shrader says, “Why go on vacation once a year when you can make your yard feel like you’re on vacation all year round?” Whether it’s going to be a nipa hut, a Filipino treehouse, an outdoor kitchen, and/or a decorated camping ground with a safe bonfire feature, it’s all up to you. Be sure to install lighting so the garden and the spot will glow at night and be easy to access. Also don’t forget our beloved hammocks!
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Good news: hobby greenhouse kits are now available! Plus, they’re way cheaper and smaller. It’s now possible to assemble your own greenhouse and customize it the way you want. These kits can be assembled in a day and come in various shapes and sizes. If you want, you may also add accessories like an irrigation system, built-in shelving, and weatherproof flooring. Get creative.
Now that most of us have to live in city centers to be nearer our workplace, gardening is usually considered a luxury. It’s a busy world we live in, so gardeners are now considering simpler ways to keep up. Here are some useful ways to still include a patch of green to your place in the city:
Vertical gardening. If your flat lacks some space, the balcony will do. Whether you hang them on containers, put them on shelves, or use a trellis, it’s completely your choice.
Indoor gardening. There are dozens of types of ferns, and they can be grown indoors. Ferns’ ruffled foliage adds texture and green to any corner of your room. And if you need another reason to try this trend, these houseplants are actually known to help purify the air inside.
Low-maintenance gardening. Since our schedules are mostly packed and hectic, more mess equals more stress. Plant mostly perennial plants that will come back each year, and group them together based on their watering needs.
Smart Gardening. Technology is now taking over our chores and doing all the hard work. With the Tertill weed whacker, hydroponic indoor gardening, and gardening apps to help you, gardening is now almost hassle-free and doable.
From aesthetic Instagram posts to vlogs, succulents are taking today’s world by storm. They’re now sold on the streets, given away during birthday parties or weddings, and packed as Christmas presents. A method called grafting also produces vibrant colors on top of them. They only need watering once a week, so what are you waiting for?
Position the lights up against trees to give an uplight effect, to pull your focus onto a specific area of the garden, and to make the tree itself a prominent feature of your garden. Use warm-colored lights for a cozy ambience or a bright color for a party atmosphere. Add lanterns, festoons, or fairy lights. These would make your garden perfect for some outdoor socializing on weekends.
Now that mental health is being given more attention, zen gardens are a great way to reduce stress, improve your focus, and develop a sense of well-being. We suggest you let your garden provide you the safe haven you need during your trying moments. If you have space, set up a little bridge or walkway, add rock sculptures, or put up a fountain or pond. If you want to skip the struggle of hiring a landscape designer just to install the latter, consider making use of sand to symbolize a river. Add a touch of home and create a Filipino-style zen garden. Imagine drinking green tea here early in the morning! More tips from zen masters here.
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With its fragrant aroma and flavorful meat, it’s not a surprise that tilapia is currently the most cultured freshwater fish in the Philippines. They also come second in culture volume after the country’s national fish, bangus or milkfish, not to mention it’s one of the fish species sold at a very affordable price. All this makes tilapia one of the most common ingredients in regional cuisines.
The tilapia are perfect for dishes that can served on any occasion, may it be on birthdays, fiestas, or even at Christmas parties. Of course, you can’t just serve one cuisine every time you host an event. So if you’ve run out of tilapia dish to cook, here’s another recipe you can try—the sinugno or grilled tilapia in coconut milk.
The sinugno recipe originated from the Quezon province where coconuts and its by-products flourish. And if you are familiar with sinanglay, another Tilapia recipe, then this one won’t be hard since the process is very similar. The only difference is that instead of stuffing the tilapia with spices, the fish is grilled for flavoring. The grilled fish gives off a smoky flavor, which balances out the creaminess of the coconut milk.
In making sinugno, here are the ingredients you will be using:
And like any other Pinoy food, sinugno is best consumed with steaming hot rice. Now you can enjoy a decent, sumptuous meal with the family without hurting your budget.
Pantone has finally revealed the color of the year for 2019! Called the Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral, this year’s star color breathes life into any boring space, creating a lively atmosphere with its orange and pink hues. According to Pantone, the Living Coral’s engaging nature is the perfect response to how much social media and technology have been embedded into our daily routine. In today’s world where most interactions happen over the screen, we thirst for experiences that are genuine and immersive. Sociable and spirited, as Pantone would describe it, Living Coral makes every activity more immersive, enjoyable, and memorable.
And this 2019, what better way to channel Living Coral’s vibrancy than giving our house the upgrade it needs using Living Coral–inspired designs?
Even before it was named color of the year, Living Coral has already been popular among interior designers who are aware of the color’s ability to make any area look warmer and cozier. So if you are looking for fresh designs with this color for that long-planned home revamp, you don’t have to worry, as there are a lot of them. Here are some places with Living Coral–inspired designs you can incorporate into your own space.
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Using Living Coral adds a modern and tranquil vibe to any area, so when designers Lera Brumina and Artem Trigubchak were asked to design a Broadway Bakery in Ukraine, they made sure to utilize the color. To do so, they station coral seats, chandeliers, and counter-tops around the area. The Living Coral–colored seats and tables countered the warm color of the bread and pastries, making them look more sumptuous as ever. The Living Coral–painted walls, which feature different shades of pink and oranges, pastel cobalt blue, and metallic gold, also offered a much-needed contrast. The result is a design that looks straight out of a Wes Anderson film.
What Note Design Studio did to this century-old 200-square-meter space was magical. The complete transformation of the Stockholm office from a shabby room into a modern, minimalist home features pastel yellow and sage green hues. The team painted the walls with the 2019 Color of the Year and placed a coral armchair in the corner of the house. The design’s a bold of integrating the vibrant color into the originally light-colored home, but it came out pretty well. The added coral tone creates a punchy, standout impression alongside the other hues chosen for the interior.
An apartment in Spain underwent a total makeover to achieve a modern and stylish look. An Italian fashion guru sought Colombo and Serboli Architecture’s (CaSA) help to renovate the entire place. CaSA mostly used pastel pink tones but chose Living Coral for the kitchen and living area. The incorporation of the Living Coral did wonders to the originally pale space.
When Tribe Studio was hired to design Sydney’s Suburban Canny, they didn’t think twice about using the color of the year, especially in its toilet. And the result? A work of art that is simply one of the best Living Color–inspired designs out there.
There are three bathrooms in total in the area, each taking three different hues: blue, teal, and pink. The pink-colored bathroom uses Living Coral, which are visible in the storage compartment, walls, and mirror frame.
The seaside apartment Waterfront Nikis features a generous application of Living Coral across walls, doors, and wind frames. The mastermind behind the apartment’s design and the owner of the space is Stamatios Giannikis, an Architect from Greece. As the house has a bedroom that is directly facing the Mediterranean sea, the designer used it as an inspiration. To do it, he added coral hues, which cordial vibes perfectly complement the picture-perfect oceanic view.
As you can see, Living Coral works well with any hues. Its vibrant orange hue perfectly blends with strong colors such as teal and navy blue. So if a modern look that gives off warmth is what you’re aiming for your home, look no further than this list of Living Coral–inspired designs.
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Nothing makes an already-merry Christmas merrier than sparkling Christmas decors. Every year, it’s as if every house were made up of flashy lights and colorful ornaments; and if Christmas were a competition, judges would have a hard time choosing a winner.
But truth be told, decorating your house can be costly. Aside from the decor, there’s the food, presents, and prizes for Christmas party games that can all take a chunk out of your budget. And for something that only comes once a year, you’ll find yourself thinking twice if it’s right for you to spend too much just to have that yuletide feels at home. But you see, decors shouldn’t be expensive. There are affordable Christmas decoration ideas you can incorporate into your home that won’t cost you a fortune. Here are some.
There are ingenious ways to create a magical Christmas without hurting your wallet. Learn the following affordable Christmas decoration ideas and create decors that are as stunning but not as expensive as the holiday embellishes you see in stores.
You see an enormous Christmas tree at the mall, decorated with all sorts of ornaments. But you check its price tag and you’re taken aback because it costs just as much as a whole year’s food consumption. So you go home with not one Christmas tree in sight in the backseat of your car.
But if you really want one in your house, you can settle for the smaller ones. Besides it being affordable, it can also maximize the area in your home and there’ll be enough space for other decors or more area for your family and friends to lounge around when they come over.
Also, to add a modern touch, you can buy two or three trees of different colors.
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When it comes to the design of Christmas displays, lighting is given the most importance. Lights always immediately turn a plain and boring display into a rather festive one. If you want an affordable Christmas decoration, always choose LED lights, as they do not consume a huge amount of energy and last longer than standard bulbs.
Another one of the affordable Christmas decoration ideas is to use stuff that you can recycle and save for a different occasion. You can opt for red plastic flowers that you can display as coffee table flowers later on, or you can buy green and red throw pillows in the living area that you can use as a sleeping pillow when Christmas is over. Make sure that most of your Christmas decors, if not all, are still usable even after the holidays.
If you buy high-quality decors, you get to use them more than once, pull them out every time the holiday season comes. Utilize those old decorations you hung last year, no one is going to notice it anyway. Modify how you arranged your lights or decorated your tree just so this year’s Christmas won’t look like a total carbon copy of he previous year’s. Unleash your creativity and use those old Christmas cards and display them on the shelves or stick them on the wall.
Always be creative with your Christmas wreath and do it yourself instead of buying a ready-made one from a store. Other than it being affordable, you get the chance to incorporate into it your own style. You can use recycled materials, old gift wrappers, unused ribbons, led lights, and even photos of your family and closest friends.
Hanging holiday treats is also one of the most affordable Christmas decoration ideas. It adds life to your display, and with it, you can make sure kids don’t go hungry as they wait for noche buena. You can arrange cookies, hang edible canes or candies on the tree, or fill a huge transparent jar with colorful treats.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money just to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing display. Keep it simple, which you can do by hanging even the most modest Filipino Christmas decors. Let your artistic side loose and have fun integrating these affordable Christmas decoration ideas into your own holiday display.
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Christmas season is the most anticipated time of the year. Aside from the sumptuous food served on the table, everyone gathers around for some Christmas party games and spends the whole night laughing with family and friends. In the Philippines, boring isn’t in anyone’s dictionary, so you can trust that Christmas party games will be all about twists.
Just like these games.
From the always-present limbo rock to the new suck-and-blow game, here are some of the funnest Christmas party games you and your whole family should play to make your next event even more fun and lively.
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The longest line is a classic party game everybody wants to play, especially during Christmas. In Longest Line, kids and adults form into groups and create a single line. The fun part of this game is that no items are given to the members, and they have to use whatever they have on like belts, necklaces, bracelets, and slippers. Men even take their shirts and trousers off just to make their team’s line even longer. The group to make the longest line in a specified time wins the game.
The Boat Is Sinking is definitely one of the most played Christmas party games in the Philippines.
To start the game, the host calls out, “The boat is sinking. Group yourselves into [insert number].” The participants will then have to find other players to form a group with, depending on the number. Players who fail to join in any group and groups fail to meet the required number of members will be eliminated. The last group standing is considered the winner.
One of the merriest Christmas party games is the Pabitin. It involves a hanging wooden lattice tied with different goodie bags suspended in midair. The lattice will be lowered down using a thin rope and then pulled back up quickly, and kids will have to jump and try to grab as many prizes as they can. Of course, the tallest are at an advantage, but that does not mean the shorter ones go home with nothing. As long as you jump with all your might, you will get something.
The game also has an adult version, where players get to win cash prizes instead of toys and candies. Of course, the lattice will be positioned above the players so it would be harder for them to grab something.
The calamansi relay is a game of patience. Players bite the end of the spoon, and a calamansi is held on the spoon’s bowl. Then they have to race around a designated mark, and once they get back to the starting point, the players pass the calamansi to the next person and the latter will have to follow the same mark. Should the calamansi fall off the spoon, the team will have to start all over again. No one is allowed to use their hands throughout the game.
The first group to finish the relay wins the game. Some use eggs as an alternative to calamansi, setting the difficulty bar even higher, as eggs are heavier and easily break.
Of all the Christmas party games, nothing makes you bend and kneel like the Santa Limbo or Limbo Rock. The rules of the game are deceptively simple, yet it takes exceptional flexibility to win.
A pole is held parallel to the group by either two people or a stand, then the players form a line and, in turn, attempt to pass under without touching the ground or the limbo stick. The pole is lowered by a few inches every time a contestant is eliminated. The last player standing—or limbo-rocking—is the winner.
If there are people at the party you want to know more about, then you should try this toilet paper game. To play it, the host will ask the players to get as many tissue paper as they could without telling them what it is for. The game master only reveals the mechanics of the game once it commences.
After this, the players will take turns sharing one fact about them. One fact means one tissue paper taken out of the box. The team with the most tissue paper wins the game, so if you want the prize, you have to spill the beans.
This game helps you discover who among your peers can actually dance.
A tissue box with ten jingle bells inside is tied around the players waist. The audience will then start singing the classic “Jingle Bells” song, and players are given one minute to dance their heart out and shake the bells off the box. The person with the least number of balls in the box wins the game.
The balloon relay is the best game to play for big groups. Players form two groups and each team must have an even number of players. The game is played in pairs. A balloon is positioned between the players’ bodies, and they have to race to a specific mark and back. Once they’re back to the starting line, they need to press their bodies to pop the balloon, and only then can the next pair move.
Pinoy Henyo is the Filipinos’ take on Family Feud. Adults and kids group into two, and each team has to have an even number of members. The two teams have an alternating chance of playing the game. Each round, a pair from each team moves forward as the group’s representatives.
To start the game, a paper with a word or phrase (usually names of famous people, places, a movie, or TV show, or an animal) written on it is taped to one of the playing pair’s forehead. This player will have to guess the world with the help of their partner. The guesser can ask what category the word belongs. They can also ask questions, to which their partner will respond with yes, no, or maybe.
Every playing pair has one minute to guess as many words as they can. The team with more points gets the prize.
Nothing beats a true classic. Whether you want to spark a new romance or just looking for obscure ways to get a holiday kiss, Suck and Blow is the perfect game to play.
In this game, there can be two or more groups with even number of members. Each player will then have to pair up with one of their teammates, and they all form a line. The first player then gets a card, with each of them sucking on the either side of it. They have to hold on to the card using their lips as they walk to a designated area and back before passing it to the next pair in line. Players must not touch or drop the card, they have have to start again.
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Imagine this: a highland town with the perfect cuddle weather to spend your entire week with your significant other. You sit on a wooden chair, wrapped in a wool blanket, sipping your cup of tea and more things to do in Sagada. Sounds like a good holiday plan, doesn’t it? Too good to be true even.
Luckily for you, that place actually exists, and you don’t have to take a half-day-long plane ride to get there. It’s in the Cordillera region.
Here’s why you have to visit Sagada at least once in your life and what to do when you get there.
There’s a reason Sagada is often listed as one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. With a beauty so intoxicating, Sagada will make you fall in love with it the second you see the place. If you’ve never been to this alluring town, it’s time to. But before you set out, check out this list of things to do in Sagada you will definitely enjoy.
Be sure to wake up as early as five to catch the sunrise from Kiltepan Peak. However, it’s worth mentioning that the weather on the peak isn’t always fit for early-morning sight-seeing, so check the weather first before going.
Watching the sun rise and fill up the dark skies as you stand on the peak situated 1640 meters above sea level is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. So when you go to Sagada, be sure to include the Kiltepan Peak in your itinerary.
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Sagada is home to many waterfalls, all of which boast a breathtaking beauty. To name a few, Bomod-ok, Pongas, and Bokong falls are a must-visit.
The trailhead of Bomod-ok, also known as Big Falls, is an hour away from Sagada’s metropolis. This is then followed by another two-hour-long trek down. The long walks are worth it, though, as you will get to see the place’s rice terraces along the way.
Just like the journey to Bomod-ok, a visit to the Pongas falls requires another two-hour-long trek. Worry not, though, because what will meet you at the end of it is nature at its finest.
If you do not fancy an extreme trekking adventure yet still want to splash in one of Sagada’s waterfalls, Bokong is the place to go. The water of the Bokong falls is a bit warmer and a lot more accessible with only a light trek from the city center.
Another iconic landmark of Sagada are the hanging coffins of Sugong.
The place is exactly what its name implies. Coffins are perched on high stones and cliffs—the locals’ traditional way of burying the dead. The burial rite is still practiced up to this date, but locals have to pay a fortune if they want to be buried this way.
The Sugong cemetery is about half an hour trek from the city proper. It could be an exhausting walk, but seeing the cemetery is one of the best things to do in Sagada and you surely wouldn’t want to let the chance slip.
Sagada is a haven not only for waterfall chasers but also for spelunking junkies with its navigable cave connections.
Sumaguing is an easy trek even for first-time spelunkers. The beautiful stalagmite and stalactite formations inside are a great delight. Locals even gave fancy names to some of the formations, including the King’s Curtain, Queen’s Curtain, and Pregnant Woman. (You can play a game of “name that formation” as you explore the cave.).
Fun fact: the cave also served as a refuge for Filipino soldiers from Japanese invaders during World War II.
If you are the more adventurous type, spelunking through the cave connection from Sumaguing to Lumiang (or vice versa) is one of the best things to do in Sagada you shouldn’t miss. The close to four hours of spelunking will be a test of endurance and flexibility, but it’s a trial worth taking.
Kapay-aw’s cluster of rice terraces can be seen on the way to Sumaguing Cave. It’s best to go during the harvest season, but if you can’t, you will still enjoy looking at the lush green fields of rice.
A trip to an unfamiliar place won’t be complete without trying local delicacies. To make your Sagada trip even more memorable, dine at Salt and Pepper Diner, Yogurt House, or at Vincent’s Coffee and Grill.
These three are the most frequented places in the area. Surprisingly enough, they’re hard to locate. You’re lucky if you can spot the Salt and Pepper Diner with its minute signage hanging outside. But the place serves food good enough to make you book another Sagada trip only weeks after your visit.
The Yogurt House, on one hand, is a cozy log cabin in Sagada that serves the best-tasting homemade yogurt in town. So after a meal at Salt and Pepper Diner, go for a short walk and satisfy your sweet tooth at Yogurt House.
If you prefer a quaint and hippie place to dine, Vincent’s Coffee and Grill is the restaurant you’d want to try. It’s a good all-day restaurant that will surely fill you empty tummy with luscious food.
Sagada is a mountain biker’s paradise, so really, it’s not a surprise that one of the most-recommended things to do in Sagada is, well, mountain biking. The dirty trails, challenging uphills, and cool temperature are a thrill for experts in technical mountain biking.
If you don’t have your equipment with you, worry not, as sports equipment such as bikes, helmets, and other essentials are readily available for rental.
Etag is the official ham of Sagada. Although often listed as one of the most bizarre Filipino foods, etag has become so popular, there’s even has a festival named after it.
Etag is salted native pork cured by smoking or storing in earthen jars for weeks. Nothing is more stomach-churning than its foul smell, dark color, and the fact that maggots have probably already feasted on the dish before you could even take a bite of it. But it doesn’t really taste as bad as it looks, well at least for tourists who have tried it.
If you’re a craft beer enthusiast or you just want to try something new, one of the best things to do in Sagada is try their cerveza. Cerveza Sagada is the first home-made craft beer available at Sagada Cellar Door. The beer uses local ingredients from the Cordillera region.
Thanks to the cooler mountain temperatures, coffee grows exceptionally well in Sagada. If you want to try their famous civet coffee, or kopi luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world, it’s your chance to try it without having to pay much. If you are more of a tea person, many local restaurants also serve mountain tea.
Of course, there’s more to Sagada than what’s on this list. For a small town, there are a lot of things you can do in the area. Make the most out of your visit.
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