NAIA Work Day 1

Yesterday, I got to experience working at the airport for the very first time! I am a NAIA Buyer Services Representative for CITEM, and it was a privilege to return to work in such a distinguished manner.  

IMAGE.JPG

This three-day stint has appealed to me because I personally love CITEM and believe in its vision to provide hope to the Philippines through design. It is an honor to serve the country for a few days, and to assist buyers who are interested to support our local businesses.  

IMAGE.JPG

I was thrilled that my crochet hook made it through the X-ray machines!

IMAGE.JPG

I was able to eat brekkie at Jollibee.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

I even got to watch the sunrise! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I started my shift at 6AM sharp. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

My partner, Frabelle, was a trooper! I am lucky to be paired with a bright and fun person. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

We definitely worked together to welcome buyers and assist them in their requirements from the airport to the hotel shuttles. 

IMAGE.JPG

And as a P2P fan, I was lucky to experience our new airport buses. I am thankful for this opportunity because I learned heaps on dealing with government employees, observing protocol, welcoming very important buyers, and promoting Filipino hospitality. 

IMAGE.JPG

What a beautiful way to return to work! Here’s to more opportunities to come!

The Attic Adventure

Yesterday, I was invited to visit The Attic Yarn and Craftery in Marikina City. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I’ve been a client of this local yarn store ever since I began knitting and reacquainted myself with crochet last year. After buying their yarns at The Craft Central, I have since directly ordered from them online. Since then, I’ve become their friend in real life. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

It was a dream come true to step inside their cozy “attic” space. There were yarns everywhere!

FullSizeRender.jpg

It was heaven on earth! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The owners, Tita Ces and Ceryl, are vintage fans. I especially marveled over their refurbished typewriters. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I received a lovely handmade present from the owners. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I also ate lunch with them and had the best tinapa pasta I’ve ever had (so far).

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

For dessert, we had flourless chocolate cake from a local pastry shop. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

It was to die for.

IMAGE.JPG

It was wonderful to see their yarns and winders in person. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

More than having the pleasure of buying from them directly and not paying for shipping this time around, it was the friendship that I have fostered with Tita Ces and Ceryl that I truly treasure. I had a magical day, and I’m sure that this won’t be the last time that I will visit them in Marikina. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Friends and hobbies like knitting and crocheting make life sweeter! 

Back At It

Yesterday, I was at CITEM to prepare for my three-day stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I had lunch at the canteen, and I felt very lucky to be given this opportunity to serve our country, even if it’s just for a short while.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I attended the training and orientation, and was given this cool badge. I also got passes to the Manila FAME happening later week.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

I can’t wait to assist VIB (very important buyers) at the airport from tomorrow until Friday! It is an honor to be part of this group, and I am sure that I will be able to apply my training to other aspects of my work and life. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Here’s to more opportunities to apply myself and serve others!

Knitting Strong

I stayed at the hospital with my terminally-ill father and knitted this cowl for my uncle, who’s celebrating his birthday in Europe next month. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I used The Attic Yarn and Craftery’s choco fusion yarn to complete this project. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I also got to attend Easter Sunday mass at the Pink Sisters Convent with my helper, Racquel.  

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

We had brekkie at Mushroomburger, where I was pleasantly surprised by their delicious food, coffee, and buko panda macapuno sundae.  

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

I met up with my paternal relatives for lunch to celebrate my uncle’s birthday in advance. I also gave my advance birthday gift to my goddaughter, Kate. I got her a curvy Barbie doll, to teach her about body inclusivity at an early age.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

I also made her fit the beanie I was knitting for her for size. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I drove home and it was a beautiful summer day! Here’s to more sunny days where I knit myself strong.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

You, Me, & Letting Go

American Young Adult author Katie Kaleski very kindly send me an ARC of her upcoming novel You, Me, & Letting Go. Here’s the lowdown on the book:

BOOK DETAILS:

IMG_3573.PNG

You, Me, & Letting Go
by Katie Kaleski
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Description:

A love so epic, no label is needed.

Van Sato’s got labels. Tourettes, ADHD, SPD – words that have defined his existence since the time he was old enough to know what they meant. Now, Van wants to prove he’s more than an acronym, a syndrome, a problem kid. He takes a summer job as a day camp counselor to prove he’s capable of independence and moving on to the next phase in his life. Maybe, he might even make a friend while there. Someone who’s got just as many or even more labels than him. Someone who understands what it’s like.

Tabby Dubanowksi wants to forget about everything, the hospitalization, the judgment, the whispers behind her back. As a camp counselor, she will be admired, looked up to, and able to help people who don’t know anything about her old life. Tabby wants a fresh start and a chance to re-ignite her passion for film-making, if only for one summer.

After running away from their pasts, Van and Tabby collide in a storm cloud of attraction laced with self-doubt, insecurity, shame, and blame. Now, with Van feeling like he might have to quit his job, and Tabby struggling to quell the urge to cut, they will struggle to find themselves in a world designed to keep them apart.

 My Review: 

I am a fan of Katie’s straightforward writing, which I have first encountered in her previous novel Little Forevers. She treats teenagers with dignity and grace, which is paramount in giving YA novels the power to resonate with their readership. She does the same treatment in You, Me, & Letting Go. Van may have ADHD, SPD, and Tourettes, while Tabitha may be recovering from an eating disorder, but they are still relatable to all teenagers. Both have been bullied. Both have suffered from the cruelty of social media. And both are capable of falling in love.

It celebrates its characters without throwing them a pity party. Rather, the readers are invited to root for them as Van and Tabby both get normal summer jobs and experience everyday routines with their friends. I was deeply touched by their dedication to start over again. It’s not easy to rise above bad days, let alone life-altering disorders. What I appreciate about this novel is how it inspires all readers to see the beauty in life and uplift ourselves in times of adversity. And as the title implies, we are all capable of letting go as long as we trust ourselves and share our lives with others.

I highly recommend this book! I’ve read this while taking care of my terminally-ill father in the hospital, and it was a ray of sunshine. Do read it too, and be inspired by Van and Tabby’s unconventional love story.

Visita Iglesia 2019

My helper Racquel and I commemorated Holy Week by practicing Visita Iglesia. Our first stop was the chapel at St. Luke’s Medical Center QC, where my terminally-ill father was confined.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

Our second stop was the Blessed Ivan Merz Center and Reliquarium. For our third stop, we went to the Padre Pio Chapel at Libis.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

It was my first time to experience the Stations of the Cross (while carrying an actual cross!) at Padre Pio. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Our fourth stop was Claret Church, which is near my alma mater, Holy Family School.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Our fifth drop was the UP Parish Church. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

No visit to UP Diliman is complete without street food. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

We had squid balls and kwek-kwek (deep fried breaded quail eggs).

FullSizeRender.jpg

We also had sweet corn with cheese and butter and bananacue (not pictured).

FullSizeRender.jpg

Our sixth stop was the Our Lady of Consolation Parish, where my late friend Diane is buried. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Our seventh and final stop was the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in our barangay.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

It was a time for prayer, silence, reflection, and thanksgiving. I will continue to reinforce my faith not just during Lent, but the whole year through. May this just be the beginning of a bulletproof belief in God. 

Reliquarium

I visited the Blessed Ivan Merz Center and Reliquarium at Marikina City on Good Friday. I was accompanied by our loyal helper Racquel who was also praying for my dad’s recovery from terminal illness. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The Reliquarium is located at 79 Narra St., Marikina Heights, Marikina City. They will be closed for renovations starting Easter Monday, so we made sure that we could visit the oratory during Holy Week. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

We were overwhelmed with their relic collection, and it was truly worth the drive from Quezon City. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

At the end of our visit, we were handed Certificates of Pilgrimage and healing drinking water.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I got goosebumps at the Reliquarium as it was truly holy. It enabled me to have a personal encounter with the great saints and blessed men and women of the Church. I will definitely be back. 

Happy birthday Ella!

Today is Ella’s fifth birthday! Since it’s Maundy Thursday, and Barkin’ Blends is closed, I visited her a day early to give her warm cuddles. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I also celebrated with the other dogs, such as Ella’s son Chocnut. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Five years ago, I was scared of dogs. Everything changed when I met a little black chiweenie named Ella who taught me how to love dogs like her. Here’s to more years with her and her pack! 

Coffee with these dogs is always a good idea.  

Movie Afternoon

Yesterday, I watched a movie at the UP Cine Adarna’s Videotheque. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I watched Above the Clouds starring the late Pepe Smith. 

IMG_5525.JPG
IMG_5526.JPG
IMG_5529.JPG
IMG_5530.JPG
IMG_5532.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

It was a sunny day, and I felt inspired to take some photos. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I also had Rodic’s tapsilog for late lunch. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I did a bit of walking around the oval. 

IMG_5539.JPG
IMG_5540.JPG

Then, I dropped by St. Clare to pray for my dad and my other intercessions. 

IMG_5541.JPG

I bought my favorite breakfast smoothie from Go! Salads for dinner. 

IMG_5543.JPG
IMG_5545.JPG

I ended my day with Ulan, directed by Irene Emma Villamor at Cinema Centenario. I love this microcinema because it feels like home- I even have a favorite seat (G5). I find myself here whenever I want to unwind and think things through. 

IMG_5546.JPG
IMG_5547.JPG

Films help me see things in a different perspective. Spending my free time at green spaces like UP Diliman is inspiring, and I feel energized with local film and trees.

Here’s to more simple joys with a dash of prayer and tapsilog!

Stitching Errands

Yesterday, I ran some errands with my helper. But first, I had my photo taken at the SM North Towers Art Walk. This mural was painted by Drew Europeo. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I got to crochet and treat my helper out to lunch at a Greek restaurant, where we had healthy brown rice and quinoa bowls. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

We were in luck as there was an exhibit of relics at the Podium, with reliquaries on loan from The Reliquarium in Marikina.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Then, we shared a big bucket of popcorn and watched Eerie, a Filipino horror film directed by Mikhail Red. It was a beautifully goth film. I highly recommend it, and yes, I survived it even if I’m not typically into the horror genre. 

IMAGE.JPG

Life is better if we treat our helpers like family and share meaningful experiences with them. I may blur her photo on social media for privacy reasons, but I treat her like my own blood.  

Here’s to celebrating more small wins and stitching goals! 

Palm Sunday

It’s a different kind of Holy Week for me this year as my dad battles a terminal illness. We may not be able to celebrate it out of town as a family, but I’m grateful that we still have each other. 

IMG_5432.JPG

I celebrated Palm Sunday with mass at the Pink Sisters Convent. The priest asked us to what we can change in ourselves in order to be more like Christ. I resolve to have a favor mindset moving forward in order to expect blessings and welcome more opportunities into my life. 

May this be a season not just of gratitude, but also of new beginnings. 

NKTI Lenten Pilgrimage 2019

I joined the NKTI (National Kidney and Transplant Institute) Lenten Pilgrimage last April 13, 2019 to three churches in Pampanga. I was lucky to have a free day to explore these churches and spiritually nourish myself in time for Holy Week. 

I started my day with some crochet in the tour bus.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG

Our first stop was the Lahar Church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes at Cabetican, Bacolor, Pampanga. The church was submerged in lahar during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the early 90’s. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

I got to eat street food like scramble and buko sherbet before our mass and recollection. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_4865.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG

Our second stop was St. James the Apostle Church at Betis, Guagua, Pampanga. 

IMAGE.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

We were able to stopover for food and drinks at Guagua’s town plaza. I was to find a Rizal monument there!

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Our last stop was the St. Augustine Parish, an adobe church with historical significance at Lubao, Pampanga. 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

Before going home, I had my usual toasted naked longganisa at Breakfast Bin.  

IMG_4929.JPG

I am grateful for the opportunity to pray, tour, and worship with the men and women of NKTI at Pampanga. I am inspired to remain steadfast in faith as I carry on with life, and it is my hope that I can share this faith with others through this blog, and social media. 

May you have a blessed Holy Week ahead! 

Stitch and Sponsor

There are simple ways for me to truly feel blessed. One of them is child sponsorship. I have been sponsoring this girl’s education for twelve years now. It feels amazing that I get to change one life’s trajectory, even in my own small way. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I also feel blessed whenever I knit. I am thankful for the yarn that I turn into scarves, such as this chunky cowl that I made while attending meetings and focus group discussions this past week. I keep my hands busy by knitting while showing up to discussions that not only sustain me, but also enrich my life. 

When I keep myself going and thriving, I feel as if I can embrace my true self after all and conquer each day with a gratitude mindset.  

IMAGE.JPG

By stitching and sponsoring, I get to share my blessings and skill while living my best life. It is up to me to continue doing so, and these two passions inspire me to continue working and simply showing up everyday. 

Squad Goals

I visited Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe last Wednesday night to hug my doggo friends. It’s no secret that I’m going through a lot with my dad’s terminal illness, and I find that being with dogs keeps my spirits up. 

IMG_4813.JPG
IMG_4814.JPG
IMG_4815.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMAGE.JPG

It’s important that I have my happy place to go to whenever life gets too much to handle. It just so happened that mine has dogs and a lot of love. 

I’ll be back soon! 

Summer Donation

Yesterday, I had brunch at Bon Appetea, a new all-day breakfast place at my local park. They serve milk tea, pasta, breakfast rice meals, and coffee. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

I had their Spanish sardines rice bowl with brewed coffee. It was delicious!

FullSizeRender.jpg

Then, I went to my local Red Cross chapter to donate blood. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Donating blood is free, and it empowers me as it enables me to help save lives. To donate blood, please go to your local Red Cross chapter or hospital blood bank. Every blood donor is a hero!

FullSizeRender.jpg

I ended my morning with a selfie with the Rizal Monument at the Quezon City Hall. I’m a huge Rizal fan, and this made me giddy as it was my first time to see the statue up close. 

IMAGE.JPG

We had to rush my father to the hospital very early yesterday morning, so I needed a heavy brunch for a successful blood donation. I also had meetings yesterday, so my blood donation provided me with much-needed good vibes in order to be professional. 

Sharing our blessings can lead to good karma in all aspects of our lives. Donate blood, volunteer, or spend time with the needy. Summer is meant to spread sunshine with those who need it most.  

Everyday Hero

Yesterday, I treated my helper again to lunch. It was a holiday in the Philippines (Day of Valor), and it was just fitting to share a meal with the person who makes life easier for me and my family. She is our everyday hero, and I’m grateful that she’s in our lives. 

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

I also had coffee with her at Starbucks because I found out that she’s never had a frappe in her entire life. It’s remarkable to share firsts with friends, and I’m happy to have been privileged to buy coffee for my helper. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Let’s continue celebrating our daily heroes who never cease to simplify our lives. 

Mabuhay po kayo! 

Film to Faith

Yesterday, I watched Jino to Mari, a Filipino indie film directed by Joselito Altarejos. It tackled poverty as a social context and the extreme choices that have to be made in order to make ends meet. Angela Cortez delivered the performance of a lifetime in this film, as she played a young mother who had to shoot a pornography film for her family. It was a heartbreaking movie that reminded me to count my blessings and appreciate the opportunities that I have. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The movie saddened me (which was good, since that was what the director hopefully intends), so I ate the bulgogi beef rice bowl at 8Bowls Asian Kitchen. It was delicious and great value for Php99!

FullSizeRender.jpg

Later, I went to St. Clare to give thanks, pray for my intentions, and offer eggs. 

IMG_4691.JPG
IMG_4693.JPG

I enjoy watching indie films because they give me a glimpse of reality that commercial films don’t usually portray. Coupled with affordable but delicious food and a dash of prayer, I know that I can pursue the opportunities that are within my reach to escape the undesirable circumstances in my own life. All I have to do is act on my goals, and keep on pursuing the things that inspire me to dream.  

Sunday Recoupment

This week has been pretty intense. I survived a traumatic job interview with a company who misleads their applicants. I was lucky that I trusted my instincts and left. 

I also got into a violent incident in the train, which didn’t stop me from attending a seminar at AIM.  

These incidents made me feel tired, so I ordered Japanese food to keep my spirits up. I had the omu curry rice at Kimono Ken, which is a restaurant that I’ve been frequenting since my uni days. I had a delicious lunch and I will definitely be back!

FullSizeRender.jpg

I capped off my lunch with my usual Assam milk tea at Serenitea. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

It’s easy to bounce back from setbacks as long as I learn from them in order to prevent them from happening again. In this case, I learned to research thoroughly on the companies I apply for, continue to trust my instincts, and maintain my composure whenever I am attacked in public. I believe I was able to do so as I was offered a seat on the train by a kind gentleman. 

Here’s to more lessons, foodie adventures, and milk tea! 

Furry Kisses

Self-care remains to be my top priority. Amidst all the challenges that my family and I are currently facing, I find time to take a step back. I take short coffee breaks to see the bigger picture and work on my personal goals. 

One of my go-to rituals is visiting Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. I am already a regular in both of their branches. Since I was in Quezon City yesterday, I visited their SM North Towers cafe to have a cuppa with my furry friends.  

Milo the Yorkie was especially clingy to me yesterday. Of course, I also spent time with my favorite doggo, Ella the black chiweenie.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Hugging dogs and receiving kisses from them can be therapeutic, and this dog cafe reminds me that life can be better as long as I continue to seek for my bliss. 

Purposeful Lunch

Yesterday, I ate lunch with my helper at a restaurant near home. We ordered simple brunch fare with cuppa for me and some bottomless iced tea for her. We enjoyed our meal as it was a change of scenery and I believe that the simplest moments are made memorable with delicious food. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

People ask me why I often go out with my helper. She’s part of the family and she gets to eat whatever we are blessed to enjoy. I am privileged to have extra time and resources to share with my helper. It also builds trust and keeps me updated with her life. 

Please treat your helpers like family. Spend time with them, and take them out for a meal or two. You will get loyalty and sincere concern in return.