Day 55: #100happydays

It’s my sister’s birthday and she wanted to go to the mall to shop and just eat. We accompanied our nephew there after picking him up at school since his mom won’t arrive until later. We had lunch at Pho Hoa then we asked our nephew to stay at CBTL where there’s internet with the Swirl Card. We didn’t want to tire him once we go shopping. My sister and I claimed our free drinks at Starbucks and sipped as we walked. We bought some gifts for Achi and Mom at Silver Finds, hopefully they’d like the necklace with pendants engraved with amethyst and topaz stones. Then we explored some shops like Aeropostale, Cotton On, Regatta, and along the way thought about some gift ideas for the upcoming birthdays and Mom’s assignment from our grandmother.
After shopping, we went to Café Breton to have some coffee and crepes. Later on, my niece arrived from school and we switched place to Red Mango where she had some yoghurt. She had to buy something at Faceshop so we stopped by there and then the exploration of facial products store continued. They have different interior and each has its own set of uniform for their sales attendant. After that, we head to Ya Kun Kaya Toast as my niece suggested. I had some Teh there. We also bought the spare phone (a basic one – just for call and text) that our parents asked us to buy.
Explored Korean shops for beauty and facial products. First stop is Faceshop where I bought two facial masks, then next we headed to Etude House where my sister bought a CC cream and third, we went to the newly opened Nature Republic and we bought an emulsion and a facial mask to try and compare it with Faceshop’s products. My niece recommends the facial masks from Faceshop and they have more choices.
There were lots of products to choose from and the culture for pampering oneself or taking care of one’s skin is evolving really fast. The choices though made us feel quite overwhelmed also because we’re not familiar with what certain products do or if we really need those skin-care products. We actually just settle with a facial wash and a moisturizer, no make-up or other skin-care products.
We usually stick with the ones we’ve tried or shift to another product if what we were using was not available anymore. It’s quite contradicting though that these products emphasize nature or being natural but then they are already formulas mixed together to “contain/preserve” or enhance beauty. But as with the change of climate, or aging and the hazards that our surroundings pose to us, we need to take care of our skin and be conscious of protecting it. Just don’t go overboard or don’t let it get too expensive.
We accompanied our cousin with her kids and our aunt at Recipes where they grabbed a quick dinner. They had to go home and we had to wait for our parents to arrive. We had dinner at TOSH and bought milk tea from Happy Lemon. We had to quickly drop by M&S since it is nearly closing time to accomplish the assignment from our grandmother, a gift for his son’s birthday. My sister said that the sales there had teamwork that made the processing of everything very fast.
I had fun spending time with family, shopping with my sister is always fun; the little surprises and spontaneity of things made the day more colorful. In sum though, I had too much caffeine in my system that hindered falling asleep fast; but this is one full day that I’m grateful of having.


某一天消失,某一天诞生,某一天宽恕我和你。 -渺小。Hebe Tian’s song

突然觉得非常的渺小, 當我們面对不可思议的意外的时候就会有这样的感觉
总算走出来了,放下了 才能看得开。


Moving Forward

In the cool breeze of the morning in January, the students file up at the gates of the school. The campus is constantly being filled with people. Classes has already began last week after the Christmas holidays. It’s good to be back, though nothing much changes, just the faces of the security guards and the gradual additions and renovations around the campus. The students still smoke their life away and endangering other people’s lives.

I’m inspired by the professors and staff at school. They smile even when there are tons of reasons to frown. They have problems in the family, kids to look after with no one else to help them out, bills and expenditures to settle, and chores to do back home. They also have big responsibilities in handling classes, attending defense, meetings and seminars, writing research papers, fulfilling their roles in the department and somehow they manage not to let their personal lives affect their work. One’s health does affect one’s efficiency at work but they get up each morning doing all the same things again, be better to face the challenges again. I heard different stories they have with their children, their own struggles and battles and somehow you see the experience and strength wielded in their eyes. I am impressed by how professors who are mothers handle chores at home, spend time with their kids, know the schedule of their children and still manage to attend to their duties in school. They juggle everything and still manage to move forward gracefully. A child cheers them up, brightens their day and that made them feel good. In the midst of trials, they are brave and still find it in their hearts to be thankful.

Now, it’s April and they still courageously go on to meet the redundancies in life or to brace the surprises that come their way.

Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections

I started my journey as a writer when I was studying in the University. I didn’t join any organization that could expand my writing, but I would just sit down in the school café upon arriving in the campus rather early or when I have to wait for my brother or my father as my whereabouts is completely tied with them. I’m usually alone during breaks so I grab a quick lunch in the cafeteria and order coffee from my barista friend there. I just needed a pen and a journal and I’ll be lost in the imaginative world. Waiting is not a problem for me.

In college, I was the one tasked to write scripts, and on one class project which was a radio play, my professor even told me that I should’ve been the one to have written the script with my talent instead of just being a crew. I had some writing classes like our Filipi 3 in College where we were tasked to write journals and stories and I was really encouraged by Ms Kate, our professor then when she told me that I should continue writing. Another class was Litelec, which is an elective, and I happen to get a writing course. I felt jittery during workshops but our professor Ms Asenjo had encouraged my writing skills and helped develop my stories.

Then we had our major courses that included Feature Writing, where my professor, Sir Nonon, was really inspiring and the writing exercises he gave us were challenging and enriching. Until now, he encourages me to write and submit my stories. Another major course was centered on writing, mainly because our professor then was a writer. Just this time, it involved critical analysis of media trends with a hint of creative writing. Generally, our major classes involved researching and writing which for me was a fun activity.
Looking further back, I used to make cards, write letters and do crafts for my family and relatives. I would receive encouragement to write but not really to further develop it. When choosing a course in college, I shun away from the Mathematics and felt that I needed something that links to writing. While in college, I would receive comments about what would I turn out to be with the course I’m taking up? I didn’t have much confidence then to develop my writing skills.

And then when I started working for my professor/mentor, I would still hang out in the café for the same reason back in college and start scribbling. This has become a habit that I have to order a cup of warm coffee to accompany my writing. At times, I would bring along the paperworks as I have to check the stacks of student submissions and slip in writing a page or two of my journal or story drafts. I accumulated a lot of drafts that I have yet to digitize. Even in the digital age, I still preferred scribbling in notepads, papers and notebooks, thus, I developed a pile of clutter in our room. I still continue to contribute written drafts, but right now, I am more consistent in encoding them and every single day I have something new to add.

Working in our department (not as a professor as most people would conclude), I gained the opportunity to write stories, translate, submit my works, edit entries for book compilations, and publish. Together with my professors, I was able to publish a few of my short stories mostly in Filipino (which became a subject for question again to my relatives). Some of them really read my stories even though they had a hard time with it. Filipino was one of my favorite subjects ever since, maybe because I liked all my teachers then that really inspired me.

I began to really read books after I graduated since I was just busy with the ones required at school or for research purposes. At first, they were crime fiction novels, adventure or young adult series novels, Later on, it evolved to non-fiction books which covers topics about psychology, business, economics, finance, sciences and Chinese books. I discovered that I really love reading, visiting bookstores and trying to find a new title to read. Reading has introduced me to different and similar worlds, to interesting perspectives and inspiring stories around the globe.

Being able to publish is a huge encouragement to me and I saw how proud my dad and relatives were when they saw my books (even though they are just entries). Some of my relatives were expecting an entire book written by me, but I am grateful with the published stories and I will continue writing. The editor of one of the books my entry was selected into gave encouraging words that have pushed me to write more.

I write when there are significant issues that I want to address, whether it is personal or a national issue. I write to be refreshed and discover something new or something that was already there all along. I write to weave stories that hopefully are inspiring. I write to tell an inspiring narrative, to commend a good book, music or show. I write because it feels right.

I started this blog at WordPress which really help me explore more about writing. In this blog, only few of my family and friends know about this. Writing has helped me bring in the pieces together, in the process I learn to make sense of the things that are happening around me. There are painful moments and hard lessons in life that made my heart weary but through writing, I gained a comfort zone where I can be creative, explore the questions and sometimes even find the answers.

I started another blog which might be a next step for me to somehow publicize this. When I started an Instagram account, it encouraged me more to take pictures and write about them. This created another path in my writing skills. For me, reading and writing opened up new avenues for me and I won’t get tired of writing.

Daily Post Writing Challenge


Day 37 #100happydays

I felt accomplished at the end of the day. We were able to meet with our cousin whom we planned to eat dimsum with and had coffee together, did some catching up and played Monopoly Deal. When we went home, got to play with our niece and when my cousin left, we started organizing the things in our room since our cabinet drawer arrived. We cleaned the place thoroughly before moving in the furniture. I still have lots of sorting to do but am glad with what we accomplished with just a couple of hours. We received an impromptu invitation to a shabu-shabu dinner with our cousin, her kids and our aunt. I enjoyed the meal very much since I was craving for hotpot these past few days. I like their sate soup, shabu sauce, and fried taopao. We rode their car back to our house and they waited there for time to pick-up her daughter at school. I offered them some ice cream and brewed some coffee (really late night coffee). They played again with my niece even when it’s already quite late, she has gained many friends these past few days. I changed my bedsheet and organized some things for the new furniture. After that, my sister and I watched the replay of I Am a Singer and slept at past two am. It was a very meaningful day for me.

Day 10 #100happydays

Before we left the house in the morning, I cooked some chicken and asparagus with cream sauce, somewhat like chicken run of Cafe Breton. Mom prepared the toast to pair with the chicken asparagus. That was a good try and I had fun making it. Sauteed the chicken in olive oil, then added butter before putting in the asparagus, and some pepper to taste. When cooked, we removed the chicken and asparagus to cook the sauce (butter, milk and melted some cheese).

home-made chicken run

The queue was really long when we arrived at Glorietta (the entrance of National Bookstore) and we decided against lining up for long hours. Instead, we had coffee at J.Co Donuts, which is just beside National Bookstore. There we saw people lined up, holding Mitch Albom books. some jsut struggling to read the pages on the spot. Maybe that’s a plus, by the time it reached their turn, they would be able to finish reading the book. At J.Co, we decided to just forego the booksigning event, and opted to eat and shop.


vibrant colors

Our cousin bought us these colorful coin purse, one for each one of us.

We went to Forever 21 where Achi and her daughter helped pick out dresses for us to wear. I ended up buying about four dresses and felt guilty about it. But Achi has a point, we don’t shop nor buy things for ourselves. As a parent, she would be happy if her children knew hot to think for her and how to save. Good thing three of the dresses were on sale and I don’t regret buying them since I’m getting used to wearing dresses. We ate at Kaya, a Korean restaurant and then continued to just walk about. After that, we walked to Greenbelt where my cousin also found a dress for my niece, again another gift. Achi had to exchange her charge slip for some Krispe Kreme and we went to Starbucks to claim a free drink, yes another shot of coffee. We headed to fetch by cousin’s two boys before going to their house; then picked-up the Aristocrat take-out on the way to their house. That was a really fun day.

Convoluted reality

“If you’re in the right way, you must give way to the violators,” said my dad while on our way to school ranting about the traffic problems we encounter each day. Like when the tricycle drivers or even cars pass by a one-way street they expect you to give way. The first thought that came to mind when he said that was he’s right. When we were the ones who didn’t do anything wrong, we got reprimanded and scolded. Those who violated the peace where off the hook, no loud nagging received, not even 1% of the shouts and harsh words we got. Selfish people find it hard to be unselfish. That time was the last draw, I told myself. I’m raising my defenses to protect myself for a change, because they won’t and you’ll just become the sacrificial lamb, the decorative accessory only whose words don’t really matter much. The only law we violated would probably be speaking up, but generally obedient and thinking about other people’s situation. Following the logic, if you’re in the right way, you must step aside to let the violators have a free pass.