Coloring My Vision

I ordered a pair of tinted specs from local optical shop Sunnies Specs. I won a pair of glasses during their Dear Sunnies Santa giveaway last December. Since my father passed away recently, I felt the need to start anew and I’ve always wanted to support Sunnies Specs after their generosity last Christmas. 

I get new glasses during new beginnings. I believe that it is now my time to be stronger and more stable after my father’s passing. These new tinted specs will not only keep me looking smart, but they will also inspire me to live life more colorfully. 

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I’ve also been getting more sleep and it shows on my clear skin. 

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After claiming my specs, I went to CITEM in Pasay for my training. I am chosen to be a NAIA Services Representative for the second time. The upcoming IFEX fair will usher in foreign buyers, and it is my job to welcome and assist them at the airport. 

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I can’t wait to begin this three-day “modeling gig” and meet new friends. 

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After my meeting, I had late lunch at Echo Cafe, a sustainable social enterprise that sells natural products and healthful food.  

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I had their delicious banana heart burger and cafe espagnole, which is a mix of coffee and chocolate. So good! 

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I capped the afternoon by visiting my best friend Luti at her condo. She took this photo of me from her window.  

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I had my pixie trim for the month of May and a massage to relax me after a long day. 

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I also received this gift of semiprecious bracelets from Luti. I am eager to release negative emotions and have more energy this year!

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Here’s to more colorful opportunities and blessings on this new beginning! 

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! 

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.   

Gourmet Healing

My mom and I celebrated Mother’s Day at Mango Tree Bistro. Her brother Butch joined us for lunch, and it was a festive feast amidst the sadness of my dad’s recent passing. 

I had the tom yum spaghetti and Thai iced coffee. Both were delicious!

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Yes, it’s possible to heal from pain through food. When taken in moderation, food (and coffee, of course!) can uplift the soul. Will definitely have more pasta and caffeine! 

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.  

Tied Down

Yesterday, I had a difficult day as I encountered problems in the bank. I had to discuss my status quo with the manager, who didn’t seem to grasp the urgency of my situation at first. She did help me after my explanation, and I am awaiting the full resolution of the issue within the week.  

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Having said that, I decided to unwind with some cheap thrills at the mall: a sizzling burger steak and iced coffee shake.  

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I also got to watch Tayo sa Huling Buwan ng Taon, which is the sequel to one of my favorite local indie films, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa. 

It was beautifully acted and very sad.  

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I stayed at the hospital with my terminally-ill father, and I found him restrained to his bed to prevent him from removing his respirator. It was sad to see him this way, so I have to keep myself strong in the coming days.

I just have to find ways to be happy amidst the darkness of my current situation. 

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.  

In Good Company

Yesterday, I had lunch with my helper Racquel at a Greek restaurant. We had to finish some errands, and this was a delicious break from our tasks. 

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Then, I met my maternal relatives from the US and Canada for early dinner. We ate Filipino food, and had a massage afterwards. 

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I even managed to squeeze in some knitting while having my massage. 

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As an only child, it’s important that I find good company to help me get through my dad’s terminal illness. I’m glad that my maternal relatives supported me during this difficult time, and that my helper is always willing to extend a helping hand. They inspire me to keep going, no matter how bleak the days seem to be. 

Here’s to better days ahead! 

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! 

Avengers, Assemble!

Yesterday, I took a break from caring for my terminally-ill dad to watch a movie. I have been getting some hate for carrying on with my life when my father is in critical condition. My family understands that I have a life and a new job soon so I can’t just stay at the hospital everyday. I can still be there for my family after work, so it’s not an issue with them. What breaks my heart is the judgement I receive from relatives and friends who think that my actions are inappropriate. My actions are no one’s business. There is no right or wrong way to deal with critical illness in the family. My life, my rules. 

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This was why I pushed through with my Avengers: Endgame screening at Century City Mall. I won a ticket from the Philippine Competition Commission, and it was a real treat as tickets were already hard to come by. 

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But first, I had the soyganisa rice plate from Posporo at Hole in the Wall. I also squeezed in some knitting to calm myself down after the stress in the hospital. 

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I had a delicious early dinner!

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Before my movie, I was able to drop by the Padre Pio Chapel at Century City to pray and reflect on my father’s suffering.  

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I entrusted my dad to the Lord, and asked for Padre Pio’s intercession. I also asked for guidance as I start a new job this week. 

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The movie was amazing and it was the perfect break from reality. I also had yummy popcorn.

I am thankful for opportunities and blessings at this difficult time. Thank you PCC! 

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NAIA Work Day 2

Yesterday was my second one as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative in behalf of CITEM. I got to spend time again at the airport while observing passengers as they go about their day.  

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I got to crochet to entertain myself between guests, and during my breaks. 

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I also got to have halo halo sundae and coffee for dessert at Jollibee NAIA.  

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It was tiring, but fulfilling to finish my second day at work.  

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I am enjoying work so far, as I am already adjusting to the daily grind. This will be helpful when I start my day job soon at a company near home. 

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I can’t wait to start working soon, and this is the best way to learn how to get along with colleagues and stakeholders. Mabuhay! 

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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! 

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. 

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

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

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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!

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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. 

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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.  

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.  

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!

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

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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! 

Meet and Watch

Yesterday, I had meetings at both Megamall and BGC. To save time and energy, I opted to take the MRT and BGC bus. It saved me heaps of time, and I still felt relaxed by the time I arrived at BGC. 

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Both meetings were productive, but I was especially proud of myself during the BGC meeting because I was able to share more insights about this blog and how it influences me to curate my lifestyle on-the-go. Usually, it’s the other way around, but my previous experiences give me the creativity to explore more and make the most out of life. Sharing my life here on my humble home on the interwebs pushes me to live more with less. 

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I had sizzling burger steak with egg at the food court for dinner. This was my favorite lunch during my Miriam grade school days, so I eat this whenever I can for nostalgia.  

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Lastly, I watched Pansamantagal at Cinema Centenario. It was a funny movie on living life as if it were your last and not minding other people’s opinions. I highly recommend it!

Life is too short. Make the most out of your time here on earth. Share what motivates you to inspire others. And watch movies with a heart. We are only here pansamantagal (for the meantime).

UP Therapy

Yesterday, I had early dinner with my best friend Luti. I was feeling the stress from my violent incident at the MRT, so I was glad that she was able to make time for me. 

But first, I had binatog   (boiled white corn with desiccated coconut and cheese) from a street vendor. It was the best appetizer!

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Luti and I chose Steakfix at Maginhawa, where we both got the Hawaiian chicken steak. 

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I got the chicken plate with two sidings: mucha rice and cheesy mushroom omelette. It was delicious!

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For our nightcap, we had milk tea at Nomu. I got the jasmine green tea with pearls, and it was so good!

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We all need friends, food, and milk tea after a long day. Thank God I have my best friend and the best food trip options close to home!

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. 

Village Girl

Yesterday, I had carbonara and an americano for lunch at my neighborhood cafe.  

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I bought siomai from the cafe, and my lunch was complete! I enjoyed eating and sipping coffee while reading my book. It was relaxing, and I even entertained a phone interview that afternoon. I stayed in the cafe for hours, getting lost in my emails, book, and other tasks.  

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It was almost dinner time when I left the cafe, so I bought a cheeseburger with egg and banana shake from the shack outside my gated community. It was my first time to explore that area since moving in our townhouse in 1998.  I was delighted with the cheeseburger and shake. I’ll definitely buy again.  

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Lately, I’ve been exploring my neighborhood and going out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned that I can adapt well and appreciate simpler things. Most of all, I still manage to get things done! It’s fulfilling to help keep my family stay afloat amidst my dad’s terminal illness. My hope is that I will find a job and a good boss soon so that I can also find my own place in the sun. 

Simple Design

Yesterday, I started my day by dropping off some snail mail. As an avid philatelist and analog fan, I still send letters to loved ones here and abroad to let them know that they’re in my thoughts. Snail mail can never be replaced by email or instant messaging. There’s a joy in waiting for a letter to arrive, and writing one’s good wishes on paper. It’s a practice that I will continue observing even in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

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After my morning meeting, I had a simple lunch at Megamall. I had Kipp’s chicken burger steak and Quickly coffee 2 (it’s iced coffee with choco pudding). So good!

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Then, I went to CITEM for a quick meeting.  

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I am inspired by design thinking, so being in this office drives me to be a better problem solver in my day-to-day activities. I have attended CITEM’s design thinking conferences in the past, and my favorite was the IDC in 2017. I hope to attend more design thinking workshops and conferences in the future, and I am proud to see the Philippines excelling by design. 

I have a thing for doors, so I had to take a photograph before I left the building.  

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My next stop was St. Clare Monastery. I prayed for work, more projects and partnerships, as well as for my terminally-ill father’s health. 

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I capped my day by watching Samantha Lee’s Billie and Emma for the second time. I love this movie even if I am straight. It’s a simple love story that resonates with everyone. 

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There is no better time for me to claim opportunities that are aligned with my values and ideals. At the same time, there will always be ways for me to squeeze in a film, some food trips, and prayer. Life is getting better, and I’m so in.