For My Dad

Yesterday, I started with my new job. While my dad is fighting for his life at the hospital, I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I am commencing my new role as a Junior Accounts Manager in a digital marketing and tech firm in Quezon City.  

It is definitely a challenge for me to begin in an industry that I am new in. At the same time, it is the perfect opportunity for me to start again and grow during this difficult time.  

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I may be criticized by my relatives and friends for working while my dad is in critical condition, but I am doing this to empower myself. I need to support myself and buy enough food to survive. 

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I am doing this for my dad. I am dedicating my new job for him, as he has also worked hard to send me to school and to support me as I was growing up. Now, it’s my turn to earn and take care of him. 

I am thankful for the new job, and I hope that I can effectively contribute to the company’s growth as I also evolve as an employee.  

PCC Public Forum

Yesterday, I attended the Philippine Competitions Commission’s Public Forum on the Philippine Competition Act with special focus on the PCC Leniency Program. 

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It was my last conference before I begin work this Thursday at a company near home. 

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My key takeaway is that competition benefits consumers by empowering them with choice. It is the PCC’s obligation to ensure that this is not abused, and that businesses play fair in their operations. 

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I find PCC’s conferences informative and straightforward. This is my fourth PCC conference, and it is fitting that my last one prior to returning to the workforce is with them. 

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I am thankful for learning opportunities that allow me to sharpen the saw and broaden my horizons.  

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Here’s to more learning opportunities in the future! 

Manila Fame 2019

Yesterday, I woke up to a postcard sent by my good friend Nurai. She’s based in Germany, but she posted this from Spain while she was on holiday. 

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It was the ideal preview to my artistic day ahead. I rode the LRT 1 and hailed a tuktuk to take me directly to the World Trade Center. 

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I went to the Manila Fame to immerse myself in Filipino artistry. My short visit last Friday was too brief, and I really wanted to spend more time at the fair. 

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I started my visit with some refreshing liquer de calamansi. 

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Then, I had some good coffee.  

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I dropped by the Handcrafted by Harl’s booth because I love their advocacy in supporting differently-abled artisans. I bought a handbag from them last year, and it’s still serving me well. 

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I joined a leather-crafting workshop for only Php50. I made a leather coin purse with the help of their talented deaf-mute artisans. 

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I ended up being the empowered one because I learned a new skill and got to learn from a differently-asked person.  

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It was lovely to see fashion influencer Lolaandrogynous at the fair! I totally dig her style. 

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I also bought small trinkets from another social enterprise, Kilus.  

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I got to appreciate the finer details during this visit.  

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I finally got to try 1st Colonial’s sili ice cream and it was delicious!

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I had a wonderful evening at Manila Fame and I’m very proud to be Filipino.  

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I ended my day with cheese sticks, so I’m also doing the same here. 

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Here’s to more opportunities to be proudly Pinoy! 

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! 

Fueling Women

Yesterday, I started my day with some toasted longganisa and hot chocolate at Breakfast Bin.  

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Then, I checked out some exhibitions at the Ayala Museum. 

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I especially liked their Women and War exhibit. 

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After running some errands, I got myself some pares and siomai from Kanto Pares. Yum! 

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As a woman, I prioritize self-care because the most important person in my story is me. Seeing empowering exhibits and eating yummy food are just two ways to fuel myself. Happy International Women’s Day! 

Knitting Anniversary

Today is my knitting anniversary! It’s been a year since my fateful Knitting Adventure at the Banaue Rice Terraces. It was where I first learned to knit. The lesson wasn’t easy for me, and I did struggle at first. But with a lot of practice, I did get the hang of it. And I even re-learned how to crochet along the way!

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To celebrate this important milestone, I crocheted and knitted this infinity shawl using chunky yarns from my favorite notions store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery. The ladies behind this local shop has become my friends, and it is touching how this friendship has also become a source of strength and inspiration for me to keep going. 

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My knitting and crochet abilities are in line with my goal to diversify myself through continuous learning of skills. You may be wondering how this connects to my goal to work in a corporate setting. Well, knitting and crochet has taught me patience, perseverance, resilience (especially when I would drop a stitch and have to start over!), creativity, and imagination. I have also learned these skills from scratch through workshops (like the advanced crochet one I attended with Mayown last year). If I can train my mind and hands to manipulate yarn, needles, and hooks, then I’m sure that I am ready to learn new programs, business platforms, and skills. 

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I have also started a new scarf using the knitting needles that came with my kit at Banaue. Using these 6mm bamboo needles again is humbling, as I recall the awkward stitches that I have made 365 days ago in the mountains. Now, I am in my room in the city, with pop music blaring in the background. I have yarn from Pasig, the yarn bowl that I gifted myself with on Valentine’s Day, my first knitting needles, and the determination to keep going. I have amazed myself with how far I’ve come in my creative journey. 

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I know that this is only the beginning. 

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Knitting Myself Together

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I first learned how to knit at Banaue. I realized that  it might be something I would enjoy, so I persevered until I eventually finished my first scarf

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Since then, I continued to knit like it’s no one’s business. By now, I know that I prefer working without a pattern. Focusing on scarves and beanies make me happy as I mindlessly knit during meetings and events. And yes, knitting helps me focus during discussions. 

This is why I am glad to finish another scarf, this time an infinity one which could be rolled to be a chunky wrap around the neck, a tube top, or rolled to an even smaller size to be a loose cowl.

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I knit because it gives me a sense of purpose, no matter what. I will continue to do so because it gives me joy, and I know that it will empower me even during those times when I feel weak. Knitting is my strength.

If you are interested to learn, there are tutorials online and workshops that you could research on.

Please consider knitting. You won’t regret learning this mindful craft. 

Back to Me

Yesterday, I bought Maine Mendoza’s MAC Maker lipstick in her custom shade, @mainedcm. I think it’s adorable that she named it after her Instagram handle. And in fairness, it is a wearable nude shade. I am in between morena and mestiza, so finding the perfect nude can be quite a challenge. This lippie gives me a subtle pop of color without washing my face out. I feel proud to wear Pinay MAC Maker’s lipstick, and in so little color, I feel as if I have returned to myself. 

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Like all MAC lipsticks, the matte formula has lasted me through two meals and a coffee break. I am very happy with my new lippie!  

Friday Resilience

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I walked through really strong rains last Friday morning. Good thing I was wearing boots and a blazer along with some tough clothes. I felt a bit shaken though because it was my first time to walk in strong rains in a long time. But I was happy that I got to work on time.

I was sad to hear yesterday that a friend of mine lost her house to a fire. It was devastating as she lost everything, and nothing was saved. At least she and her family survived the ordeal, and plenty of people have raised funds to help her.

When I experienced chills earlier after the rain. I realized that I am still fortunate. I have warm clothes, a job, and coffee. I am still very luck. And there is always something to be thankful for.

Slowly Improving

I remember having this portrait of me sketched four years ago.  

A lot has changed since then.  

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  • I have since donated my hair to make wigs for cancer patients
  • I have kept my hair short since October 2014
  • I have switched careers and I am now the Office Manager for an American BPO
  • I have kept my face makeup-free
  • I now have this blog to document my life

These changes did not occur overnight. In fact, I have initiated these changes slowly, but the results have appeared fast. I believe that achieving positive impact happens when I set the stage for all circumstances to work in my favor.  

I blogged, I attended seminars, I applied for good jobs, and continued supporting my advocacies. In no time, I was able to see changes in my life, and I have also improved my outlook as a whole. 

I hope that my life will continue to get better, and that I will keep on aspiring for greatness. For now, I am focusing on getting things done, and blogging about the things that make me speakoutsam! 

Shifting Perspectives

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I am currently shifting perspectives in terms of work. From getting used to working in my own cubicle, I am now in an open plan office. From consulting, I am now recommending. And from simply getting things done, I am implementing processes to streamline tasks.

I am really happy with the direction of my career so far. While the learning curve is steep, I am able to manage because I am not alone. I work with a competent team. And I really appreciate the collaborative nature of my job especially during crunch time.

Things do not have to be difficult now that I have systems in place. I hope that by shifting my perspectives, I can also increase my productivity. So far, that has been the case and I am really pleased.

I will definitely continue updating this blog as I speakworksam!

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. 

Thirty-Fun

This was me nine years ago. I was working at my first job in a local bank. I was mighty proud of my desk, my business attire, and PC! But I was not happy about my body. I was not confident even if I was not overweight. I just didn’t feel good about myself. I had no exercise, and I did not watch what I ate. 

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Good thing I realized that the secret behind confidence is hard work! I started exercising by doing Zumba and cardio.  

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I enjoyed food but I became more selective. Mindful eating became a healthier process since I made each meal count. I ate to live, rather than the other way around. 

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I also supported social enterprises to remind me that the things I own matter as well. I use handmade, artisan-made objects to motivate me to live meaningfully and appreciate the littlest details. 

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My quest for social enterprises has led me to a trip to Banaue with Knitting Expedition, where I learned basic knitting and met some awesome people.  

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I never stopped enjoying food. I just did so in moderation. 

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I also continued supporting charities, like World Vision and PAWS.  

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While waiting for the right opportunity for me, I attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to sharpen the saw, so to speak.  

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Whenever I need good vibes, I visit Barkin Blends Dog Cafe to cuddle with my favorite chiweenie, Ella.  

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So now, I am thirty-one and confident! I am happy with the life I have built for myself. I am excited to continue growing, learning, and being. 

I hope you will continue following me as I improve myself! 

Waffle Reward

Whenever I feel like giving up, I always remind myself that I am worth more than my mistakes. I have had my own share of shortcomings, but I have learned from them. I make sure to take note of my areas of improvement so that I will know what specific things I have to work on. I am determined to be the best version of myself by highlighting my strengths to reinforce my limitations. 

Having said that, I do reward myself for small wins! Recently, I have been slaying through my workouts. I have decided to eat my favorite food as a personal backslap. For instance, I had this delicious bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato (BELT) waffle sandwich from Breakfast Bin. It was delicious and satisfying! 

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How do you self-audit your skills? What areas do you have to improve on? And how do you reward yourself for small wins? I hope that you will also find the balance between self-improvement and self-care! 

Magic Wands

Yesterday, I knitted at Cafe Mary Grace while eating lunch. I had my favorite chorizo and olives pasta, which was a delightfully hearty meal. 

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I also had coffee after my meal. 

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By the time I got home, I was greeted by my online shopping from Gantsilyo Guru.  

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I bought yarns and notions, which included a pair of 4.5mm knitting needles in PINK! 

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Opening the needles felt like a Harry Potter moment.  

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In addition to that, I also got point protectors so my knitting won’t slip from my needles when stored inside my handbag. I also got a bamboo crochet hook in 5.5mm, which is perfect for my usual yarn. 

I am happy to have discovered yarn crafts, and I am also glad that my tools are affordable and accessible. I hope to enjoy more opportunities to knit, crochet, and create. 

Human Nature Online Store Launch

My Human Nature Online Store is now LIVE! You may now place your orders on my very own shop

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I attended the launch of their online store for dealers (like me!), as well as the release of their new hair mist, cooling body cleanser, and odor protect feminine wash. 

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My new online store is a side-hustle and passion project which I hope you will support!

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By getting my own link, https://humanheartnature.com/buy/speakoutsam, I am able to sell Human Nature products under my name. Human Nature’s website allows convenient payment options such as credit card, PayPal, and bank deposit. In addition to that, delivery will be conducted via Human Nature’s system as well so it is an easy and worry-free business for me. 

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I celebrated the opening of my store with a veggie skillet at Breakfast Bin.

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I also went to my favorite waxing salon for some self-care. 

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Here’s to more small wins and milestones ahead! I hope that you will buy from my online store soon and experience Human Nature products yourself. Thank you and God bless you!

Rediscovering Crochet

I began my day with a Vietnamese brunch at Pho Hoa. I had the chili shrimps rice meal, with coffee (not pictured). I enjoyed my delicious meal and I was even able to squeeze in some knitting on the side. 

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I also rediscovered crochet, which I taught to myself when I was in college using a book I bought in the US. I recently reoriented myself with the basics through YouTube, and I must say that I was happy to crochet again as I finished an oversized cowl. 

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I chose a milk cotton blend yarn in clay. 

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The cowl matches most of my clothes, and is perfect for air conditioned venues. 

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I also crocheted a headband and water bottle cozy using scrap yarn from my Banaue Knitting Adventure

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I was delightful to decorate my Starbucks water bottle with colorful yarn!

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There is quiet joy in crafting, and these days, you will either see me knitting or crocheting, with a cup of coffee waiting for me in between stitches. I hope that you will also find a hobby that will fulfill you and allow your mind to drift away. For now, I will get back to my needles and continue creating!

Black Coffee and Knitting

Yesterday was a laid back time for knitting. I stayed at SGD Coffee for my favorite SGD black. It was the perfect drink for some freestyle knitting. 

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I love their full-bodied coffee and unpretentious ambience. They also have fast internet connection! 

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I attempted to read while knitting too.  

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After my solo coffee x knitting time, I met my Banaue Knitting Adventure tour mate-turned-friend Tricia (and her husband Cholo!) over coffee and pie at Pi Breakfast and Pies. I got the smash pie and brewed coffee. 

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It was their yema pie and it was delicious! It was also lovely to catch-up with Tricia while knitting. 

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I look forward to more afternoons for crafting, bonding with friends, and amazing coffee! 

Beer and Knitting

I recently took up freestyle knitting, and yesterday, I brought my yarn and needles to Cibo. I ordered beer and truffle pasta. While waiting for my lunch, I knitted mindlessly, as I mindfully processed my thoughts. 

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I was lost in my thoughts when my pasta was brought to my table. Knitting has become my therapy because I get to think, reflect, and relax. It is also a convenient craft to take with me wherever I need to be.  

My truffle pasta and beer lunch was superb!

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After lunch, I went to The Craft Central to purchase a couple more yarns and a pack of stitch markers. 

They also had this crafting nook that they use for workshops. Since the shop did not have anything planned for that day, I knitted on their table while listening to their Ed Sheeran playlist. 

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That was a quietly fun day. I look forward to knitting in more places.