Life Lately

I spent the holidays back in my hometown – in the comfort of my wonderful family and friends. Though I was excited to see familiar faces and places, I was scared that I might be overwhelmed of the fact that he isn’t back home and there was no way we’ll ever see each other ever again. I thought, “One last (emotional) wave before the new year starts. I’m pretty sure I can handle this last one. What else could hurt me?”

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The first few days were pretty bad, especially at nights when it would rain hard and I’d find myself driving alone belting out to old radio love songs that we used to listen to together. There was even one afternoon that I sat alone in a coffee shop – people watching – thinking how that afternoon could have been different if we were together.  Continue reading

Happy new year!

I haven’t been updating this blog during the holidays – I was busy with seeing friends and family, I know you all were too – but I hope it isn’t too late yet to greet you a happy new year. I wish you all success this 2016, a good health and a bountiful life.

Pending drafts:

2015: The Undoing – I started my own blog tradition of posting a quick summary/recap of my year but I wasn’t able to do so for 2015. I was so disoriented and at the same time so hyped of the holiday events that I couldn’t find time to sit down and walk myself back in the past. Or maybe 2015 was just too painful to actually sneak a peek at it again. Nevertheless, I’ll still post an entry about how 2015 shaped me to become a better person and to look forward to 2016 with a better and new perspective.

Literary – To the Next Guy Who Will Choose Me – I actually submitted this article in Candymag and would give it time before posting just in case they decided to put it up on their blog. Otherwise, I’ll post it myself or submit it to Thought Catalog.

Travel – Iloilo-Bacolod-Cebu-Manila – I wasn’t able to see Iloilo nor Cebu that much, but I’ll post some transportation/commuting tips to and fro Bacolod to the neighboring islands.

*-I’ve been thinking of taking this blog down and separate my personal and travel entries. I don’t really like my Mom lurking around and using everything she reads here against me (lol).


 

Thanks for reading and following my blog. I hope to see more of you this 2016! Bloglink exchange, comment below? Yes? :)

2015: The Undoing

2015 has finally come to an end and I couldn’t even exactly describe the highs and lows this ride brought me. I have experienced so much that it was overwhelming yet at the same time amazingly humbling.

If 2014 brought significant changes in my career, 2015 settled relationships. It was a season of change, one that was so drastic that it brought me emotional stress, pain and scars – but it paved way for the healing of the relationships that truly mattered.

That year reminded me that I am not in control — I never was and never will. I could give my all in all, do the best that I could, cross oceans, wear my heart on my sleeve, and I will still fail. And instead of relying into my capabilities, I have learned to let go and give it all up to God.

They said this life is a process of undoing, not just a specific situation, but this whole journey that we have in this world. And to be completely undone is the time when we stand in front of the Lord. But do not misinterpret the process nor the season we are in. It is a catapult to where God wants us to be, a preparation to what’s to come, and a test of faith and perseverance.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

This was my theme verse for 2015 — to trust with all my heart means to have a firm belief that God is looking out for me and that everything will work out for His glory; to never rely on my own capabilities and perspectives as God can see the past, present and future; to always remember Him in everything I do as He will guide me in the path of His righteousness.

It was indeed a year of daily surrender – it was the only way I could have survived that hard year.

In 2015, I started getting to know myself more. I vowed never to settle. It was the year I became more human. I loved and in the process broke my heart, but it was necessary to remind myself that I could only do so much more. I have limitations but that doesn’t mean I will not try my best. I ceased to exist, I started living. A year of firsts, I called it.


I usually do summaries of the past months of 2015, but since this year seemed to be very different from the past ones, I’ve just decided to make a video of my 2015 travels.

It’s been indeed a good ride. Amid repeated heartbreaks and crying, God was, is and will still be good! Thank you Lord, thank you 2015! Now, forward we go to a new year!

 

#HUGOT Moments When Traveling Solo

I traveled solo for 8 days in Coron and Culion in July 2015, some six months ago and though it was originally a get-him-back movement of mine, I ended up broken-hearted and alone in an island so far away from my friends and family. So much for a first-timer.

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As much as it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, it made me realize what I am capable of when it comes to love and to myself.

And since I was broken-hearted and alone, people couldn’t help but ask or drop hugots about it like the ones below.  Continue reading

When in La Union: Surfing and Beach-Bummin’

Well, it was the long weekend and we had nothing to do so we decided to learn how to surf….in La Union!

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With no reserved accommodation, and with no idea that the bus ride would take 7-hours, we found ourselves in the coastline of San Juan, La Union – the surfing capital of the province.

It was so random that it felt so liberating!  Continue reading

The Island of No Return – Culion 3D2N

Tagged as the Leper Colony of the Philippines, Culion has a rich history that goes way back in 1906 when the island was established by the US government in order to rid leprosy from the Philippine islands through the only method known at the time: isolating all existing cases and gradually phasing out the disease from the population. In addition to segregating the disease from the rest of the population, the island was later established in order to offer a better opportunity for people afflicted with leprosy to receive adequate care and modern treatments.

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For the lepers in the past, going to Culion meant forced separation from their families and loved ones that they might not see each other once again. The thought that there was little hope for ultimate recovery were discouraging and overwhelming for everyone affected by the disease. Thus, the mere thought of being sent to Culion meant going to an “Island of no Return”. ( An excerpt from the Culion Museum)

In contrast, some of those who lived in the colony felt that they have at last found their home – a haven where they were accepted and lived in peace.

Culion has been declared leprosy-free by World Health Organization since 2006.

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Beach Travel Essentials

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If I could live anywhere in this world – aside from London, it would be somewhere with a beach where it’s always sunny. I’m thinking of Greece, or in the south-western part of Italy, yes Capri! I don’t know when my love for the beach started, to think of I’m very conscious of my skin-tone, but right now, it’s the least of my worry. I love the beach! I love it, I love it, I love it. I don’t care if I’ll get burned or get a bad tan as long as I can go to the beach and have fun. I like the feel of the sand on my toes. I like the calmness and peace it gives me. I like the view of the vast ocean. I like how the waves keep coming back to the shore irregardless of how often it is pushed away.

And because of my frequent visit to the beach, I’ve finally come up with my beach travel essentials. Check ’em out.  Continue reading

Solo Travel in Coron 8D7N

A paradise in the western part of the Philippines and part of the most beautiful island in the world, Coron has indeed contributed to the beauty of Palawan. Surrounded by green luscious mountains, a calm and sometimes raging ocean that separates the Sulu and the South China Sea, it is a place to behold may it be above or below the water surface.  Continue reading

Beach Escape: Morong, Bataan

Morong, Bataan is a small and quiet town in the northern part of Luzon. It is most famous for the historical event  the Battle of Bataan – one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces in World War II. The infamous Death March started in this province.

So who would have thought that this sleepy town would have an amazing shoreline where my beach-bummin’ soul was captivated?  Continue reading

To Travel Alone in Coron

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I’m planning to fly to Coron alone any weekend this July and the airfare is not cooperating. I might choose 2GO from MNL-Coron and Cebu Pacific from USU-MNL for 1203php (if I’m lucky to get one tomorrow). I also want to have a historical tour in the island Culion, also known as the leper colony. My planned budget is only 5k, not including the airfare. Will that be enough? I really want to go backpacker style this time and would appreciate any suggestions for accommodation, places to see, where to eat, etc.

Where you at: Wingstop

My friend and I had a quick dinner at Wingstop in Makati, just outside Glorietta 4, and waited the traffic to disperse.

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I’ve heard about Wingstop being expert in chicken wings in the US and the sight of foreigners at the other table munching on their chicken wings added up to increase my expectation bar.  Continue reading

How To Travel For Free

Ever wondered if you can travel for free? Not only in Europe but all around the world? Well, there’s a way and I sound like a cheap ad! But really, there is. Aside from the opportunity of being sent onshore (since most jobs are being outsourced in the Philippines) for knowledge training or shadowing, there is another way to travel abroad for free… or in a much lower cost.  I was lazily searching for ways to have my euro trip without spending a lot of money and saw a list of volunteer programs around Europe, Asia and Africa. Check out these sites for volunteer programs,

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Beach Escape: Canyon Cove – Nasugbu, Batangas

I just turned 24 and I spent my day working, though it screams ‘loser’ I can’t help but be thankful that at 24, I have a job and the choice to spend it out or stay in.

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Luckily, my job allows us to work remotely as long as there is a stable Internet connection and we are able to complete our deliverable. With that, my roomie with her friend and I had a joy ride to Nasugbu, Batangas.

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7 Things to do in the Lent Season

Especially if everyone you know is going home to their respective hometown or provinces and all the establishments are close. I have thoughts of just lying on the couch and watch the ceiling, but where’s the fun in that? I’ve been doing it even when it’s not the Lenten season.

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For everyone who’s stuck in the city, with nowhere to go and nothing to do, here are some things that you might consider to enjoy the long weekend. These are activities that take advantage of the fact that there’s not going to be a lot of people around, so get moving!  Continue reading

Don’t Accept the First Job Offer You Can Get!

It’s graduation month and my Facebook newsfeed’s filled of photos with people wearing black togas and friends and family saying congratulations. Others are ecstatic to get a degree while a job offer awaits, while others are anxious about being unemployed.

It’s also been three years since I graduated and how I wish by now, I’ve easily eased into the IT industry and figured out in my heart that this was what I really wanted. But for the life of me, IT isn’t for me and worse, I don’t know what is.

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There are days when I just want to go back to that day I got my degree and signed the first employment contract I was given. I was so sure I wanted all of this – my dream job and company rolled into one. I was happy, and I even let out a few tears along the way. I wish I still have the same feelings about it today.  Continue reading

El Nido Experience

Physically present, but mentally absent. Yes, that’s what I am right now. I’m back in Manila but I think I left my soul in El Nido. To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement. I’m more than overwhelmed and I have no coherent words to describe how awesome that island is! I know I’ve made travel posts about it but there are some thoughts written better in another entry.  Continue reading

Falling in Love with a Wanderluster

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It wasn’t me, she repeated a hundred times. It was never me, but it was her. She was the problem. She couldn’t stay too long – in a relationship or in one place. She needed to move, to get out, to see the world, to feel free. She bought airplane tickets like she would shop for clothes. Sometimes, I could keep up. Most of the time, I couldn’t.

‘Fifty countries, thirty-four to go!’ She would say with a smile and sparkle in her eyes.

So how can I not let go? Continue reading

Cookies for Valentine’s!

Our Dgroup has this yearly Valentine’s give-away to our office mates and close friends on or before the heart’s day. Last year, we made chocolates for our friends and this year, we decided to make cookies! Yes, cookies using a turbo broiler! We actually have no idea how since we couldn’t find any on the Internet that shows baking a cookie using a turbo, so we decided to try on our own. Continue reading

Where you at: Subspace Coffee

I’m not really the coffee-dessert kind of person. I’d rather go eat a bowl of rice, yes anytime of the day, than go for coffee and dessert that would sometimes cost me like I ate three meals.

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Yesterday was different though. I was itching to go out of the house and chill somewhere cozy and nice where I can listen to music, blog, update my stories, and do something productive.

I searched through the Internet to find some coffee shops around Ortigas area and saw Subspace Coffee along Emerald Avenue. I saw some photos and thought it looked cute. After all, it’s Korean-inspired. Continue reading

2014: Kim’s “Molding of Character” Year

It’s my year-ender post again! I have a hunch that I’ll be very busy in the coming days as I have work in the night and I run errands in the morning, so I better make this entry now or I finish 2014 off without one.

2013 was a really great year! I was expecting the same for 2014, but this year turned out so different! Never, in my wildest dreams, I’ve expected 2014 to end this way. With all the changes in my life, I now feel like an adult – making major decisions of my own, traveling alone, additional responsibilities (may it be in bills or personal commitments) and fixing broken relationships.

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God has His ways of teaching me a lot of lessons and for letting me see the reality of life. My perspective and my lifestyle have changed drastically and I couldn’t be anymore grateful. Who would’ve thought that I’d relate in Hillsong’s Oceans? I have a big fear of the ocean for whatever reason (what an irony!) and it felt like He wanted me out there to face my fear and place my security in Him – not in my job, not in my family, not in whatever I have right now – just in Him.

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Tuna Pancakes

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Since it was my rest day yesterday, I ran to the mall to buy some gifts for my friends. There were so many people and I decided to go home after and have dinner at home.

After lazing around on the couch, I was too tired to get up and eat out. I checked the fridge to see what I can cook and I caught sight of the canned tuna in the far corner of our food storage. I remembered the tuna pancakes we used to cook in the morning with my ex-roomie Stifany and decided to cook some. It’s quick, easy, delicious and healthy! It only took me 20 minutes of preparation and frying.

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Visiting the Lala Land Singapore – Last Day

I’m not going to post anything other than photos and a little bit of captions. The last day was purely buying souvenirs, a quick stop at the Merlion, and my flight home. My cousin and her family stayed another day and visited the Singapore Zoo and Bird park. My eight-year old nephew said I missed half of my life. Well, not really. Going home earlier allowed me to travel alone or made me feel like I was traveling alone, and being on that flight alone made me realize that I was comfortable being alone, that I don’t mind going to a new country all by myself.

I guess that just strengthen my resolve of living in another country 3 years from now. I wouldn’t mind at all! Continue reading

Visiting the Lala Land Singapore: Universal Studios Mania

Day two is Universal Studios Mania. I’ve never been to one and I’ve heard amazing stories about it, so I was pretty excited. They had amazing rides and not that kid-friendly so it was really different from Disney or Legoland. I was also looking forward to the whole Egypt look in The Mummy. Egypt is actually on my bucket list, placing third on the list of countries I want to see. I’ve also seen photos of my friends and those were believable enough. Once, I even thought they were able to go to Egypt. This day in USS was so fun I didn’t even feel all that tired. I hope I could see Universal Studios in Japan soon. I heard they got Hogwarts there!

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Visiting the Lala Land Singapore: Legoland Mania Malaysia

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We started rolling at 6AM going to our official hotel accommodation – Fragrance Hotel, Bugis – and left our luggage at their lobby. Their staffs were very friendly and accommodating. It was pretty small, but it was neat and modern. It’s also accessible to anywhere. If we look at Singapore’s map, the hotel was just a walk away from everywhere. I’m also amazed how they know the exact taxi fare whenever we asked them how much it would cost should we take the cab.

The taxi drivers in Singapore were very friendly too. The second cab we rode in from Arab Street to Middle Road gave us tips where to go, what to see and a little history about the buildings. We were very happy that everyone could speak English. My Singapore trip was really different from my Hongkong a year ago.

Our schedule on the first day was to go to Legoland in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Continue reading

Visiting the Lala Land, Singapore!

Finally, my Singapore travel post. I’ve been dragging this for six months now and I was finally able to get hold of some nice photos from my cousin’s camera. I was so tired that taking good photos was on the very back of my mind.

I went to Singapore last April and went home the first week of May. That trip was really tiring, very expensive and very bitin. Nevertheless, seeing a glimpse of the first-world country was amazing.

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Walk by Faith

It’s been days since I last had my quiet time and lately I’ve been depressed and was in need of a heavy accountability talk. Somehow, I came upon the life of Joseph in Genesis 39 and read through till the early chapters of Exodus. I think we all know the story but I think I’ve left out some points to ponder on.

Joseph was the youngest son of Jacob and his most favorite. He was a dreamer and can interpret dreams, a talent given by the Lord. Continue reading

Off to a New Beginning

I started going to my new job just this Monday and I was crying the night I went home.. in the train.. like a drama queen!

I just found out that my shift was changed to night as we needed to do knowledge transition from the US team and we need to catch up on their time. So I cried, because this wasn’t what I asked God – this is exactly what I didn’t want. I had to whine to Him on my quiet Continue reading

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Turning 23

Turning 23 is odd. I woke up not feeling anything special, at all. While stepping into the shower that morning of April 8, I realized I won’t be able to sing along and relate to Taylor Swift’s song called 22. Boohoo. Continue reading

You are the expert, can you or can you not do it?

Writer and filmmaker Lauris Beinerts beautifully captures what it’s like to be an expert in a technical field during a “big picture” business meeting. This short film is based on the Russian short story, “The Meeting”, by writer Alexei Berezin.

I hope you can relate and enjoy watching. :)

 

London, my love.

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London, my love. I can’t wait for God to let me see you and hold you and smell you and just experience you. When I get the chance to actually go there and have a real picture taken, I’ll go back to this day when I have only dreamed of you.

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Moving Mountains

Technically, that is.

The past three days were a whirlwind of mistake after mistake. It was like a series of unfortunate events. We were tired and we were sleepy, but we had to keep our head in the game.

And to be honest, I don’t even know how to describe it all. But somehow, it filled three pages of my journal each day, which summed up to 9 pages by Tuesday evening.

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Say YES to Greater Things

I’m pretty skeptical to things I hear and learn, so I try to ask questions as much as I can and I try to listen to everyone’s answers and questions as well.

One thing I have found interesting to learn lately is the Bible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doubting whatsoever, but I like digging in. One question was answered awhile ago, which made me curious even more. Continue reading

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Haiyan Aftermath, watching from the sideline

It’s been more than a week now since Yolanda first made its landfall in the islands of Samar and Leyte. Help has been coming through from various countries and reporters have been flocking around Tacloban and Samar for fresh news and videos for the world to know.

I remember a day before November 9, our management got us into a quick huddle and explained accountability and safety. The options were laid out on a powerpoint presentation wherein you can work from home, get to the office if the situation is safe, and always always ask for help from the company’s hotlines if in critical situation. Continue reading

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7 Ways to Spend Rainy Nights

I love rain, except for days when I have activities that need Mr. Sunshine, but for most part, I love rain, always, always. Rain gives me this gloomy mood, not the bad kind of gloomy, but more of a melancholic gloomy mood.

I could have just said melancholy, right? Yes, it makes me dive into memories, scrolling endlessly on my Pictures folder. It makes me think about life, like what do I dream becoming of? It makes me ponder about love and how it went wrong and how will God reveal to me the right one. And most of the times, it makes me take a good long shower, with candles all over the bath room and a soft piano music playing around. It just makes me feel like a woman worthy to be taken serious of.

Read below to see how I spend my rainy nights. Continue reading

Macau, the City of Dreams

Macau is a small peninsula in mainland China, across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong. A Portuguese overseas territory until 1999, it reflects a mix of Portuguese and Chinese influences. Its giant casinos and extravagant malls have earned it the nickname, the “Las Vegas of Asia.” One of its more striking landmarks is 338m-high Macau Tower, with sweeping city views.

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Thank you, my ex-lover

You, breaking up with me was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to my life. Back-reading my diary, I saw an entry wherein I wrote about how wrong it was to get back with the ex and how stupid my choices were. It was the ‘me’ who wanted to settle. But more than that, it was ‘me’ – the girl who felt guilty for breaking your heart first that I wanted to make up for it by putting the pieces together myself. But really, it was just me wanting to feel good about myself, to be able to say “I did my best”.

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But I did love you. If wanting to be with you forever wasn’t love, then I didn’t know what was. And I did mourn for the love I thought I had found and lost. Which was good, right? That way I knew it was somehow real. It might have been unreal to you now – now that you have someone who makes your world go round, but it was still real to me. We wouldn’t be able to deny the fact, that no matter what, you are and always will be my first love.

So old friend, thank you.  Continue reading

Time Heals Nothing

“Time heals all wounds.”

I’ve heard this phrase a countless times last year, back when I had my heart broken and I was asking friends if there will ever come a time that I’ll be able to finally say I am fine.

“Time heals all wounds.” They would repeat over and over again.

As I threaded through the unknown waters of brokenness and healing, I’ve realized that time doesn’t heal all wounds — it’s what you do with your time.  Continue reading

Posts He’ll never Read: Glad You’re Back

And so I’ve heard you’re back. No, I didn’t ask. I stopped asking two months ago.

I just found myself opening a message in the Facebook chat and your friend telling me you’re back and if there’s anything I wanted to say. Nope, there’s none. Right now, everything about you is irrelevant.

Though, there’s one thing – yes, one thing I wanted to know.

How does it feel to be the one to leave a place and the person you love? To count the days of seeing her smile and hearing her laughs again? To be content of the text messages, the chats, the Facebook comments and the phone calls? To wonder whether love’s really enough to keep the relationship going? To fear the ugly truth that the sparks you were looking for and had found would burn out and leave you wounded and hurt in the long run?

How does it feel to hope that something magical and real may come out of that relationship you have chosen?

I hope you realized how hard it is to leave a place and the person you love. I hope you realize what we all went through to keep the relationship going. I hope you realize that long distance relationship is no joke. I hope you realize that, in case you see each other in the future, you two won’t be the same people that you once were before.

And I hope that amidst the changes, you’ll still find yourself falling for her over and over again. I wish she will too. 

I’m happy you’re home. But are you really?

 

Travel How-To: Iloilo to Bacolod

I know this is a very generic question and we’ve got easy answers for this – take a fast craft! But let me tell you specifically how I got to Bacolod via Ilo-ilo for the first time.

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Since the holiday airfares were skyrocketing to di makatarungan amounts, I opted to buy a ticket going home via Ilo-ilo (MNL-Iloilo) through PAL. I got it only for 1736php, a good deal and more than half compared to Cebu Pacific’s 5000++ direct flight from MNL-Bcd.  Continue reading