Day 99: Milk Tea Nostalgia


I was in Ortigas earlier so I decided to stop by my former workplace. I had my favorite milk tea (which was my usual even before milk teas became trendy). It brought a smile to my face because it reminded me of simpler, happier times. I may not be glad about the recent challenges I have encountered, but that does not mean that I cannot have beautiful memories as a student and employee here. The perfect blend of milk and black tea was anything but bitter. And for Php40, it was an awesome cheap thrill. 

I am no longer angry about things beyond my control. In fact, I am thankful for the opportunities. I am going to charge everything to experience. I am moving on. If I find myself in the area, I know I still have my favorite milk tea to depend on. 

Day 80: Be Good


This morning, I drank coffee at Prom B for the last time. I enjoyed the cool AM breeze while listening to classical music. As I am rendering my last day today, I am saying goodbye to my college hangout with fondness and zero regrets. 

I will look back on my three and a half months here as an employee with positivity. I refuse to hold on to grudges, especially concerning matters which are beyond my control. By letting go, I am welcoming better opportunities to come my way. By letting go, I am redeeming myself. And by going away from here, I am finding myself again.


Ten years ago, my spiritual director urged me to be good even when it is difficult to do so. I am leaving with that advice in the same place, but in different circumstances. I choose to be good. And I will eventually find something better soon.

Day 77: Starter Pack


I just had cheesy eggdesal and two cups of coffee for breakfast. I am down to my last four days at my current employer, and I would have to admit that I am quite sentimental. Working in my alma mater was a unique chance for me to get acquainted with my academic institution from another perspective. I have learned a lot in a quarter. Working in IT also enabled me to build this website and blog during my downtime. I am grateful for this experience and I have no regrets. 

I would like to think that the skills I have acquired here comprise my starter pack for my next job. I still do not have a role lined up, so I am looking forward to a short break. I got some books and magazines to entertain me and get my mind active. I am also planning to continue my fitness regimen. Lastly, I am excited to blog about my journey and continue my 100 Day Challenge.  

I have learned to manage my time, start a blog, and live meaningfully. My graceful exit is just around the corner, and I will not look back in anger. Gratefulness is key to making the next four days count.  

Day 73: Hangout


I have been going through a tough week at work as I am transitioning and rendering my last few days prior to my departure. I am making sure that there are no loose ends left untied, no tasks left undone, and no files left in my computer. I am just glad that it is finally Friday. As usual, I commenced my day with a prayer and a workout. I hurriedly prepared for my day. I then carpooled with my dad to the office as he is also working early today. 

I enjoyed my breakfast while reading my crime novel. My cheesy eggdesal blended nicely with the twists of deceit. I drank my first cup of coffee as the plot thickened with adultery. And by the time I had my coffee refill, I was walking to Prom B, which my hangout way back in college.

A and I spent heaps of times here, and while we had our biggest fight here which eventually led to our "breakup" in 2007, I am spending my early morning here because it brings me zen. An empty study hall is a promising cradle for all my feels as I am slowly saying goodbye to my office and alma mater. No, I am not dwelling on my epic fight with A ten (!) years ago. In fact, I am grateful that we are together in the present and that quarrel is history. Rather, I am focusing on the moments I studied here when I was still a student. I believed so much in myself even when the world was challenging me to the core. I never listened to the negativity and focused on my tasks. My college self inspires me to trudge through my current mountain of deliverables and eventual farewell. I do not want to leave with bitterness. Rather, I want to think that this place cradled my idealism and belief in humanity. 

If I slayed it then, I am sure I can do it again in 2017. Push. 

Day 72: Awakening


One of the the biggest challenges with hypothyroidism is that I am always sleepy. Like really sleepy. I'm not just drowsy, I am sluggish, tired and exhausted even in the morning. The lack of thyroxine contributes to this constant state. With that being said, I make sure that it does not interfere with work. I noticed that praying first thing in the morning works wonders. Aligning myself with a Power greater than myself is not only humbling, it is also awakening. There is also no greater alarm clock than knowing that I was promted to wake up for a reason, and that I have something better to do with my time than lie in bed all day. 

I workout thereafter and make sure that incorporate cardio to burn calories. I like taking a cold shower to jolt me awake because there are times when a quick run cannot even keep me up. I then get dressed and prepare for my day. The drive and commute to work is not bad, but when I do feel like snoozing, I reach for some entertainment. I enjoy reading if I am in the MRT, and of course, I always drown the noise with my earphones. I discovered that I never get tired of The Beatles and classical music, so I am pretty much married to these sounds.  

By the time it is time for breakfast, I drink coffee like it is no one's business. I always clean my email inbox in the morning because it keeps me up to date with my job. If I am not in the office, my emails and social networks also get checked and updated first thing in the AM. I really have to know what is going at the start of my day because it wakes me up. It was a tactic that has helped me ever since I was dependent on the internet to communicate, and if it has managed to energize me, then I am sure it can keep you up too.  

What do you like doing to stay awake? I am on the lookout for life hacks for keeping energized and I am glad that with the improving awareness on hypothyroidism, people are not branding those with my condition as being lazy or worse, slackers. Before you judge people, make sure you know what they are going through. That way, you can be more compassionate and even more awakened. 

Day 70: Light It Up


I am down to my last two weeks at my current job. I have resigned because the program I am managing is eventually going to be dissolved. As an employee, I am only looking after my own welfare. At the same time, I also want to pursue opportunities for growth without compromising my health. As you know, hypothyroidism is not the easiest condition to manage when I am under unreasonable stress and fatigue. I want to look for a better role where I can grow both as a person and as an employee. 

Right now, I am transitioning and turning over my responsibilities to my team. I cannot afford to be bitter. Life is too short to dwell on negativity. It is futile to be angry at things I cannot change. Of course, my priority is to make sure that there are no loose ends on my plate. I want to leave knowing that my journey has not been put to waste and that my team can handle my job. 

Let me find the light for now as I finish my remaining fortnight here. 

Day 69: On the Hunt


I am currently jobhunting again. I resigned from my job because the program I am managing is going to eventually be dissolved. With no job security and a futile marketing plan, I have decided to end my tenure before things get more complicated. I am ending my stay here on a high note, with experience in setting up events and managing our incoming enrollment system. I am just rendering my transition period. 

I do not want to be bitter because life really throws you unpredictable curveballs, especially when you least excpect it. Good thing I trained myself to have a growth mindset and decided when enough is enough. I am not going to freeload myself in a program that is not going to last. Rather, I will plot my growth elsewhere, and I will exit my current position gracefully. 

I am thankful to have the chance to work in IT. I have built my website and began blogging during my stay here. I have taken the initiative to relearn writing during my downtime. I have also found my voice and rediscovered my unique style. Lastly, I learned to embrace my hypothyroidism and used my condition as a springboard for everything that I want to celebrate in life. 

I am optimistic that the future will be kinder to me. I am ensuring this by continuing my blog and wishing my department well. I hope to also stumble upon opportunities for growth and earning. It is my prayer that it will it take long for me before I can find a suitable job soon.  

Day 63: Life Meaningfully Hacked

 "Whaaaaat? You have hypothyroidism? Aren't you supposed to be fat?" 

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

Lifehack #1: A microwaveable pillow helps my body temperature adjust to an airconditioned office after commuting. Hypothyroid patients are notorious for being sensitive to changing temperatures, so a heated pillow is a Godsend.

This is the usual reaction I get from people every time I tell them I have hypothyroidism. It is sad that in the Philippines, hypothyroid patients are popularly perceived to be predestined to be overweight. The condition is widely covered by mainstream media, and not many people talk about it online. The lack of awareness causes the condition to be shrouded in mystery and misinformation. 

Yes, hypothyroidism can cause the patient to be overweight. But I am not letting this happen to me. Just because I have this condition does not mean that I will let it define my weight, my mind, and my sense of being. To counter the tendency to be overweight, I workout everyday and watch my food portions. I also include as much exercise as I can in my day, such as walking to the MRT station, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Regarding the natural tendency for hypothyroid patients to be sluggish and drowsy, I fight the lack of energy by drinking coffee after each meal, taking walks, and really, willing myself to keep up with life. I cannot afford to drift away and lose myself in the tiredness, and I can tell you first-hand that this is not easy. The lack of energy can really make me feel sleepy even in the middle of meetings. But I try my best to psyche myself up so I will not snooze at every onset of drowsiness.

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

Lifehack #2: Taking a selfie before boarding the MRT strangely prevents me from dozing off during the trip. Yes, I have snoozed even in a SRO train!

This is why I strongly believe that defying hypothyroidism is more willpower than anything else. Mindfulness is my secret weapon, and my thinking is that I should believe in my own ability to fight the symptoms of my condition. Every time I feel discouraged or moody, I workout. I read. I listen to music a lot while working. I go on a coffee run. These life hacks help me go through life, and just plain awake.

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

Source: Oxford Living Dictionaries

I once suggested to a teacher to share life hacks but I was told that systems work better because it is not wise to hack through life. I strongly disagree to this because as a hypothyroid patient, I have been working smarter to make it through each day, each week, each month, and each year. I have followed forums and groups online to know how to hack through each hour of my day, because trust me, having hypothyroidism is not a piece of cake. Systems are useful, but hacks are help me survive when I am battling drowsiness, hunger (because I am controlling my portions), and moodiness (yes, hormonal imbalance does this to you).

How can I even maximize systems without life hacks? They are efficient steps to productivity, and in purposeful living, getting things done is key. Here are some life hacks that help me everyday (see photo captions). I know that they are useful not just to hypothyroid patients like myself, but for everyone. 

Processes can work if there are efficient steps along the way. I have embraced these life hacks which I have discovered as I have lived each day because they keep me productive, awake, and thriving. If I am thriving, then I am really maximizing my time, resources, and creativity. And yes, life hacks help me live meaningfully and defy hypothyroidism.

What are your life hacks? How do you integrate them into your processes and systems? Let me know so we could exchange ideas!


Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

Lifehack #3: Workout, workout, workout. Burn calories, release endorphins, and improve your mood!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

This morning's selfie before the MRT started moving southbound. Yes to staying awake during the whole trip!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

A good breakfast is never complete without coffee. Lifehack #4: COFFEE HELPS!

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Lifehack #5: Online classes, books, Tedtalks...Always look for opportunities to learn and grow. Feeding the mind is just as important as nourishing the body. 

Day 62: Quarterly Review

#nofilter #nomakeup

#nofilter #nomakeup

Today, I am celebrating my third monthsary at work. This is a big deal for me because I have not just started in this new job, but I have also switched careers and industries with this new role. You see, I have worked in an Australian BPO for five years. That is half a decade of my life doing Risk Management for a country I have only visited once in my existence.  When a change in management prompted me to resign, I felt that I was doing the right thing. And by implementing change, I meant doing it in a big and bold way: no more BPO's, ever. 

I do not want to sound ungrateful because outsourcing has really taught me a lot. I felt that I grew up as a worker. Fixing other people's arrears does that to you, as well as understanding and speaking in an accent which is totally foreign-sounding to you. However, I think that work should be people-centered. If other things get in the way of caring for the welfare of your employees, then that is not dignified work for me. Also, I am already thirty years old. I need to find a more stable company with corporate ideals so I can also develop wholistically. Having monthly socials in bowling alleys and arcades can be fun for employees, but this does not foster growth. Learning does. And now that I am working in my alma mater as a Program Officer, I can say that this learning is a daily norm for me.  

Having free access to our well-equipped libraries is important to me. I am not only a voracious reader, I am also innately a researcher. When I feel the need to learn something new, I tend to read books to supplement whatever I can Google. Also, working in the academe means that I have a lot of time to work on my personal goals. I have used the school's fast internet connection to enroll in online classes on personal system implementation, writing, and purpose-driven branding. I am still taking the last class, and this will last until September, so I am definitely going to have an interesting quarter ahead! I have also put up my blog and purchased my own URL. I also began my 100-day writing project, which enables me to have content on my website everyday. Once that challenge ends, I can confidently continue writing quality content because by then, writing has already become second-nature to me.  

A quarter is more than enough to develop new habits. I have learned so much in a short amount of time, and broadened my horizons especially in terms of upgrading my skills. I am excited to level-up my life through dignified work and learning, as I continue achieving wellness through mindfulness! 

Now, let me prepare for the day ahead and finish my coffee! ☕️ 

Day 52: Small Wins

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

Cardio warrior 🏃🏻‍♀️

I have read that celebrating small wins is important. You may think that it is shallow to list down the little victories that get us through the day. I must admit that I was skeptical at first. However, I listed down my small wins anyway and I was determined to see positive results. After more than a month of doing so, I have observed that I was more focused. I was resourceful in completing tasks such as commuting and eating healthful meals. I thought out of the box and became more creative. 

All because I celebrated the small wins. 

My P2P ride this morning  

My P2P ride this morning  

I wrote down each time I worked out. I listed down each healthy meal. I diarized those times I drank a fresh fruit shake. I wrote about successful dates and quiet times with A. It was relaxing and meditative. 

In time, I looked forward to completing my tasks. I saw consistency even when my hypothyroidism was wearing me out. I exercised even when I was tired. I observed my diet even when I felt like doing the opposite. And I realized how short life truly is so I have to make the most out of it. 

My classmate Marvi passed away the other day. Back in grade school, she wore a headband everyday. I thought that was so badass of her and her style still inspires me today. I still wear headbands at present.

I was heartbroken to hear about her passing due to aneurysm. I am wearing a headband today in her memory, and hopefully to pass her cheerful personality on even if she is no longer with us.

Day 51: Coconut Mornings


I just realized that living with hypothyroidism can lead to so much negativity. It may seem that I cannot have the best of everything. I have to workout even when I am tired. I have to take the stairs to burn more calories and wake myself up. It has recently led to resentment, because my thyroxine dosage has been reduced. I found myself dozing off on my desk. Three cups of coffee did not always wake me up. I felt sluggish in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. I was forgetful, because of the so-called "brain cloud" which people with hypothyroidism often experience. 

At some point, A just said that enough is enough. 

After an insightful conversation with him yesterday, I have decided to alter my thinking instead of resenting that I have been shortchanged in this life. I should think that I have a complete life. It may not be perfect, but I am trying hard to manage so that should suffice.


I started this morning by thinking that I could enjoy the little things that I am allowed to have. I had a whole coconut earlier after parking my car. I bought it fresh and had the meat and water transferred to a bag to go. It was refreshing, filling, and the perfect energy drink to keep me going during my commute. Upon arriving at my office, I was determined to have a healthy breakfast.  I had tortang talong, half cup of fried rice, and banana ketchup. I also had coffee, because I need all the caffeine I could get. 

Havinf proper nutrition and a shift in thinking has helped me this morning. I am determined to maximize my day by focusing on what makes me complete instead on dwelling on what I cannot enjoy in my condition. I know that it is easier said than done, but it would not hurt to give it a try. 




I had an eventful Father's Day as my parents invited A to have lunch with us. We had hearty meals at Cafe Adriatico while having light conversation. I appreciate the fact that they invited him to have lunch with us. 

As an only child, my family has always been reserved regarding the people I would introduce to them. The fact that they have invited A is truly remarkable. I would like to think that they appreciate his care and concern towards me, especially in times that are beyond my control.  


Just when I thought that I could not ask for anything more, I had dinner with A and his family for his baby sister's 18th birthday and Father's Day. I was grateful for his invitation, and to my family for finally allowing me to meet his side. They are strict with letting me spend time with my significant's other's family so I appreciate that they are gradually letting me get to know them.  


I had the best Father's Day ever and I look forward to spending more holidays with my favorite people.  



It is my first day without my diet delivery service, and I feel free. I have been with them for three years. I can say that I have already gotten used to the proper portions for my needs, and I can easily replicate it in real life. I may not cook, but I can be resourceful in buying my food.  

Hypohyroidism has taught me to think out of the box. I understand that I have to observe self-control in order to have a better quality of life, and it is always easier said than done. Working out at 4:30am everyday is not a walk in the park, but I do  it anyway. When it comes to food, eating a single egg and half cup of rice for breakfast may not be satisfying, but it works. A sandwich may not be the most exciting thing to look forward to, but I make it an event by incorporating my reading during my break. That way, my meals do not become a chore which will make me cheat on my diet. 

Self-control also applies in my interests. I no longer go out that much because alcohol makes me hyperacidic (and since I have hypothyroidism, alcohol makes me bloated). I read inspiring books because life is too short for questionable material. I listen to music that moves me because I want my playlist to wake me up, especially now that my reduced thyroxine dosage is driving me insanely sleepy. I no longer succumb to endeavors without a purpose. Mindfulness is a must for my condition. Luckily, it is something that transcends my health and also stabilizes other factors in my life.  

I may be free from my diet service, but I am responsible now for my own food. I have to observe mindful eating in order to achieve optimal health and hopefully, to improve my thyroid blood test results. I look forward to easing my way to better health through mindful and purposeful living.  


The weirdest thing that happens to me every time my thyroxine dosage is reduced is fatigue. I feel tired, sluggish, and drowsy all day long. Of course, I have to work. I remedy the situation by drinking copious cups of coffee. I workout in the morning, and I make sure to incorporate meditation into my day. My favorite form of mindful silence is the rosary. I spend fifteen to twenty minutes in the comfortable silence of the chapel, and venerate the Blessed Sacrament while reflecting on the mysteries of the rosary. It surprisingly calms me down while reducing the sleepiness, because I need to focus on the next prayer, the next bead, and the next mystery. 

We all have to do what we ought to do, I am overcoming the fatigue by getting up each morning, by keeping fit, eating healthy, and praying mindfully. I also read and write during my downtime, so my mind is always busy. I have learned that randomly browsing through social media keeps me sleepy, so I do that on the minimum and instead turn to books to amuse me during my commute and breaks. 

There are plenty of ways to overcome my changed dosage. The good news is that this is only for a month. I cannot wait to revert back to my normal dosage. In the meantime, my changed dosage is changing me for the better, and I look forward to continuing this lifestyle beyond this medication.

Day 38: Waking Up Without Hate

The recent events in my life has made me question my values. Losing my trust in those around me is difficult. I realized that I cannot go about my day without exercising precautionary measures. I also had to assess what has caused these events to transpire. I had to reflect on how I dealt with people. It involved a lot of quiet time, which I am fortunate to have in my job. However, things are open-ended and the people involved do not want to put additional security measures because they value their privacy. For now, I am doing my best to exercise diligence and prudence to minimize similar events from happening again.

I have had the difficult choice of either waking up with hatred in my heart or with a sense of gratitude. I am glad I chose the latter. I pray. I focus on one thing that I am thankful for. This morning, I woke up to terrible menstrual cramps, but I chose to thank God for another chance to workout and yes, it motivated me to actually exercise thereafter. The videos I chose earlier were more challenging than usual. I could have given up, but I buckled down until my whole body was burning. I still have cramps as I am writing this, but I am no longer focused on the pain. Rather, I am thinking of how my workout has enabled me to move and hustle. And since today is Friday, I am comforted by the fact that all this effort is worth it. I deserve to chill out this weekend. 

I do not advocate waking up with hatred or bitterness. It will make you lose focus on what matters most, and it deviates you from your priorities. You need to exert effort to be thankful at times, but I assure you that this is worth all the mindfulness. Gratitude makes you a better person on the inside, and if you continue practicing thankfulness, it will inevitably become a habit. You will also be a better person on the outside because being habitually grateful makes you smile more, even during tough times. Never lose sight of your blessings, and you will always find yourself blessed.


Day 37: Just Get Up and Work


There are just days when I would rather hit the snooze button in the morning. I was tempted to do so earlier, but I immediately countered it by reciting the Prayer of Jabez:

New Living Translation
... "Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!" 

I got up, worked out with my YouTube exercise videos, and took a quick shower. I got dressed, drove to my parking space, and took the train to the office. I am transitioning to dieting on my own (I am no longer enlisting the help of my diet delivery service), so cafeteria breakfast consisted of half a cup of rice and a fried egg. I also had a 120z Americano. It was filling, and it is proof that it is possible to eat healthful meals without resorting to expensive diet plans. Of course, I have had three years of experience with my diet provider, so I already got used to the proper servings and I am already educated on portion control. I am keen on continuing my diet as it is one of the important factors to minimize the health risks of my hypothyroidism.

I have been dreading this day due to some recent events. However, I also pushed myself to work and put my game face on. I prayed the rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and I felt that I am not alone. There is no use to feel discouraged then. 

I will live through today!

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 30: Soul Sam

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

This photo was sent by my good friend Rafe ❤️ 

The past few days have been challenging. I have encountered incidents which shook me to the core. I lost my trust in the people around me, and it seems that I am being harassed by an unknown entity. I have already reported these incidents and I have faith that authorities will handle this accordingly. Meanwhile, I am healing and moving on. I have decided this morning that I do not need to dwell on the feeling of distrust. Rather, I should focus on what I must be thankful for.

I woke up early this morning and did my ab and cardio routine. I had a hearty breakfast and a medium Americano from my go-to convenience store. I am wearing my five year old Doc Martens which cushion my feet and keep them warm and toasty in the rainy weather. Most of all, I have a family to go home to, a boyfriend who drives me home when visibility is low due to the rain, and a best friend who will drop everything to spend a few hours to comfort me. 

My best friend works in Quezon City but he managed to treat me to pancakes and coffee during my lunch break in Ortigas. I appreciate his effort and concern, as he knew I was going through a difficult time. My boyfriend had a family reunion at Pampanga, but he waited for me at Quezon City to have ramen with me and drive me home. These simple gestures mean heaps to me. It has been said that the only resource that we cannot reclaim is time, so I am grateful that my closest people look after me. I am also looking forward to moving on from these recent issues and carrying on with work. 

I have reasons to be thankful and happy amidst troubles and the rainy season. I will always have something to write about and experiences to share. People may try to take my trust away, but they can never conquer my spirit. All I have to do is breathe.