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Yours and Mine :)

1 Jan

It’s 2017! We are given another year for fresh beginnings – a clean slate, a blank paper to write a new chapter of our lives on. All the baggage we have from 2016 are better off left exactly there – in the past. Let’s all start the new year right – filled with joy, fulfillment, gratitude, awe, faith and love. 🙂 And hurray for me! I have a new blog post on the first day of 2017! Setting the momentum for what’s gonna be a good year not only for me, but also for this blog. hehe 🙂

I was going through my piled-up drafts and thought this number right here with the white clean coat dress and well-polished look was the most befitting to welcome the new year:  p_20161225_103725_bfIt’s simple, crisp, clean,  kinda mature, and subtly presidential. Nothing too grand or flamboyant, but still making a statement. 🙂 That’s how I probably would describe what I want for my 2017 – I want it to be a concoction of simple joys, responsible adulting and small wins in life. Of course, I wouldn’t say no to great surprises, such as maybe passing or topping the bar exams but I shouldn’t really get myself caught up with the big deals lest I allow pressure to take over me. That is the last thing I want for 2017:)

p_20161225_103721_bfAnyways, I’ve been trying to recollect the best memories of my 2016 and you know what I realized?  The past year has had too many highlights that I cannot even call them highlights anymore. LOL :)) 2016 has been super awesome. It was a collection of colorful experiences which are not necessarily always happy and good; Indeed, some made me tremble, shed tears, and doubt myself for a bit but in the end, it’s what made things pretty interesting.

p_20161225_103858_bf_1Here are some of the unforgettable moments of my life in 2016:

1. I graduated from law school. I couldn’t believe it myself – I got through 5 and 1/2 years of what I thought was extreme hell. Wheeeeew! It was not heartbreaks that made me cry like a baby so many times – it was law school! bruuuuuh

2. I was sent to Switzerland along with the other members of the Philippine Delegation to defend a State Report before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of (all forms of) Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW). First travel abroad. Europe. This one will always be in my heart. 🙂

3. I fell in love with the strangest guy, or should I say, strangest idea of a guy. Kakaibang love story to na hindi naman talaga love story. Ah basta. Kailangan ko ng separate post for this lol.

4. I got my first bouquet of roses on Valentines day 🙂 I know, i know. shallow. But then, this blog is called Shallow Euphoria so I’m justified for cherishing this experience just a bit too much right? 😛

5. I got my heart broken 😦 But it was a test of my self-appreciation and self-respect so all good.

6. I became more spiritual. I was learning a lot about Taoism and it has tremendously helped in my daily life.

7. I was introduced to the habit of reading. This one’s the most unexpected but I love that it happened 🙂

8. I made another milestone (which I  cannot disclose right now) just before the year ends…

9. ….and a lot of food, frappe, cocktails, hotel hopping, family and friends bonding, and alfresco resto exploring in between!!

WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR IT HAS BEEN!

coat-dress1Dress from a thrift shop

recently-updated30Bag gifted by my office mate Becca, Anne Klein watch, gold bangle from Baclaran

p_20161225_103752_bf_1Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, any one can start from now and make a brand new ending.

p_20161225_103740_bfWe are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.

p_20161225_102729shoes from Parisian

p_20161225_103745_bf2016 has taught me so much about myself, about adulthood, and about life in general. I gathered all these important realizations to sort out the things I need to improve on, and while the past year has been nothing short of wonderful, I acknowledge that there are responsibilities I need to take more seriously this year for my own sake. So, after a quick year-end review, this is the set of New Year’s Resolutions I intend to pay attention to:

15740766_1895376467364472_1011165136715892121_nMany of my goals I am already trying/doing, but I feel that I need to improve on the consistency aspect – like reading my novels and devotional/Taoism books, blogging and trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

I also have  one major goal for 2017 and that is to pass TOP the bar exams (libre mangarap, friends! hahaha). But seriously, It’s the one thing from that list I’m kinda nervous about, not because I don’t believe in my own aptitude, but because I know it entails lots lots lots of discipline and hard work. But a new year means infinite possibilities and I intend to try my luck on that ha!  🙂

p_20161225_103934_bf1Before I end this post, allow me to insert one important message:

I know that some people did not have a very pleasant 2016. And I don’t want to dilute the importance of their own experiences just because my year turned out well and fine.  To my friends who breathed a big sigh of relief upon the conclusion of the past year, congratulations for getting through your rough time! 🙂 I am soooo proud of your strength, your endurance and your will to soldier on! I hope that 2017 brings you the blessings that you so deserve. 🙂 This new year can as much be yours as it can be mine. CLAIM IT! 🙂

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HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!! LET’S SPREAD LOVE WHOLE YEAR ROUND!!!

love,

Janica 🙂

All the Best People Are

21 Dec

 

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”

p_20160709_124952I’ve always loved the story of Alice in Wonderland. There’s something about Alice and her journey that beckon me. I think it is because I see a whole lot of me in her – she is crazy, clumsy in life, she journeys to the unknown on her own, she doesn’t seem to bow down to anyone – not even the notorious queen, and she is able to connect with the weirdest creatures there are, without ever questioning if they are indeed real. She has her own little world and she drifts off to that despite the disapproving frowns and questions of the people in her reality. Her imagination is so strong it brings Wonderland into life. What a stubborn 7 year old child. 🙂

p_20160709_125008Right now, I recognize more than ever that I am in this journey to my own wonderland but this time I am in it with more fearlessness, with more appreciation for the trip more than the destination, and with more conscious enjoyment of everything that comes along my way, including  especially of the most unlikely, strange and surprising encounters.

And I love it. I love where I am right now. I may not be the girl that goes on literal adventures, but inside me I am threading on a massive unexplored territory. Ah, adventures of the soul can be just as enriching and fun, you see. And I’m grateful.

geneva1top from H&M, pants from a thrift shop, belt from SM

p_20160709_123944_bf“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Looking back, I see a girl so naive and so full of childish dreams and who believes relentlessly in magic. And I see a girl whose stubborn heart gets bruised all the time, yet refuses to quit learning and yearning and hoping to receive what she truly wants. Why, I was quite bonkers then.  Well, I still am! with one particular change – I am fully aware that I am this one hella’ crazy lady and I am enjoying being one and definitely not ashamed or apologetic about it anymore.  And I resolve to continue on with this journey, and to take more and more unfamiliar paths — knowing in my heart that whichever way I go, I will end up at the same final destination.

p_20160709_124959Kate Spade bag

“Alice laughed: ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said; ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how neurotic other people perceive us to be. There is no harm in keeping on believing all the impossible things that inspire us. All the adventures are happening within us, inside us, through our very souls and so it is only us, and not the outside spectators who can really attest to the wonderfulness of our personal experiences. Too much obsession with the destination is a doing of the outside world. It invented the word “impossible” and any one who tries to reject the word and defy the limits are called “crazy”. I’ve been called that so many times, with different versions  of the term to boot… but so what? I am actually loving branding myself as bonkers…because as Madhatter told Alice – “all the best people are”.

p_20160709_124215Melissa shoes gifted by my aunt Blessie

p_20160709_124734“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night. Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

In the end, does it even matter who or what we end up being really? Is there not an assurance that if we travel consciously with only beautiful thoughts and intentions and with constant gratitude being the only baggage we carry into the night, then we surely are to arrive to somewhere fantastic the next day? It doesn’t matter where we find ourselves, or how absurdly wild to others we’ve become. It will always be lovely there if we choose to see it as such. 🙂 The only thing we can be certain of is that we will always be a different person tomorrow, hopefully, for the better and hopefully, as a new version of ourselves that we love even more.

p_20160709_124728“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

I’m 27 now, but I still love the 7 year old Alice in me.  I just have this extreme fascination with the beautiful madness of her world — Ever growing. Ever wondering. Ever learning. Never sane.

In Awe and Acceptance

10 Dec

My Beloved is the mountains,
And lonely wooded valleys,
Strange islands,
And resounding rivers,
The whistling of love-stirring breezes,

The tranquil night
At the time of rising dawn
Silent music
Sounding solitude,
The supper that refreshes and deepens love.

– St. John of the Cross

15073449_1874143209487798_6838534828767081427_nOne fine weekend, my family and I went to Tagaytay for lunch in celebration of my brother’s birthday. We went to see the only branch of Bag of Beans in the said city (there are 4, i think) that we haven’t been to yet. The resto was lovely just like the other branches, but this one is  the most in touch with nature. The alfresco area was much bigger than the air-conditioned part, and it consisted of two levels/stories, extending even farther from the main premises and near a sort of cliff.

15179232_1874142702821182_2494052493202345696_nNeedless to say, I liked it. Nature evokes a certain feeling of awe and gratitude in me. Indeed, in it i see a form of divinity. Does it ever happen to you — where passively observing the earth gives you a sense of humility in that you are suddenly reminded that in the grand scheme of things, we  and (what we perceive as) our problems OR our so-called status and accomplishments in life, are mere specks of dust?

15171259_1874142826154503_2027985949918804858_nThis morning I had the chance to read about and reflect on another Taoist teaching. The 72nd verse of the Tao Te Ching speaks of “Living with Awe and Acceptance”. The translated version goes like this:

When people lack sense of awe,
There will be disaster.
When people do not fear worldly power,
A greater power will arrive.

Do not limit the view of yourself.
Do not despise the conditions of your birth.
Do not resist the natural course of your life.
In this way you will never weary of this world.

 Therefore, the sage knows itself
But makes no show of itself
Loves itself
But does not exalt itself
It prefers what is within to what is without

15179158_1874142792821173_5779028431834192975_nAccording to the annotations, there are two components that work together for a harmonious life: a sense of awe and total acceptance – without the combined forces of which we will be unlikely to see the presence of the Tao (or of God, of the universe, of the Source, of a supreme being, of an energy that animates us all– no matter what you wanna call it, it pertains to the same thing.)

bag-of-beansThe first part of the verse encourages us to notice and feel the power in our beautiful surroundings: The vibrant colors of the flowers in the park, the relaxing chirping of the birds, the soothing flow of water, the blue skies, the intricate design of a wood grain of a table, the misty air, the smell of a freshly cut grass. According to Lao Tzu, nature is where we connect with the Tao, or with divinity.

recently-updated27This is especially apt given our current political situation in the Philippines. When our facebook newsfeed is drowning us with unending battles of virtues and ideals, as well as the resulting civil divide, perhaps it is better to retreat to something that will remind us of how beautiful and majestic the world is supposed to be, and still is.

“The earth has music for those who listen”

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I guess it is also important to emphasize that we, humans, are part of nature. We are natural beings just like the trees and the animals. This is where the part of acceptance becomes very crucial. The second part of the  TaoTeChing verse tells us to accept ourselves for who we are, totally abandoning the labels we’ve created in our heads (I am not as rich as him/her, I am not as educated, I don’t have a perfect body, etc). It tells us not to despise our circumstances because in the end, every human being is a natural creation and every natural creation is in itself divine. We are all equal. We all have God in us.  It is only upon acceptance of ourselves that we will able to be in awe of it. Self-love.

Ultimately, the Taoist verse urges us to shift from looking for miracles to seeing everything as miraculous, and to change our view of the world (ourselves being part thereof) to one of awe and bewilderment. It says that by being in a state of awe, we won’t be able to mentally experience boredom or disappointment. And then,“We can live the mystery and in divinity by beginning to perceive what average eyes fail to notice.”

bag-of-beans5I couldn’t agree more with what I just read. I knew there was a reason I gravitate towards nature. All of us do, as a matter of fact. Some just get caught up with the hustle and bustle of the “modern world” that we’ve come to think of as comfortable but is in truth, very limiting.

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bag-of-beans3Wearing a dress i got from my fave thrift shop in Intramuros for only P180.00

15171025_1874143386154447_3110809273984522946_nBag that is locally made, which I got for P350.00

15095698_1874142852821167_6078186447094595535_n“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.”Michael Josephs

bag-of-beans2A bit off-topic, but I just have to mention: Bag of Bean’s chocolate banana latte was to die for. Best version i’ve ever tasted. Make sure to try it when you visit the restaurant. 🙂

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bag-of-beans1As I’ve said time and time again, Tagaytay restaurants are special because the food that they serve are much tastier (unlike those in Manila). Why? because their ingredients are almost always grown/produced naturally, sans chemical fertilizers (for vegetables and fruits) and preservatives (for meat). They don’t need this kind of harmful stuff because most ingredients are locally sourced. For example, you can actually taste the freshness of the salad’s pineapple vinaigrette.You could tell it did not come from a bottle sold at the supermarket. This basic example of well-tasting food affirms the idea that by keeping our ways as in touch with nature as possible, the best of things are created.

15056382_1874144049487714_7064675006302812311_nWe were all satisfied with the food that we ordered. The restaurant’s serving size is quite big but we finished everything.

15095526_1874144499487669_2843450279392771011_n“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, a society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not [Hu]man the less, but Nature more” – Lord Byron

(ugh. mejo nakakainis ang mga quotes na hindi gender sensitive! haha)

We can learn the Tao by being in perfect harmony with the environment, and by loving ourselves yet not making any show of ourselves. By quietly remaining in awe and acceptance, we transcend our ego’s prodding us to become insecure or entitled, bored and disappointed. Now, doesn’t that make perfect sense? 🙂

15178994_1876825062552946_7929293834481757644_nThat is all for today! Have a wonderful weekend everyone! 🙂 Go see a park or a garden or dine in an alfresco restaurant! hahaha ❤

bag-of-beans4

Girl, Put Your Records On

15 Nov

Three little birds, sat on my window
And they told me I don’t need to worry
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet, little girls double-dutch on the concrete

Maybe sometimes we’ve got it wrong, but it’s alright
The more things seem to change,the more they stay the same
Oh, don’t you hesitate

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Typical Saturday morning for me consists of hanging out in a coffee shop and enjoying a cup of frappe with a book, or with my thoughts. Lately, I’ve been dealing so much with the latter.

Recent events have got me feeling a bit down. Friends and colleagues getting married left and right; others are successfully meeting serious partners from Tinder, Happn or other dating sites; even the ex-girlfriend of Vina Morales’ current boyfriend who I’ve been stalking on Instagram because of their flavorful cat fights and heartbreak induced drama has suddenly quieted down, and is suddenly going to have a new baby and now getting back on track, while I remain the single girl for what? 5 or 6 years now? and the girl who just can’t find the right one who will stay. Oh the tragedy.

wp-image-2093676394jpg.jpegBut then, three little birds sat on my window, and they told me I don’t need to worry. They came to remind me that life is not just about finding the right guy and falling madly in love with him and then marrying him. In fact, a married life, according to them, is so far from the fairy tale concept that most girls, including me, have about it. They said that marriage is hard. relationship is hard. and that they terribly miss being single to be honest.

They miss being able to spend their money however they want. They miss hanging out in nice, expensive alfresco restaurants. They miss leaving the house on weekends, and at any time of the day at that, just to enjoy a serene, peaceful, stress-free moment with a cup of quite the no-longer-affordable frappucino in hand. Basically, they miss everything that I am currently doing effortlessly.

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‘Twas more than I could take, pity for pity’s sake
Some nights kept me awake, I thought that I was stronger
When you gonna realise, that you don’t even have to try any longer?
Do what you want to.

How easily did I forget that mine is a life that others covet as much as I covet theirs. While I drown myself with the depressing idea that I might not ever get married and I might grow old all alone and what’s fucking wrong with me and why am I so unlucky when it comes to dating and relationships, these exact people who I’m comparing my life with would actually do anything to be able to live my life (again) for one weekend or even one day.

P_20160622_111816I swear my friend almost slapped me. I’d complain about being 27 already and still single, she’d pound on me that I’m JUST 27 and 27 is STILL YOUNG – The perfect time to enjoy singlehood because I have (relatively) so much money, time, and freedom.

Sometimes, it is good to hang out with the people who are in the situation that (you think) you are dreaming of. They give you a very grounded perspective on the matter.

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I had the opportunity to reflect on this subject further while I was brunching solo at Mary Grace last Sunday, and here are the questions I brutally asked myself:

Is it just my ego pushing me to somehow envy married people or people in relationships? Am I subconsciously thinking that successfully landing a relationship is like successfully accomplishing a project and am I seeing a man by my side as a matter of prize? Do I desire to finally be un-single because I truly want love, or is it because I just want to be like everybody else?

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Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely,
Sipping tea in a bar by the roadside,
(just relax, just relax)
Don’t you let those other boys fool you,
Got to love that afro hair do

Why do I even have to try to be someone I’m not, or seek validation of the meaning of my existence from an outward experience? I seem to be forgetting what I’ve constantly been reading from a book on Taoism: that I am a beautiful creature of God, perfect in every way despite the human imperfections, complete as it is on its own.

By making a big issue out of my being single, I am creating a problem in my life that doesn’t even have to be there. So I guess I’m writing this to tell myself to calm down and chill on the whole “i wanna have a boyfriend” thing. This is to remind myself that my life is awesome!  That a life filled with food, and alfresco restos,and  books, and cold coffee on a cool sunny morning, and friends and loving family is just as wonderful as a life with a boyfriend.  🙂 And while it’s okay to dream about true romantic love, it’s not okay to measure one’s life only by its presence.

wp-image-1377426280jpeg.jpegGirl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.

So my dear self, Janica.. cheer up na! Just live your life one day at a time. Do all the things that you love doing. Try all the things you’re scared of trying. Focus on the things that are already present in your life, not what’s lacking in it. There are so much to be thankful for…

and clearly… there is so much re-reading of Taoism to be done. hehehe.

You’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow.

Happy Birthday Girl :D

7 Nov

For my birthday, a very dear friend of mine treated me to a breakfast buffet, a refreshing lunch, a sumptuous dinner and a lot more eating in between, and made sure I had a great time despite the fact that I couldn’t celebrate with my family (until 2 days after) because of our difficult schedules.

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frozen margarita and apple mojito

Of course, since it’s my birthday, it was a no-brainer that we would eat out, al fresco at that, in Greenbelt – my favorite hang out place in the metro, even tho he is not a big fan of the place hehe. We had dinner at Italianni’s and a music duo (singer and guitarist) was playing lovely songs for the entire duration that we were there. Simple but perfect night! All the things I love were there to celebrate with and for me!

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some sort of napa valley salad, some sort of garlic bread, and salmon and cheese pizza. (no idea how these are called in their menu!)

Ahhh food was great! company was great! music was great, outside dining is always great, my old sky blue floral dress still looking pretty and flowy, the good stories, my being able to celebrate without spending a single dime! Thank you, universe, for making sure I had fun! 🙂

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We also had lunch at the Wholesome Table, in Salcedo, Makati which serves organic food. It was my first time there and I instantly fell in love with the place. The restaurant was so beautiful and comfy, what with the rustic-beach cottage ambience which I was really digging. I want all their furniture in my future beach house!

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Food was also delicious. We ordered their carbonara and a bowl of salad, and then indulged in their refreshing drinks. I loved the chai tea frappe! Waiter offered to replace the pasta because he thought bacon in it was a bit too burnt but we didn’t think it was necessary. I appreciated the initiative tho. 🙂

Wholesome Table’s a bit pricey but this is understandable considering the resto’s advocacy to only use organic ingredients.

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Well, I could say that my 27th birthday did not involve any grand party but I nonetheless had a very amazing time… eating… eating… and eating… for free. So thank you, Rene! I want you to know I appreciate being fed like a queen on my birthday! 😀 hihihi

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I would also like to thank my friend/office mate, Ago, for buying me pancit so we could somehow celebrate my birthday in the office even though salary was delayed. We only had the said pancit and this cake I bought at a local bakery for only Php250.00 to share but these were good enough to make my day at the office special. Thank you office mates for celebrating with me! You’re the best! 😀 thank you! I really appreciate it! 🙂

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What do I say? It was indeed a happy birthday for me ^_^ thanks to the good people around me! ^_^

The Swan Lake

14 Aug

The Supreme Good is like water,

which nourishes all things without trying to.

It flows to low places loathed by all men.

Therefore it is like the Tao.

P_20160703_215321_1It’s been raining like crazy for a week now, and PAG-ASA predicted another week of heavy downpour. I am sure a lot of you are hating the concept of water at the moment as you associate the same with the heavy floods that result from the rain. Coincidentally though, I have this stack of pictures taken along Lake Geneva that boasts of this very element most people in Manila are hating on right now. lol

P_20160707_193316_BFI managed to snatch an hour to go for a walk along Lake Geneva on my own, before our flight back to Manila. I’ve been wanting to do this solo mini-trip and I was so lucky to have been able to do so, no matter how short of a time. As you all might already know, being alone in a beautiful place is something that I truly, truly enjoy. And this was surely one for the books! 🙂

P_20160703_215350_1It was a very sunny day, and people were out either biking, or sitting on the ledge… P_20160707_193818or strolling, or chatting or reading on the benches…P_20160703_220150_1or yes, swimming and sun-bathing in the lake.

There’s no magnificent beach in Geneva, but the crowd seemed pretty happy doing what every Swiss has mastered doing – to chill. 🙂P_20160707_193508_BF_1…And that day, I was one of them ^_^

It’s funny how when we are with no one but ourselves, we start noticing the beauty of even the most trivial of things around us… like how these normal green leaves so perfectly complement the blue lake: P_20160707_193804And how the lake forms a color gradient too:P_20160707_193748I am currently reading a book which is an annotation of the Tao-Te-Ching (a compilation of the ancient teachings of Lao-Tzu) and it had a chapter on  water, or living like water, that is. Since we are on the topic, allow me to share a few parts of it.

Dr. Wyer, the author of the said book interpreted the 8th verse of the Tao-Te-Ching as an encouragement for us all to “live like water lives.”. The Tao (or the Source, the God, the Creator, whatever we call it) and water are synonymous according to the teachings of Lao Tzu. Taoism tells us that the Tao is within all of us. If only ego doesn’t govern our lives so much it would be easier for us to see that we are indeed God-like.  For people who seek this inner purpose but is having a rather difficult time patterning their ways in accordance with the Tao or God,  understanding how water “lives” might just be a good start.P_20160703_220527_1Water is meant to flow – if it does, it stays pure; if it stays stationary, it becomes stagnant. Water does not seek the high spots to be above it all, but settles for the lowest places. Try to squeeze water, and it eludes our grasp. Try to relax our hands and feel it, and we experience it readily.  Water maps out nothing and it plays no favorites among the creatures that depend on it. It just flows and flows and it benefits us all incidentally.IMG_20160713_162008Lao Tzu, in suggesting that we are water and water is us, means that it is natural for us humans to be gentle, and to allow others to be free and do what they wanna do without so much interference from us. If we hold someone tight, we lose them. If we let them be, we receive love in return. It also means that it is natural for us to treat everyone as an equal. To assign ourselves a place of importance (above anyone else) is to allow ego – the antithesis of the Tao -take over us. Just like water, we are supposed to flow in the lowest places and to just let those found beneath the earth experience our kindness, acceptance, and compassion. By living like water, we forget about fighting our life, or trying to be someone else, but most importantly, we nourish others without trying so hard.

By simply being gentle, and graceful and detached from whatever it is that wants to experience us as we let our lives flow its natural course, we begin living the life that is in harmony with the Tao , and that is all that is essential in this world.P_20160707_193517_BFI really love that chapter of the book. It resonates so much sense to me. Who would’ve thought that element that we all take for granted can provide so much meaning and guidance? 🙂 Aaaah. Now I understand why water has a calming effect on almost everyone in this world. By experiencing it, we just simply go back to our selves, and to our Tao, and who are we most at home to but our own divine being, right? 🙂

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Anyways, as I continued my walk, I chanced upon this alfresco restaurant on the further end of the the Lake Geneve strip:

P_20160707_201146 I immediately knew this was the place for me! There was not much crowd, and the view of the water and the gigantic fountain was superb! 🙂

IMG_20160707_204232And there, I had a very satisfying simple lunch. I enjoyed my sandwich yes, but I had more fun gazing through the lake and taking some snaps of this really cozy part of Geneva. 😀

13626590_1809284569306996_4163292875453695971_nThen all of a sudden a flock of birds resting on the rocks just right below me flew up in the sky all at the same time, and damn, what a sight it was! I would’ve loved to take a photo of the birds playing in the air but I was too busy being amazed! 😀  I knew it was not gonna last long so I just immersed myself in the moment. Lao Tzu would be very proud of me ha! hahaha.

IMG_20160709_090504

One who lives in accordance with nature

does not go against the way of things

He moves in harmony with the present moment,

always knowing the truth of just what to do.

wp-image-1786140434jpg.jpegI will always crave for days like this. It was one of the most effortlessly beautiful days of my life ^_^

That would be all for today! good night!

 

Old Town, Old Soul

30 Jul

What better to wear on a chill, summer day in Geneva than a white dress and a wide smile? 🙂

geneva 6This is me when we went around town in the afternoon, after our debriefing session. It was the day after the CEDAW Revalida so I was already able to smile and relax because the heavy work was finally over.

P_20160706_164258I got this dress from my favorite ukay-ukay for only P200.00. Its quality is really good and it looks more expensive that what I got it for. If you ask me, it was the perfect tourist dress because it speaks chill, calm and leisurely. haha.

P_20160706_164259I have this sudden affinity for classic white dresses. I’ve gotten so inspired by Heart Evangelista (a Filipina celebrity) ever since i followed her on instagram. Her taste is just impeccable that she makes wearing white look so stunning and not boring at all. Ugh I really love her outfit posts so as an effect, I’ve been subconsciously buying lots of white clothes/dresses lately. LOL

Now let me just share a few snaps of our tour that day, and a few thoughts on oldness:

IMG_20160709_091153This is the Philippine Delegation waiting for the bus going to the Office of the Philippine Mission, where we will be having our debriefing session.

Our meeting adjourned an hour after lunch and we had a few hours left that afternoon for a tour around town. One group went to Manor – the famous department store in Geneva to (obviously) shop while I decided to go with the “Two-Thirty/Du-Thirty/ Duterte/2×30=60 yr old” lovely ladies (haha that was their inside joke, I did not come up with that I just want to clear that up before I get into trouble hahaha) because I didn’t wanna spend too much.

The “Duterte Girls” were a bit surprised and they asked me if I was sure I wanted to go with them- the oldies. I said yes with conviction! Hehe. If they only knew how much of a privilege it was really for me to be able to spend some personal time with esteemed people like them. 😉

geneva 62Upon the recommendation of Ambassador, we decided to go to Geneve’s Old Town. It was like a maze of narrow streets and picturesque walls, and with cafés and restaurants all around (typical Geneva). Needless to say, it has its own nostalgic charm.

P_20160706_215800We visited St. Peter’s Cathedral or Saint Pierre Cathedral which is  850 years old. If I’m not mistaken, this is a Reformed Protestant’s church. P_20160706_220206And this is the famous pulpit where one John Calvin supposedly preached until he died. LOL kill me now but I suck at History and I do not really know who John Calvin is or what his contributions to the world are.

IMG_20160707_013638Well… my limited, er, nonexistent knowledge on the matter did not stop me from taking a pic with it as my background. hehe 😉 Look at how a classic white dress easily complements a very old staircase. Classic on classic. right?

geneva 61The cathedral was rather intimidating. I don’t usually come to places like this so seeing this one was indeed an experience for me. It also was a bonus that the “Duterte Ladies” had something to say or share about its history  and  the history of several other places. I was  amazed by the vastness of their knowledge. lol I learned so much that day just from hearing their random conversations. 😀 I was a passive observer, a curious listener. I didn’t have to say much but I acquired much.  I told myself that when I reach my sixties, I hope I’d become as successful, content, happy, intelligent and still-so-alive as these ladies. ^_^

There’s this quote that says “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art”… And I couldn’t agree more . I’ve always appreciated old: I like the wisdom behind old age; I like the timelessness of old songs; and the romance in anything old-fashioned. I think they really are wonderful creations made even more beautiful by time. They have more depth, more meaning, and more mystery in them.

P_20160706_221818_BF.jpgWell what can I say? I want to become a work of art too, just like the “Duterte Girls”, just like St. Peter’s Church and just like the Old Town of Geneva. I want to be able to inspire another Janica at 26, and motivate her to become another masterpiece herself… ^_^

That’s all for now! 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Saturday! 🙂