EmbraCing Myself

Yesterday, I began my day with some word search and a cuppa.

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Then, I got my mom a birthday cake for her 60th year.

I chose Remilly’s yema cake, which was my late dad’s favorite.

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Then, my mom and I went with my Ninong Oscar to MIBF. I got myself a copy of Walk Manila, which was produced by FEU. I was ecstatic to find this, as I enjoy commuting and walking around Manila.

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Then, we attended the book launch of our family friend Fr. Phil Estrella. He released his book Embracing the Thorns of Our Hearts last night to a crowd of his friends and followers. It was a fun celebration of life and friendship.

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Of course, my MIBF experience wouldn’t be the same without the sumptuous food. I had a bahn mi and macaroni, which were both delicious.

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I ended my MIBF visit with a Star Wars crochet book.

I cannot really embrace myself, so best path to self-love is through books, food, coffee, and friends. I am well-stocked with all those, and I am truly fortunate.

Weave and Woofs

Yesterday, I had a weaving brunch with my fellow workshoppers under The Art of Yarn. We ate at Motto Motto, a Japanese restaurant at Serendra. It was lovely to catch-up with our weaving teacher Judith and meet new friends, such as Tisha of Why Knot Craft. I enjoyed the experience, and I loved my chicken tocino and flat white.

After my brunch with the ladies, I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe to hug my furry friends.

I had a wonderful Saturday filled with craft and dogs. There is joy in yarn and fur!

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Film therapy

Yesterday, I watched three movies: Open, Cuddle Weather, and Malamaya. All three Filipino films were well-made and beautiful. In between these movies, I ate comfort food and even had dinner at Gubat. It was a solo therapy from the stressful realities of the world.

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There is nothing that can’t be solved by comforting eats and thought-provoking films. Life is too short to be frustrated all the time. It should be lived and appreciated with every spoonful and scene watched.

Books and Gubat

Yesterday, I took a tuktuk to the Manila International Book Fair! It is one of my annual events, and I bought books and Japanese pens. I also ate catered food for lunch (it’s part of my MIBF experience!).

I later went to Sta. Clara to pray for my special intentions. Then, I ended my day with early dinner at Gubat and coffee at Nomu with my best friend Luti.

Life keeps getting better as long as I have books, gel pens, delicious food, and great company.

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Mass and brekkie

Yesterday, my mom and I woke up early for 6AM mass at the Pink Sisters Convent in Quezon City. It’s my go-to place for quiet time and prayer in the middle of the city.

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Then, we had breakfast and coffee at SGD. I had the danggit lamayo with mountain rice. Also, I had my beloved SGD black coffee while crocheting. It was a relaxing ritual that was paired with a delicious drink.

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I thrive in an environment where I can nurture my spiritual life and eat healthfully. I can’t wait to see my plans being fulfilled in the coming weeks and months!

Critter Cool

Yesterday, I got to spend the afternoon with my furry friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. Their north branch has a special place in my heart as my favorite dog, Ella, stays there. Her hugs and kisses brought a smile to my face. Indeed, being with dogs keep me happy as their presence is therapeutic. I can’t wait to go back!

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I ended my day with a new Starbucks Bearista bear in siren costume. I could not resist mermaids and bears, so a combination of both themes is absolutely irresistible for me. I bought the bear with my own money, and went home happy!

It does not take much to keep me going, as I am a fan of dogs and toys (even at thirty-three)! Being childlike is an asset in this day and age, as I know how to live life lightheartedly. It is up to me to see the beauty of life as I play the game of balancing adulting and being forever young.

I Shawl Return

Yesterday, I just finished crocheting my first shawl. I followed a pattern on Youtube, and purchased the yarn and hook online from The Attic Yarn and Craftery. This is proof that technology and a traditional handicraft can coexist. Online shopping for notions and tutorials have worked for me to improve as a crocheter and become more passionate for the craft.

While most people encourage me to take on more advanced projects such as cardigans and amigurumi, I have happily carried on with scarves because I enjoy crocheting while reading, listening to podcasts, and watching movies. It is quite challenging to follow a pattern while engaging in another pastime. Since multitasking is the way I go, I prefer to work freestyle and enjoy more hobbies in the process.

This is why this shawl is remarkable for me. While it is imperfect, I have followed a pattern from beginning to end. It was admittedly less fun than crocheting while listening to a comedy podcast. However, I realized that I can still follow directions and upskill in a digital medium.

I still have a lot of room to grow, and it is comforting to know that I can make something that it is intricately instructed. I have restored my faith in myself thanks to this shawl.

This won’t be the last pattern I will follow. For now, I am beginning a new scarf using the same hook but a totally new ball of yarn.

Here’s to new skills and beginnings!

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Hail Mary!

Yesterday, I got to attend the launch of Mama Mary and Her Children Book Six. It was a packed event at National Bookstore Glorietta, where the book’s contributors and friends of the late Fr. James B. Reuter, SJ gathered to witness this event. I got to see faith in action during the party as one of the authors, Rowie Matti, personally welcomed me. It was quite awkward for me to be there as Fr. Reuter was a friend and mentor to my ex. We would even visit his grave at Novaliches, to pay respects and to recharge amidst the trees planted on Jesuit property. While it was a blessing to have discovered the Mama Mary book series in 2017, I had to let go of this relationship as it was no longer serving me as a person.

Since then, I focused on myself and rebuilt my faith. I was genuinely surprised when Rowie messaged me a few weeks ago to invite me to the book launch. I explained to her my hesitation, but she reassured me that she will see me there. And she told me, it’s Mama Mary’s birthday after all.

And so, armed with courage, I attended the event. My ex was not there! But Rowie, who is now my friend, was there to welcome me. So was an army of fellow Marian devotees! I received a rainbow rosary and a Divine Mercy stampita, which is bittersweet as it was my late father’s devotion.

I bought the signed copy of the book, which is a compilation of personal stories of people who were blessed through Mama Mary’s intercession. Not all of these stories can be considered miracles. Most of them in fact were about everyday breakthroughs and challenges which were overcome through prayer. In an age where technology is overtaking our lives, it is refreshing to read ordinary stories of faith, hope, and love.

I highly recommend this book, as it is a reminder for everyone that when God closes a window, He sends us his Mother to help us pass through the door He has opened.

‘Til the next book launch! Ave Maria!

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Sunnies World

Yesterday, I attended the opening of Sunnies World at Megamall. It is the first branch that houses four of the Sunnies brands: Sunnies Studios, Sunnies Specs, Cup Point, and Sunnies Face. Sunnies is close to my heart since they made me one of the winners of their Dear Sunnies Santa giveaway. Since then, I have been a fan of their products. Now that I can buy a new pair of specs again, I visited their opening and got myself a merch bag for being one of the first 50 in the store. I got a tote bag, a sweatshirt, a Sunnies Agenda 2020, screen-safe lens upgrade, honey latte, a pair of Sunnies, a Sunnies Face fluffmatte lipstick in nudist, and stickers.

The specs that I chose were the Humphrey in coin. I also got myself a lip dip in Girl Crush, and a pair of Sunnies to give to my friend (she’s celebrating her birthday!). I also got to meet the people behind this iconic brand. I enjoyed the party, and I’ll definitely be back (especially for that honey latte!).

More than the beautiful interiors and eye catching aesthetic of their brands, it is the kind people behind Sunnies World that makes it stand out. I’ll forever be a fan!

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13KM

Yesterday, I travelled 13KM to a meeting in Manila. While I have always enjoyed commuting to the capital to pray at St. Jude or enjoy the National Museum, I was there for potential work. It made me giddy to possibly work in the city that has captured my imagination for so long. After all, a history buff like myself thrives in heritage buildings and significant locations. I do hope and pray that this opportunity will push through so that I can finally be a Manila girl.

I can’t wait to spend more time in Manila and earn a living in the city where heroes thrived!

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Slay, Pray, Play

I had a productive Thursday. I started my day with a meeting in Manila. My brunch consisted of this hearty mac and cheese, which was topped with sunny-side up egg. I ordered corn and cheese jello for dessert. It was a delicious combo!

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After my meeting, I headed to Sta. Clara to pray for my upcoming opportunities, and to give thanks for all the blessings that I continue to receive.

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I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe for some quality time with my furry friends from the east. Spending time with dogs is therapeutic for me, and it keeps me balanced.

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I ended my day with some dirty ice cream at UP. I was in the campus to watch Pan de Salawal, an indie film which warmed my heart.

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I make sure that I have enough hobbies to make life meaningful. Working all the time is not sustainable, so whenever I have time to spare, I visit the dog cafe, watch movies, and pray for more chances to slay. Life is about balancing my priorities and making each day colorful. And of couse, I show up daily to blog about it here on speakoutsam.com.

Staying moved

Yesterday was day 2 of my volunteer activity for Moved.org. I sorted worksheets and even met Chelle, one of my followers on social media. It’s heartwarming to know that I can influence people to serve! Even if I am still waiting for the right full-time job and partner, I am able to extend my help wherever I am needed. I also post my advocacies online to hopefully influence others to also volunteer.

By offering my time, I am staying true to my advocacy of sharing what I have. It was rewarding to be of service this week, and I even prayed at the building’s prayer room to give thanks and ask for guidance on my upcoming endeavors.

I ended my day by claiming my free plant from jeweler friend Pulseras by Kim and dinner at Breakfast Bin.

Life is good!

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September Offering

Yesterday, I offered my time to Moved.org, a nonprofit founded by Filipina philanthropist Alex Eduque. It was my second time to volunteer for the organization. My first time to do so was last month, which I considered as my birthday treat to self. Yes, I consider volunteering as a luxury. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Volunteering keeps me busy whenever I am off-duty from freelance work and family obligations

  • My ability to work both alone and with a team is improved by volunteering

  • I get to serve others and expect nothing in return

  • I get to meet new friends!

  • I make the most of my time by doing something I love

  • I get to share my blessings and resources, even if it is just time

My heart grows bigger whenever I offer my time to benefit the needy, the disadvantaged, and those who simply need my help. As I sorted and assembled worksheets for preschool students in NCR, I was able to clear my mind from the seemingly petty issues I am facing. I realized that I am fortunate enough to have an education and continuous opportunities within my reach. I have time to help others and share what I have. And most of all, I get to be thankful for all the blessings that enable me to serve.

Please do check out Moved. Hope that you can also help them in the future!

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Endurance

Yesterday, I cleared my schedule to treat my mom to lunch. We ate Greek food (my favorite cuisine, next to Italian) and had some time to talk about my late father.

After our meal, I went to Padre Pio at Libis to pray. I’ve been asking God for some favors of late, when I remembered that I must give thanks too. I did that at the chapel, and I also purchased a keychain (for my mom) and a bracelet for myself. My Padre Pio bracelet from last year’s visit has already tarnished, so I got myself a new one to serve as a daily reminder to pray, hope, and don’t worry!

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Then, I watched two movies at UP Film Center. I also got myself a chocolate croissant and an Americano from Nomu. It was a privilege to relax over movies and coffee at my usual campus cinema.

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Before the day ended, I came home to my new paw ear climbers from local silversmith Arajera. As usual, this isn’t a sponsored post. I just had to buy these adorable ear climbers because a fortnight ago, they were being sold for a cause. Proceeds for every sale of their dog and cat-themed jewelry went to MBY Pet Rescue and Sanctuary. Now that my handmade pieces are here, I am happy to have made a small donation to an animal shelter. And of course, it is always a pleasure to support local handmade artisans.

The day began with some Greek food, then it progressed to some prayer, film, and handmade jewelry. I must say that life is good, and it can only get better!

The Force and The Furs

Yesterday, I tried a new waxing salon for the first time. It was a relaxing place to chill out while getting my grooming done

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Then, I had Kipp’s Fried Chicken for lunch. Their chicken burger steak meal comes with macaroni salad that is reminiscent of kiddie parties. The old timey taste of the meal brings back childhood memories, which was perfect on a Sunday afternoon.

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After my hearty meal, I went to the PAWS Pet Cafe at Vertis North. Their pop-up cafe always draws a crowd of passionate animal advocates. I attended their last day because I could not miss out on their Star Wars-themed costumes and intergalactic ambiance!

I had a lovely time with their Doctor Dogs, who are therapy animals at work. They visit schools, hospitals, and offices to spread positive vibes and good cheer.

They provided me with comfort and messy kisses! I already follow some of the doctor dogs on social media, and their daily photos give me positive vibes.

To learn more on how you can donate to PAWS, please visit https://paws.org.ph/!

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Before going home, I had Cocina Peruvia’s chicken pasta in huancaina sauce. It was a flavorful party in my mouth! I will definitely order this again.

Furs, the Force, and food. Just three things that make my heart warmer on a Sunday. I can’t wait to enjoy more of my simple pleasures next weekend!

Serve and Scale

Yesterday, I served at He Cares Mission. I helped in preparing food for more than 250 street children who go there every Saturday for God’s Word and nourishment. I felt blessed after the service because I was able to talk to some of the the children, and I was touched by their ability to smile amidst adversaries.

Then, I went to Ortigas to attend the Shopify meetup organized by Filta. I learned tips on how to grow and scale one’s brand, such as being authentic in social media posts and adding unexpected touches, such as handwritten thank you notes. As an added bonus, I got to network! I met Filta’s dynamic director, Nerissa Chaux, and Denny, who happens to one of my favorite authors.

I learned that it is possible to both serve and scale! By aligning my values with my endeavors, I will be able to be a blessing while achieving my goals. Looking forward to applying my recent learnings to my work and life!

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Charmed

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Yesterday, I went to Binondo for a special reason. I was not in the area to enjoy sumptuous Chinese food because spoiler alert, I’m not a fan of Oriental cuisine. However, I do love to shop!

I reached Carriedo LRT1 station by lunchtime. Good thing I had a hearty brunch before this outing, so I was game to commute as there is no parking in the area.

It was impossible for me to be in the area without paying homage to the heritage street that is Escolta. I admired the bygone grandeur of the vintage buildings before proceeding to Binondo.

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The beautiful Carriedo Fountain greeted me as I reached the area fronting the Sta. Cruz Church. It was remarkable to notice that Manila is already cleaner and more organized under the newly-elected Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s mandate. I was able to cross the streets and walk along sidewalks with ease (compared to previous visits).

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My leisurely stroll then led me to the Chinatown Gold Center, where I was welcomed by several stalls selling Chinese gold jewelry! My agenda for the day was to buy classy yet affordable 24K piyao (good luck) charm bracelets for my mom and myself. I originally watched a vlog about Covo 24K Jewelry on Princess Mendoza’s channel, and I could not get the bracelets from this shop out of my head since. I linked the vlog episode at the end of this entry to provide you with more information on this store. (Also, this is not a sponsored post!)

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I chose a rose quartz bracelet for myself, and a black mantra one for my mom. The store is a goldmine (literally!) of dainty 24K charms, but I was already set on piyao ones to adorn our wrists. You can select the charms, beads or string for a bespoke bracelet or ring. Skilled artisans make each bracelet by hand while you wait.

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My bracelets were completed in 5 minutes. I am happy with my purchases, and the shop owners are accommodating. I will definitely be back, as they accept trade-in of 24K pieces. They also do re-stringing and bead replacement.

Do watch the linked video at the end of this post, and visit Covo Jewelry one of these days! They have handmade bracelets for every budget and taste. 24K is a timeless metal that goes well with everyone. I can’t wait to wear my own lucky bracelet everyday, and I’m sure that it will bring me love, fortune, and positivity!

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Skills Forum Day 3

Yesterday was the last day of the 2019 Skills Forum at ADB. As a Human Nature online dealer (please support my little shop here!) and blogger, I live for learning opportunities such as this forum to gain industry insights. I also got the chance to network and exchange pleasantries with key experts. It was a rare chance to gain knowledge in a rapid pace.

My major learnings are that no one is excluded from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR). Everyone is part of this, and it is everyone’s responsibility to upskill and educate themselves. Second, lifelong learning is a must. Jobs are rapidly changing as technology continues to improve. Updating our own expertises and adapting to the ever-changing needs of the workplace will enable us to thrive in the FIR. Lastly, soft skills cultivate innovation. We cannot rely on machines and computers to foster innovation. It is still up to us humans to design the future that we want for ourselves. We cannot innovate unless we improve our problem solving, critical thinking, and creative skills. Learning how to learn will also help us remain agile in an age where complacency is a big no-no.

I am thankful that I got to join this forum, and I am excited to apply my learnings with each blog post and work output that I produce moving forward.

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Skills Forum Day 2

Yesterday was day 2 of the 2019 Skills Forum at ADB. I learned that technological training is the future of upskilling. A four-year university degree is nice to have, but practical skills which can be obtained via a TVET course can be more efficient. It can also enrich the lives of those who graduate from these courses as they can already be employed immediately upon graduation. Career shifters can also benefit from trainings in tech by learning new skills that can help them stay relevant in their chosen careers.

As a millennial who graduated from a four-year course in uni, I can say that what I am looking for in a career is purpose. More than earning money, I am more excited to work when I know that I am able to make a difference in my own small way. This is why I took advantage of e-commerce to setup my social enterprise. I also enjoy volunteering whenever I can, and this makes my heart full.

More than making a difference, I know that doing work with a social good helps me stay relevant in today’s technological workplace. You cannot teach a robot or computer compassion. It is still up to us humans to do what is good and share what we can to those in need. Perhaps the best way to start is by sharing our knowledge and expertise to uplift others. From there, we can use our skills to improve others’ lives and at the same time, enrich our own lives in the process.

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Skills Forum Day 1

Yesterday was day 1 of the ADB Skills Forum 2019. As an online entrepreneur (my Human Nature online shop can be accessed here, please support!), freelance writer, and blogger, I am interested to know the future of learning and what skills to learn in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR). The essential skills still remain the same. Critical thinking, design thinking, analysis and empathy are just some skills to cultivate in an age where technology is influencing the workplace more than ever. I look forward to learning more in the next couple of days, and I hope to network with more people as well.

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