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! 🙂

 

Tangerine is In

10 Jan

Hello, friends 🙂 How’s life been treating you all lately? And how have you been treating it? 🙂 I must say that my first few weeks of 2017 have been great. As far as my New Year’s Resolutions are concerned, I’ve gained an initial strong momentum so I’m really happy. I’m doing most of the things listed there quite successfully, and I even added a few more items. But they say it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Well i’m 10 days done, 11 days more to go before I can safely say i’ll be consistent with these changes. 🙂

Anyways,  one of the things I added in my list is to “always dress well and classy and be shameless about my fashion sense”.I want to make this year all about me, and a big part of “Me” is my love for fashion.

Speaking of fashion, let me just share with you my recent favorite dress that I think looks really classy but has managed to keep the “sexy” element at the same time:

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I think my style has dramatically evolved over the years. I used to  wear skimpy outfits which usually sparked a conflict between me and my dad – where he would tell me to change my outfit, and I would of course defy. It was all big hoop earrings, denim, cropped tops, tubes and anything that exposes the flesh.My cousin even said I reminded her of the “Chonga girls” haha. (see picture at the end of the blogpost) Well, that time of my life was great while it lasted, but adulthood happened and I automatically started gravitating to “adult” clothes LOL.

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Now, my closet is full of dresses. I have exactly 2 denim pants, 2 denim (not-so-pekpek-anymore) shorts, and very few pieces of revealing tops/blouses. Surprisingly, my shift from one end to the other of the “length of clothes spectrum” did not really have much of a difference in terms of fun and confidence. I am enjoying dressing up like a prim-and-proper lady as much as I enjoyed being the rebel-feelingerang-sexy-to-hell-with-you-all-im-gonna-wear-this-fabric-thrifty-of-an-outfit-with-lots-of-cut-outs-and-shit kind of girl.

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I got this dress from a thrift shop for around P230 to P270 pesos (?! not so sure anymore). I love love love the color of the dress, but I died for the cut, the silhouette, an its perfect length.

tan-outfitlocally made bag, belt borrowed from mom

I paired this with my blue bag which was gifted by my aunt Lorna two Christmases ago. I just knew the bag’s color was the right color to complement tangerine. It kinda breaks the monotony, right? 🙂

p_20161217_173543I also wore my zebra-print bangle to give emphasis on the whole safari vibe of this outfit. My gold bracelet and watch are my constant accessories. I wear them all the time with almost any outfit.

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Lovin’ the pop of blue! 🙂

I wore this outfit for the first time  last December 19 during our family Christmas party/reunion. We stayed overnight at Crimson hotel and I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring (and wear) nice, pulled-together clothes.

That night, I had a date too.

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Hehe I was out with the cutest guy ever… and his name is Drei 😉

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Drei is my cousin’s cousin (from the mother’s side) but he’s been the Brigola Clan’s adoptive baby because all of us are all grown ups now. Haha we had a fun dining experience at the hotel’s Executive Lounge, overlooking the entire Alabang. It was a good night really. 🙂 And I felt extra pretty in my dress hehe ^_^

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I don’t know about you, friends, but when I find a dress I really like, my heart skips a beat, and it continues to skip beats every time I pull it out of my cabinet.

They say everyone has some sort of addiction in their lives. Fashion is probably it for me. When it comes to clothes, I find it really hard to stop myself from buying especially if I’m really in love with the piece.

I would usually use the excuse that I’m buying from thrift shops most of the time anyways so buying 5 to 10 dresses at a time (yes, i’m not exaggerating) is okay since the total cost is equivalent to just 1 dress if i buy in the mall. And buying 1 dress in the mall each month, or every 2 months is okay. Well, I know there’s something wrong with the logic. It’s not the cost that is the problem, it’s the inclination to have more, more, more. Everytime I give in to the impulse, I feed that addiction and in the end I know it’s gonna take it’s toll on no other than me.

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Shoes from Parisian

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I really find it hard to not buy clothes, or to part ways with my clothes. I know this is a habit I must change soon. Maybe my attachment to my clothes is borne by the fact that I always see them as a big part of me. And it’s not easy to let go of parts of us, right? But but but. There is no excuse for this crazy attachment. I dream to someday learn how to love a dress and yet not need it in my life at the same time. Okay. I know I also need to apply that in some other aspects of my life! ahahaha

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Well, that’s all for today! 🙂 Hope you had fun reading this and I hope we all get to change our bad habits and addictions!

P.S.:

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Desiderata

9 Jan

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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.

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“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.