Negros Fair 2019

I spent my Friday at the Negros Trade Fair 2019. It is a fair that I visit annually, and I’m there mostly for the delicious food! I had boneless chicken inasal, piaya, bignay juice, and brewed coffee. I also bought myself a wooden necklace and a beaded bag handmade by inmates.

I love supporting local! I hope that you will also get to attend events that showcase the best of the Philippines to the world.

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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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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!

Picturing Happiness

I spent the weekend at my best friend Luti’s condo. Our friend Amabelle was in town (she’s based in Batangas), so we watched Netflix while catching up. 

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Luti’s condo is right in the middle of the city. It’s also near a couple of malls that I frequent. 

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The sunrise looks pretty from her window. 

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We did some brisk walking early Sunday morning.  

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I also bumped into my friend from Human Nature, Cindy. 

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We had breakfast at UP’s local resto, Chocolate Kiss.  

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Their tsokolate (hot chocolate) was delicious. 

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So was this longganisa brekkie plate.  

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We ordered cakes in honor of our late friend Diane’s birth anniversary.  

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It was also a pleasant surprise to see the photo I submitted to Manila bulletin get published.  

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I needed a cuppa after our heavy meal, so I got myself an iced latte from Nomu.  

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It’s a well-balanced cuppa! I highly recommend it. 

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Back in the condo, I was even able to do some crocheting.  

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Later during the day, we went to the mall and I donated this Project Aral kit with slippers. It has become my tradition to donate kits every year. Hahahahaha  

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I had yummy burger steak from Bigger Better Burgers.  

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I managed to find a pretty floor. 

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And I witnessed a beautiful sunset.  

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I had quite a lovely weekend. Thank you Luti! 

Passing It On

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I received a thank you card from my World Vision sponsored child. J is now a teenager, and she’s an honor student. I am proud of my girl, and sponsoring her has given me a sense of purpose through the years. Even if jobhunting and freelance work has been challenging, I still feel determined because my advocacy for child sponsorship has given my earnings more significance. 

Twelve years of child sponsorship has given me an appreciation for my work, blessings, and voice. I am thankful to have made an impact in a child’s life. She inspires me to continue job hunting and writing stories. She may be thanking me for a gift that I sent to her last Christmas, but I’m really the grateful one. Because of her, I am motivated to create a better life for myself, so that I can continue sharing my blessings with her.  

I hope that you will also consider child sponsorship with World Vision today! 

Ring for the Babies

At a time when life’s challenges can get overwhelming, I was able to find a way to share my blessings while indulging in my love for jewelry. I recently purchased a silver ring from local brand Vera Juan, who’s currently on hiatus. Before she went on a break, she sold some jewelry for the benefit of the Leycano twins. They were born prematurely, and their parents need help in paying their medical bills. You may help them via this GoGetFunding page. 

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My ring is sparkly and dainty! Perfect for my small hand, this ring will inspire me to shine bright even during dark times. Thanks to the twin girls Pia and Paz, I am inspired to find ways to help others while empowering myself.  

Here’s to more sharing and helping in the coming weeks and months! 

Big Bad Wolf 2019

Yesterday, I ate brekkie at our neighborhood canteen. I had tortang talong (eggplant omelette) and rice. It was so good! 

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Then, I had lunch at the 24-hour pop-up food court at Big Bad Wolf 2019!

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I got my usual at Potdog: crab egg with rice. Yum!

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It was cool to see social enterprise goods by Gawad Kalinga at the food court. 

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I was excited for this year’s Big Bad Wolf as I was able to hunt some fabulous finds last year

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The overwhelming amount of books did not faze me as I clearly knew what I wanted. 

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Still, I browsed through the stacks of books and enjoyed the hours I spent at the fair.  

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I stuck to my shopping list and bought three adult coloring books. I have already migrated to using ebooks, but the joy of coloring cannot be replicated by an app. I needed the real deal. 

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Before leaving the fair, I dropped by the Red Readerhood booth. 

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I donated two books for Gawad Kalinga kids. Of course, I had to select dog-themed books. 

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I offered eggs and prayers at St. Clare to ask for miracles for my family.  

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I wrapped up my day with some coffee jelly and coloring therapy at the café near home.  

Books, food, knitting, and coloring spark joy for me! I will be back for next year’s Big Bad Wolf for sure! 

Closet Cleanup

Yesterday, I cleaned my room and edited my closet. I ended up donating 8 bags of old clothes to H&M for recycling.  

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I got 15% discount vouchers for regular items in exchange for my clothes (note: I also donated a similar amount of clothes to another charity). 

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Cleaning out my closet has allowed me to focus on what I use on the regular. I also got to buy new pairs of jeans using the voucher and the gift certificate that I got for another store.  

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May 2019 be a well-edited year that’s light on my being and good for my soul.  

World Vision Christmas Card

I have been a World Vision child sponsor for more than eleven years now. What started as a way to share part of my allowance to educate a child in need has become a cornerstone of my career. I am inspired to hustle smarter because I have a child to support. It is already enough for me that my girl is happy and healthy in school. What makes this journey even sweeter is that my girl is an honor student and pageant winner at that. 

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Child sponsorship has profoundly changed me. From simply caring about myself, I have learned to see the bigger picture whenever I make decisions. I always factor in my sponsored child whenever I think of major milestones, such as getting a job or entering a relationship.

As the holidays are fast approaching, and we welcome a new year soon, I hope that I will make better decisions and enter more stable relationships. And I also hope that you will consider child sponsorship with World Vision today. This is not a sponsored post, as I am simply advocating for this worthy cause.

Thank you for following my charity journey, and I will continue sharing about my advocacies in this blog and in real life. 

Mayown Workshop

I attended the crochet workshop hosted by Leen Van Dyck of Mayown, a social enterprise based in Manila. She has taught a team of poor moms to crochet, and the impact has been tremendous. They are able to make high-quality stuffed toys, and they are paid fairly for their crochet work. They are able to provide food for their families, and their confidence is also boosted by their skills trainings. 

I am down for some training in intermediate crochet. As Leen is a certified teacher in an international school in Makati, she’s very patient. I was assured that I will learn how to read patterns and improve my stitches.  

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My three classmates were learning basic crochet, while I got a kit enough for two palm-sized stuffed animals- an owl and a snail.  

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I had a fun five-hour class while sipping coffee and chatting with Leen. It was enjoyable and humbling at the same time to read a pattern and correctly form a stuffed animal. 

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I finished my owl and snail at home. It was so fulfilling! 

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I am more confident about my crochet skills after the workshop, and I am determined to continue crocheting- not necessarily make amigurumi stuffed toys, but to apply the skills when I crochet. I am thankful to have met Leen too as she is now a friend that I have gained during the class. I can’t wait to continue making!

Rise Against Hunger 2018

Yesterday, I participated in the Rise Against Hunger Philippines Million Meal Marathon event. I went to Conrad Manila’s Taft Ballroom for an afternoon of volunteering. 

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I prepared by wearing a hairnet and sanitizing.  

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I also wore a mask. All sanitation gear were provided onsite.  

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We were assigned to pack champorado soy and rice meal packs. They will be sent to the needy in Visayas and Mindanao.  

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By the time I had my gloves on, I was all set to pack food!

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I rewarded myself with a cup of coffee afterwards.  

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I am truly honored to be part of this event. I was also there during their last meal packing marathon in 2017. In the midst of all the body shaming I have to endure, it is humbling to know that many of our brothers and sisters have to live without adequate food and nutrition. I am glad to be reminded to be thankful everyday, and to extend a helping hand whenever possible. 

Kusina ng Kalinga

Yesterday, I got to join my fellow Human Nature Core Advocates in the Kusina ng Kalinga (Caring Kitchen) breakfast at the flagship store. I helped in serving cooked chicken soup and sandwiches to the nearby residents. It warmed my heart to be a part of this breakfast, and helping others is definitely one of the perks of being a Human Nature Core Advocate. I look forward to more opportunities to help others in my own little way!

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Child Sponsorship Goals

Yesterday, I received the annual progress report of my World Vision sponsored child. My girl is now fifteen years old and is very active in her community’s activities. They have livelihood and values seminars which train her to be a better individual. She is also enjoying school, and is excelling in reading and writing. 

I am very proud of my girl and I am confident that World Vision is supporting her development and education. As her sponsor, I feel motivated to continue providing for her learning opportunities. I a inspired to work hard to continue being her sponsor. I hope that as she progresses, I also improve and never stop learning!

To learn more on child sponsorship, click here.  

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Core Advocate

Now that I am working full-time, I ensure that my weekends are spent well. I always begin my days with a workout, whether it’s a weekday or the weekend. 

Last Saturday, I was reminded to count my blessings and be myself as I dropped by my usual waxing salon.  

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Then, I went to Human Nature to shop for my needs this August. I stocked up on moringa chocolate chip cookies...

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 ...had some brewed coffee in the store...

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...tried the new bath jelly (which was fun to use!)... 

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 ...and treated myself to a bar of Theo and Filo 70% dark chocolate!

I am also a fan of Human Nature’s new initiative to encourage shoppers to bring their own eco bags.  

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After shopping, I went to Breakfast Bin for even more coffee and pancakes. 

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And then, it was back to Human Nature for me as we celebrated our get-together with my fellow core advocates. 

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It was a fun night of potluck eats, karaoke, and friendship!

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My Saturday was a relaxing one, because I got to eat, shop, and party for a good cause. I am glad that by supporting Human Nature, I also help Gawad Kalinga communities and provide jobs. I look forward to the rest of my workweek knowing that my weekends are spent with my advocacy. It makes all the hard work worth it.

Thriving Locally

I had a fantastic weekend!

I started my Saturday and Sunday mornings with Zumba. I must say that I am glad to see progress on my abs. 

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I also took brisk walks around my local park and took breaks on interesting nooks such as this grotto. 

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I enjoyed freshly-baked bread from my neighborhood bakery. 

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And yesterday, I rode a P2P to visit Common Room Alabang. 

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I donated some old paper bags on-site to support their ‘no new paper bags’ campaign, which I think is really cool. 

But the main reason why I went there was to buy a handmade Tubbs the Cat doll from Pop Junk Love. They had selected dolls at 50% off for the benefit of Cribs Foundation. It was a win-win because I have always wanted to purchase a doll from them, and I love supporting charities!

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I also browsed through the store and found old handmade favorites such as Knitting Expedition.

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In the end, I refused to have Tubbs packed in a paper bag. He went home with me inside my spacious Knitting Expedition Tiyargo bag.  

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Every visit to Common Room motivates me to continue supporting local and handmade! My heart is full now that I have a new stuffed toy, and it’s all for a good cause. Fitness and my handmade lifestyle are not just weekend norms, as I do practice them everyday. They only seem to get magnified on weekends because I have more time to explore places that define them. 

I look forward to more weekend adventures and handmade stories! 

Hooking, Burning, and Yearning

I started my day by crocheting while waiting for my workout to start. 

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Then, I satisfied my craving for cheap pares by having it for breakfast.  

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I continued hooking while having cofeenut.  

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I later rode the BGC bus (which was efficient and comfortable) to Net Park.  

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I took a few selfies  (using self-timer!) at the lobby. I was wearing a scarf that I quickly knitted using chunky yarn and 10mm needles from Dreams Yarnshoppe. 

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Then, I proceeded to Manila House...

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...for the Katutubo Pop-Up Market!  I bought a woodland garland for my mom from Knitting Expedition, one of my favorite social enterprises. Their stuffed animals and home trimmings were handknit in Ifugao. I also joined their Knitting Adventure at Banaue last February!

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I caught up with some of my mom’s friends from the fashion industry (she used to be a ramp model).

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I also saw Candy Reyes, Knitting Expedition’s girl boss and master knitter! 

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I also looked around the fair. Everything was beautiful. I saw this wallpaper in the premises, and I loved it because it was somewhat related to my crocheting and knitting. 

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I sat down for a cuppa. 

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And I transferred to Fully Booked to enjoy their sale.

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I wrapped up my Sunday with a visit to the PAWS Pet Cafe. My favorite shelter dog Ruff was there! If you want to adopt him, please contact PAWS!

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I also saw other PAWS dogs in the cafe.  

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I ordered my favorite tapa from The Craft Central Cafe

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I had a productive Sunday! I worked out, crocheted, and supported my favorite advocacies. The way I see it, is that I get to hope and yearn for a brighter future for myself by sharing my blessings with social enterprises and causes I believe in. I am claiming that more blessings will pour into my life in the coming days, weeks, and months! 

Prayer, Paws and Empowerment

Yesteday, I worked out, and had chicken sopas and quick fried beef for breakfast at Tropical Hut. 

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I also got four vintage saucers at my local weekend market for Php20. 

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Then, I attended The Feast for the second time. 

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I felt so blessed! 

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I also knitted while worshipping. Talk about offering my handiwork to the Lord!

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Then, I had the cheesy meaty spaghetti from Mister Donut. It was delicious! 

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I spent time at the PAWS Pet Cafe to meet some puppers.  

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I met Dr. Argus, Dr. Leo, and Dr. Torby, who are part of the Doctor Dogs program. They visit schools and hospitals to bring cheer and love. 

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Then, a fourth Doctor Dog, Storm joined us for some cuddle time.  

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I also went to the dermatologist’s for some acne care. Here I am with Melody, the fab lady who assists me whenever I’m there.  

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Let me rock these pimple injection stickers! 

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I dropped by the new branch of Books for Less at The Block. It’s a wasteland for all ages. They have secondhand books and stationery items!

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Look at these handmade secret book boxes!

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They also have a handsome shelf of vintage books. 

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After buying a pre-loved book, I headed over to The Craft Central to purchase this gorgeous yarn. 

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And, I was able to score this killer duo of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls books at 20% off at the Fully Booked sale!

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I am always happy with new books.  

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For dinner, I had my favorite toasted naked longganisa at Breakfast Bin.  

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And I ended my Sunday with a full-body massage at my nearby spa.  

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I had a lovely Sunday. I spent it worshipping the Lord, hanging out with volunteer doggos, taking care of myself, and buying for soul food (read: books and yarn). I also sketched my food. 

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Life should be spent well, with a balance of work, leisure, and self-care. There is nothing more empowering than the fact that I can support my favorite causes and practice my faith in one day. Here’s to better days ahead!

Blood Donation # 3

Yesterday, I donated blood for the third time.  

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It was my second blood donation at the Philippine Red Cross Quezon City Chapter. My first time at the said chapter was last March, while my first-ever blood donation was last December at St. Jude

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Please consult your doctor first before donating blood. You will also be asked to undergo screening before your actual blood donation.  

Be sure to eat heavy breakfast before donating blood, and do not workout on the day of your donation.  

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As usual, I received a free snack after completing my donation.  

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For lunch, I indulged on the beef and onions set meal at Nord’s Bread Hub while knitting.  

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I also sketched my meal on my Traveler’s Notebook. 

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I had a lovely day, and donating blood always fills my heart with joy. If you are healthy, please consider donating blood as well. It will help save a life, and you will also be able to share the blessing of health. 

Knitting Expedition Starter Pack

I have previously shared with you about Knitting Expedition, a social enterprise that employs mothers from Banaue to knit toys, home decor, and now, bags! Their first bag, the Tiyargo (which means summer in Ifugao), was originally meant to be a beach or market tote. Since I am a city girl at heart, I have reinterpreted it as a carry-all, and yesterday, I brought it with me to Human Nature. 

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The bag was chic and sturdy enough to house all of my purchases for the month of June. 

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It can also stand on its own and hold its shape. For a multitasker, it’s quite a looker too. 

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It also matches all my outfits, whether I am shopping in casual clothes, or hauling daily essentials on a work day. The possibilities seem endless for this bag, especially when its owner plans to carry it to opportunities along the way. 

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If you also want your own Tiyargo bag, you may check out Knitting Expedition‘s social media pages, such as their well-curated Instagram account. Their website contains their catalog and online store. Do support this business, where every item has been knitted with love. Who knows, it might also encourage you to visit Banaue someday, just as I did!

PAWS Feature on Rated K

Last Sunday, I was on Philippine news-magazine show Rated K for five seconds. I was there as part of the feature on The Philippine Animal Society or PAWS. Pet adoption is one of my advocacies, and I was blessed to have supported the PAWS Furst Date event last Valentine’s. All proceeds from their pop-up pet cafe go to the animal shelter, and all of the featured dogs and cats were adoptable!

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While I am waiting for my human Mr. Right, I carry on with supporting causes I believe in. I also shop from social enterprises like Human Nature

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I do intend continue supporting my advocacies even after I get married. It is only ideal to practice what I preach while I am still single and able to do everything that I can on my free time. 

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If you are interested to adopt a shelter dog or cat, please contact PAWS to find out how you can meet your next best friend. I guarantee you that PAWS takes care of all their shelter animals, and they will ensure that you will be matched with a suitable furbaby. God bless you!