Day 56: Stretch

6:30am, MRT platform

6:30am, MRT platform

I woke up this morning to do my workout. I raised my heart rate during cardio, flexed my muscles, and brought everything back to normal during the cool down stage. I realized that stretching is something that I cannot always perfect. I am not naturally flexible, plus I also have scoliosis. I can only do my best, but I cannot force it all the way. 

The same goes with life. Right now I am upscaling my skills through classes, coaching, and mindful writing. There are limiting factors such as the fact that I am employed full-time, the difficult commute I have everyday, and hypothyroidism. However, I realized that I owe this to myself. I may not reach my toes but I can build my abs, so to speak. I even found my niche through my rallying cry, which is "wellness through mindfulness". 

I hope that you can join me in stretching myself while being careful in observing my limiting factors. It is not about fear, it is about prudence. Balance is key to achieving my goals this year, and I know it is possible to continue realizing my purpose through everyday mindfulness and blogging.  



It is the first workday of the week, as yesterday was Independence Day here in the Philippines. I enjoyed the long weekend, particularly due to the yummy food I had and the exceptional company I enjoyed. It is already back to normal for me, and for the majority of the corporate workforce. I woke up with a headache which did not go away after my workout and cup of coffee. I laid my P2P seat flat and snoozed all the way to Ortigas, but the headache stayed on. I have then decided that it was time to wear the Php50 headband I bought last night. I got it from a sidewalk vendor, and I was impressed because her headbands look classier than the usual roadside merchandise. I got this turquoise number and a blush one. I wore the turquoise one this morning just as my headache was at its peak, and I must say that it has reduced the pain. It seems that a little aesthetic difference can boost my mood and keep headaches at bay. Interestingly, I did not have to spend much to achieve change. Creativity goes a long way to remedy aches and pains. I am sure it could also work in other situations as well. 

Day 41: Faith and Fitness


It has been my ritual to offer eggs at St. Clare Monastery as often as I can. I try to go there weekly, and it has been helping me find my center since I have decided to let her intercede on my behalf. I have hypothyroidism, so I am dependent on keeping fit in order to have ideal blood test results. Praying at the monastery has given me hope and renewed my faith. My ideal time to visit would be after my weekend Zumba class, when traffic is nonexistent and my drive is as leisurely as it could get. The endorphins I have released post-workout also triggers my belief in a Higher Power. I offer eggs because it is my only tangible gift to an unseen intercessor. This bridges my prayers from this world to the next, and I hope that my offerings are appreciated in heaven. 

Keeping fit physically and spiritually is possible. I am dependent on rituals, and this is my personal one. It has helped me especially during those times when my faith is challenged. I also go there to give thanks. Every prayer ends with an amen , and the promise of a better day ahead. 

Day 40: Balance

Yesterday was challenging because I learned that my thyroxine dosage has to be adjusted to a lesser quantity for a month. This allows my body to rest from my normal dosage and recalibrate my thyroid functionality. I was initially unhappy with this news because the smaller quantity makes me sleepy and sluggish. It was only when I exited the hospital and chanced upon patients in worse conditions that I realized how fortunate I still am. This dosage is only for a month, and it will be reverted back to my regular medication. I am only taking a break, while other patients only have a few months to live. I was worried about being sleepy, whilst other people were anxious for the fight to remain alive. It brought me back to my center, and in a way, I regained my balance.


I realized that there was no need to panic. After working out this morning, I was thankful for the new day and for the opportunity to exercise outdoors. I enjoyed my favorite fast food breakfast and indulged in a donut and coffee. I remembered how short life is, and that time is only as valuable as how we make of it. I cannot afford to live without balance, as this would defeat the purpose of living mindfully and outsmarting my hypothyroidism. Rather, it is in staying balanced that I remember how lucky I am and how far I have already gone. It is utterly senseless to just give up now. 

Day 34: Lemon Bar Hopping

I had this delicious lemon bar and black coffee from SGD Coffee yesterday and it evoked feelings of warmth and familiarity. You see, the saying when life gives you lemons, make lemonade  does not really apply to me because I am not exactly fond of lemonade. However, I am a fan of lemon bars (or lemon squares). I have grown up eating them in coffee shops and I would like to think that it is my way of coping with what life throws at me. When times get challenging, I tend to regroup in coffee shops. I prefer third wave cafes because the coffee tends to be way better. Single origin brews inspire me to think beyond what is customary because drinking it is a quiet rebellion from the commercialism which has taken over the coffee industry. In my case yesterday, I had Sagada coffee at SGD (kind of redundant but it still works) to complement my lemon bar. I would like to think that it's bold flavor uplifted my lemon bar (which was yummy, by the way) and enabled me to think out of the box (or out of the bar in this case).

You see, I was feeling sick yesterday. There is a flu bug going around work, and I am still down with it at the moment. However, I was determined to have a relaxing Sunday with A, who was also feeling sick himself. We then checked out my new "discovery" near Maginhawa, and SGD seemed to do the trick. We felt better thanks to the strong drinks we enjoyed and the offbeat ambience. We then proceeded to the rest of our date, and we also visited new places which we have never been to before. Not bad for a couple feeling under the weather, right?  

When life gives me lemons, I eat a lemon bar. And I then think out of the bar and raise the bar. Indeed, it is in challenging times that we are driven to innovate and transcend.  

Day 33: The Beginning, Part Two


Today marks the end of my second round of my 15 Days of Writing True Class. It is a beginning more than an ending, because my first one ushered in a daily writing habit which led to attending the Writing Room e-course and embarking on my own #The100DayProject. Today is also my thirty-third day into this journey. I am thankful that I never run out of topics to write about. Life has many experiences to delight, surprise, and move me. Even a recent traumatic event has led me to count my blessings and realize that yes, there are still plenty of reasons to say thank you for each new day.

I will soon be ending my three-year relationship with my diet delivery service. My workplace does not allow deliveries of food subscriptions without knowing when to expect them. The recent growth of the diet company has led to erratic delivery times, so I cannot have them delivered to my office. If I continue having them delivered at home, it will cause me to be late for my shift. It was a painful decision, but being with them has trained me to count my calories, practice proper portion control for my body's needs, and eat healthful options to address my unique nutritional needs. Having hypothyroidism AND keeping trim is difficult, but it IS doable. Embarking on this new chapter may seem shallow to most people, but for me, feeding myself without the aid of my diet service is a form of freedom. Of course, responsibility comes along with this, so I have to continue controlling my portions and choosing my food with care.

I am excited to commence writing without a writing class for the first time in over a month. I will learn to use my voice to highlight the good and keep it real in my online island. So instead of marking this last day of #15DaysOfWritingTrue as an end, I am considering this as a beginning. 

I cannot wait to write on the ordinary, the special, and the true!

Day 32: Daily WROTEin

Werking it even with sore throat!

Werking it even with sore throat!

I'm celebrating my second monthsary at work today! Being an alumna of the university where I work definitely has its perks, such as knowing the layout of the libraries by heart and knowing where to buy awesome brewed coffee based on my budget. However, my homecoming is not a single event. It is a daily routine which I am surviving thanks to willpower and prayer. 

The best part of my day is when I wake up. I get to thank my Creator for a new morning and say the The Prayer of Jabez, 1 Chronicles 4:10 : “...Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.”  This prayer has kept me grounded and blessed since I discovered it in 2006. I then wash up and workout for at least thirty minutes. Exercise is a must as I have hypothyroidism. I mix it up with different routines so I will never be bored. 

I take a shower, take my prescribed thyroxine dosage, and drive to my parking space. I cannot eat breakfast until forty-five minutes have elapsed since I took my medicine. I usually eat in the car, after it is already parked. I take the MRT or P2P to my stop, then walk to work.

My first stop in the office is always the chapel. It always fills me with awe that I am able to work and live a normal life despite my health condition. I then unwind with a cup of coffee and my morning snack. There is nothing more rewarding than a cuppa, which wakes me up while calming me down. It is a paradox which has never ceased to intrigue me. I randomly count my blessings, check my social networks, and respond to emails. If I still have time to spare, I return to the chapel to pray the rosary.

My work day usually goes by quickly. I like being organized, and I keep an analogue planner to take down notes and tasks. I listen to music while working, using a cheap radio and earphones which I regularly replace. I switch between pop and classical stations. During my downtime, I also update my blog and chat with my boyfriend. Lunch and coffee breaks are healthy yet filling. I am always focused on my fitness goals, and I know which food to eat and avoid. I also stay away from frappuccinos and calorie-rich desserts.

My commute home is a reversal of my trip to work. I enjoy light dinners, to help me sleep earlier and lessen bloating. I also stop by our nearby park to buy fresh coconut water. It aids in detox and re-hydrating me after a long day.

I end my day by writing on my Five Year Journal, a prayer, and a book until I drift to sleep. The next day is the same cycle, with the same willpower and attitude.

I will never be able to pull this off without the support of my family and boyfriend. I may not be earning much, but I have enough and that is what matters. I look forward to having a more abundant life and eventually, the chance to settle down.


Day 31: Living Mindfully and Helping Others

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

Beautiful handmade rosary by an inmate in Bilibid Prison.

I prayed the rosary again after a long time. I used to pray with it everyday during my previous job. My old building was adjoined to a mall, which is a stone's throw away from a church with a quiet adoration chapel. My previous job was stressful, and this ritual calmed me down during my lunch breaks. I enjoyed meditating on the mysteries, and I never lied about going to the adoration chapel whenever I was asked regarding my whereabouts. I have always been proud about my faith, and this motivates me to look for ways to integrate my passion for prayer in my other love, which is social enterprise.

I have previously used cheap plastic rosaries and jewelry-type ones from pilgrimage sites such as the Vatican and Lourdes. All of them were easily broken due to daily wear and tear. I have never been dainty, so these rosaries never appealed to me. I only used them out of necessity and because they were presents and purchases from important places of prayer. I have constantly been on the lookout for a durable rosary, because I believe that prayer is a tactile experience. I depend on rosary beads to guide me along the way. If the beads are too small and the gaps between them are practically non-existent, then it will make prayer less of the soothing ritual which it was meant to be. Thus, I have been accustomed to replacing my rosary annually, which became a pain because I do get attached to things especially if they have memories connected to them. 

Usually, the crucifixes are the first ones to break. The cheap plastic ones cannot withstand the pressure of daily commuting, which is not pleasant because I do not enjoy seeing the representative image of Christ cut into half. For those with metal links, the chains would get disconnected. Having them repaired is an obvious choice since I do have experience in bead work, but it already dampens the enjoyment of prayer. As the years have gone by and the handmade movement grew along with the internet, I have discovered options which finally meant having sturdy rosaries for less heartbreak.

I bought a chotki rosary from Caritas Manila a couple of years ago, and it has served me well. It was handmade by an inmate from Bilibid Prison. It is sturdier than most rosaries I have owned, and it still works until today. It has began fraying though, as the string they have used is fibrous, so I am already seeing the signs of wear and tear on several areas. I will still recommend this though, for it is a good conversation starter and it is for a good cause.

This has then led me to the search for a new rosary. My boyfriend and I are going through challenging times in our personal lives, so we need a spiritual weapon to inspire us to renew our faith and pray more often. I have ordered four rosaries from Rugged Rosaries, an artisanal social enterprise in California. They make rosaries by hand using military-grade paracord, beads, and components. The two full-size five decade rosaries have been carefully selected to represent our personal faith journeys, while the two one decade clip-on rosaries are for everyday use and commuting. I am excited to receive them and road test them once they arrive from the US! I am also happy that part of the proceeds from my purchase supports a team of artisans who promulgate the faith through beautiful rosaries in America, and provide rosaries and MP3 New Testament Bible players to the troops.

My faith has led me to support social enterprises and the handmade movement. My advocacy is my biggest means to help others, and I look forward to doing so by shopping meaningfully, sharing the products on my blog, and living mindfully. I also want to keep on praying, because it is a meditative practice which lets me focus on the positive.

I hope that your passion will lead you to support an advocacy with minimal effort and true joy!

Day 29: Trust Issues

Me in 2007

Me in 2007

I feel dismayed because my workspace has been violated for two consecutive days now. Yesterday, my traveler's journal was closed the wrong way, resulting in a loosened garter. When I got to my cube at 7:15am this morning, I found my top drawer open. My drawers do not have a lock, and these incidents may seem petty. But if you think of it, it is not petty at all. I work in a university, so files are all pertinent to educating students and upholding the corporate ideals of our community. These past two days have proven that it is possible for trust to be broken in an admirable company. Small items like my traveler's notebook may not seem much, but it is full of my art journaling and lunchtime sketches. I am also dismayed because I always psyche myself to get excited for each work day. These instances disappointed me, and it will take some time before I can regain my bearings. 

I have already filed an incident report, and I have updated security regarding this morning's incident. I know that they are doing their best. My cube is not covered by the CCTV, so there is no way to catch the suspect on video. I am praying that this gets resolved soon.  

I am also thankful to still be employed and that nothing was lost or stolen. I would not wish this on anyone else. After all, I was a student of this university ten years ago, and I do not want to disappoint my college self by being derailed by negativity. I just have to keep moving on.  

Day 27: Dear Diane,

With Diane, 2007. 

With Diane, 2007. 

I wish I texted you more after we finished college. I remember 2008 as a busy year, with me preparing for the World Youth Day in Sydney and you preparing for your first semester in Ateneo Law. I was also jobhunting, with my frequent interviews becoming more like a reason to dress up in corporate attire. I recall the anxiety and anticipation of waiting for follow-up interviews. It was daunting, since I wanted to embark on my first job as soon as possible. I did not know how to tell you all of these, because you seemed so put-together, like you had everything figured out already. I felt like a kid next to you. Talking to you always felt like being with an adult, and in many ways you were the designated grown-up in my life. I hope you understand now that I was not avoiding you before your death. I was figuring out how to grow up so I could step up in life, which you seemed to master effortlessly.  

It is ironic that in your death, I realized that my life was only beginning. My first job happened shortly after you passed away. I was handling tasks beyond my Humanities training, and my role had a steep learning curve. It kept my mind away from the pain of losing you, but it seemed to help me find myself too. It was in my finance job that I realized how much I love to read for pleasure. I can never give up on myself and what makes me who I am. The pain of your loss made me delight in this finding. 

I am returning to you on your thirtieth birth anniversary. The pain has never left, but I'm more stable now. I am working in the academe just like you, and the funny thing was you told me before that I am a perfect fit for this industry. I am still learning the ropes, but I'm liking the seas I'm sailing on. I hope I can make you proud. 



Day 25: There Has To Be A Word

Today is Diane's 30th birth anniversary. She was the closest thing I had to a best friend in high school. She's the one on the left (in red) in this pic taken during my birthday in 2006. 


I miss her everyday since her passing from a car accident in 2008.

This one's for you, Diane. 

1) There has to be a word for missing someone in random moments, and anyone still alive can never replace someone who passed away because she was the best person to give spot-on advice.  

2) There has to be a word for realizing that you should make the most out of this life because your late friend is no longer here to experience new stuff in the present.  

3) There has to be a word for the friendship that binds you and your high school girls, and one of the things that bring you together is a late friend who was everyone's soul sister. 

4) There has to be a word for falling in love with someone whom you introduced to your late friend back in the day.  

5) There has to be a word for a friendship that goes beyond someone's passing

I ❤️ you Diane! 

Day 17: Everyday Storytelling

Everyday is a potential story! 

Everyday is a potential story! 

I am done with my first writing course, the #15DaysOfWritingTrue. It was bittersweet because when I began the course a fortnight ago, I did not have this blog yet. In fact, I only had my personal Facebook and Instagram pages. However, I realized that it has been my longtime dream to have a blog of my own. I then resolved to make this happen and I decided to use my course assignments as my initial content. 

I did not expect this course to take me to places, so to speak. In fact, I did not expect anything at all. Little did I know that it would be the perfect catalyst in developing my writing voice, my discipline, and even my drive. It also motivated me to join another writing class, the Writing Room.  

The best takeaway that I have from this course is that each day is an opportunity to have a new story. I think that is the main essence of creativity, which is essential in these times of uncertainty and fast-paced technology. What makes us truly human is how we are able to create our own stories and share them to the world. It is up to us if we will allow the tide of the tale to wash us over or if we will take the lead. 

Be brave and take the lead in your own story. You will be surprised with your own abilities and there will definitely be unexpected twists to spice up your adventure!

Day 16: Writing To Live


A lot of people ask me how I balance my full-time job with my blog. I am surprised to get this a lot because many bloggers do this while working. I guess it is the frequency of my posts that makes people wonder how I get things done. I am currently taking a couple of online classes to help me with content and improving my technique. Classes cannot teach discipline though, so it is up to me to develop that. I have learned in a goal-setting course that I have to schedule my plans in order to see them come to fruition. I use my workbook for that class religiously, because if there is one thing that I must believe in, it would be the validity of my goals. Right now, my passion project is my blog. I did not ask help from anyone in IT or the blogger community in setting it up. I bought a domain name and annual subscription for website hosting using my hard-earned money. If there is something that motivates me more than anything, it would be the fact that my savings paid for this blog, so I have to maximize it. I cannot just sit around waiting for inspiration to hit me. I have to hit inspiration until I sit down and write.

I have learned that mindfulness helps in keeping me focused, especially when i am on the lookout for experiences to write about. Rather than just killing time, I make sure to live through each moment. I can turn a simple meal into a blog post or a personal anecdote into a story. I have also learned to write as it happens, and it turns out that I am a pretty efficient one at that.

I have also realized that having a passion project elevates the mundane into an art. Living just for the sake of existing does not equate to a balanced time here on earth. Rather, I prefer to live meaningfully, because if I am not thankful for the experiences I am going through, then life is just a pointless journey to oblivion.

I hope to continue this writing journey to enrich each day that I have. I hope to end each one with a prayer of gratitude and the promise of a new day.


Day 12: Writing Efficiently


Once again, my Writing Room class has taken me out of my comfort zone. Writing efficiently is easier said than done for me, since I love being detailed to a fault.  Here are the shortened versions of my mini stories on feelings. They have been scaled down to ten words or less. 

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

He hugged me longer than usual and held my hand.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

I kissed him goodbye, then I alighted the bus.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

They sipped lattes as their parents worked in cramped cubicles.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

A vial of blood could make or break my summer.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

The MRT had insufficient trains for the rush of humanity.

In closing, I was also assigned to edit my first entry for this class and rewrite it in a concise manner.


Writing never felt like a chore to me because I have befriended words early on in my life. I learned how to read at the age of two and this led to a lifelong love for reading. I eventually developed a love for writing, and I contributed for our school paper and occasionally, for
national broadsheets. I also became a public speaker.

Blogging became a natural hobby as I became a habitual writer in university. I have recently started blogging again after joining The 15 Days of Writing True e-course and beginning my 100 Days Project, which integrates my output for another class I am taking, the Writing Room.

Day 10: Writing with the Senses

Writing one-line stories has been more challenging than I thought! I have chosen COFFEE as my anchor to describe all five senses.














I have learned in school that senses allow me to perceive reality. Yet sometimes, my senses fail me. There are external factors which could affect their ability to process life as I know it. Memory is known to be fallible. Emotions can influence one's productivity, if writing is going to be discussed in the realm of work. It is undeniable that writing entails effort, but practicing it habitually has allowed me to view it as a form of therapy rather than a burden.

I have learned to use my imagination to supplement whatever my memory and emotions fall short on. This was particularly helpful when I wrote one-line stories for each of the five senses. I look forward to balancing imaginative writing with documenting life as it actually happens in order to paint a picture with words and a lot of heart.