It's lovely to see you here!

A Momma Abroad is where I share my perspective of life abroad and my love for the Philippines, there is so much to love!


On Being Blonde In The Philippines

On Being Blonde In The Philippines


This may seem like a silly topic to write about and I would agree with you that it is BUT it is also practical because not a week goes by that someone doesn't ask me who does my blonde hair. Before I answer that, let's take a trip down memory lane. Warning: These photos were before I owned a camera or cared about sharing on social media so the quality is low but it mustn't deter you from laughing with/at me. Thank you po! 

(side note: yes, I definitely color my hair. it always gives me a great chuckle when people ask if my hair is natural. NO ONE in America would ever ask me that. So thank you for thinking I have naturally blonde locks.)

(pssst, you, yeah you, the one looking for my stylist contact name and number. scroll passed memory lane to the bottom and you will find it. you're welcome.)

amber in HK

Amber In Manila 2009

The first year we moved here in 2009 I moved with blonde hair and was able to find someone who could kind of get my locks a lighter color. It was more of a caramel color and it was NOT cheap but I wanted to hold onto my youth a little longer. Ha!

brown hair.jpg

Pregnant in 2012

In 2012 I was tired of the cost and upkeep and decided to go darker. OMG, I wish I could have pregnancy hair all my life. It's so thick and healthy. For someone with thin brittle hair having nice hair was a highlight during pregnancies. Apparently, I was better at selfies back in 2012. Go me!

date night color.jpg

Date Night Color Night

If you're wondering who colored my hair when it was dark, look no further! This is what our date nights looked like once a month in 2012-2014.Let's also give Apple a round of applause for improving camera quality.And what a great husband I have!

red hair oy vey.jpg

Red Hair

I may have watched the Avengers and been inspired by Black Widow the night before I got my hair colored. BAD IDEA, I don't recommend it. My hair quite literally matches the tile in our bathroom. Oh my gulai.

But luckily, red hair color fades fast and cameras are very forgiving. 

dark hair k.jpg

mother's day 2014

Major Mishaps

And this is where I inadvertently jumped to blonde. Slowly I had started getting highlights in 2015 and decided to ask for a bit more blonde. While English is predominantly spoken in Manila understanding can get lost in translation and I believe that is how I ended up looking like Hulk Hogan with bleach blisters on my scalp. I was terrified the assistant might lose his job after I patiently expressed how unhappy I was (it was very awkward and I tried my best) with color so I still paid the full amount. And no, I never returned to this specific salon again. I didn't have a particularly positive experience but I know many others have at this salon. 

folly v.jpg

Let's zoom in...

I can't stop laughing now.

folly iii.jpg
folly iiii.jpg
hulk hogan
folly viii.jpg

Luckily, the camera is very forgiving. It doesn't look so terrible here does it?

babies in salon ll.jpg

Perks Of Pinas

Granted, I have had a few hair doozies along the way but nothing can beat the heart of the Filipino. Have you ever seen care like this in a salon anywhere else? I would argue no. Filipinos really are remarkable. How lucky are we that we get to live here?!

And one more because grabe, look at this titas loving on baby Wells. 

babies in salon l.jpg
piandre full service.jpg

I can't remember the last time I had this much going on. Only in the Pinas. 

Flash forward and here were are today.  

I finally locked down a hair stylist at Piandre and have consistently been blonde ever since. DM, my colorist is the bomb! I also used Rose back in 2010 at Piandre Salcedo and she knew how to do light colored hair as well.  Thanks always Piandre!

piandre lv.jpg
piandre vl.jpg

Living abroad is exhilarating and I absolutely love it but it is not without complexities. One of those vain complexities is being a 'foreigner' and having a hairstylist that understands your brittle Caucasian walis tingting hair. However, it gives me great pleasure to publicly declare that Manila really does have everythaaaaang, including hairstylists who know how to highlight/ombre/balayage etc etc etc. 

Kita Kita Titas,


You can make a reservation with Piandre through their website or by phone. Lucky for us, they are located all over the Metro!

A Few Favorite Things: Bites & Textiles

A Few Favorite Things: Bites & Textiles

Philippine Air Force Museum & Aviation Playground

Philippine Air Force Museum & Aviation Playground