My Top 5 Favorite Local Swimwear Brands

If you know me well enough, you know that I’ve spent a large chunk of my life on our beautiful Philippine beaches. My family lived in Cebu and used to hit the beach every Sunday, for Holy Week or New Years would spend weeks on end in Camiguin Island, and after being married to Carl, we would head to Danjugan Island as often as we could in the year.

With all this beach-loving, I’m always on the look out for high quality swimwear brands to accompany me. And I’m happy to report that these five local swimwear brands are my personal favorites. They are made with high quality fabrics, offer cuts that are super flattering, and aren’t as expensive as many foreign brands out there. I wish I had these brands available during my 20s. So you millennials are lucky to have them! With summer here, I thought it best to share them with all of you. In no particular order here are my top 5 favorites:

#1 Eighth Mermaid

What’s not to love about Eighth Mermaid. They’re constantly offering new and unique styles and they always come up with the cutest designs and colors. From sherbets to wine and mango, there’s something for everyone. I have to admit that many of their styles are a little cheeky but they can easily help you find the right one for your boy type. You can tell from the number of pics that they are truly one of my favorites! They are also the picture on top of the wine mailot.

#2: Soak Swimwear

I love Soak for their classic cuts and gorgeous coverups. I feel quite confident in a Soak piece knowing that I can frolic in the beach the whole day and will be covered in all the right places.

#3 Naked Sun Swimwear

Naked Sun, ironically, is the only brand that has been able to give me a pure white suit that doesn’t go transparent in the water. They also carry quite a number of adorable bikinis and coverups.

#4 Beyond The Beach

If they say that you need a little black dress in your life. You also need a little black suit. And Beyond the Beach offers the perfect plain black halter suit that I always turn to when I want something to flatter me no fail. It also comes in a cute light pink.

#5 Googoo and Gaga

Initially known for their cool graphic tee shirts. This local brand has taken it a step further and created adorable swimwear for both you and your little people. Nara always gets compliments when she wears their suits.

Who are your favorite swimwear brands? Share them on the comments section below!

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A Fully Booked Giveaway: Lonely Planet’s The Honeymoon Handbook

There’s often no better excuse to splurge on an amazing vacation than for your honeymoon. It’s the time in your life when you’re allowed to have the adventure of your dreams with the person you’re crazy about.

For Carl and I, we decided to spend two weeks exploring Turkey as our honeymoon destination and absolutely loved it. For others, it may be a trip to Iceland or Argentina, or somewhere warmer like the Galapagos. Or maybe these are just places on MY bucket list! Haha.

The Lonely Planet series has made finding the perfect honeymoon destination easier by compiling all the best places in this nifty little book. Aside from listing down a number of perfect twosome destinations, this book is also loaded with travel tips.

I can’t think of a more perfect gift for a bridal shower actually.

Now for the the best part of this post, FULLY BOOKED is offering two copies of this book to two of my site’s readers. Here’s how to join: 

1. Like my blog’s FB page and like Fully Booked’s FB page

2. Leave a comment in my comment box sharing a tip for traveling on your honeymoon OR what your dream destination is. 

3. You must be willing to claim your prize at Fully Booked (Bonifacio High Street branch)

FIVE finalists will be chosen on April 7 and announced here. The first two to email me will win the copies! Feel free to encourage your friends and family members to join. The more entries, the more chances of winning. 

UPDATE: Here are the 5 Finalists for this giveaway as chosen by Fully Booked. First two to email me at info@catjuan.com will win a copy.

  1. Erika
  2. RJ Dancel
  3. Stefanie
  4. vincent
  5. MAV

UPDATE: These two finalists have already emailed to claim their prize! Congratulations,

Stefanie and MAV!

Lonely Planet Books can be purchased at all Fully Booked outlets. Find out more through their:

Website | Twitter Facebook | Instagram

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5 Things We Look For In A Family Vehicle

My little family definitely loves to travel. We try our best to head to the province two to three times a year and we also aim for at least two road trips a month. If our Instagram feeds are any indication, we really do enjoy exploring new places and discovering more of what our little archipelago has to offer. With all our trips, we make sure to invest in a vehicle that can fit our many needs. Here are the five top requirements my husband Carl and I look for in a family vehicle.

Need # 1: Space 
The ideal vehicle for us has to have enough seats to fit at least 4 adults and two children (including their bulky car seats). It also has to have enough trunk space for all our items, because we all know the smaller our children are, the more stuff they need). My husband also enjoys biking when we go on trips, so we need a vehicle that can fit his bike gear and is big enough to strap his bike to the back. It’s also important for us to have a vehicle whose seats can fold up when needed to make for more luggage space.

Need # 2: Safety
Safety is, of course, a primary need for us especially since we travel with two small kids. We need a vehicle that can comfortably fit our car seats and guarantee that we have the safest ride imaginable during our long trips. This means that everyone in the car needs to be well secured in a seat belt and there are airbags available for the driver and front seat passenger. I also appreciated vehicles that have a dashboard monitors which shows what it looks like when you’re backing up, this ensures me that I won’t be hitting anything especially a small child or animal.

Need #3: Off-Road Ready 
Many of our road trips aren’t on smooth roads, which is why we prefer a sports utility vehicle for a number of our adventures. And with Manila constantly getting flooded whenever there is the slightest bout of rain, it really matters to us to have a vehicle that can get us safely to our destination despite any weather condition or terrain.

Need #4: Comfort 
Because we do a lot of long drives during the weekends, we want to make sure our kids can nap comfortably and everyone in the car has ample leg room. We all know how it’s no fun to be cramped like sardines during long trips. We always look for vehicles that can give us a smooth and silent ride with very little engine noise. We also need a vehicle that is able to keep the kids entertained with tunes by making it easy to connect to our apple or android phones. And because long car rides mean our batteries won’t last, we look for vehicles that have charging stations in the front and back as well as cup holders for my favorite warm cups of tea.

Need # 5: Bonus Features
Special bonus features like remote engine starts are an added plus for us when we look for a vehicle. We initially didn’t think features like these were important, but when you have a sleeping infant that you need to tuck into a carseat (which can get very hot in a parked car), the added feature of being able to have the air-conditioning system turned on before you get into the car is quite nice.

We were recently invited to road test the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer and I have to say that this beautiful sports utility vehicle ticked all the boxes for us. The 2017 Trailblazer is the widest and tallest in its class, so it’s got great leg and ceiling room. It can fit 7 passengers comfortably, including our bulky car seats, and its 2nd and 3rd rows can be folded up to 16 different configurations to fit our family’s storage transport needs.

We also really valued its safety features like the forward collision alert, lane departure warning (a slight beep goes on when you move lanes without signalling) and side blind zone alert which helps us maintain a safe distance from accidents. The Mylink entertainment system of the Trailblazer also made it so easy to keep the kids entertained with their favorite songs during our 3 hour drives.

All in all, we felt this was a great vehicle for my family’s needs and we will definitely be considering this vehicle in the near future.

Want to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Trailblazer or maybe take it for a test drive? Head to Chevrolet’’s

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(This is a sponsored post. Thank you for the supporting the brands that support this site) 

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