Hello, The Unknown!

This week was particularly difficult. My late dad recently had his 40th day, and not a single paternal relative called to support me and my mom. This event has made me realize that I have no one to rely on but myself. I can’t care for my mom if I’m not able to be strong for myself. Thus, I am resolving to embrace the unknown and bravely allow the world to surprise me, even if I’m not exactly sure of where I’m going. 

I don’t know who this character was but I gladly took a photo with it. Later during the day, I learned that this was one of the Transformers Autobots.  

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Maybe life won’t be so bad after all, if I was able to survive the first 40 days without my dad. It can even be fun, just like when I got embraced by an autobot.  

Stitch And Smile

Yesterday, I took some time to have a latte while crocheting. 

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I slowed down to meet Power Plant’s friendly K9, Basha. 

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And I also finished weaving this piece, which is my second one off the loom. 

Living slow doesn’t necessarily mean going off the grid. It could be as simple as quietly enjoying a hobby over coffee, noticing the simple joys in life, and weaving the ends of a project together. As long as I can stitch while conquering each challenge that comes my way, I know that I can smile through anything. 

Library Theater

Last night, I had the opportunity to watch a movie at the Ortigas Library. 

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The library was my hangout when I was still in uni, and also during my time working at a nearby mortgage management firm. Their Filipiniana books are ideal for research, and their events are worth attending. 

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I enjoyed watching Birdshot  by Mikhail Red! It was a thought-provoking film about a farm girl who unwittingly kills a Philippine eagle. 

After the film, I got to view their display of Rizal books. As a fan, I’m always drawn to these books, and I hope that more academics will research on his life.  

I want to support more events and gatherings in libraries because they foster community amidst books. We can also learn more if we will visit libraries and get inspired to learn, write, and share.  

I hope that this is just the beginning of more library events to come! 

Supporting Makers

I needed a reminder to keep on making, so I went to The Craft Central yesterday to buy a “maker” bead bracelet from Bedazzled. Cath, the woman behind the brand, was my classmate at the weaving workshop that I recently attended. It was beautiful to meet another maker who was passionate about her craft, and was able to launch brands out of it.  It is through making that I also get to release my stress and apply myself through each chaotic day. 

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By choosing to make over wallowing in self-pity and disappointment, I am able to overcome challenges and daily struggles. I know that I can continue being creative by also supporting fellow makers, and learning from their own inspiring stories. 

Let’s support each other as we make it through each day!

Motivation Mondays

Yesterday, I got to visit Clock In - Ayala Vertis North for the first time. It’s awesome to have a beautiful coworking space close near my house. It is also home to several networking events, which is also the reason why I was in the building. 

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I was there for Motivation Mondays, a series of talks for yuppies on interesting topics. Last night, we discussed Goal Diggers. In line with the theme, we fueled up on delicious vegetarian food and coffee. 

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The evening’s guest speakers were Maura Alvero of Vela Manila, and Fabien Courteille of Plush and Play. It was inspiring to hear about their stories of purpose and determination. 

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My key takeaways were:

1. Become a platform for creatives- create a brand that will foster a community of photographers, writers, advocates, and target consumers.

2. Go on until your people don’t need you anymore- work until the people you train can carry on without you  

3. Start with why

4. Keep hobbies that can become your outlet

5. Be vulnerable 

6. Persevere for others  

7. Know what’s for you

8. Be open for collaboration

9. Different minds foster creativity

10. Get to know the people you are working with 

11. Cultivate relationships  

It was a different kind of Monday and I was happy to have learned insights from social entrepreneurs. I look forward to more purposeful Mondays to come! 

Father’s Hey

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It wasn’t easy celebrating the first Father’s Day since my dad’s passing last month. I felt very sad, but also lucky to still be alive and able to commemorate an important day with my family. I spent time with my mom and maternal grandfather, and we grabbed lunch at a coffee shop that we frequent in his area. I had a beer and crocheted while waiting for our food.

Life is a constant battle against ourselves. I could have wasted the day and simply refused to commemorate my late father’s memory. However, I chose to get over my sadness and celebrated with my grandfather, who’s still alive.

May we never forget to spend time with those who are still with us, and to create meaningful memories.

Weaving and Kanto

Yesterday, I attended a modern weaving class hosted by Judith of The Art of Yarn. I got to finish a piece, which I designed with happy colors!

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It was a productive morning with these ladies. 

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I even got to meet Cath of Bedazzled, an online accessories brand that I’ve been supporting for years. 

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I’m proud to finish this piece in four hours. 

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Then, I got to eat brunch at Kanto Freestyle, where I had coffee and sardines eggs ben. 

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I enjoyed learning a new skill and eating delicious rendition of my usual eggs ben. Here’s to more learning opportunities and delicious meals!

Dewy Smiles

I had fun at yesterday’s Watsons Naturals Fair at SM Makati. I got to win skincare goodies, check out new products in the market (such as a facial wash in stick form) AND meet my girlboss idol Martine Ho. 

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I am all for skincare and inspiring opportunities to meet women leaders whom I look up to. I’m sure that there will be more to come!

BDJ Magic in Me

It’s not everyday that I get to have my pictures professionally taken. I’m so glad that I attended Belle de Jour Power Planner (BDJ)’s housewarming party the other day. Their photographer did an awesome job in capturing us guests on camera. I enjoyed the party, the photo shoot, and the whole experience! 

This definitely won’t be the last BDJ event I’ll attend. I had too much fun and I got to meet many like-minded women. Now it’s time to continue making plans that let us shine and thrive!

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Magical Plans

Yesterday, I dropped by The Study by Enderun to get some planning done. It was indeed inspiring to work on my bullet journal with a cuppa on hand at a stylish coworking space. 

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I also managed to crochet on my desk for the day. I enjoyed my stay, and the people there are so accommodating. I highly recommend this space if you prefer having coworking access inside a mall, right in the heart of Ortigas. 

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Then, I attended the BDJ Housewarming Party. Belle de Jour Power Planner or simply BDJ is a local planner brand that has an online community of goal-digging women. It was an honor to be a part of their new office’s opening. 

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They had a planner customization area where I also had a housewarming of sorts for my Foxy Fix planner. 

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It was inspiring to make my planner more colorful by using their washi tapes and stickers. 

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There was also a photo studio where I got to have a professional photographer take pictures of me with my planner and yarn. 

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Speaking of crafts, it was wonderful to meet Janna, the talented artist behind local sticker brand Crafts Delight. If you want stickers for your planner or journal, check out her page and support her emerging brand!

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Lastly, I got to have my oracle cards read and I got the Diana and Krishna cards- gentle reminders for me to stay focused and to expect the best possible outcome. 

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It is important for me to write down my plans in order to be fully aware of my path. Attending a coworking open house and housewarming party for a planner company were lovely opportunities to get centered and remind myself of the magic that I am capable of executing (just like the event hashtag, #bdjmagicinme). 

Here’s to more plans and motivational messages from the universe! 

Intramuros Walk

Yesterday was day 2 of my Independence Day Intramuros solo tour. After biking through the streets of the Walled City, it was time for me to visit the historical sites on foot. 

I started with Fort Santiago.  

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Since I’m a Rizal fan, a visit to his shrine never gets old. 

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Then, it was back to exploring the fortress.  

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The Manila Cathedral had an open house which I couldn’t resist.  

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I was able to explore the choir loft, roof deck, and crypt. 

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Then, I visited the Desteleria Limtuaco Museum. It was my first time there and it was an enjoyable experience!

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They even have a tasting bar where one can try their house liquors for a minimal fee. 

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It was also my first time at the Baluarte De San Diego. 

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I also walked through and above the walls of the famed city. 

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It was a treat to visit the newly-opened Museo de Intramuros.  

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Bahay Tsinoy was worth going back to. Their life-sized dioramas were fascinating to learn from. 

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I ended my visit with coffee at the site of Padre Burgos’ old house, which is now a convenience store.  

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And the best part- I was able to hang on to a tranvia! 

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Life is great, if we find places to explore and discover! Sometimes, the best ones are nearby. We just have to show up and appreciate the opportunity to learn from historical places. 

Here’s to more walks along streets that have stories to tell! 

Bambiking at Intramuros

Yesterday, I had the chance to explore Intramuros after my meeting in Makati. I had the exciting opportunity to explore the walled city first by foot. 

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I planned to visit the walled city for Independence Day, but I decided that one day wasn’t enough to explore it. Day 1 was all about seeing the parts which I previously did not appreciate while I was in a car.  

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There were quite a number of interesting nooks and crannies to appreciate and photograph.  

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My tour became much better when I rented a bambike (bamboo bike) for one hour. I got to ride through narrow streets and busy sidewalks in Intramuros. 

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I got to have some cardio and have a better understanding of the historical markers scattered throughout the walled city. 

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My favorite moment was reaching the site of my favorite hero Jose Rizal’s former dormitory. 

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My visit ended at Bathala Bar, where I had avocado ice cream and Bayani Brew.  

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This was definitely much better than my previous visits to Intramuros as I got to appreciate it more as I was walking and on a bike. I’ll definitely be back!

13 Lessons from My Dad

It’s been a month since my dad passed away. He bravely battled stage four bile duct cancer. He was courageous until the very end. 

Here are some lessons I’ve learned from half a year of being his carer: 

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  1. Every moment counts 
  2. Never underestimate the power of a side-hustle
  3. Having a hobby that does not involve a gadget or the internet goes a long way
  4. There is no such thing as a wasted opportunity  
  5. Friends are the family we choose 
  6. Keeping a journal is therapeutic
  7. Prayer works
  8. Exercise is an everyday essential 
  9. Life is too short 
  10. Charity is a healthy kind of selfishness 
  11. Always find a way to share what you have learned  
  12. Learn when you still can 
  13. Work should not be an excuse to abandon one’s family.  

Sunday Hugs

Yesterday, I spent time with the furry friends from the East! I went to Barkin’ Blends Sta. Lucia branch for some quality time with dogs.

I was warmly welcomed by Reese. 

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I also missed Robin, my favorite golden retriever. 

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Julia took a nap on my lap, and I felt very sleepy too. 

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Bucci kept me awake when Julia woke up. She is still a puppy, and likes running around and begging for belly rubs. 

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A hug from Martha before I left the cafe warmed my heart. 

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After playing with my furry friends, I had some chicken mami from Ma’s Chicken Mami House.  

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Then, I purchased some budget-friendly pocket notebooks for my bullet journal setup. 

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I was delighted with their paper bag, which features a woman with a pixie- and she kind of reminds me of myself! 

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I completed my Papemelroti purchase with new stainless steel earrings. 

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By giving myself the entire Sunday to play with dogs, eat comfort food, and buy little things that make me happy, I am experiencing joy which will fuel me for the rest of the week. 

Here’s to more Sunday hugs in the future!

Sukiyaki Smile

I was invited to a party at a family friend’s residence last night. It was a privilege to eat delicious sukiyaki and twin popsies again. 

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I may not be close to the hosts, but I appreciate the yummy food as these simple eats brought back many good memories. Sometimes, all we need are throwback dishes and desserts to inspire is to keep going.  

Stepping Forward

I choose to move forward with my life by appreciating pretty floors whenever I see them. 

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I go to mass whenever I can. 

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I enjoy delicious food, such as this vegetarian pho from Bawai’s. 

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While looking around Papemelroti, I found this Ifugao house figure. I took it as a sign that I will go back to Banaue someday!

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I finished my day with some lovely strawberry mango cheesecake frozen yogurt from my usual dessert stand, Elait. They employ deaf employees who are empowered with work and fair wages. 

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I move forward from challenges with the things and experiences that make me smile!

Homespun Scarf

I just finished knitting this scarf using The Attic Yarn and Craftery’s Lion Brand homespun yarn. It has a slightly faux fur feel to it, which I love. It can also provide substantial warmth and style to any outfit. 

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This project has helped me remain cool during this week’s challenges: job interviews, meetings, appointments. I was able to do some adulting while knitting this scarf! 

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I know that I can achieve many things while applying my skills in knit and crochet.  

Aida’s Chicken Inasal

I had the best chicken inasal I’ve ever had (so far!) at Aida’s Chicken Barbecue. It’s located at Makati Square, which is one of the oldest malls in Makati. 

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I was in the area for a meeting, and after a productive morning, I was starving! The hefty serving made the commute from QC to Makati all worth it. 

I hope that this won’t be the last time that I’ll feast on this delicious chicken inasal! 

Uplifting

It’s not everyday that I get to do brisk walking around the UP Academic Oval. Being with trees and sunshine inspires me to get moving and stay positive amidst life’s challenges. 

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The street food scene at the university uplifts me each time. The carioca, fish balls, and kwek kwek filled me up and made me feel young again. 

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I got to watch Paillim, one of the movies featured in the recent Sinag Maynila film festival. The movie featured a fictional family who lives in a public cemetery, and their struggles to make ends meet- literally. 

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Since I was already at UP, I maximized my visit by dropping by the Vargas Museum to recharge amidst art by Amorsolo, Hidalgo, Luna, and Edades, among others. 

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Before going home, I had early dinner with my helper Racquel at Malingap Central, a hip food park near home. We had mushroom burger steaks from MushEat Lite, a vegetarian kitchen. We loved our food, and it was best paired with Siam Yum’s delicious Thai milk tea. 

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It was also an honor to meet the man behind Malingap Central, Pino, Pipino, The Burger Project, and Breakfast and Pies, PJ Lanot.  

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It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Art, film, healthy eating, and conversations keep me motivated to live my best life. Here’s to more uplifting experiences to come!