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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. 🙂

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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:

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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. 😉

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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.

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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

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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. 🙂

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

The Majesty

1 Mar

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

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My past week has been pretty serious and uneasy to process. A few major changes suddenly blew on my face without prior notice and it was (is?)  driving me a bit crazy.

But that’s the thing with change, right? You never really see it coming. It just happens right there, right then, catching you in your most unprepared, shaking your world so madly, and making things unbearable to some extent. Now sure this isn’t the first time I had realized a major change in my life was taking place.. but just how many more times should I talk about change in this blog before I get the hang of it?  Ah I probably never will. It’s quite strange how change (particularly, negative change) is known by all to be a constant thing in this world, yet nobody ever gets familiar with the feeling, the pressure, and the meaning it brings to us.

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I am totally cognizant and accepting of the fact that some changes had to happen in my life regardless of my (lack of) readiness for it for a good reason.  I know this has to be for a good reason! I was conferring with my very reliable and supportive friend about all these and she told me that I am just being pulled back by the things that are bothering me because I am about to be propelled to greatness..yeah she used the arrow metaphor to explain this to me, and I have to say the right perspective always helps.

So bring it on! I am willingly throwing myself out in the open now!  I’ll face all these changes head on, and I know will emerge victorious. I’ll overcome my negative thoughts, and I’m gonna grow. These changes that are happening right now are just another mechanism to make me a better person, perhaps a better adult, and a better woman.

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I will not be defeated by sadness. I will not be consumed by pain. I’m no longer afraid of rejection, failures and oblivion. I know I’m gonna have to go through tough times with more toughness in me. And then, no matter how hard, I shall find my inner serenity.

Life cannot be that bad. It is always more beautiful than what we think it is. All I have to do is focus on the good things.. There are always good things.

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

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I’ve been enjoying how life was going for me just before this month happened, so much so that I felt suddenly cheated and deprived when everything started changing gears and heading towards an unfamiliar, uncomfortable situation. But since change is inevitable, I guess all I can do now is trust fate and do nothing else. I know I must try embracing the new things coming along instead of resisting them even though it seems harder or less advantageous for now, and simply bend.

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I am stronger than what my current rattled, shaken, and overwhelmed self is telling me right now. I cannot let this stop me from seeing the beauty that life has to offer. There’s always something to be grateful for.

Even the setting of the sun has its own melancholic charm.  It gives us this unsettling feeling that we all dread to feel — an ending to a beautiful, easy day — but it does so with such majestic elegance.. and you just know.. you see… you witness how life still generously helps you, and prepares you for the darkness that lies ahead.

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In the Grand Manner

3 Feb

I’m sitting on my chair on a Friday evening. I just finished a deliverable at 8:30pm. I’m seriously contemplating whether I should go home after a tiring day at work and a tiring week in general… or go to a coffeeshop and study til’ midnight again. Kaya pa ba?

Yes, I’ve already started reviewing since Monday and I was so shocked to (re)discover how easily exasperating studying law is. Been going home 12 midnight consistently the past week, on top of being in the office all day. I’d go to bed tired and also wake up tired.  I’m 30 pages behind my target readings, altho I am quite amazed by what I’ve learned so far.

But right now, I don’t know na-ooverwhelm ako sa pagod ko (1 week pa lang!) at sa dami ng kailngan ko palang basahin. Stress IN THE GRAND MANNER mga te! T_T huhu. I realized antagal ko na palang nagpahinga from all this lawschool shiizzz. <ore than one year na. I finished the entire course December of 2015 actually (and 2017 na mga te!), but the grad ceremony happened July 2016. Naloko ako don ng sarili kong mindset lol.  All this time inisip ko saglit lang yung pause ko. Oooops hindi pala. WOW.  That’s why it’s so hard for me to get back on my normal pace. Oh well.

Anyways, i’m just writing this mindlessly and to be very honest, without even trying to think anymore. I hope that my body adjusts to this very tight schedule soon because I really want to perform well in the bar exams.

Para naman masaya, isshare ko na lang ang gradpics ko for some motivation (because I seriously need to up my bar review game. It’s no joke I intend to finish strong!) :

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For those who don’t know, the sash I’m wearing is called a “sablay”. All graduates of the University of the Philippines wear it.. and we wear it with PRIDE. It’s ironic because “sablay” in Tagalog means “failure”, yet it is quite the icon of success in the university.

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The purple tassel clipped on the sablay is exclusively  worn by the graduates of the UP College of Law. This tassel means much more to me though because it is a symbol of the hardship I went through. LOL

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And that’s the famous UP Law quote. GRAND MANNER nga daw kase.

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Hindi nyo lang alam kung gaano karaming timba ng luha ang iniyak ko noon sa law school. Kaya kailangan kong pumasa ng bar mga te!!!! Para naman matuldukan na ng tuluyan ang chapter na ito ng buhay ko hahaha.

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Ang haba ng hair ko. Ganda no??? hahaha kakapagupit ko lang kase…

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Sobrang sabaw ko na sorry. like really. my brain cells are all fried.P_20160627_193946

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OKAY. tama na. nagdecide na ko to soldier on and study tonight! Woooh! Kaya mo yan girl… sa simula lang mahirap! FIGHT LANG NANG FIGHT!

Invisible Tiara

30 Jan

Ah my facebook feed is filled with Miss Universe-related posts right now. So to jump on to the Miss U bandwagon, I’m sharing a look that is inspired by our very own Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach (read: blue dress and a confidently-beautiful-with-a-heart attitude lelz). She’s ending her reign already and it makes me kinda sad coz I really like her and what she represents (persevering, fighting and faithful gal):

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There’s something about beauty pageants that makes it close to my heart: I’ve always wanted to become one in fact. Let me share a bit of an anecdote related to this:

On my first year back in college, my Math 17 professor asked the class to write down our wildest fantasy as a bonus question on our Midterm Exam. While my classmates wrote about having wings, being superheroes, having powers of invisibility, going back in time yadayada, I wrote a simple response: “To be Ms. Universe”.  I wrote this in jest, partly finding it hilarious, partly finding it serious. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a beauty queen but I was resigned to the idea that this will never happen.

When I got my blue book (test booklet) back, i saw that my prof left a note on that bonus portion. He said “This is not a fantasy, Jei”. (Jei was my nickname in that class).  I knew my prof meant to tell me that what I wrote as something impossible is actually obtainable. It is indeed a dream, but not a fantasy… meaning, it can be done by me.

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p_20161217_200309_bfbag from a thrift shop, which i got for less than P300.00 😀

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Now that i’m older, i realized a much deeper sense in my professor’s note on my blue book. When he said it was not a fantasy for me to become a beauty queen, he actually meant  that I needed to see my worth and beauty more, to regard myself as stunning and great enough to not consider a beauty pageant as an impossible dream. It is not about actually joining Miss U. It was about me learning to regard myself a queen on my own terms. 🙂

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I should wear my invisible tiara every single day, everywhere I go, and no matter what the circumstances are. I should feel regal and elegant regardless of society’s labels and titles. And I must always exercise grace through compassion even when not wearing glittering gowns and high heels.

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Trivia: One of my bucket list items says “To be a queen” but I’ve already crossed it out a few years back haha. (Curious how? Check my Bucket List page 😀 )

p_20161217_200539_bfParisian shoes

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Beauty queens covet to take their 15 minute victory walk and they try to get this by doing their best in various routines (long gown, swim suit, Q&A, and all the preliminary stuff they need to attend to). Well I walked and strode for a total of 27 years, attempted to practice gracefulness in the way I see, feel and act towards other people but most especially towards myself;  learned to think on my feet when situations call for it;  responded to tough questions posed not by pageant judges but by life itself; accepted defeat various times (although not always with elegance haha parang stage fright lang yan), and tried everything (and still trying! :)) to be a continous winner in the most important beauty contest ever, contest of the various versions of myself.

Ahhh, I like me now. I think i’d crown the 27 year old me the Miss U! 😀

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And here’s a Ms. U-related quote that I really love:

“You can’t let go. You have to really believe that you can and you will and it’s not gonna be easy at all. It might take a while. You have to keep working hard.

Don’t let anything distract you. Work hard, every day, you should be working towards your goal. There’s no time to slack off and sit and wait for your dream to come true. Nothing is ever given to you for free. You work hard for it. Don’t lose your faith, that’s the most important thing. You will encounter challenges that will frustrate you, but don’t ever lose your faith. That’s what will keep everything intact.”

– Pia Wurtzbach (Ms. Philippines – Ms. Universe 2015)

Punong-puno ng drive at motivation. Sana ganyan din ako for the bar review! HAHAHA

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Anyways, ayun lang muna. 🙂 Congrats Maxine Medina for being in the Top 6 of the 2016 Miss Universe Competition. Kinabahan ako na mananalo si Colombia ang awkward naman kasi kung kokronahan siya ni Pia after all the drama last year… Pero all is well! Ms. France is the winner! 🙂

 

DIY Meals, Kopiko 78 and Other Ways to Trim Down Expenses

8 Aug

Hello friends! Break muna sa aking Geneva Blog Series,and allow me to write about a certain concern that I am trying to creatively address. This is of utmost importance! lol.

Saving money is not my strongest point. Okay, that is an understatement. I am worse than that hahaha. Anyways,   I checked my bank account just the other day and I got alarmed that I am waaaaay below my target savings, what with my sudden dental expense,  my “panganay” obligations (grocery shopping is no joking matter y’all I didn’t expect it to be that costly!), and the considerable amount of money I spent in Switzerland (expenses other than Hotel and plane fare).

I need to alter my spending habits a little to become financially healthier. So today, I resolve to up my Saving game by trying out new and creative ways to go about my spending without drastically giving up my guilty pleasures in life. I figured that if I wanted to reach my target savings within my target time-frame, I would have to cut back on my “luho”-spending. Note that I am not giving up the “luho” itself as that would be too drastic of a move, and anything done drastically only creates a negative catapult effect. Instead, I am going to cut back on the amount of money I spend on them. at least for now.

“Luho” can be anything that we consume and spend on excessively, and for me that would be food, shopping, and weekend coffee-shop trips.

To abate my excessive spending on food, I have to moderate the frequency of my dining out. The problem with me is that I wake up late so I don’t have time to prepare breakfast and I go home usually too tired to even cook my own dinner. So I’d turn to fast-food and restos  for my stomach’s salvation. lol. Well that has got to change now.I should start preparing breakfast at home, and then eat only salad for dinner. Not only will this help me resuscitate my bank account, it will also help me with my healthier diet goals. LOL

P_20160808_064855Today, I managed to wake up early and I successfully prepared my breakfast! yay! 🙂 I made grilled ham and cheese sandwich with apple salad on the side. Brought extra to the office for lunch so I didn’t have to buy outside and I was able to save around P120 pesos!

P_20160807_192619For my dinner the whole week, I had bought all the ingredients last Saturday and precut and prestored all of them in the fridge. 😀

P_20160807_192410See,  cooking is really not my talent lol. It also doesn’t help that I’m already tired by the time I get home thus, the best solution to my evening dilemma is to just eat salad. I just have to mix all my prepared ingredients, throw in some dressing, sprinkle some pepper and other herbs and I’m done! No sweat! =) And i get to save a looooot too by not eating out!

Another guilty pleasure of mine is handcrafted coffee. I literally spend at least a thousand bucks every weekend just by hanging out at coffee shops (cab fares included). While I do not intend to stop this leisure completely as I really enjoy working and blogging from a nice cozy coffee place, I would have to do this less for now while my wallet is thin haha. Maybe, for the next three of four months, I will have to just drink Kopiko 78 instead of my usual frappe from Starbucks or Sunrise from CBTL. hehehe. I like how Kopiko 78 tastes like anyways. It is a a cheaper alternative to an overpriced coffee without so much compromise on the taste! 🙂

wp-image-1829908380jpeg.jpegAnother way I’m trying out is to just carry an exact amount of money each day (my computed daily expense is P300 to P350) and then save up anything that is left therefrom for my weekend “luho”. My self-imposed rule on shopping and dining out is that I cannot spend beyond the amount of money in these jars. Instead of reducing my savings in the bank just to pursue a weekend day-out, I will be motivated to watch my expenses each day and avoid buying unnecessary stuff like candies, isaw, softdrinks, etc., and take jeepney rides instead of cabs and tricycles, if I really want to splurge on my guilty pleasures. Smart right? hahaha

img_20160715_113204Lastly, I resolve to continue taking advantage of thrift shops lol. I’ve always been an ukay-ukay patron and I am super convinced that it is such a heaven for those who love fashion-for-less. If you are just patient, and if you have the knack for dress hunting, you can find a good piece or two in a thrift shop which looks 100 times more expensive than its price. 😉 Dresses above cost P150 each. 😉

Oh wow!!!!! that was some serious plan I’ve laid down for myself! But I shall not fret. I know I can do it. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, Day 1 has been a success so far, 20 more days and this will be a lot easier for me. WISH ME LUCCCCCK!

Cheers to financial health! 😉 If you have more brilliant and easy saving tips to share, please feel free to comment! 😀

The Office Dress

15 May

HELLO! How’s your Sunday going, friends? 🙂 I’ve been super busy at work and other matters the past 2 weeks and my blog had to take a back seat but now I found some time for it! 🙂

Sharing today a quick fashion post… Here’s my favorite office dress which I got from a thrift shop for only P200.00! 🙂

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The dress reminds me so much of Audrey Hepburn’s style: classic and simple silhouette and cut, below the knee length, dark hue, and most importantly, it hides all the love handles that I have. LOL

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It doesn’t require much accessorizing as it is by itself an elegant look already.  Haha I feel like a first lady in it! 🙂

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“You can have whatever you want if you dress for it”

I always put effort and attention to my outfits because I’ve always believed they can be a good source of power. It introduces you to people without your having to utter a single word. 😉

blog22Dorothy Perkins bag, Parisian Shoes

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I love that our office, albeit government, doesn’t require us to wear uniforms. I get to dress up as I please and it makes me really happy ^_^

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Lol that should be it for today! I still have to pack for my work-related trips for the whole week, and clean my room, and wash my clothes, and catch up on some pending work! 🙂

Have a happy weekend!