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. 

Knots and Dogs

Yesterday was my first visit to Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe since my dad’s passing. It was bittersweet because I was at their other branch when my dad passed away. I felt the healing power of dogs and their dedication is admirable. Of course, the first doggo I hugged was my favorite one, Ella.  

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Later during the day, I finished crocheting the scarf I was making using one of the yarns from my Rosario Yarn Adventure

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With dogs and crafts, I know that I will be able to carry on just fine.  

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!

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.   

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.  

NAIA Work Day 3

Yesterday was the final one of my three-day stint as a NAIA Buyer Services Representative. I watched the sunrise at the airport while knitting. 

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Then, I manned our booth and welcomed arrivals with a smile.  

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I had Jollibee’s halo-halo sundae and brewed coffee for dessert during lunch.  

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I attended mass during my break at the airport chapel.  

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Then, I got to finish crocheting this scarf during my shift. 

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I had maruya (fried sweet bananas) and brewed coffee at the cafeteria before close of business. 

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Then, I rode the bus to World Trade Center. 

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We had our debriefing at the venue itself. I was giddy to be back at Manila FAME. 

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After our meeting, we got to explore the fair.  

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All our hard work for the past three days was worth it once I saw the fair. I was blown away by the astounding exhibitors and the artistry of the Philippines.  

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I am proud to be part of this event, and I have a renewed love for country after this.  

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For dinner, I grabbed a beef bowl at Yoshinoya before calling it a day. 

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It was an honor to serve our country and witness the capability of our artists. I am proud to be Filipino!  

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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NAIA Work Day 1

Yesterday, I got to experience working at the airport for the very first time! I am a NAIA Buyer Services Representative for CITEM, and it was a privilege to return to work in such a distinguished manner.  

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This three-day stint has appealed to me because I personally love CITEM and believe in its vision to provide hope to the Philippines through design. It is an honor to serve the country for a few days, and to assist buyers who are interested to support our local businesses.  

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I was thrilled that my crochet hook made it through the X-ray machines!

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I was able to eat brekkie at Jollibee.  

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I even got to watch the sunrise! 

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I started my shift at 6AM sharp. 

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My partner, Frabelle, was a trooper! I am lucky to be paired with a bright and fun person. 

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We definitely worked together to welcome buyers and assist them in their requirements from the airport to the hotel shuttles. 

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And as a P2P fan, I was lucky to experience our new airport buses. I am thankful for this opportunity because I learned heaps on dealing with government employees, observing protocol, welcoming very important buyers, and promoting Filipino hospitality. 

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What a beautiful way to return to work! Here’s to more opportunities to come!

The Attic Adventure

Yesterday, I was invited to visit The Attic Yarn and Craftery in Marikina City. 

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I’ve been a client of this local yarn store ever since I began knitting and reacquainted myself with crochet last year. After buying their yarns at The Craft Central, I have since directly ordered from them online. Since then, I’ve become their friend in real life. 

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It was a dream come true to step inside their cozy “attic” space. There were yarns everywhere!

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It was heaven on earth! 

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The owners, Tita Ces and Ceryl, are vintage fans. I especially marveled over their refurbished typewriters. 

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I received a lovely handmade present from the owners. 

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I also ate lunch with them and had the best tinapa pasta I’ve ever had (so far).

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For dessert, we had flourless chocolate cake from a local pastry shop. 

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It was to die for.

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It was wonderful to see their yarns and winders in person. 

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More than having the pleasure of buying from them directly and not paying for shipping this time around, it was the friendship that I have fostered with Tita Ces and Ceryl that I truly treasure. I had a magical day, and I’m sure that this won’t be the last time that I will visit them in Marikina. 

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Friends and hobbies like knitting and crocheting make life sweeter! 

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! 

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! 

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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Valentine’s Clutch

I’m single and happy on Valentine’s Day. While I’m looking for a partner, I’m also happy with myself. I think that’s the perfect foundation for a relationship, because I’m already fulfilled on my own. 

Having said that, I finished crocheting this clutch using cotton yarn from my favorite local notions store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery.  

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To celebrate, I got myself some ensaimada and iced coffee from my neighborhood cafe.  

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I also got a pixie trim and I feel fabulous! 

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Self-love is the best foundation for a relationship. I am fortunate to have found fulfillment with my own talents, such as crochet! I know that whoever will date me in the future will be a lucky man because I’m already comfortable in my own skin. 

Stuffed Dreams

I stayed home yesterday to spend time with family. While doing so, I also crocheted using red yarn from The Attic Yarn and Craftery. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I felt inspired to create using yarn that’s on-theme. 

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I like surrounding myself with stuffed animals which were created by women in communities that provide them with better opportunities. My knitted dog Ella was named after my favorite dog from Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. She was knitted by a mama who also plants rice at the Ifugao province. I have traveled to the Banaue Rice Terraces last year because I was so inspired by the story of Knitting Expedition, the company that creates these knitted toys. This has since sparked my own crafting journey, and to this day, I still knit and crochet. I will forever treasure this trip. 

My crocheted unicorn is from Mayown, which is a brand that sells amigurumi dolls crocheted by underprivileged women in Manila. These dolls are designed by Leen Van Dyck, a Belgian expat who works as a teacher in an international school and also trains women to crochet so that they could provide for their families. I have joined her workshop last year, and it has also inspired me to create more! 

Lastly, my Tubbs cat doll is handmade by Pop Junk Love, a local brand that sells hand sewn dolls at indie store Commonroom. I admire the women behind this brand, whose growth I have witnessed ever since their bazaar days. I will always treasure this doll to remind me that it is possible to grow once passion is combined with hard work. 

I surround myself with these dolls to push me to continue creating and dreaming. Whenever times are challenging, it can be difficult to dream, but these dolls remind me that it is a must to continue aspiring for better days ahead. I’m sure that things will drastically improve in the coming days and weeks. All I have to do is dream, and carry on!

Infinite Fan

Yesterday, I finished crocheting this möbius shawl using chunky yarns from my favorite yarn store, The Attic Yarn and Craftery. I am excited to use this in my future job, and also during possible travels! It’s warm and cozy. 

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All that crocheting made me hungry, so I ordered the Chicken Chizu Curry from Tori Chizu. 

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It was a delicious baked rice meal which combined cheese and curry! I’ll definitely order from this place again. 

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Then, it was time for me to book a ride to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

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The church is notorious for road closures during fiesta, so I opted to book a ride for a worry-free journey. 

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Before the fiesta procession, I fueled up first with some food. 

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I bought myself a Jolly hotdog and a choco float from Jollibee. Still so good!

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I also prayed for my intentions, such as my dream to land a job very soon, and healing for my dad. 

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Before I knew it, it was time for the procession!

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It was a spectacular procession, just like the one last year. I am a Lourdes devotee because of the miracles I have received from Our Lady. I continue to pray for good health for myself so that I can still be a blessing to others. I also prayed hard for a job that will enable me to support myself and my family. 

Life is still a beautiful journey, and my faith keeps me going. For now, I will continue crafting, eating yummy food, and praying for more blessings! 

Morning Mass

Yesterday, I attended mass at Our Lady of Consolation Parish. 

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I attended the 7am mass, then I visited my late friend Diane at the columbary beneath the church. 

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After mass, I visited my dad in the hospital and crocheted the day away. 

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It is possible to combine faith, friendship, and crafting in one day! I find ways to pursue my interests even if my days can be busy and hectic. It’s all about planning and knowing which materials to bring with me. 

Life is too short to be bored! 

Midnight Burrito

The other night, I decided to go on a burrito run beyond midnight.  

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I was starving, so I opted to have an old fave from my working girl days: the breakfast burrito with steak. 

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Army Navy still serves an awesome burrito! It was packed with goodness, and I really got great value for my money.  

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After my delicious snack, I crocheted until I fell asleep. 

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It is truly a charmed existence as take care of myself while also caring for a sick family member. I find ways to have things to look forward to, such as a spontaneous late night meal or a crochet project. Life’s still beautiful.  

Knitted and Crocheted Scarf

My friend Mitzie gave me some acrylic-wool yarn from New York when we saw each other last week, and I was excited to knit a cowl out of them! And so, on the feast of St. Blaise (patron saint of wool combers), I set out this yummy yarn together with my 10mm needles.  

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I listened to some podcasts and just knitted away!

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Usung chunky yarn and 10mm needles are a joy as my project was quick to accomplish.

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For the blue part, I opted to use a 9mm hook to crochet instead of knitting. 

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The end result is a variation of textures and yummy wooly goodness!

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It was wonderful to knit and crochet this cowl while listening to a couple of podcasts. I’m also thankful to receive these yarns from a friend. I hope to continue making, knitting, and crocheting!

Rosario Yarn Adventure

Last Saturday, I went to Lacion General Merchandise right beside Rosario bridge in Pasig. You won’t miss it- it’s located on the corner unit of a pink complex. There are sacks and bags filled with yarns! 

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I freaked out and wanted to buy so many yarns. But I resolved to only buy one kilo. This store is famous among local knitters and crocheters. Just search “Rosario Pasig Yarns” and you will know what I mean. 

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The store spins their own yarn imported from Taiwan. You may mix variegated and solid colors, and each kilo retails for Php390. 

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They also sell machine-spun shawls made of the same yarns. 

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After searching through their bags and chatting with the owners, Kuya Miner and Ate Gladys, I finally selected five balls to consist one kilo.  

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They recommend a size 4-5mm hook for their yarn. I am currently knitting using one of my purchases with a pair of 4.5mm needles, and the weave is so soft. 

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I highly recommend this shop! It’s definitely worth visiting and the yarns are worth the commute. The owners are also kind and honest. Drop by soon!