NAIA Work Day 3

Yesterday was day three of my four-day stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative. 

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I started my day with brekkie.  

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Then, I worked the empty halls of the airport. 

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I crocheted while waiting for VIP passengers.  

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I also hung out with airport colleague Jang. 

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Then, I transferred to terminal three for lunch and coffee. I had 1st Colonial sili ice cream for dessert and it was delicious! 

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I also served as lector during the noontime mass at the airport chapel.  

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After work, I offered eggs at St. Clare Monastery.  

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I also bonded with the dogs of Barkin’ Blends’ East branch.  

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I got a blind massage to cap off my day.  

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Here’s to more opportunities to balance work and life with faith, furry friends, and food! 

Grip on Grit

Yesterday, I had breakfast at SGD Coffee in the Maginhawa area. I was reminded of the grit that is inherent in me, as I saw the bracelet on my stack. 

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The cafe was a lovely tribute to the mountains in the middle of the summery city. 

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I had my usual SGD black as I crocheted. 

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I also got myself an oatmeal cookie. It was to die for. 

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If you need strong coffee, and chunky oatmeal cookie, and a quiet space for working and reflecting, SGD is your best bet. Not an ad, I am simply a fan of the place. Do check it out soon!

Toast to Life

Yesterday, I was joined by my mom and maternal relatives for a day of unwinding. We visited the church where my parents were married.  

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Then, we had lunch at Livestock for some delicious comfort food.  

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We transferred to Hello Kitty Cafe for dessert and coffee.  

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I also managed to crochet throughout the day.  

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It is possible to go on living with family at my side.  Despite the pain of losing a loved one, I can carry on with life, one day at a time.   

Comfort in Sadness

My helper Racquel and I attended a healing mass yesterday to pray for my terminally-ill father. It was held at the Blessed Ivan Merz Reliquarium in Marikina City.  

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After mass, we proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe to unwind over food, milk tea, and dogs!

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I was in the company of angels tonight. Thank God for dogs, people who can help, and loved ones who care.  

Spicing Up Life

My life right now revolves around my terminally-ill dad. Whenever I need a break, I walk around the hospital.  

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I buy food from nearby establishments, such as Bonchon.  

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I knit.  

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And I talk to friends, such as Bianca (kinder and grade school classmate) and her boyfriend JP.  

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They gave my dad this prayer card from Padre Pio Chapel in Libis.  

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I am grateful for friends, food, and yarn that keep me going during this tough time. With a dash of faith and a lot of prayer, I know that I got this.  

Going Up

Yesterday, I found this staircase at the hospital with natural light. I couldn’t resist taking a selfie in the sunny stairwell. 

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I knitted as I cared for my terminally-ill father. 

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Then, I joined my US and Canada-based relatives as they toured the village where we all grew up. I stayed here until I was twelve years old. 

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We ended the day with dinner with Tarlac-based relatives and more Filipino food! 

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I drove them in the rain, and I’m happy that we reached their hotel safely. 

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I enjoyed my relatives’ company, and their visit reminded me that there’s nowhere to go but up. In tough times, there’s family I can count on, and faith to strengthen me.  

Healing and Hugs

Yesterday, I went to the St. Camillus Provincialate to attend their monthly healing mass. It was my first time to experience mass there, and my helper Racquel joined me to pray for my dad. 

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The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick followed shortly after the mass. I prayed for my dad and my best friend Luti. 

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We had breakfast at Kopi Roti, where I got to introduce Racquel to a Singaporean brekkie of soft boiled eggs, kaya toast, and kopi. 

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We also had dirty ice cream for dessert.  

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I spent time with my dad in the hospital, then I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends to cuddle with the dogs there, like my favorite dog Ella. 

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Church, dogs, and food keep me going. Here’s to better days ahead! 

Faith and Family

I am thankful for family during this difficult time. My cousin Van sent us pastries, and I’ve been having delicious bread for brekkie. 

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I am thankful for our helpful Racquel who had helped me through thick and thin. 

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I am thankful for street food, such as these potato chip skewers. 

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I am thankful for knit and crochet. 

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I was able to give my makes to my relatives from the US. 

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I am thankful for a friend I met online whose ministry is to share wooden holding crosses to the sick and their families. 

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I am grateful for the gift of life. I am thankful for time with my terminally-ill father. I am happy that I can still share memories with my family. 

We are all in this together.  

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.  

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

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

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

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Our fifth drop was the UP Parish Church. 

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No visit to UP Diliman is complete without street food. 

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

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

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

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

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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. 

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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. 

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

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

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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. 

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. 

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

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

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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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! 

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. 

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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!

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

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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.  

Escolta Walk

I spent March 30th (Vincent Van Gogh’s birthday) with a special walking tour of Escolta, Manila. Together with my helper, Racquel, I explored what was once the country’s premier business and retail district with a DIY photo walk. 

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Our first stop was the Sta. Cruz Parish, which welcomes the faithful to the historical district. 

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Then, it was time to visit heritage buildings and appreciate fine architectural details. 

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The Regina Building and First United Building are just two of the remaining (and well-maintained) heritage buildings in the area. The latter has become particularly popular with millennials as it houses a community museum, coworking space, a cafe, bar, barbershop, indie boutiques, and offices. 

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It is an intersection of our cultural origins and adaptive reuse. 

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The First United Building has just turned ninety years old. 

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The building hosts several events such as parties and gigs on nights and weekends.  

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The community museum features the restored office of the late Sy Lian Teng, who was the building’s late owner.  

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It is a testament to the man’s resilience and enduring business acumen which has influenced the building’s and Escolta’s trajectory.  

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With today’s gigantic malls, it is mind boggling that our retail behavior has been largely influenced by Escolta and the building’s very own Berg’s Department Store. It sold the finest RTW for women, which at that time was a modern innovation in Southeast Asia (most women still had made-to-order clothes at that time).

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The 1950’s refrigerator still works today! It is used during events in the building. 

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The building has beautiful details which are rarely seen on today’s more practical structures.  

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I also checked out my college friend Daniela Calumba’s store at the building’s ground floor. Her eponymous handmade jewelry and organic line of toiletries have been making waves for their handmade production process. 

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I got an amulet from her partner Alaala Sala’s line of vintage accessories. 

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The space is collectively known as HUB | Make:Lab.  

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The place is a retail haven for objects that will delight the vintage connoisseur.  

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There are stamps too from all over the world. 

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As a history geek and vintage enthusiast, this building was a treasure trove for me!

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We continued our walk to other parts of Escolta. 

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My grandfather, who is an accountant, used to have an office at the Madrigal Building. 

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We took a detour to Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. 

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We cooled down with some excellent milk tea at 80 Memories Tofu House.  

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We also dropped by Binondo Church to pray for our intentions and to give thanks.  

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I was fascinated with the lost graves of Bindondo, where the city’s original Chinese elite were interred. 

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We also went to the Calvo Building, which houses the Escolta Museum. It is also the original site of the GMA Network. 

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We made one final stop before going home. The Manila Post Office, which I have toured earlier this year, continues to remind passersby that history is everywhere, and that it can literally connect us all together. 

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Escolta was once known as the Queen of Streets. With its enduring beauty and continuous significance, it remains to be an important part of our country’s rich culture. It is also a reminder for us to innovate and rise above the wars that destroy us. 

Like Escolta, we must never forget who we really are. 

Jude x Camillus

Yesterday, I went to Mendiola after working at The Study Workspace.  

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St. Camillus’ heart relic was at St. Jude for one day only. I took advantage of this chance to venerate the relic and pray for St. Camillus’ intercession. I had my terminally-ill father in mind, my best friend Luti (whose rheumatoid arthritis is in remission), my friend who is graduating this June, my family, and of course, myself, as I endure the challenges of jobhunting and freelance work. 

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Then, I proceeded to the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat to continue praying. 

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The abbey is one of my go-to places for silence and reflection.  

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Faith for me is an unceasing journey. I am amazed with how it is still strong amidst all the rejections and negativity. Prayer helps in reinforcing my faith, and it keeps me going. I am optimistic that I can be strong enough to carry on with each new day. 

Healing and Hugs

Yesterday, I got to enjoy my day after my transformation of work conference at AIM.

I checked out the Peek-a-Book exhibition at the Ayala Museum for my first stop.  

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Here are my favorites: 

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Then, I got myself some milk tea from Teaberi. Their cup looks fab with my cozy from The Attic Yarn and Craftery! 

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I went for some pampering at a salon.  

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I got myself some trendy hairpins! 

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I rode the MRT and the LRT.  

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Then, it was cuddle time with my furry friends at Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe Sta. Lucia branch. 

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I ended my day with a healing mass officiated by Fr. Fernando Suarez. 

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I prayed for my terminally-ill father, as well as for my jobhunting journey.  

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It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I just need some art, hugs, and healing from the challenges that each day brings. With faith and positivity, I know that I got this.  

Ash Wednesday 2019

I celebrated Ash Wednesday with a solemn mass at the Pink Sisters Convent in New Manila. 

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I made sure that our helper joined me in order to pray for more blessings for our household. She also has her own intentions, and I hope that she will also personally commemorate Lent. 

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I find the Pink Sisters Convent to be an oasis of calm in the middle of the city. I am fortunate to live nearby, and that I can frequently hear mass at this beautiful chapel.  

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May this season of Lent usher in blessings such as work and healing! 

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!