Life in a Cup

18 Jun

What’s another story to hear
What’s another laugh for two
What’s another tick on the clock
When it’s magic shared by you

What’s another smile to give?
What’s another kiss or two?
What’s another line to say?
When it’s now that’s shared by you

received_1378721665500144

Thought I’d share something of a sunny and light vibe today 🙂 Here are some snaps of what weekends should be like – an intentional pause, a well-deserved break, a needed recreation.  Weekdays are our hustle days, and most of the time we cannot help but move so quickly – chasing after the elusive time, waking up as early as 5am and going home as late as almost midnight, overdosing on caffeine to keep us running, and beating deadlines after deadlines that in the end leaves us oh so beat ourselves.

received_1378729268832717So what’s a day or two to stop? We all need a moment to immerse ourselves in the now – and make sure that we do it as slowly as we could. Go to a place that is  lovely and inspiring. Let’s treat ourselves to a cup of coffee and enjoy every sip of it this time.

IMG_20170410_122834_311

A cup in hand
You know it’s worth your while
A cup in hand
Let’s sit and stay for a while

Let minutes turn to moments
Let’s mix
Let’s talk
One moment
IMG_20170411_162014_602.jpg“Sunday is the perfect day to refuel your soul and be grateful for each and everyone of your blessings”

I’d like to take this time to appreciate all the people who care for me. I do realize how fortunate I am to know that there are lots of friends reaching out to me, offering any kind of help they could extend, and giving me unsolicited-yet-very-welcome pieces of advice and encouragement. I’ve been expressing my self-doubts, fears and frustrations in social media a lot lately but I didn’t really think people would take the time to read them much less offer me whatever they have to lessen my stress.

IMG_20170416_083531_331

I am only human. I sometimes forget to trust the higher being that guides us all. Lately, mabilis ako ma-stress and ma-rattle However, I am happy to be reminded of the universe’s unbelievable power through a lot of people – Jim, Jam, Phoebe, Mara, Lil, Steph, Mica, Ate Mylene and other law school friends who believe in me, the Bayleaf Gurls, 411 Windsor Housemates (shout out to Ate Cy and Jenny esp!), Tita Josie, Tin, Ago, Ms. Anette, and the people I’ve met only in work-related events and conferences but have been super thoughtful and caring, and I know are praying for me like Ma’am Nelia from NCDA and Ms. Jo from DOH. I also met an Atty. from DOJ  in one forum and she offered her help in my review – she told me to just text her when I have any question. She also gave me tips which I find super helpful. I won’t say na how each one of you has helped me, but you surely did. so Thank you! 🙂

I would also like to use this day to end my week-long self-declared depression. Looking back, I couldn’t believe I got through my Thursday and Friday alive. I was sick for three days starting Monday and had to miss work until Wednesday. I believe that was stress-induced. I had TONS of pending work needed to be turned over to the bosses by the end of the week that I just feared the coming of Thursday. I was so down and helpless. It seemed like everything about my remaining two work days was going awfully wrong. I cried a lot during those times and asked/complained to the Heavens about my impossible ordeal… But somehow, the universe conspired to remind me that life is my ally, not my foe. Come Friday, I magically was able to finish three deliverables/work in a span of 4 hours in the morning. And I find that miraculous because it would usually take me the whole day to finish just one.

IMG_20170411_092421_040

received_1378719445500366

 

“You’re so hard on yourself. Take a moment. Sit back.

Marvel at your life:

      at the grief that softened you,

     at the heartache that widened you,

     at the suffering that strengthened you.

Despite everything, you still grow.  Be proud of this.”

 

The book on Taoism that I’ve been reading said that everything we need is already being provided to us right here, right now. The universe does not leave anyone behind (yes parang SDG lang! hahaha), and we need only ask and we shall receive. This past week made me a witness to the truthfulness of this teaching. And though I am anticipating another big necessity in the near future, I trust that the universe will provide whatever I need through the people, things and situations around/surrounding me.

I guess this Sunday marks another beginning for me. I will try (yet again) to be more positive even though it can be so difficult at times, and even though I am convinced now that I am genetically predisposed to be melancholic (yes peeps, it is somehow inherent for some people to be more inclined to feel sadness than joy); But this shouldn’t stop me from pursuing happiness I know. After all, nature and nurture coexist in this world to balance each other out, and bring about a perfectly imperfect individual.

IMG_20170412_073419_1742afb9cfcf73103a3e9e517b0d9822558received_1378731118832532 I really have to be consistent in cultivating a happy spirit, and i need to believe MORE in the power of the universe –> things will always work out! And it is always just a matter of perspective – glass half empty vs glass half full; life is either falling apart or falling into place.

And thankgod for beautiful Sundays too – for the downtime, for the chance to reflect, for the chance to begin again, for a clean slate, for the nth square one. I am just grateful to have come to sobriety after a drowning week that was.

I say buckets of coffee keep us awake during hustle-weekdays, but a cup of coffee on a Sunday is what truly keeps us alive. 🙂

received_1378723168833327

That’s all for today! Quite a long post, but it stops here. 🙂 Have a happy Sunday everyone! 🙂

Evergreen

5 Jun
Sharing with you today a set of beautiful photos care of this rustic resort found at the peak of a mountain somewhere in Batangas. The place is called Canyon Woods and is located in a very far flung part of the said province. It was a long drive to get there but it was worth it for me.

P_20170519_093303_BFLovely, lovely place!

P_20170519_095923_BF

Being at Canyon Woods for three days was a good break from the hustle and bustle of the city life, especially for me because I’ve been wanting my days to slow down  and my 24 hours to double. Since I have to work and study for the bar exams at the same time, I feel like I don’t have enough time in one day to do everything I need and want to do. Pressure gets to me easily, and this breather right here has somehow calmed me down and stopped me from totally panicking.

P_20170519_092009

P_20170519_085552I particularly liked the rustic ambience of this place. I’ve always loved nature – I think that is quite evident in this blog – so imagine my delight when I found this glass-housed pool that boasts of this spectacular view of the  pine trees outside, and is surrounded with even more flowers and plants inside. 🙂

P_20170519_100425_BF

IMG_20170520_073441_151I just had to instantly do a pictorial, you see. With the help of my phone camera that times itself, my considerate audience (kids that refrained from coming to this Jacuzzi and stayed at the bigger pool instead, to indulge the crazy me), and my very cooperative tummy which all of a sudden hid its bulge and made some non-existent abs magically appear  instead, I was able to take  some pretty good shots – one for the blog! yeah! haha

IMG_20170519_091858_262Can we all take a minute to appreciate the natural beauty that is so present here? And how the sun easily illuminates the place? And how those giant vines spreading at the ceiling just makes it all feel more whimsical? 🙂 Whoever thought about this whole architectural design gets hundred thumbs up from me!

P_20170519_090650This building is actually pretty massive. As i’ve said it has a very wide swimming pool aside from that Jacuzzi in the corner. I was only interested in the Jacuzzi area though. Haha. It was a little piece of paradise, within a paradise. 🙂

IMG_20170522_094550_796Did you know that pine trees stay alive and green even during winter? Yeah, I never really thought about it too! Didn’t realize it but sure in the movies they do cut pine trees to turn into Christmas trees and they stay green for a while even after having cut it right?

Pine trees withstand the harshest season, just when all other deciduous trees wither away.  That’s why they’re usually taken as a symbol of wisdom during hardships, of longevity and patience, and of life and hope amidst a wave of death. I just learned today that the pine trees are classified as Evergreens. Well, now we all know why. 🙂

This quick lesson on pine trees is quite timely for me.  Reviewing for the bar exams is giving me a hard time, not because reading per se is hard, but because I keep on questioning whether what I’m doing is enough. Indeed, the Bar Exams is more a test of character  than a test of one’s legal knowledge. Success in the Bar Exams relies on one’s discipline and optimism which I unfortunately think I don’t have enough of. I always make the mistake of comparing myself to other bar reviewees and ending up feeling so inadequate. I’ve always considered myself a smart woman but every time we talk about law school, my confidence shrinks into a tiny useless bud.

P_20170519_092020canyon woods“In the midst of winter, I found there is within me an inevitable summer.” – Albert Camus

It’s been a month of dark days for me but I hope to find that inevitable summer within me. I know I need to keep on living my life despite the less ideal weather, and I have to keep on reminding myself that I am enough regardless of the outcome of this bar exams. I’m scared to fail this one – but if it so happens, should that mean the end of my life? and the death of my worth as a human?

IMG_20170520_215031_551Pine trees remain boastfully tall, and thus alive despite the worst of conditions – And I think I can do that too. If I only succeed in believing that life will remain the same regardless, then maybe I could put some of the pressure off my shoulders, and maybe I could relax more and study better.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

P_20170519_093437_BFI know that in this tough journey that I somehow allowed myself to be in, I must not lose sight of what’s important. Maybe this whole ordeal is not so much about me passing the bar and becoming a lawyer, but rather about teaching me to never abandon myself even at the most impossible times. I have to keep on pushing myself up, and to keep on believing in my own worth. I have to understand that failure does not and will  not define me, so it must not scare me so.

“God took pattern after a pine tree and built you noble.”

That’s all for today! Have a lovely Saturday afternoon and enjoy the rains. 🙂

Stop Chasing Your Dreams

26 Apr

Stop chasing your dreams.

Allow them to come to you in perfect order with unquestioned timing. Slow down your frantic pace and practice being hollow like the cave and open to all possibilities like the uncarved wood. Make stillness a regular part of your daily practice. Imagine all that you’d like to experience in life and then LET GO. Trust the Tao to work in Divine perfection, as it does with everything on the planet. You don’t really need to rush or force anything. Be an observer and receiver rather than the pushy director of your life. It is through this unhurried unfolding that you master your existence in the way of the Tao.

Give up struggling and start trusting in the wisdom of the Tao. What is yours will come to you when you aren’t trying to push the river. You’ve probably been encouraged to actively direct and go after your desires all of your life… now it’s time to trust in the eternal wisdom that flows through you.

How can a man’s life keep its course

If he will not let it flow?

Those who flow as life flows know

They need no other force:

They feel no wear, they feel no tear,

They need no mending, no repair.

-Excerpt from the book of Dr. Wayne Dyer entitled “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao”

Palm Trees

12 Apr

Oh my god it’s super hot in Manila! Summer na talaga! 🙂 I love love this season in the Philippines, plus i usually have lots of goings-on in my life during summer thereby making it so much more memorable! haha.

Last summer around this time of the month, I fell head over heels in love with a spook who (altho not necessarily his fault) broke my heart like crazy. (Until now, I’m not exactly sure if what he told me about his life and his work were all true but I’ve decided long ago that I’d take them all as facts, because benefit of the doubt. ha!) And although in retrospect that episode in my summer of 2016 was what made it colorful, I think I am done with sacrificing myself and my sanity in exchange of an interesting love-related story.

13466411_1799409706961149_7926245472579052619_n

Now, a year later, I am once again in love… but not anymore to a particular person! is it too cheesy  too say that I am in love with my life more than ever now? yeah sounds like it. But well, it’s the honest truth. I’ve been dating here and there but this time I am doing this with ease and a light heart, I take it mostly for the fun of it by enjoying the process instead of obsessing over where it will lead… and i make sure I keep it on the sidelines of my beautiful, crazy, kick-ass life. 😉

And I know that summer of 2017 is just about to get betterrrr….. I am determined to make it the best summer of my life (I always target this!), even though until now i’ve got no solid summer vacay plans yet! pfff who cares…. we don’t need elaborate trips to make our summer great! I’ll show you guys how it is done! altho I would really wanna have a good summer me-time! 😉

13466370_1799410090294444_326179549715844660_nAnyways, the pics you are seeing now are not really recent. These were from last year when the Brigola Family went to a rather spontaneous outing. haha. I would love to have new sets of  beach photos from this year but I am yet to figure out how to do that if I am not really scheduled to go to any beach soon. hahaha

13407284_1799410506961069_8628426931764919820_nHello to my wild long afro.. and to my relatively flat tummy here. Where have you both gone??? Come back to me naaaaaaa. 😦 hahaha

13434974_1799410726961047_6278007616794023847_n

“A life without love is like a year without summer”

Do not ever let love go out of your life… and I’m not even talking about romantic love alone… it can be love for your friends, family, one’s self of course, life, work, whatever! Lets surround ourselves with people full of love.. so full it’s spilling out and radiating and contaminating and just exploding right in other people’s faces! 🙂 Better yet, let us be that! 😉

13427828_1799410136961106_5162434720393954353_n

13466056_1799410260294427_558635086228286603_n

“Summer is filled with breaking the rules, standing apart, ignoring your head and following your heart”

13450795_1799410536961066_1400596573222741225_n

I say, let’s live our lives like it’s always summertime. 😉

13434915_1799409656961154_8198304452538827642_n

there is always a great grand blue sky waiting behind the clouds.

13450703_1799410963627690_7844167479453703707_nSummer I love you! I can’t wait for you to unfold slowly and amaze me! ^_^

13434925_1799411123627674_8024997339189221981_nThat’s all for now! 🙂 happy summer! 🙂

I’M GOING TO FAIL THE BAR EXAMS

4 Apr

…if i don’t start studying seriously. I can feel it. I just can. I’m stuck in a book that I was supposed to finish last January. It’s April now. I’m not even halfway through it. I don’t know how to find my focus. I am such a stubborn little bitch who keeps on going out, keeps on eating out, reading other books and doing everything else except focus.

I honestly don’t know how to start, where to pick up. I spent last night crying and panicking about my snail-paced progress in this goddamn review. I’m not gonna lie now. I feel like after all the academic and professional exams i passed with flying colors in my 27 years of existence, the bar exams will be the death of me.

I don’t know what to do, and who else to talk to. I’ve asked everything I could ask all my -already-lawyer friends now. I’ve drained the hell out of my close office mates and relatives. In the end it is just myself that I failed to have a serious one-on-one talk about this. Everybody has offered me all the help they can give. I just am not asking for any because I’m honestly not even helping myself out.

I feel so helpless yet I know that nobody can really help myself but me. I’m waiting for something to strike me to get me into the momentum. Im afraid I might just be waiting for forever of nothing. HOW THE HELL DID THESE PEOPLE PREPARE FOR THE BAR EXAMS??? WHERE DID THEY GET THE CONSISTENCY IN THEIR DRIVE TO STUDY???? LIKE HOW DOES THIS GO???

I’m stressed out, and i haven’t even studied substantially. I’m stressed out because of the pressure I’ve put on myself.

I’m going to fail the bar exams. Unless I start doing something about it.

Maybe in the Country Side

26 Mar

For every single day that passes me by, I get more and more convinced that life is meant to be lived in the present. This is not to say that we must carelessly lose sight of the future or totally abandon our past– it just means that we have to hold on to something that we have, rather than obsess over things that we cannot control or take back.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALife is funny because it has its way of playing with us… it has its way of delighting us when we think nothing’s going right.. and it has its way of gearing us to a direction different from where we originally planned to go. In the end, it always leaves us in a surprise. Yeah, life is a bitch. But I like her! 😉 I wanna play with her, I wanna laugh at her attempt to bring me down just to test me. I wanna outsmart her, and yet be able to work with her harmoniously, and I wanna prove to her that I am in control of me, by exactly – and ironically at that- being UNcontrolling. And the key to doing that properly is to focus on the present. to enjoy the current moment, to take nothing but mental snapshots of the little joyful parts of our days and do absolutely nothing else about it.

gedc4831.jpg“Live as water lives, since you are water. Become as contented as the fluid that animates and supports you. Let your thoughts and behaviors move smoothly in accordance with the nature of all things.” – Wayne Dyer

Somebody asked me where I see myself in the next five or ten years, or what do I wanna achieve in the future. My impulse made me utter “Happy”. I just wanna be and keep being happy wherever I am, whatever I am doing then. When I thought about my answer later, a part of me thought I sounded like I had no ambition. But then, I stopped and corrected myself in a snap. Maybe I didn’t need to mention a new ambition because I am happy about what I am doing NOW. Maybe I couldn’t care less about being filthy rich, or being titled or  being of certain status by then because I am actually content and satisfied with how things are now, and I have enormous trust – no, faith- that life will take me to something amazing or wonderful in the coming years… if only I keep on living in the moment with so much gratitude, appreciation, optimism and open-mindedness.  🙂

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI can be a lawyer then, I can be working in the UN, or I can be a renowned Women’s Rights Advocate, a fashion designer?, a mother, a housewife, a traveller, a waitress working in the Bahamas in my bikini and with a glorious tan, and going home in a beach cottage/house that is made of white,wood and some green and a splash of ocean elements? (always been curious what this would feel like haha) I can be married, I may be single. I can be living in the countryside, or in a place surrounded by palm trees. Possibilities are endless… and am I scared? No. I am excited… I know that whatever happens, the only responsibility I have to myself is to ensure that I am happy and I am living a dignified life (no matter how simple, no matter how unexpected). 🙂 Whichever way it goes, I know it can be awesome, with right perspective and the right disposition in life.

gedc48151.jpgDetachment from the good things I have in my life right now is what, I believe, makes happiness stay in my life. And I vow to continue living this way… free from pressure and expectations for what the future holds for me, and free from the feeling of unworthiness brought about by the past. I just get it now, you know.

I get it.

And I hope more people would get it too. I hope people would find their inner bliss. 🙂

gedc48261.jpg

Have a great Sunday everyone! 🙂 Spread love and happiness! 🙂

Sulo Riviera

4 Mar
The photos I’m sharing today are taken at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City. I was there to attend a 2-day work-related event a few months ago. I fell in love with the place because of it’s super chill, beautiful and quiet ambience. It is also very much in touch with nature… and so  I thought these pictures would perfectly match the topic that I want to talk about today:

14993336_1871739486394837_1051842169266608085_n

se·ren·i·ty 
səˈrenədē/
noun
the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

p_20161117_085313_bfSerenity, i think, is a concept frequently misunderstood.  The word comes from the Latin term serenus, meaning clear or unclouded (skies). By extension it thus means calm, and without storm.  I find this etimology funnily inaccurate though! I read a quote that said serenity is in fact not the absence of storm, but the presence of peace amidst the storm. And I think I like that definition better. 😉

15032245_1871738739728245_7174477402138612579_n

p_20161117_085714_bfOftentimes, when people pray to God for serenity, they are actually meaning to ask for God to take away all their pains and sorrows, their troubles and their problems, and give them a peaceful, stress-free life instead. I have learned however that asking for some sense of serenity should actually mean asking God for strength to endure any chaos, for the ability to go through struggles without losing yourself, and for the will to remain grateful for life, despite being confronted with all the reasons to hate it.

p_20161117_074227breakfast by the pool. Ain’t this awesome????? ^_^

p_20161117_074302When I pray to the universe for some serenity and peace, my heart knows that what it needs is the skill to face life’s not-so-good mood with gracefulness. This is not to say of course that I do not snap or stress even a bit at all. I do.. easily in fact! But the important thing I guess is I know how to ask, and I definitely know the right thing to ask for.

p_20161117_091150_bf When faced with any kind of inconvenience or challenge,  I’ve learned to stop asking my God to take them all away. Instead, I ask for the right weapons to help me make it through the battle. I ask for the will to go on, for some inner peace to preserve my sanity, wisdom to make the right decisions when things are starting to get out of hand and most importantly, discipline when the situation calls for any form or degree of sacrifice.

Anyways, allow me to talk about this hotel a bit more for a second. It definitely deserves some review!

15135879_1872172743018178_1625826160009430518_n Sulo Riviera is a hidden oasis in the middle of a busy city. It is a perfect place to reflect, to eat slowly and to just read a book. 

p_20161117_091007_bfThe hotel also has a great selection of food, which btw are very reasonably priced. I was instantly brought to heaven upon seeing the dessert section! hahaha EVERYTHING TASTED SO GOOOD!

Collages2.jpgTheir banoffee pie and strawberry shortcake are to die for!!!!15078896_1871738849728234_6317510754790284811_n

Actually lahat ng food nila masarap! I wouldn’t bother describing each one na.. basta lahat masarap! haha. Sobrang nakakahappy lang yung feeling! ^_^

p_20161117_085831_bfSerenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm.

The important thing to remember is that peace comes
from within your own heart and mind, not from
some outside source, and when you refuse
to be disturbed by things about you, life
will flood your being with dynamic energy.

14993301_1871738086394977_1156557479411982591_np_20161117_085843_bf

Serenity is the balance between good and bad, life and death, horrors and pleasures.

Life is, as it were, defined by death. If there wasn’t death of things, then there wouldn’t be any life to celebrate.

-Norman Davies

15094897_1871739036394882_462981202737007386_n

15027602_1872674622967990_4066267839795842761_nThe final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it.– Reinhold Niebuhrp_20161117_090647_bfWe have to realize that life will always have its ups and downs. It’s a non-negotiable. Thus, I believe that we all should start praying for help, not for an escape. This way, we wouldn’t be blaming or questioning God/the universe for all the so-called misfortunes that we experience. Everybody goes through hardship, the only difference lies with how we deal with it. 🙂

14991790_1872674709634648_3373336216952617498_n

p_20161116_184446That is all for today! thanks and have a great weekend everyone! 🙂