Slay, Pray, Play

I had a productive Thursday. I started my day with a meeting in Manila. My brunch consisted of this hearty mac and cheese, which was topped with sunny-side up egg. I ordered corn and cheese jello for dessert. It was a delicious combo!

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After my meeting, I headed to Sta. Clara to pray for my upcoming opportunities, and to give thanks for all the blessings that I continue to receive.

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I proceeded to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe for some quality time with my furry friends from the east. Spending time with dogs is therapeutic for me, and it keeps me balanced.

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I ended my day with some dirty ice cream at UP. I was in the campus to watch Pan de Salawal, an indie film which warmed my heart.

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I make sure that I have enough hobbies to make life meaningful. Working all the time is not sustainable, so whenever I have time to spare, I visit the dog cafe, watch movies, and pray for more chances to slay. Life is about balancing my priorities and making each day colorful. And of couse, I show up daily to blog about it here on speakoutsam.com.

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!

Mentoring Lunch

Yesterday, I had the time to do some brisk walking at the UP campus. 

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I was able to burn some calories before my lunch at Sunnies Cafe. I got to do some crocheting before meeting with my friends.  

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I had a lovely lunch with my uni mentor Mitzie and her niece Maiko. It was nice to catch up with friends after my dad’s recent passing. 

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No visit to Sunnies Cafe is complete without some selfies in their famous washroom. 

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I got to buy Sunnies Face’s new Airblush after lunch. 

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I also got to offer eggs at St. Clare Monastery. 

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I bought carioca, a local street food consisting of fried sticky rice. It was a delicious afternoon snack. 

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Before going to bed, I brushed my teeth using this bamboo toothbrush that I bought from social enterprise Rags 2 Riches. 

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I know that by continuing my passions and meeting my friends from time to time, I can carry on with life after the storm. 

NAIA Work Day 1

Yesterday, I had my first day as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative for the IFEX 2019 (food expo). My first time to be a NAIA rep was last April for Manila FAME. I am thankful to CITEM for the opportunity to serve our country once again and to return to work in such a unique way. 

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I got my pass to assist buyers from overseas. During my downtime, I got to crochet, eat, and get to know my shift partner, Alyssa. I also got to chat with airport staff Jang who kindly helped me with my job for the next four days. 

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After work, I treated our loyal helper Racquel to dinner, coffee, and a movie at UP Film. 

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I enjoyed my day at work and with our helper in the movies. It was another productive day. I know that with days that are balanced such as this one, I can manage to live a good life amidst all the challenges that I recently faced. 

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! 

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. 

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!

UP Day to Night

I may not be from UP Diliman, but I frequent the vast campus to do some brisk walking, watch indie films at the Film Center, eat street food and tapsilog, and unwind after a long day. I am drawn to the smple details that most people overlook, such as beautiful sidewalk flowers, the lights at night, and the trees that keep the campus green and lush. 

I am thankful to live close to this urban sanctuary. It is my hope that I will have more chances to enjoy the priceless experience of simply being with trees, comfort food, and fresh air. 

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Common Ground

Last March 28, I got to witness the opening of Common Ground , a ceramic art collaboration of Israel and the Philippines. It was held at the UP College of Fine Arts (UPCFA). 

It was my first time at the beautiful new building of the UPCFA. It was the perfect venue to showcase the exhibit, which was the culmination of a week-long partnership between noted Israeli ceramic artist Roy Maayan and the UPCFA students. The college is planning to institute a multi-disciplinary Ceramic Arts Program as a new minor in the future, and this collaboration is in line with that vision. 

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The Embassy of Israel has been a cultural partner of the UPCFA, and this collaboration has not only benefited the students and the artist himself, but also the public at large. The exhibit is just the beginning of a visual conversation between the Israel and the Philippines through ceramic arts. 

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Jezzel Wee, one of the artists in the exhibit, hosted the event and brought a youthful vibe to the evening. 

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Dean Leonardo C. Rosete welcomed everyone by saying that ceramics are “vessels of cultural exchange”. The masterclasses and open studio which was shared by the guest artist and the students has created an environment where art could be created and cultural ties could be strengthened.  

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To continue with the theme of cultural exchange, the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Rafael Harpaz has mentioned in his speech that he made ceramics as a child. His early exposure to the arts has led him to seek “culture as the highest form of satisfaction” amidst his hectic schedule and diplomatic career. He cited as an example of his visits to local tourist attractions and the simple joy of eating halo-halo in the Philippines as his introductions to our local flavors. 

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Later during the evening, I chatted with him about his early interest in ceramics. He said that while he no longer practices it, he is still appreciates the art. He is happy to continue the long-standing partnership between the Embassy of Israel and the UPCFA to bridge our common cultures and inspire the future of Philippine art.  

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The UP President, Danilo L. Concepcion (second from left), has also spoken during the event. He said that since assuming his presidency, he has declared that each new building in all UP campuses should have an artwork. He mentioned that the education of artists is important for our culture, and that international art collaborations is essential for the university. He thanked the Embassy of Israel and Roy Maayan for their efforts in enriching the UPCFA with this endeavor. 

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The UP Kontra-GaPi performed lively musical numbers during the intermission. 

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Lastly, Roy Maayan himself said in his message that he was happy to witness firsthand the talents and skills of the UPCFA artists during their masterclasses and activities. As an Israeli “Clay Ambassador”, he shares his rich expertise to students and artists around the world. He mentioned that he has found friends amongst the Filipinos he has worked with during this collaboration. I witnessed this first-hand as the warmth between the artist and the students was present. 

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Finally, it was time to open the exhibit! 

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Roy Maayan has used the Tembel hat, an Israeli bowl-shaped cloth hat as his cultural “base” for his works in this exhibit. 

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He mentioned that he combined tuff, a volcanic rock found his his country to be combined with some of the tembel hats, like the two bottom hats in this photo. He said that tuff and clay both share common processes of firing in order to form hard objects, and this is something that he highlights whenever he goes around as a clay ambassador. Every culture has something worth exchanging and elevating into art!

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Another Israeli element which Roy Maayan has used as a base for the exhibit is the matka. It is a wooden paddle which the UPCFA students has embellished with local elements, making it entirely their own.  

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My personal favorite was “Hangover” by Blessi Bariuan, because it spoke to me about overcoming a night of drinking and paddling through to carry on the next day. 

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Roy Maayan has given the students the freedom to inject local elements, while also contributing his own matkas with natural and earthy themes to showcase the commonality between all cultures: we are all made of the earth, and we can all collaborate together. 

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The mix of students, faculty, the diplomatic community, the media, and art enthusiasts like myself has made the evening a memorable and fun exchange between two rich cultures. 

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I was able to meet new friends from the Embassy of Israel, appreciate beautiful works of art made by an established Israeli clay ambassador and emerging Filipino artists, and witness the friendship formed over clay and culture. I am thankful that there are events that showcase the commonality that we all share in order to enrich our own respective experiences and perspectives. The future of art lies in collaboration, as the world is becoming more connected by globalization and social media. It is up to us to personalize the art that we make and share the art that we appreciate to make the world a better place to live in. 

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Maria Movie Premiere

Last night, I went to UP Cine Adarna for the premiere of Maria. The night was a lovely blur, just like this photo. 

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I’m all for a female-led action movie, and I’m happy that Cristine Reyes is the lead of this promising local film.  

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The iconic ceiling of UP Cine Adarna is mesmerizing.  

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Cristine Reyes is beautiful in her new hot pink pixie. 

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I stayed for the Q&A with the cast and production crew. The movie kicked ass and I highly recommend it! 

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Here’s to more female action movies and local films! 

1995

Yesterday, I went to UP Cine Adarna to go back to 1995. I was nine years old during that time, so I indulged on a childhood treat: bicho-bicho right outside the film center.  

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Then, I watched Sana Maulit Muli starring Lea Salonga and Aga Mulach. 

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It was released in 1995. It was a nostalgic trip back to the 90’s. Plus, it was a treat to watch a young Lea Salonga onscreen. 

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I had a lovely time, and I proceeded to some self-care at a spa. 

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I had early dinner at Breakfast Bin, where I had the delicious veggie skillet. 

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For dessert, I had matcha and banana ice cream scoops from Papa Diddi’s. 

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By the time I got home, I was inspired to finish knitting this cowl using yarn I bought from Rosario, Pasig

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It was time to continue knitting, so I chose a ball of Mandala Yarn from The Attic Yarn and Craftery. I carried on from there. 

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Sometimes, we need a trip back in time to appreciate the present more. I look forward to enjoying more vintage films in the future to inspire me to cherish my time.  

Mentor and Manila

Yesterday, I dropped by UP to quickly print some documents for jobhunting.  

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Then, I met up with my college mentor Mitzie for some Thai noodle soup at Sen Lek. 

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We later had bubble coffee at Kape Tayo. It was good! 

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We then parted ways and I proceeded to Binondo for a meeting. But first, I passed by Escolta to admire the heritage buildings there.  

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I had an insightful meeting. I went home and received snail mail from The Pink Sisters Convent. 

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I also got my yarn orders from The Attic Yarn and Craftery.  

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And finally, I received a postcard from my good friend Nurai, who was on holiday at Cappadocia.  

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I am very lucky to have few but well-meaning friends. I even have sisters who constantly pray for me. And I have a mentor who still advises me to this day. Here’s to a wiser adulthood and better decisions ahead.  

Working It

Yesterday, I had an early start as I had a meeting to attend. I had a fast food breakfast and some coffee to-go. 

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I realized that I was at the namesake building of my venue a few minutes before my appointment. Good thing I walk fast.  

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I was able to make it at a reasonable time. My meeting was a success! 

I thanked God by visiting Padre Pio at St. Francis Church.  

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Later during the day, I got to walk at UP... 

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...and indulge in some dirty ice cream! 

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I also bought a bamboo toothbrush from Rags to Riches. 

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Finally, it was time for late lunch with my best friend Luti.  

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I used my gift certificate from Sunnies Santa . I won a pair of Sunnies Specs from them last Christmas. It was certainly the highlight of my holidays! As a bonus, my gift bag also included a gift certificate at my favorite restaurant. 

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I got to knit while waiting for my friend. 

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I also had a flat white to perk myself up. 

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And I ordered a guacamole and salmon dip with taro chips to start. 

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Luti and I had rice bowls for our mains. We had a fabulous meal! Thank you Sunnies Cafe! 

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I am working on improving myself and celebrating small wins to motivate myself to keep going! Here’s to a productive year ahead. 

Immaculate Conception Fiesta 2018

Yesterday, I joined my high school BFF Luti and her family on a roadtrip to Batangas. We visited our friend Mabs’ farm, and incidentally, their minor basilica was celebrating the feast of their patroness, the Immaculate Conception.  

We started our day with brekkie at Mc Donald’s. 

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We visited the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Batangas City to celebrate the fiesta. 

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It’s a stunning church which really inspires the faithful to pray and give thanks.  

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We stopped over at a local store to buy barako coffee and delicacies.  

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Then, it was time for lunch at Mabs’ family home! 

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Our high school friend Mabs and her family are now based at Batangas City. She works at the University of Batangas. Her home is charming and cozy. We definitely enjoyed our fiesta meal! 

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We also got to tour their backyard farm and even pick some produce, such as pomelo, dalandan, and kamias.

We also got to feed fruit peelings to their ducks and turkeys.  

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We got to take home some fresh fruits, and as a city girl,  this was a real treat!

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I ended my day with a street food dinner at UP...

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 ...and mass at Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. 

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I definitely had a memorable feast day, and it was more special because it was spent with friends who are family. I hope that I will experience more feast days with fun company in the future.  

The Active Foodie

Yesterday was all about simple joys such as food, fitness, and crafts. 

I had Potdog crab egg with garlic rice and sweet garlic sauce for lunch. Definitely worth the calories as this is one of my favorite supermarket fast food finds! 

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After lunch, I walked to the newly-built SM North Towers to visit the newest Starbucks Reserve cafe. 

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I was stunned! It honestly didn’t look like I was still in Quezon City.  

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I had my coffee while knitting, and I was able to unwind.  

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Then, I was able to buy these handmade polymer clay earrings from local brand The Baby Blue Bunny at The Craft Central.  

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I ended my day with a sunset walk at UP and a simple dinner of cheese corn and Rodic’s tapsilog. 

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Who says that I’m too complicated? I like food, coffee, crafting, buying handmade, and while it’s not pictured today, going to church. I burn everything I eat through fitness. And I keep the world updated through my blog. 

Here’s to balancing my life with each spoonful and step that I take! 

Dancing to Life’s Beat

Yesterday, I got to join an Aerosports Dance-Off at Quezon Memorial Circle. It was from 6-9am. I had fun!

My friend Cyndi was also there to dance.  

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I rewarded myself with some knitting...

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 ...and a bowl of yummy toasted naked longganisa with talangka brown rice for breakfast. 

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I also got to see the first game of the Battle of Katipunan between UP and Ateneo. 

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I was sad that UP lost, so I walked around the oval to comfort myself. 

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I got home to a package of yarns that I ordered from my favorite yarn store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery

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I’m glad that I was able to combine my passions for fitness and crafting in my life! Here’s to more fit weekends and crafternoons!

Simple Saturday

Yesterday, I finally got to watch ML starring Eddie Garcia. It was uncomfortable to watch, but I was able to stay until the end! 

Also, I watched this alone so it was a milestone. I conquered a suspense film by myself.  

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I enjoyed a burger with egg and walked around the oval.  

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I attended anticipated Sunday mass at the UP Parish Church.  

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And I felt renewed after a challenging week! 

Sometimes, the best things in life are right across our neighborhood. UP is just a highway from my house, and I find myself enjoying simple joys such as quality films and street food in its premises. I will definitely go back!

Faith, Food, and Film

Yesterday I had beer and okonomiyaki with an old friend. 

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It was delicious, and it was nice to catch-up with old friends, as always.  

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I walked around UP to burn my lunch.  

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I went to St. Clare to pray for some challenges I am currently undertaking, and for the strength to endure them all. 

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Then, I had strong coffee while knitting.  

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My last stop for the night was UP Cine Adarna to watch Through Night and Day starring one of my favorite actresses, Alessandra De Rossi.  

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I had junk food and coffee while waiting. 

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And like most Alessandra De Rossi films, it was a showstopper. I enjoyed it, even if it broke my heart.  

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Looking forward to more food trips, prayer breaks, and film nights in the future! 

Sunshine and Street Food

The other day, I was at the Human Nature Flagship Store to purchase some personal needs. In case you missed it, I sell Human Nature products on my online store!  Please consider buying Christmas gifts from me. 

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After shopping, I snacked on a pack of roasted garlic banana chips and brewed coffee. The store is a cozy place to hangout and clear my thoughts, and my snack was the perfect way to end a relaxing morning. 

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I shopped with my favorite carry-all, my Knitting Expedition Tiyargo bag.  

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Since it was a sunny day, I proceeded to UP Diliman for some brisk walking and street food!

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My street food craving was intense!

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I had egg sandwich...

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...kwek-kwek, and pancit canton! So good every once in a while.  

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It was a beautiful day for supporting social enterprises and satisfying my street food craving. Looking forward to more simple days that don’t have to break the bank. 

Paws to Pray

Yesterday, I went to UP to run some errands. I squeezed in some brisk walking at the oval to burn some calories. 

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Then, I had a lovely burger steak canteen lunch. 

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I proceeded to St. Clare to pray for my special intentions and to say thank you for recent blessings. 

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To celebrate Halloween early, I swung by Barkin Blends Dog Cafe to cuddle some doggos. 

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I had Ella the whole afternoon, and she later napped on my lap. 

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I was also lucky since I got to take pictures with the other dogs as well.  

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After a pawsome time, I ate tapsilog for dinner at Rodic’s. 

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Then, I ended my day with a sunset walk. 

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I am still hoping that things will improve. I continue to be optimistic, and in case things get too much to handle, I know that I can always pray and hangout with my furry friends.