Serious business

Springtime notes

Earlier today, I had a meaningful chat with a friend and batch mate from college about our lives in general. We are both shooting for similar goals but on different routes and seasons. I’m finally looking into graduate school, she is aiming for an awesome post in her dream city and hopefully settle there in the future.

When I was 18, I had a clear vision of things I wish to achieve: graduate with honors, find a good corporate job, find a suitable man, settle down at 25, have kids at 27.

Now that I am 32, most of those plans didn’t happen at all. Maybe except I’ve been in the honor’s list until thesis happened so it doesn’t carry so much weight.

One day I’m motivated to finish the layout for my consultancy, the next day I’m slacking off trying to marathon the latest K-drama, bawling until my eyes look like a panda. Day 3, I just stare at the horizon, thinking about my wrongdoings in the past, as much as I hate doing it.

By the standards of the society I’m in, I should have at least landed a six-digit paying job, married with kids,

The thing is, while we always say that we have a lifetime for each and every season, there’s always the part in me where I get impatient when my spring time will come. There’s this hunger I try to satiate by taking in other routes, when deep inside, I’ve always known what I wanted in the first place.

We put ourselves out there to take risks, be vulnerable, get hurt, learn our lesson.

I guess it’s safe to say that at this rate, while I barely have any idea where I’m headed to, I know in my heart that my compass is still pointed towards my north, no matter how long or how difficult the path would be. I just have to trust the process God has laid out for me.

And maybe by then, all the flowers are in full bloom.

Serious business

A short update

Hi. It’s been a while.

Before I start getting myself swamped in all these editing work I kept complaining about, let me share to you some thoughts for my mid-year.

It has been six months since I left my corporate life, and probably the best decision I’ve made so far. While I can say the world had been a quite forgiving and supportive of my shortcomings as an independent worker, I needed to work double and even 3x to live comfortably and at least buy the things that I want. A single day of not doing anything would result to 3 or more days of working, even losing sleep.

Honestly it feels like stepping fresh out of college. For most who do not know, 2017 was the time I finally had my youth back. And it’s just too amazing looking back how I managed to get myself together in spite being poorly compensated while I work excessively. I can’t imagine how I was able to send Frenz to a good university when I was paying two times higher than what I was getting. I never saw myself going to places and being back to those I’ve only been seeing in magazines. I must have done something good to be able to experience the lows and mostly highs of this life.

I’ve always thought I was a strong girl since day one. Moving to places without any plans, being bullied and rejected by those who have only seen the surface, and the betrayal of trust by those who I have thought would help us in tough times — they gave me the tenacity to go through life with all the battle scars I’m most proud to show off.

This year, I am using all those past experiences to help me look forward with positivity and enthusiasm. To be honest, I have no idea if I’m doing things right or if I’m on the right track. But great things are slowly happening one by one. Everything I once gave up are coming back to me ten-fold. Those things I needed to set aside will finally have some time alloted for them.

Life will always be full of trials, but at this point, I have accepted that most of them are not bound to last forever. There’s always an end to a start. A springtime after the long winter. It only takes a great amount of patience and resilience. So yeah, bring it on.

Now I’d like to ask you a little favor: With all of these awesome moments I kept telling you, if one day you feel I’m slowly losing sight of the more important things in life, please slap me hard. Slap me on both sides. Please help me get back to my center. I’d never like to steer away from my principles. Remind me that the life I truly pray for is quiet, simple, filled with purpose, and aligned to what God planned for us from the start.

Okay back to work.


Have a great day, everyone. Sorry this was supposed to be published last night but I slept through it.


We need more good teachers

Lola was literally my first teacher. I attended her school at 3.

While I never learned to play the piano (my lola had formal training), she is the first person who saw my potential as an artist because I used up most of her school supplies (LOL) drawing cats and bugs and whatever I thought would pique my attention. There were afternoons when we would make kites, origami, notebooks, stuff like that.

My grandma is a disciplinarian when we’re growing up, but she made sure that we had decent English writing skills and me, pursuing my love for art and calligraphy.

I had a conversation with one of my cousins about teachers who would threaten their students with senseless things. My siblings were no exception to this. Back in elementary, one of her teachers almost threw a book in her face just because she didn’t comply with a class rule. And my mom would go all-in beastmode on them because why not. haha.

I myself had been bullied by my fourth grade teacher because I had incomplete books and just thinking about it, I’m like, “GURL SERYOSO KA BA DYAN?” I hate to admit that she made my social anxiety even worse that I carry up until this day.

In this day and age of fake news, wokeness and the obsession of calling out people, we need more good, patient and compassionate teachers not just inside the four walls, but in the real world. I’ve grown up with good teachers that I look up to. And up to this day, I try to emulate their methods and style.

And to students, I think we need to be more critical but emphatic too.

Instead of desensitizing ourselves with the unkindness of this society, we have to teach and encourage our fellow students that while we open our eyes to the hard painful truths of life, we should also try to be kind to each other.

If lola was alive, I’m pretty sure she’ll wish for the same things, if not more.

Serious business

I wrote this in 2011

Sometimes I wish to believe that anytime soon, he’s willing to give up things such as finding and falling in love. Maybe he already did. Maybe he’s thinking it through. Maybe yes. maybe no.

I can still remember the first time he fell in love. He was young, but admirably he dealt with his heart beyond his years.  Who wouldn’t fall for the flawless, stellar-eyed, raven-black hair, delicate yet hale woman. She was the inimitable beauty. And he was crazy about her. 

Never in my life I had seen him so happy until then. The thought of her is enough to make his eyes glisten, bring blush to his cheeks and curve up his lips. He would suddenly laugh and smile and cry and look hopeless like a man winning some lottery or something like that.

But then things slowly fell apart. His heart came crashing back down to earth. Crestfallen. Limp. Lifeless. Struggling to pick up the pieces of what was left. I wanted to help him start slow, but resisted my help.

A few seasons after, he found his second, third, fourth and fifth romances. Different situations, different people, same fate. Somehow I felt he was struggling to find happiness in the wrong place and at the wrong time. That man, who can count and pick for me the stars in the sky, who sings me beautiful lullabies, who disarms me with his smile, who makes me feel prettiest, who cheers me up whenever I’m in pain, who convinces me I am worth loving for… why can’t he be happy when he deserves to be one? Everything just ends as heartbreaking as it was before.

Maybe someday he will find love in the truest sense of the word. Maybe he will find the person who will bring back the memories of his younger years. Maybe he will decide to give love another shot.  

But definitely, I will be here to catch him the next time he falls.

Serious business

My theory of flight

Back in the days, my eyes would always look up to the sky. The trailing sight of birds and airplanes always mesmerized me –how they fill up the skies with wings, free, and all that. My curiosity had grown every single day, I wanted to fly like they did. I wanted to grow my own wings and soar like everyone else. For an innocent kid, life had so much to offer. I knew I could take over the world in the flick of my hands. And strangely, the pursuit had grown at a steady pace.

With a few cents for my ingenuity, I had my fair share of flying attempts. I would grab our worn-out drapes, tie them around my neck, find a high chair and jump as high as I could. Gravity pulled me in almost instantly, but the happiness from make believe is something no one could ever replace. Dreams seem to be easier to reach back then. Or is it just me who thought of it that way.

When I was growing up, I had been through a phase of despair. I was left with no choice but to carry my world’s burden. Not because I thought I was kind, but it’s the right thing to do. I tried my best to be strong and resilient despite all of it but I always felt I was walking on tightrope. It never had the same feeling like my attempts at flying when I was young. There’s no air up there. The freedom I longed for had never been mine.

Soon enough, at a certain point in life, you will realize that some of your wishes and dreams will not happen and compromise is on queue. You’ll have to look for your equilibrium of the things you do and don’t wish to do. And maybe it’s the easiest way to save yourself from going downhill.

Some find it easy to start doing it, but for most, it usually takes longer until someone jolts them out of it.

At this point in my life, I still catch myself deeply smitten by the blue and pink of skies, letting out a short prayer when I see airplanes climb to a certain altitude. I pretend they were stars, or even angels coming up to rest to the heavens. Maybe someday I will truly fly happy and free.


I’ve almost forgotten about Thailand

I’ve written lengthy (and mostly outrageous) posts about my previous trips — Vietnam-Singapore-Cambodia-Malaysia-Japan and Korea, but I realized that I’ve never shown my extreme love for Thailand, which I find ironic given the frequency of my trips there. I’ve flown in 5 times in the span of 6 years. I never cared what others thought about going back, but I always felt some affinity to it.

I got wasted there three times. I only had a hangover from drinking once in my entire life, so maybe just the kind that makes you wonder how the hell did you manage to get back safe and whole. And I’m not super proud of that moment, but it says a lot about how I’ve put my heart out there like it’s the only place I could really see myself getting crazy times five.

Before you get an impression of me being an alcoholic (HAHA), I’d like to share to you FIVE of my most favorite travel moments in Thailand (among others).

1. My weekend guerilla trip to Bangkok. Back in the early days, I accept ex-deals for my design projects so I could travel. My client had taken me there on a weekend, providing me also a chance to see how they executed it — and it was even shown on national TV. How awesome is that. Also, that’s the first time that a stranger touched my head. Hahahaha. I know it has a meaning in their culture but I’d rather not know about it. And if I’m not mistaken, that’s also the first time I’ve visited Terminal 21! ❤ #alamna

2. Jamming at The Riverside. This happened during my trip with Edz, Debbie, Monah and Jezzie. We had dinner in the more quiet area of the compound, but I insisted that we try checking out the noisier, more interesting part of The Riverside. It’s actually not the first time that I’ve been there. The first one was with the media camp people and my then-teacher allowed me to tag along.


Imagine it being like Saguijo in an open area where Chiang Mai kids hang out most of the time.

3. The Chao Phraya Princess Cruise. This happened during my first time in Thailand, with no other than my BFFs. It’s a super super advanced Christmas gift by Tita Mingming (Mitzi’s mom) to us, and we are just so thankful that we get to experience it. There’s food, partying and a quick cruise around the river at night. Sobrang fun!

 4. Chatuchak! There are no words. Just shopping!

5. Loy Kratong and Yi Peng Festival. Ahhhhh where do I start?!? Hands-down, this is my most favorite travel memory. Ever. IT’S a completely different experience when you’re there. Parang akala mo end of the world na. Hahahahhaa. I was soooo blown away that I forgot to take a photo of the moment. HAHA! Nooo it’s here with me ❤

 So regardless if I understand their songs or their movies, high tolerance with their spicy food, average level of familiarity with their pop culture (highly influenced by k-pop) and all that, nothing could ever replace its spot in my heart, I am forever grateful to have spent most of my time there.

PS: We went back last August 2016, and I just fell in love with Thailand even more.


Scents and sensibility

I always have this habit of changing my route going home once or twice a week to prevent my umay with travel patterns. A few days back, I took the P2P bus going to Alabang and from Alabang Town Center, a Camella Springville UV Express. I’m already friends with the dispatchers Wally and Jay-R, so they always give me my priority seats. Hehe.

So there’s this man who sat beside me who didn’t smell bad but it almost killed me. I think he sprayed Dr. J Alcohol all over his body and it was all over the vehicle. Diyos na mahabagin! I tried to distract myself during the whole trip but it just didn’t sit well. Maybe his girlfriend has a thing for alcosprays?

Paired with my superb taste receptors, I also have a very sensitive nose, so most of the memories I made I can easily recall just by a whiff. Like my forever favorite is the smoke from a newly-put off matchstick. And the scent of fresh bamboo, and also garlic, which reminds me of my sunday cooking of chicken pork adobo.

Other favorite scents include the smell of my best friend’s fresh laundry, my unwashed pillow, sesame oil in samgyeopsal, the scent of an alley in Seoul, my Pony Effect lippie (it smells like candy), Body Shop’s Moringa line (that I use regulary) and Marc Jacobs Daisy.

Once, I also had this obsession with studying scents when I was looking for a good perfume to match my personality. The strongest contender was Chanel Chance in pink. But I ended up going back to Moringa and now whatever my shampoo smelled like.

And I’ll always remember the scent of my grandmother’s favorite fan. It was musky with floral notes, like a typical lola smell. She loves baby powder too and this bath soap that smelled like Heno de Pravia. She had always been a neat freak even during her last few days, and we do miss her badly.

On another day, there was this passenger who didn’t smell like rubbing alcohol this time but of Old Spice and Marlboro Ice Blast. I know someone who smelled like it. And he once broke me heart.

Scents do bring us back to some good memories. And if only they could bring back some people, too.