Taking Chances

As the year draws to a close, I cannot help but feel a mixture of regret and sadness sometimes.  I don’t feel I made good use of my time. I know that may be an exaggeration–pretty sure I’ve had achievements in the past months, but I can’t identify one that I can consider as the highlight of my year. I can’t remember an event that I can truly be proud of and say, “Hey, I did this!” or “I’ve overcome this.” All the issues that I’d been struggling with earlier this year are still here, which is odd since I’ve always had crisis periods but they would go away after a few weeks or months. Is it because I’m getting old?

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I don’t think so. I don’t mind getting old at all. I honestly can’t wait to be married to Chad, my fiance, and make memories with him. What I don’t like is wasting time, and I admit that I’m very guilty of this. I question myself too much, which causes me to doubt my capabilities. What annoys me more is that I’m aware I’m doing this to myself but I’m not doing anything to reverse the situation. I used to be a very driven young lady; I knew what I wanted and did everything to get it. But 2015 came and BAM! I became a completely different person.

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‘Live to Feel’ Stories to Keep You from Feeling Blue

Lately I’ve been feeling a little uninspired with life in general. I consider myself a happy person–my friends and office-mates would even jokingly get annoyed at me for being too happy–but recent events (or the lack thereof) have turned me into a sourpuss. Last week I was even on the verge of deleting all my social media accounts. And then this B’lue box arrived. Unlike the usual packages I get, this one is quite special. I don’t normally read inspirational stuff but this box came right when I was at my “bluest” and questioning myself–I thought the universe is telling me something.
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The box contained a delicious water-based drink and book full of motivational stories from ordinary people like me. I bet at one point in their lives the people in these pages questioned their place in the sun as well. Luckily for them, they eventually found their calling. But how did they do it? Some of them have talents and used them to know their purpose, while some found it through exploration. The others saw it in the simplest of things–like love, recycling, and community work.
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What I loved most about the book are the tips inserted in each chapter. At the back of the cards below are easy-to-do “ingredients” for a refreshed body, an enlivened mood, and a motivated mind–things that I need right this moment.
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It also came with an exploration map to guide you in finding your “self”. It mentioned fashion, travel, food, and cheap ways to make use of your time like sports, reading, and reconnecting with old friends. To many of us these ordinary activities are just ordinary activities, but we do not realize how these could foster important aspects of our lives–like relationships, skills, contentment, and eventually self-actualization.
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Looking at these pages, I realized we all have battles; how we see our lives is just a matter of finding the right perspective. I still have issues that I continually wrestle with everyday, but this B’lue box has taught me everything I needed to do to overcome them. No more defeatist mindset, I hope!
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So whenever I feel down, I know I have this yummy B’lue drink and Live to Feel Stories to lighten my mood. This beverage is a water-based drink infused with vitamins and minerals, making it a great alternative for unhealthy sweetened drinks like soda. It is lychee-flavored so kids can enjoy it too! 🙂

 

*Sponsored Post

Intermittent

By now you might have figured out that I’m not good at keeping my word. How many times have I made a comeback after a hiatus, and apologized for it? I can’t even count anymore, and I won’t be surprised that you have lost interest as well. Believe me when I say, though, that all these are unintentional. I’m not depressed nor have I lost interest in blogging, but I’ve reached a point where I began to question my purpose as a human being. I mean LIFE is doing pretty well. I’ve got a nice job where my skills are rewarded; I get to spend more time with my family now; and I’m getting married to the love of my life soon.

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In the past, when friends would tell me they’re not sure where they’re life is going, I would often say to them: “Everyone’s lost at 25.” And now, I can’t believe I’m telling myself this at 26. I thought I had it all figured out when I was 21, but I was terribly mistaken apparently. Some days I would catch myself reading articles about twenty-somethings on Thought Catalog and Elite Daily–something I swore off doing since they started publishing misogynistic, nonsensical articles written by self-entitled millennials. Other days I would just stay at home and reflect, which would often lead to more questions. Every week, my friends and fiance would ask me when I’m going to write again, to which I always answer with a shrug.

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I’ve had similar episodes in the past, but not as long and serious as this one. Have you ever felt envious of people who knew exactly what they wanted to be? I have. When my boss asked me a few months ago what my passion is, I couldn’t give an answer. All I was able to say is: “I’m still figuring it out.” At 26, I’m supposed to know already, at least according to society. Chad, my ever-supportive fiance, would often console me by telling that I’m not like most people. That maybe I’m not meant to have a single purpose, maybe I’m meant to do a lot of things.

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He could be right. I’m trying to embrace this idea; there are occasional self-doubts, of course, but they’re now much easier to overcome–thanks to friends and loved ones who have been with me throughout my (ongoing) existential crisis. They never asked, and I never said anything but they were there for me.

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Despite my intermittent absence, I still feel quite fortunate that brands like WALKTRENDY still trust me and my blog. WalkTrendy is an online street-style fashion retailer based in Hong Kong with a fulfillment center in the USA. They found my blog through Google, which is fantastic because that only means they do their research and not just base on social media followers. They reached out to me in April. I know that’s two months ago but it takes a really long time for overseas mail to get to my country. The WalkTrendy team has been really patient with me, and for that I’m extremely grateful.

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It’s already June but the heat has not subsided yet so I decided to wear this printed dress from WalkTrendy. It’s made of light, semi-cotton material so it’s perfect for the sunny weather. What I honestly love about this dress is the print itself. It reminded me of me a few years ago, when I was so in love with blogging and fashion. I used to go out with my hair in curls topped with a DIY floral crown or hat. That was also when my then-boyfriend-now-fiance was teaching me how to use a film camera. Good times, good times. 🙂

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printed dress from WALKTRENDY | shoes from Forever 21 | ribbon headband from H&M | bag from Parisian | watch from Casio

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I know I promised you several times that I’ll be posting regularly again, but I won’t do that this time. I want every post to be genuine, with more content, and I can’t do that when I’m not in the mood. Hopefully I can do it this time. Be back soon! xx crossed fingers xx

 

PS. To those who kept on visiting this blog despite the lack of updates (yes, I can see you), thank you for sticking with me. :*

Mad Love

My friends and officemates often ask me: Do I ever feel sad? And I would answer with a resounding yes, but I try not to dwell on it. I always tell myself that no one else is responsible for my emotions but me. I can tell the whole world about my feelings but no other person can resolve it but me. While growing up, I have also discovered that negative emotions can be contagious. I want to be that person who’s a constant source of positive, happy energy. Each of us has our own struggles, and I don’t want to be that friend who always brings bad news. I do not want to inconvenience anyone by listening to rants and problems that (probably) do not concern them.

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My mom has taught me and my siblings to be independent. When we were kids, she would often talk to us about taking responsibility. As a child, I did not understand it then. I thought my mom was being too serious and ‘baduy’ by having those talks. I didn’t realize how much those talks have permeated my daily existence until today. Scoldings from parents do have a purpose after all. Sometimes I’d wonder if I can become an effective parent like my mother, especially now that I’m nearing that stage. 🙂

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A few weeks ago, Chad and I got engaged. YES WE’RE ENGAGED!!! 😀 😀 😀

I choose you @gypsealegs ????????

A photo posted by Daphne Benosa (@dafnyduck) on

Although having kids is not one of our current priorities, just thinking about it can be overwhelming. Seeing a little Chad and Daphne playing some day would be great, but we still have a lot of things to work on as a couple. Chad and I have had many talks about this in the past, even before announcing our official engagement, and I’m glad to have a partner who possesses the same line of thinking as I do.

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Many people think that when you get married, you can no longer have time for your own dreams. I disagree. That may be true for couples with kids but not for married couples. Chad and I still have lots of things to fulfill. More than a year ago we collaborated for several creative projects and realized how compatible we are, not just as boyfriend-girlfriend but as partners. We accomplish so much when we’re together and manage to weed through the challenges of long-distance relationship—these and many other things convince me that Chad and I will make it.

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Not that I need any convincing. I’ve loved Chad since meeting him more than a decade ago and nothing will ever dissuade me from marrying him. When he left for the States when I was in college, I totally gave up hope that I’d still see him. But he came back in 2011–and it was the right time. I’m not one to believe in ‘The One’ (oh boy, here we go), but that moment, our first conversation after so many years, I knew then he’s the person I’d marry. He’s my ideal man and my best friend, and it makes me so happy that I will be spending the rest of my life with this wonderful being. 🙂

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Top from SM GTW | Cotton On Trousers | Thrifted Parisian Sandals | MANGO Quilted Bag | Casio Watch
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Just thinking about Chad and our future makes all my worries go away. My officemates have remarked about my blooming aura since becoming engaged and I have to say it’s all because of the love I constantly receive from Chad, my family, and friends.

When you focus on how much you are loved instead of how unfortunate you are, it will show. It’s all about perspective. 🙂

Photos by Chad Verzosa <3

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Travel Post: Vigan

Two months ago, Chad and I traveled to north of the Philippines to check out Vigan. Chad had been to the place but I haven’t before. I only knew about Vigan in textbooks in school and as my family could not afford to travel anywhere, except my parents’ hometowns which are just an hour away from Naga, I promised myself that I will visit Vigan when I’m capable of traveling.

I have a certain fascination for ancient things, and Vigan suits that interest of mine. Although I was a bit disappointed that only one street, Calle Crisologo, preserved the Spanish colonial houses and architecture, the whole experience was still amazing. I am after all with the love of my life, everywhere with him is paradise. CHOS! [On an unrelated note, I think I should shift to love + personal blogging because I keep talking about my boyfriend. I hope it doesn’t annoy you (heh). I can’t help it, so please bear with me. 😛 ]

After a 9-hour ride to Vigan via Viron Transit, we checked in RF Aniceto Mansion.

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Aside from offering the best accommodation package (1500php per night = breakfast + airconditioned room + private hot/cold bath + cable tv + clean and comfortable room), the place has a gorgeous interior. And if you’re a vintage junkie like me, you’d absolutely love Aniceto.

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 Chad photobombing. He always does that when I take photos. 🙂

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Our room. Nice right?

Aside from checking out Calle Crisologo and the restaurants along it (pictures of which can be found here), we also went to Baluarte, a large park owned by Ilocos Sur’s incumbent governor, Chavit Singson.

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The place has a lot of animals–from donkeys, parrots, deers, to tigers. I don’t really know what to feel when we got there. I don’t like it when animals are used for humans’ amusement. I feel so sorry for the donkey that carried us quite honestly, I kept on talking to the poor thing after he gave us a tour of the field. 🙁

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Had some photos taken with this gorgeous parrot, too. The owners won’t ask for payment but they will certainly ask for a small donation after they’ve let the bird rest on your shoulders.

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Chad decided to climb this big rock while on our way to see the famous pets of the governor.

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I saw about six of these cuties. I kept calling them kitty in this video because they look so cuddly and cute, like domestic cats. They must be extremely bored and sad; these animals should be in the wild with their own kind, not in cages.

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We also went to see Playa de Oro beach, which is only 10 minutes away from the city. Our travels are incomplete without the beach, you see. The place is very underdeveloped, which is good in my opinion. I saw some trash lying around near the shore though. 🙁 And I think promoting it for tourism will only hurt it.

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Tropapips. Little kids watching the waves, taken by Chad

Chad in Playa de Oro beach photo by me

Chad left for the States a couple of days ago. I’m sad to be honest with you, which kind of explains why I’ve not been posting anything for the past weeks. I’ve been with him almost everyday during his 8-month stay in the country, but I guess every good thing has an end. It’s just temporary in our case, though. We’ll see each other in a year or two. We’ve done this long-distance relationship thing before. We survived it, and I see no reason for it not to work this time.

Photos taken by me using a Canon AE-1 film camera and Solid Gold ISO 200

Unforeseen

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting as frequently, but Chad and I have started a project and we’re concentrating a lot of our efforts on it. I’m still going to post updates here though  at least once or twice a week (and on my Twitter of course). Like I said earlier, I will never abandon blogging and the small group of people who read my blog (and who I love dearly).

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Before I share my usual narrative, let me skip to the outfit first. I won’t necessarily call it stylish, but it’s my lazy day look. Chad and I had to interview some people and do a photoshoot on the same day so I chose the most comfortable ensemble I could wear—that is an oversized hipster shirt and my trusty maxi and wedges. I was going for a functional, modern-day hippie look so I “forced” myself to wear some earrings, which I kinda abhor. But hey it worked. Lol. That’s about it really.

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So what’s the project going to be about? I can’t reveal the whole thing yet, but it does involve documentary photography and a bit of social work. No complaints though, I’m even more excited to see where this project is going. Chad will be leaving for the States in two months (*teardrop*) and we won’t be seeing each other for a year or two, so we’re making good use of his remaining days in the country. Yesterday was no doubt a very good experience for both of us.

We went to Smokey Mountain to document our friend and the place while also helping out the kids with their costumes for their upcoming festival presentation. No, I’m not pertaining to the band nor the mountain range, but we did see heaps and heaps of trash. Smokey Mountain is the term used to identify a large landfill in Manila. Decades ago, the area was surrounded by slums. Later on, the government provided public tenements to the people, most of whom pick trash for a living, and they stayed there since then. We visited them yesterday and made their costumes for the parade. 🙂

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I got to talk to a lot of kids and asked them about their life in Smokey Mountain.  Oblivious of their brutal surroundings, they told me about the death of their brother (gunshot), their sister’s incarceration, and other horrible things. I even saw one child with his forehead bleeding because his parents couldn’t attend to him. Chad saw a kid using drugs. Outside the tenements are stores selling pagpag, leftover food scavenged from garbage dumps. There was trash everywhere. I felt and am still feeling very sad for the children for living in such an atrocious environment. What’s worse is, there’s a big possibility they’ll never rise above their situations—unless they are assisted by the right people.

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Nevertheless, I’m happy I experienced it. I would have not known their lives and stories if we didn’t go there. I came from a poor family as well, which made me more determined to help out. So I decided to use my blog and my influence to encourage you, the person reading this blog, to help impoverished kids have a better future.

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 Any kind of assistance will suffice. We are young and we can do a lot. If you’re reading this, you know you’re lucky to be in a safe home, with healthy food and nice environment. These kids don’t. We have to remember that when small good deeds come together, they make one big impact. Gawad Kalinga is helping Smokey Mountain, now named as Paradise Heights, rebuild the community. Click THIS LINK to know how you can help out. 🙂

Feral Child

When I was a kid, I spent most of my vacations in my mother’s hometown, Tinambac. It’s approximately two hours away from Metro Naga. I like Tinambac because it’s a quiet and innocent place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city–although there’s nothing spectacular about the place really (that is if you’re a tourist looking for picturesque spots). But if you’re an escapist like me, a place like Tinambac can be heaven. When I reached high school and the pressures of being a teenager began to take its toll on me, I visited every weekend.

My cousins and I would go for a walk in the forest filled with tropical fruit trees and then swim in the nearby river. I would return to Naga extremely sunburned but very happy. That time my family couldn’t understand why I was always itching to visit Tinambac, and later on they suspected that I must have had a ‘boyfriend’ there. Of course that’s not true, but that’s where I met my first love, who happens to be my boyfriend now. La la la. I was 13. 🙂

Chad, who was also vacationing in Tinambac when we met, would write me letters (even though his house was just right in front of mine) and I would write back of course. I digress. Sorry, I like sharing our love story. Haha. And so those are just some of the wonderful memories from my childhood.

And if I were to choose between the city and the small town, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat. That is, if I will be given a chance and there will be no serious ramifications. Unfortunately, the things I dream of doing can be found in the city. Despite this, however, I know I will always be at home with nature.

Thrifted dress | Floral crown made by me

Learn how to make your own floral crown here. Can you believe I bought this dress for only Php 170? Great steal, I know!

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Photos by Chad

Come back soon for more photos from this set!

Flashbacks

Many people would often tell us pictures are deceiving. Unless they are altered and manipulated, I think they aren’t. In fact, pictures show us reality; they immortalize a fleeting mood and capture minute details we seldom or refuse to notice.

The first two pictures were taken using my Bell & Howell BF35. It’s like a toy film camera and it doesn’t need any batteries. I carried it around  with the intention of taking pictures of the trees and buildings inside the UP Diliman campus.

I’m not sure but I think this is near The Sunken Garden.

This is the view from the College of Arts and Letters Library. Looks very 1920s, yes?

The next photos were taken using a Canon-AE1 film camera with a Solid Gold ISO 200 color film, but we developed the film in B/W chemicals that’s why the photos are in B/W.

The succeeding photos were shot by Chad, except the last one. The rest of the photos can be seen in this post.

After publishing several posts back in 2010 and 2011, I began asking myself what makes me different from the thousands of fashion and non-fashion bloggers in the Philippines. And the only answer I could think of was ‘I don’t know.’ It bothered me so much I stopped posting regularly, and eventually lost the spot I once held. Don’t be silly, I wasn’t part of the elite 10, or 25, or 40. I was content being part of the top 50, but then the crisis happened.

With Chad’s help, I regained interest in blogging, without thinking of that proverbial question. Who cares really? I started blogging because I like sharing my interests and discoveries—why do we always have to compete?

So I guess that’s what sets me apart—I am not interested in competition, endorsements, cliques and what not, at least not anymore. If I get approached or recognized, then thank god someone enjoyed reading my blog. There’s no need to be catty. Blogging is supposed to be, first and foremost, a therapeutic and fun activity. Higher blog ranks and the perks that come along with it are just mere rewards and should not be a cause of conflict.

With all the things I’ve heard and read lately concerning the blogosphere, I realized being a nobody in the industry has its benefits after all. Besides, my life is already a movie, I do not need any more drama.

If only people would practice humility…

and extend love, life will be much happier.

Feline

I love cats. They are the sweetest creatures from the animal kingdom, and are perhaps the most tamed. I’ve been a cat owner since I was a child as cats aren’t really that hard to maintain. They clean themselves and know where to poop.  However, when I had to leave my hometown to pursue a job in Manila, I had to leave my cat Miming behind. He’s old and was frequently gone to god-knows-where. I was saddened by the fact that I won’t be getting late-night surprise visits from Miming anymore. He’s my stress-reliever.

Fast forward to August 2012, my housemate found this poor kitten at the park, soaking wet. Being a cat lover as well, she brought this precious creature home and we adopted it and called it Kitty. Kitty can be very sweet, but most of the time playful and naughty. She likes to play with my hair, keys, cables, and walking feet. Whenever she sees one of those, Kitty gets very excited that her eyes would look so big. 

What I love most about her is that she’s very smart. It only took me one day to teach her how to use the makeshift potty Dodon, my other housemate, made for her. She learned really fast; the next day I didn’t have to direct her to the potty. And last week, she learned how to properly cover her poop. Yay! 😀

Polka dot dress from Dushbag| Forever 21 jacket and shoes

And she doesn’t even mind me cutting the tips of her nails, err, claws. So cute <3

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Metamorphosis

As you have noticed, I have changed my blog name from Zeros and Fives to Metamorphosis. For one, I am no longer a size zero kid like I was when I started this blog. Haha. Yes, I got, er, chubby. I don’t really mind though, as I have been trying to look healthier since forever. And two, my feet have amazingly grown from size five to six. Didn’t think it’s still possible, given that I’m nearing quarter life.

This blog was initially created to document my style progress, and true to that I shared photo shoots that I have attended where I styled myself (except for the Nivea Face Affair shoot). I do not have an exceptional style, I’m quite aware of that, but through this blog I have witnessed my fashion sense improve.

I was a scrawny kid with an awful fashion sense. That’s me at the far right, with friends. If I remember correctly, I was 11 in this photo, which was taken while we were at a youth camp in Iriga, Camarines Sur. Saling pusa lang ako sa camp na ito, the guys I’m with were my siblings’ friends and org mates. You can already see, however, my fascination with hats, belts, and colors, albeit I wasn’t aware yet how to mix and match properly. Talk about disaster. Haha

This photo on the left was taken when I was 18 years old. I and my sister (right) were big fans of black, you see.

I was 20 in the next photo—a few months after my graduation. I designed that white dress by the way and picked the textiles myself. I’ve always known what I want since I was a kid, but my family’s state at that time prevented me from pursuing them, particularly when it came to clothes.

My first ‘matinong’ photo taken in 2010

Only when I started earning my own money did I manage to buy some things that I fancy. And so I began experimenting and taking risks, some of which did not actually look okay. But hey, at least I tried.

And this is me two years after (and around 13 years after the youth camp above):

Obviously, I still love hats and colors. I’d like to think that my style has improved. I sometimes incorporate trends in my outfit, but I don’t forget to include something that’s ‘me’. My love for hats and comfortable clothes, that is.

So I think I’m going to use ‘Metamorphosis’ for a long while. It just hits home. My boyfriend can definitely vouch for that, as he has practically known me for almost a decade now.  He always tells me that I changed quite a lot, at least in physical appearance. A number of my schoolmates didn’t even recognize me when I chatted them up on Facebook. It made me a bit sad, but at least they know this is me now. Hahaha. It’s just amazing isn’t it, what a few years can do to a person. 🙂

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School Boy

ForMe Top, shorts, and necklace, Forever 21 hat and purse, Asianvogue heels

When I was a kid, I didn’t have much friends. I only had two in elementary whom I could consider good friends, although I did hang out with a bunch of girls who were ‘popular’ at school. They’re popular mainly because they had ‘boyfriends’ from the upper year levels and are relatively from well-off families. For some reason, however, those girls seemed to develop particular hatred towards me, especially when I’m running for positions in school organizations. I never really gave it much thought back then. I had my two best friends anyway. But it’s funny, if you think of it now, how kids view relationships.

Fast forward to high school. I was very intimidated by the fact that I’m in a school full of geniuses. Yes, I was the top student of my batch in elementary, but later on I realized my skills were no match compared to my batch mates in Naga City Science High School. The first days of classes proved to be very difficult; I never understood any word my teachers were saying while my classmates could, especially in Math. How ironic, I thought, that I was awarded the Best in Mathematics medal when I was younger. Haha. Bibo kid lang ako siguro masyado.

I did meet new friends, a couple of them became my best buddies. I was extremely awkward and unpleasant looking back then. I was very skinny and I had ugly teeth (lol). I clearly remember one classmate of mine suggesting that I should comb my hair sometimes, dahil mukha daw akong na-rape lagi. Hahaha. That was in sophomore year. Did I start fixing myself after that? No. All that mattered to me was to study and graduate and eventually find a scholarship so that I could go to college. I did have my crushes, however, but unfortunately all of them were too busy ogling and courting the popular and pretty girls. I was just an ordinary student then, I’m not even sure if people knew I existed. I always carried a huge backpack where I put all my books and an encyclopedia (yes, ENCYCLOPEDIA), which I often used when my school books cannot provide me answers for my homework (Ah, so that’s probably why I have scoliosis now.). Yes, I was aware that the internet already existed at that time, but we didn’t have a computer at home; we didn’t even have electricity sometimes. I have experienced studying by candlelight—too many times that it became ordinary to me. Going to school was always a challenge for me. I won’t mention why anymore, but I used the hardships to rise above the situation.

I received a full scholarship (which I am thankful for) and was able to finish college with flying colors. I may not have taken my dream course in my dream school, but I still consider myself very lucky. Many people don’t even get the chance to study, not that I am taking comfort in their misfortune. All I’m saying is we should not be discouraged to pursue our goals just because we’re having setbacks. Be glad that we have them, because our triumphs won’t be as meaningful if we do not experience hurdles.

School has a very special place in my heart, hence the title of this post. Without it, I won’t be where I am now. I have not achieved all my goals yet, but I’m proud to say that I am at a better situation. It only took me a bit of time, lots of perseverance, and a tough heart to surpass all difficult challenges.

I love how this look reminds me so much of my childhood (cue My Daddy Long Legs, Judy Abbott song haha). It’s very comfortable, most especially the top and shorts. I commute and move around a lot so I appreciate chic pieces that do not compromise function.

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Photos by Jash Manuel

Van Gogh Is Bipolar and So Is My Stomach

Art is the only abstract thing I appreciate. Unlike others, art can be seen and represented through tangible things, and can be arranged in a way that is pleasing to the eye. I’m always interested with stuff and places having color and design, which could be the reason why Chad and I arrived to the most artsy fartsy resto I’ve visited.

I’ve been hearing great reviews about Van Gogh Is Bipolar and the food served, but what really made me wanna come is the way the place was put together. Chad only had less than a month in the country so I figured I should bring him to a really interesting place.

 What could be more fascinating than a resto with house rules? Below are the ones customers should take note of while inside Jetro’s (the owner) lair:

1. Indoors are reserved for 12 diners only.

2. Please enjoy your tea outdoors.

3. NO SERVERS HERE. If you need anything, please ring the bell by the kitchen window.

4. Write your name and orders on paper provided.

5. For tea drinkers, read instructions on how to make your own.

6. After eating, kindly place soiled dishes by the kitchen window.

7. To pay, please ring the bell. Celebrate your shit life on the red curse-healing wall.

One awesome thing about the Jetro’s humble diner is he gives the guests the liberty to roam around the place , take photos, and touch and use the displays.

 Walls are decorated with pretty hanging things. Adorable huh?

 These  cutie patootie teapots remind me of the province. Ah, the good life.

The day’s menu is only composed of three sets. First set starts with a Php 600.00 (approx.) inclusive of tea, soup, drink, main course, and dessert.

While waiting for the soup, which was personally prepared by Jetro himself, we fixed ourselves some tea. The customer is free to choose whatever “flavor” he prefers, so yay! 🙂

A number of teapots are displayed on the other table for the customer’s use.

 

 This is me enjoying my tea and hat, courtesy of the resto.

This was our humongous drink–Courtney Love’s Potion of the Day–made from fresh fruit pulps and juice. Yum!

An equally tasty soup came after the drinks were served–Virginia Woolf Turkey Soup–which, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo of.

Now this is mouth-watering–Kurt Cobain Mediterranean Chicken served with the famous Van Gogh Black Rice. I must say that this was the best-tasting chicken I’ve ever eaten. It was well-cooked and bursting with flavor. Five stars to this!

We were supposed to drink Mel Gibson’s Darkest Sin but it had liquor so we opted for a sweeter and fruity dessert.

Do the names ring a bell? Yep, all of them are accomplished bipolars.

All customers place their payments at a money box right below this sign–a great way to exercise one’s honesty.

<3 The good times

NOTE: Major backlog. We went to Van Gogh Is Bipolar last month. I’m terribly missing that dude in the photo. He shot all the ones I posted in this entry. Visit his online journal and photo blog! 🙂

Van Gogh Is Bipolar
living art space. cafe.
154 Maginhawa St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, Philippines

Text 0922.824.3051 for reservations.

Surf’s Up

A lot has happened and changed since last month–the way I dress and see things, my outlook in life in general. One day, while dressed in shirt and sneakers, a friend of mine wondered why my style has suddenly become different. I don’t know, maybe because life is much easier when you don’t worry about what you wear. My recent travels and experiences with Chad made me realize that there are other things more worthy of my attention. I have been very outspoken about my love for fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I still do love it, but I have to admit it’s not very practical and economical.  Yes, I feel very happy whenever I get a huge deal on my purchases, but I always end up wanting more. There is no fulfillment at all.

Chad said once that “true fulfillment is not measured by the superficiality of acquiring material possessions, but rather achieving a higher mental and spiritual state.” He always reminds me that there is nothing wrong with aspiring for material things but I should not forget that spiritual wealth is much more important. And I agree, because in the end, when we die, the only question we will be asking ourselves is if we have attained contentment.

Unfortunately, not everyone does. But luckily for me, I was able to experience it at least once–and that is when I was able to ride my first wave. The ocean never fails to fascinate me, however its waters are not always friendly. I can only swim where I can see the sea bed. My fear of drowning has prevented me to go deeper into the ocean and explore its beauty. Chad had been encouraging me to surf with him while he was still here in the Philippines, but I denied him of it every time. One, I did not know how to ride a surfboard and two, I was extremely afraid I’d drown. He and Jong, who taught Chad how to surf seven years ago, volunteered to teach me and assured me I wouldn’t. I trust these people, so I conceded.

I was scared out of my wits. So to calm me down, Jong oriented me about surfing, the do’s and dont’s, and the surfboard. Good thing Chad’s surfboard (the yellow one in the photos)  has a leash, so in case I get toppled by the wave I’d be able to locate the surfboard and use it as a life saver. HAHA.

When we arrived at San Jose, Daet (the best beach I’ve been to), the surfers were quite doleful upon seeing the waves. Not really fitting for a nice wave ride, but good enough for a beginner like me. We used Chad’s yellow shortboard, but I have terrible balancing skills so I kept falling off. Plus, I’m too heavy for it, so they made me use the longboard instead–without a leash D:

Testing my balance

So yes, as expected, a huge wave came and ate me like a tiny fish. What a way to learn surfing. It involved stingy rashes, scratches, a small reef cut, and a nose dive before I was able to ride my first wave.

But boy when I got a taste of it, I never wanted to stop. I was able to surf seven times; I was extremely stoked. That “ephemeral nirvana” Chad was telling me about whenever surfers ride waves was real!

After the experience, I guess I was never the same again. It felt so wonderful being taken by the waves ; it’s like they are leading you to somewhere beautiful and you want to know where it is. I’m not making sense, but that’s how I felt. My rashes and scratches were already killing me by the time I rode my second wave but I kept on going. I was too curious where the waves would direct me and what beauty it will show me next.

Ah, stoked.  <3

I can never thank Chad and Jong enough for teaching me. I hope I get to do crazy stunts on my second visit to the beach. HAHAHA. I’m kidding. That would never happen. I have to learn how to swim like a pro first.

Photos by Chad Verzosa

And oh, for those who are wondering, I’m a goofy. 🙂

Goodies for the Mind x The 32nd Manila International Book Fair

One of the perks of working in a publishing company is you get to attend book fairs. Yay! I’ve always loved books since grade school (thanks to my father) to the point that I plan to build a library in my own house someday. Don’t you just love the smell and feel of book leaves–some are worn out due to over-browsing, while some are crisp and clean. And there’s nothing more beautiful than organized shelves. Oh I sound so geeky.

Anyhoo, yesterday I went to The 32nd Manila International Book Fair held at the SMX, Mall of Asia in Pasay. All the country’s publishing companies participated and you can just imagine my excitement at the sight of on-sale books and magazines! The following are the stuff I got and bought. Just sharing:

I got Discovery Channel Magazine, Newsweek, and Reader’s Digest for free yo! And yes, that is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I have this affinity to classics so I figured it was high time to buy and catch up on my lit. And hey, I’m studying Anglo-American Literature so it’s pretty much justifiable. I don’t mind being nerdy at all though. 😛

One of the publishing companies I went straight to during the fair is dun dun dun — SUMMIT! There’s gotta be Preview magazines on sale. And lo and behold, meron! 😀 Right then and there, I grabbed three recent issues I missed buying at a very, very low price! *wide grin*~~

 Nope, that is not a book or book case (if there is such a thing :P). Sorry, I couldn’t resist this adorable floral pouch/purse from EGG (Exciting Gifts + Goodies) when I passed by their store at the main mall. I think I’m gonna go back, they have the cutest design. Some are quite pricey but we’ll see. I’ll let you guys know. 🙂

Well that’s it for tonight. Happy fiesta to Naga! Viva la Virgen!

Ocean Child

I grew up traveling to and fro Tinambac, a small town in Camarines Sur where my mom was born. I always made sure I visit the place at least once a week when I was in high school and college, despite it being relatively underdeveloped. I dunno, there’s just something about the place that draws me to it, or perhaps because it’s situated in a coastal area. The ocean has been my place of refuge–its beach is the only place in the world where I can just practically sit all day and never get bored; its waters calm and give me the peace of mind I lack when I’m in the city. Yes, maybe you can call me an ocean child.

 

Kawaii, the surfer dog, toying with my hand

We live in a world where acquisition of material things is a priority. I also used to spend lots of my time thinking how I can get this and that; I never felt contented with my life afterwards. Not feeling any contentment is very exhausting quite honestly. However, my latest travels helped me find my old self. I’m quite thankful my boyfriend loves the ocean and other simple things in life as much as I do, and I can’t be more grateful that he brought me to the beaches of Zambales and Daet.

With Ate Mocha, Daet's best wahine surfer

While we were in Zambales, it felt like as if a huge baggage was lifted off my back. I didn’t have to worry if I look ghastly or trendy. I never wore make-up throughout my stay; I traded my heels and ballet flats for sneakers, even if the former ones were the more appropriate or, shall I say, more fashown. When you’re in one with nature, everything seems and feels normal and beautiful.

With Jong. He taught Chad how to surf; now he's teaching me. 🙂

We arrived n Zambales in time for the Big Z surfing and skimboarding competition. It’s amazing how surfers are able to ride waves. Being able to float in water is pretty difficult (for me at least) already, but the participants in the competition were still able to do aerials and stunts.

Well, here’s a video of the Big Z event by Marvin Conanan if you weren’t able to come! Find me, Chad, and the rest of the Daet surf team! 🙂

Big Z – Surf, Skate and Skim from Astron on Vimeo.

P.S.

All photos were taken by Chad (except the last one) using a Canon film camera. Visit his online journals to view his work (here and here)! He might not approve of me promoting his sites (hehe); I dunno if he’s being humble  or he’s just oblivious of how good he is. 😛 I always admired his photography skills even before we started dating (we’ve known each other for almost a decade <sorry, I just felt the need to say that. HOHOHO>). He prefers film cameras more than the digital ones and I perfectly understand why. Film cameras capture the natural beauty of things. Plus, he does not have to worry about corrupted memory cards. 🙂

Metamorphosis

Hello. First of all, I would like to apologize for being MIA. I had lots of things going on in my life (and in my head) in the past month and I didn’t know how to deal with them. I started to question my love for fashion and if I could maintain and sustain this site with interesting posts. I had doubts and initially thought of shutting this down, but of course I couldn’t. For one, I still have loyal visitors and I can’t thank you enough guys for all the support. Two, I have this bad habit of not finishing what I started. I hated it, so I decided to fight it by keeping this site running. Change starts with this post.

Photo by Sam Lim

Make up by Ana Patricia

Before I started this blog, I had a vision of helping regular girls who have limited means like me to look decent and in style without shelling out lots of money. It saddens me a bit that I somehow forgot that vision and for that I am deeply sorry. Today though, I will begin working on that vision, hence the new tagline right above your screen: “when fashion meets the thrifty gal.”

Statistics says that approximately 80% of the Philippine population is categorized as low class (est. 2006), 27% of which lives below poverty line. Fashion-wise,  this means millions of Filipinos cannot afford to purchase designer items or spend thousands for a pair of chic shoes. I frequently encounter people saying they cannot afford to look trendy because it’s expensive. But I disagree. Since college, I’ve always believed that fashion is for everyone–that you need not break your piggy bank just to have that pretty lace top or those five-inch heeled pumps. Below are quick tips:

  1. Bazaars, tiangges, and ukay-ukays are everywhere; there are always good finds in those stores if you know how to look and if you have the patience. We have Divisoria and Greenhills that offer trendy and quality pieces that cost below a hundred. If you’ve been following my blog, then you know what I’m talking about. 😀
  2. Furthermore, malls go on sale almost every pay day. My advice though is to not be swooned by the word “SALE!” I personally don’t think that a 10 to 20% sale will make much of a difference in your receipts. I only go to mall sales when the prices are 50% off or higher.
  3. The last but not the least happy shopping tip I can give is to not spend more than what you can afford, unless you want your face plastered on the store manager’s office wall or chased by your credit card agent. Using cc’s for shopping is not advisable either. The trick is do not pass by malls and shops if you do not plan to buy anything, so you won’t get tempted. That is a tried and tested trick. 😀

So there. Hoped I helped. 🙂

I would love to know what you think about the new layout of the site and what are the things I can do to improve it. You can also send me topic suggestions. I sometimes run out of ideas. HAHA. Either comment on this post or e-mail me at dafnyduck@gmail.com. Again, to my frequent and loyal visitors, thank you! 🙂

Xie Xie Day X Moonleaf Tea Shop

I couldn’t remember the first time I ever tasted milk tea. All I recall is I didn’t like it and swore that that drink will never touch my lips again. But recent events changed my mind. My friend-slash-officemate Gadybee was craving for cake and we couldn’t find a single store/shop in Maginhawa that sells one. The most possible would be the only tea shop (that I know)–Moonleaf Tea Shop. There was no cake, but the shop had cupcakes so it somehow sufficed. And of course since it’s a tea shop, the only beverage is tea and lots of teas (there was a juice drink though, if I remember correctly but I wasn’t in the mood for it). Gady insisted that we try their milk tea; I was a little skeptical, but I conceded. Anyway, it was her treat.  I used to despise milk teas (or any tea for that matter) because they make me feel nauseous if they are too sweet or full of dairy. Moonleaf’s was not (thank God), and I ended up yearning for it today.

Coincidentally, it was Moonleaf Tea Shop‘s Xie Xie Day! There were  lots of people plus Johnoy Danao. Coolio. As a sign of thanks to the shop’s loyal customers, loyalty cards were given to those who purchase a drink. I have mine! 🙂

One great thing about Moonleaf is their freedom wall, where customers can post and write anything they want, including announcements, photos, and messages. 🙂

I so wanted to write something but I didn’t have any pen nor paper. When my flatmates arrived, we just decided on a whim to buy milk teas. I was ecstatic; finally I can have my pearl milk tea!

With my friends-slash-flatmates-slash-officemates Gady and Katt waiting for our drinks

Katt and I. Our apologies for our untidy looks. This was unplanned! Hehe.

Moi with my pearl milk tea! Yay!

I call this my labandera look. I just finished washing my clothes and watching Sleepless in Seattle with Gady and Katt before going to Moonleaf. Hurhurhur :3

Took these photos using my Samsung phone.

Good night! x

Zeros and Fives for OVI Nokia

Hey, guys! I am pleased to announce that Zeros and Fives can now be downloaded as a FREE application in the OVI Nokia store. Yay! Now you can be updated with my blog posts through your phone.

You can download the application here: http://store.ovi.com/content/133124

Now isn’t that great? 🙂

The Blogger Gets Prada

Last week, AVA, an online shopping site that sells designer brands at a discounted price, e-mailed me. To my complete surprise, I won their promo. I was in so much shock that my officemate literally saw me stunned and frozen on my seat. Then suddenly we started screeching like kids. HAHA. It didn’t really sink in until later in the afternoon. I mean, this is the very first time I have won something without really making means to get it. Now, I’m very thankful to my long list of contacts in my e-mail addresses, if not for you guys, I may have not won this:

Yes, I won the Prada wallet because of registering and inviting my friends to sign up to AVA.com.ph! Lucky me, I know. Haha. This wallet is made of Prada’s famous saffiano leather. According to my research, this gold one can cost up to $500, which is roughly Php 20, 000. Never in my whole life could I afford something as expensive as this one. You couldn’t even convince me to buy a Php 5000 pair of shoes!

I usually despise Mondays because I’m a lazy bee like that, but today was a Monday like no other. When Ria Aquino of AVA told me that I could get my prize today, I said yes without hesitation. Afterall, who am I to make Prada wait? Hurhur :3

When I arrived at Bulb Studios where the AVA team was conducting the photo shoot for their lookbook, I couldn’t believe the people I saw:

Litol Me with Philippine’s most sought-after model Ana Sideco

I’ve been following Ana Sideco’s blog since last year. She is a member of PMAP (Professional Models Association of the Philippines) and a model in New York. Gaaah she’s so tall! And she’s very nice as well. She recently launched her own shopping site, duHub Shop.

MARGAUX ROMERO! 🙂

If you are a Candy girl like me, then you know Margaux Romero! She’s Candy magazine‘s associate editor and stylist. I’ve been dreaming to meet her since I started collecting Candy in college. I was told, however, that she’s not part of Candy anymore. That’s okay, she is still great. 🙂

Enough fan-girling. While they were shooting for the lookbook, I roamed around the studio and marveled at the dresses. Wish they were all mine! Haha. I can’t post behind-the-scenes photos yet though.

I was really aiming for the plastic bag. 😛

Hihi.

Here’s what the inside looks like:

AUTHENTICITY CARD: Knock-offs don’t have this. 🙂

Ah, I’ll definitely never forget this day. Thank you, AVA!

Do not forget to shop at AVA and duHub, guys! Like and follow AVA on Facebook and Twitter, too. 🙂

Extra Extra! :)

Hey, guys. Have you seen the February 2011 issue of Meg magazine?

The Feb issue presents the spring 2011 trends–from prints, florals, colors, and grays. The best thing about Meg is that their pages cover lots of tips, information, and updates on fashion, events, and blogging and bloggers (my fave portion). Fashion-wise, the mag’s styles are very easy to imitate; the clothes’, accessories’, and shoes’ designs that they show are very easy to find in malls. AND…

I was in it! On page 28. Hohoho. Yesss I’m proud even if I was only an extra and I my head looked big. Lulz.

I happened to be one of the top 40 candidates of Meg magazine’s Face Search and that night was the announcement of the top 10. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it because I didn’t know that I was one of the top 40.Sigh. Anyway, read here to know more about the event.

Voting ended in December 2010. Who do you think won? Let’s just wait for the March cover to find out. 🙂

***

UPDATE:

Phoebe Rutaquio won the search. Congrats, Phoebe! 🙂

(or ones that at least resemble them)

Discovery

Last Saturday, when I was asked to imagine that I’m confronting the person who hurt me the most, I thought of him. Because of all the men I loved, he was the person who had left me such a deep wound. I chose him because I thought confronting him and letting him know how I felt of what he did would make me cry, like how it made me months ago. But I felt nothing. I was so surprised, I didn’t feel any pain nor did I burst into tears. Then and there I realized that I’ve already moved on. I’ve said it to my friends long ago, but they didn’t believe me. I’m not very good at lying, you know. However, now, I can truly say to every one else that I’m fine and back, finally. It took a half a year, but I’m free at last. I’m free.

I learned from this experience that when a relationship ends, there is no other way to mend it but by giving oneself time to heal.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave with you with Words I Couldn’t Say performed by Leighton Meester for the movie Country Strong:

Leighton Meester – Words I Couldn’t Say

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! 🙂

Taking Off the Intellectual Hat

Today was unlike any other day. Being the risk-taker that I am (or so I thought), I, along with a friend, signed up for an acting workshop with no less than Ms. Laurice Guillen. She is one of the best directors in the country, so you could imagine my fear when I saw her. She has this very powerful aura, you know, and all you can do is give what you can, even if it falls short most of the time.

 

The Venue: Pixelgrain, Inc.

I struggled in most of the exercises. Ms. Laurice and her daughter Ina were right. I tend to intellectualize and analyze things to the point that they prevent me to freely feel and express myself. I was overly conscious of how stupid I would look and what my audience would think of me. Slowly though, I let go, but not totally. I still had qualms and, at some point, returned to that urge I had at the beginning to construct complete, meaningful sentences. It was difficult and excruciating, really. I cried lots of times, but I certainly learned a lot–to think that the workshop was only 5 hours.

And did I mention that my co-participants are already actors on TV? Unbelievable, so when I saw them, the fear I had tripled. Dun dun dun dun!

L-R:(first row) Renan, Ms. Ina, Ivan; (second row) Miles, Osai, Gaby, Direk Laurice, Me, Ali, Sheena, Renz

I personally liked Miles Ocampo and Osai. They smiled at and talked to me lots of times. They were so nice. I was dying to have a photo op with Gaby dela Marced though but to no avail.

L-R: Osai, Me, and Miles

Thanks to all the people who were instrumental to my learning today. It was such an honor to share the floor with the best director in the country and these awesome actors. My friend and I will definitely be back. I will learn and improve, I promise that. 🙂

Doing Something Unexpected Of You Is Exciting!

I was checking my blog early this morning when I saw a comment from one of the most popular bloggers in the country–FlairCandy. I couldn’t help but be flattered so I went to her ever-fab blog to let her know how honored I was.

One particular entry about a serpent ring caught my eye. Aside from it being gold, the design made me curious and right then and there I knew I had to get it. As I have said in my previous post, I’m starting to fancy and collect rings.

Photo taken by Kristel Chuateco, grabbed it from FlairCandy

Isn’t it gorgeous? Unfortunately, I can’t have it that easy (unless I have Php4, 000). I have to upload my photo on Panopio Jewelry’ Facebook page and have it liked by tons of people. Here’s the photo I uploaded:

Do you like it? If you do, could you like Panopio’s page, then my photo?  I don’t normally do this you know, but I want the ring so bad. Readers, help me? Pretty please? And do not forget to share the link to your friends. I would consider this a gigantic favor. Thank you! 🙂 Mwah!

Forever 21 + St. Francis Square = A Must-Love

Ali and I usually have lazy weekends together. We just normally eat, sleep, watch movies, and surf the net on those days. So today, to spice things up a bit, we decided to go outside Quezon City. She’d been urging me for weeks to visit St. Francis Square for there are lots of goodies there. And since it was just right behind Megamall, I asked her that we pass by Forever 21.

Whenever I go to Megamall, I always make sure to visit Forever 21 even if I do not have intentions of buying. Just looking at the store and its incredibly fashionable items makes me blissful!

Forever 21 has the most amazing pairs of shoes 🙂

Yep, that’s me trying on some nude wedges. I know what I want next time. Hee.

Read more.

My 2010 Adventures: A Recap

(I know, it’s late. Haha.)

Since a child, I have had this strong inclination to the arts. I doodled a lot at school, and I could clearly remember how ecstatic I am whenever a teacher would announce that we have to submit any art-related project while most of my classmates frown at the news. I applied to a Fine Arts and an Architecture course in some of the popular universities in our locality, but my family’s financial status could not handle the expenses, so instead I traversed a discipline that I am not so in love with. Dreams can wait, they say–but not too long. Or maybe, I just have an impatient ass.

I have a long list of what I want to do: study Fine Arts, Fashion Design, Speech Communication; do commercial modeling; participate in theater or any acting-related workshops; and the list goes on. So not long after my college graduation, I finally mustered the courage to leave town and take my chances here in the big city. I am getting older by the minute, and the industry I’d love to be part of does not worship twentyish people much. Chances are slim for “mature” people.

I had to do lots of research and contact people who could help me, and I think all my hard work paid off. This entry is not about me though (although you’ll see my face splattered on this page, this is a tribute to all the people whom I have met and made friends with and who have helped my dream kick off).

© leimoure sanchez; daf benosa

© Leimoure Sanchez

Read more.

Reinventing Accessories

I preoccupied myself with lots of things today. I did the laundry, organized our room, and fixed some of my stuff. While doing the latter, I realized I have tons of accessories already and that I need to stop myself from buying more. My jewelry box is oozing with them and yesterday, I had to buy another box to place the excess ones. As I was grouping them, I found this cute black bracelet which I haven’t worn in ages:

Unfortunately, it’s broken. It could have been a cool statement accessory; the buttons have really nice details (with the floral and stripe designs and all), it’d be such a waste to just throw them out. So I thought, why not make them into rings? I’ve been drooling over those connector rings from Forever 21 but their prices just don’t suit my budget, but hey I can totally make my own, right, without having to spend thousands of bucks. Read more.

Dr. Lydia Venzon Celebrates Her 84th Birthday!

If you’re a nursing student in the Philippines and you do not know Dr. Lydia Venzon, I pity you. No, really. It’s like a must that you know her because she is just one of the founding members of the largest nursing associations in the country. Plus, her three books (which I helped edit, btw. Ehehe.) are most probably your textbooks at school. Are these familiar? (They may look a little bit different because the new editions just got released.)

Read more.

My Life as an Editor

I get iffy whenever people ask me what my job is. And when I say I’m an assistant editor, they wow at me like it’s super cool (I’m not saying it’s not though). I’m just really not the kind of person who announces to everyone (personally, at least) what my job is and the kind of work I do. There are cons when I do, and I want my “personal writing life” to be set apart from my job. Do you get what I mean? Read more.

Eulogy to Lola

Cita, or Lola Sot, as we, her grandchildren, fondly call her, is the most affable person I know, not because she frequented community gatherings, but because people seemed to know her wherever she went. Oftentimes, while on our way home from church mass, a random person would come forward and introduce himself to Lola, relive memories of the time he was her student, and express his gratefulness for the life lessons she taught him. I was always in awe everytime this happened as my Lola was a strict teacher, a disciplinarian. She was feared by students for her authoritarian aura, but through those same people, I discovered that she was as compassionate as her rigidity. My aunts recalled that she would ask them to make cups of coffee, which, they learned later on, were intended for her students who had not taken their breakfast. She would also lend them clothes for a school presentation if they have nothing decent to wear. These little things she did proved how caring she is as a person, what more as a mother.

My aunts and uncles shared that Lola always made sure they had the best clothes for Christmas, and they eat something special on their birthdays. Above all, she taught them the value of education and gave them the freedom to weave their own destiny–one thing, I believe, that honed their sense of responsibility. There were times they felt she favored one of their siblings more than the rest of them, but it was perhaps because she had foreseen that that sibling of theirs would grow weak and would need a person who is both strong and understanding, and that person is no one else but her. Just a week ago, they reunited, together with her husband, our grandfather. My mom recalled Lola saying that when her time comes to enter the gates of heaven, she wanted to have her Olap by her side. The eve before her passing was their wedding anniversary.

It is wonderful how she managed to maintain a healthy, closely-tied family while being a devout Catholic, a mother to ten, a sister to thirteen, a grandmother to twenty eight, and a teacher to thousands. This is something only few people can accomplish, and I am proud to say that she is one of those few.

Farewell, Lola. We hope you are at peace now.

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

When I was a child, I had always looked forward to Christmas because I get to visit my relatives, eat more than my little tummy could take, and receive innumerable gifts. Now that I have grown and started making a living, the tables have turned. I am now one of the gift-givers, and seldom the gift-receiver. I was surprised at first and a little bit sad of the turn of things because I love getting presents no matter the value. Later on I realized that as a giver, I actually receive something at the same time, and that, I figured, is the best gift of all.

They are my little cousins, holding out a gift we gave them.

Read more.

My Christmas Reward

Moments ago, I was panic-buying at TriNoma though I was and still am not sure if I could come home for the holidays. With lots of optimism, I withdrew my budget for gifts. When I got there, I was totally at a loss of what to get for my loved ones. Screw my forgetfulness, I ended up grabbing the most fitting items I could see. And just as expected, the stuff I pulled out cost way more. So, HUHU I had to have my card swiped, which I was terribly trying to avoid. I felt  extremely bad for not sticking to the budget but, hey, I comforted myself that the things I got were all cutie patootie. Quite expensive, yes, but totally worth it. Defensive, eh?

Of course, I bought some for myself as well. I worked hard, dude, so it’s just fair I give myself presents, too. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with accessories, particularly those with lace and ribbons. I got a bow clip just a week ago. Now, I have two more to add to the bow collection. 🙂

This being the second. It’s a necklace, a little flashy and sparkly because it has gold chains (faux gold, of course) and black beads, but the flashiness was toned down by the bow’s so-called innocence. Just perfect for my growing black, gold, and gray “wardrobe.” (As if I got a huge closet, LOL.)

Read more.