7 Ways to Do More with Less on a Holiday Season

The holiday season is the most awaited season. It is an exciting time full of gifts and bright Christmas lights displays that would make you wish the holidays would never end. Between shopping, vacations, and extravagant holiday meals, saving money and conserving energy would be the least of our concerns during the holidays. In fact, we really don't mind about those things at all.

Although it really feels that cash registers are the ones singing the merriest jingles this season, there are actually a lot of ways to have all the fun this holiday season without starving our pockets and putting our wallets on a diet.

How can one actually do more with less? Here are 7 surefire ways that can help you do more without having to put yourself on a spending spree.

1. Detox digitally
I know this is hard and almost close to impossible. Internet has become the means of communication and be connected everywhere. As someone who takes pride of being a multi-tasker switching from one app to another, how are you supposed to switch off digitally?

Honestly, you cant.

But you can minimize. You can lessen the usage. You can spend less time on Facebook. You can read books or have a real conversation with real people. You wouldn't die if you haven't checked your Facebook or Twitter for a day, would you? Plus, you'd also save yourself from spending unknowingly for lurking to sites like ebay, lazada, or olx. And that could also mean saving a significant amount on your electricity bills.
Did you know that the internet can zombify you?
And with the internet invading our lives turning them into pixels, I think it's about time we see the world not through our screens but through our very own eyes, so let's also...

Black Dress, a Broken Lipstick, and a Night to Remember

As someone who doesn't wear make up, the most comforting words I'll ever hear from another woman are, "I don't know how to put a makeup on either."

Yes! I am still a woman after all. Haha!

The other day, I found new (still sealed) lipsticks in one of our drawers. It was from my dad and mom said it was for me. I'm not really sure how long has it been sitting in there. But I tried it on anyway. I smoothed the lipstick on like a pro, 'cause it was as easy as putting a ChapStick. Then the next thing I know, one of my buck tooth's covered with red. And I broke the lipstick.
I'm an artist. I can make bad designs look good. This should be easy.

A White Night to Remember

First of all, damn I have got to think of a killer opening line for my blog post... "First of all" just doesn't cut it. But yeah, first of all, I'd like to congratulate myself for totally nailing that 299-peso ($6) dress and made it look like Marilyn Monroe's iconic flying skirt.

White Dress, Pale Face

I have a lot to blog in mind. I would have loved to write about how the political brouhaha has blown out of proportion. But I won't. I'll leave that to the social media people who are more "active" with politics. I just want to stay away from my pa-deep thoughts for a while and write about anything shallow and mundane. It has been quite stressful lately. Something serious is the last thing I would need today.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to start a new routine that involves shutting off the alarm at 4 o'clock in the morning, exercising, and dressing up smartly. And I just realized I haven't gotten a new wardrobe for the last 2 years. I don't remember the last time I actually bought something new for myself (except for that hiking shoes) without including last Friday's mishap when I bought a white dress to wear for the Davao Bloggers Society White Party. Yikes!

I would've loved to make do what's already in my closet. But throw in my pambahays and Jan's shirt that I wear most of the nights, plus a couple more shirt I got free from my old office, and my neighbor's dog still has more clothes than I do. Yeah, that's how pathetic my closet is. If only I could fit into that white Juicy Couture doggie track suit with hoodie, then I'm good to go.

Well, I could also sport my usual outfit of the day year (shirt, jeans, and sneakers, but in white) if I want to but I got this feeling that I should wear something presentable. So I bought one cute dress and I know it's going to be a one time use only. Buti na lang mura lang sya. Lucky if I get to join another white party. (Where else can I use an all white dress anyway?) 

Now I remember how funny it was when people used to gang up on me each time I wear a dress that I get frozen with their compliments like I just won an award or something. Haha. At least, for the incoming party, dressing up will be less of a shock since I don't know anyone there except perhaps the familiar faces of the bloggers I met in 2013. I don't think they can even remember me. I haven't really joined any other events after the acquaintance party. But still, I'm pretty excited about it, although I really do not know what to expect there. Some dancing, maybe? Haha.

I have no idea.


I hate that I couldn't even come up with a better title

This blog post is a perfect example how politics can eat up a large amount of my time and energy. I can't help it. Philippine politics is intriguing, dramatic, and at the same time entertaining. But it is equally detestable as well.

I hate politics but I have got to admit that I am addicted to it. We are addicted to it. I think everybody is. Even our religious leaders couldn't help but get themselves involved with politics that they spend more time on it than on God. Don't you find it amazing how politics can make you hate it enough to keep you involved, interested, and informed? I am still bemused.

I swear I never really wanted to see myself write another post about politics (say politics one more time, Sarah). But as much as I wanted to stay away from it, it is everywhere I go. It's like a plague that no one can get away from. 99% of the things I read on Facebook is all about politics. And by politics, I mean Duterte. And I hate that I add to that 99%. I could have just posted funny videos of cats or blogged about the bacon I had for breakfast instead to lighten up the cranky mood brought about the chaos that is politics.

Our Mayor Duterte is a political hot potato who is suffering another blow from sensationalism, political-analyst wannabes, and bandwagoners who believe in everything they see on the internet. Yes, the man may have gone overboard with his cussing as he expressed his exasperation over the country's problems which remained unsolved, or worse, ignored by those in the higher power. But that's who he is. I'd rather have a leader who curses like a sailor but has the vision, strong will, and guts to push the country up that's in perpetual decline - a man I find in Duterte - than someone whose evil political agenda are hidden behind the mouth of a saint.

But more than that, all those cheap shots and hate messages directed to Mayor Duterte made me realize how bad outweighs the good. How easy it is for us to forget all the good things a person did for one bad act he made. Maybe we can put the blame on the psychology of human behavior or neuroscience. Because as far as I can remember my college lessons, brain activity increases at the feelings of anger, sadness, fear, disappointment, violence, or pretty much anything unpleasant. An increased brain activity means thorough processing of the emotion linked to it. Maybe that explains why it is easier to remember the negative and why negativity bias exists. Or maybe we are just jerks. Either way, I hate that humans are wired that way.

Aaargh, enough of politics. I really intend this to be a personal thought. But I guess, I got carried away by the politics. Anyway, speaking of a one bad act clouding all the other good deeds done, I think it can also come the other way around. You know, when things of a more positive nature have a greater effect on you it tramples the negative. Well, it should come the other way around. However you approach it, Pollyanna principle or placebo effect or simply just being someone with a positive outlook (it's a matter of perspective, really), it's absolutely better than the other one.

I don't know if I have ever mentioned it here on my blog, but the past few months have really been shitty. Those months when I slumped into the feeling of worthlessness and shit. And instead of pushing myself back on my feet, I felt demotivated and confused about what I was supposed to do next. Frustrated that I'd lost months of my life wallowing in self-pity.

I hate that I found myself in that situation.

To My Fellow Davaoeños: We Know the Truth. We Can't Be Bothered.

First of all, I have to say I am not a political beast, and there is no way I intend this to be a political post. But sure, I have my moments.

With all these political hullabaloos, especially involving our dear Mayor Duterte, it's no surprise Davao City has also been dragged into heated and intriguing arguments. Kesyo hindi naman daw Davao ang safest city in the world. Kesyo nabubuhay sa takot sa otoridad ang mga tao dito. Kesyo kill joy si Digong pero sumusunod pa rin tayo. Kesyo para tayong creeps na sunod-sunoran at nagpapauto sa batas na nagtatanggal sa ating karapatang makapaglibang (oo na, madaming bawal dito). Kesyo ganito, ganyan, at marami pang iba.

I am sick of hearing and reading negative and wrong comments made about my hometown, Davao City. I am tired of telling people to come to Davao so we can prove them wrong. With the power of social media combined with all this political drama where everybody is "smart" and has an opinion to everything, it is inevitable that we'd be thrown sticks, stones, shit and all.

But I'm not here to come to anyone's defense or write a counterargument. There must be hundreds written about that already. And if I did, however well-thought and brilliantly it was written, none of that will really matter because those Anti-Duterte/Anti-Davao won't be bothered by that crap and will refuse to believe in that anyway. So why waste precious time refuting an argument and attack naysayers by any virtual means when it's pointless to argue with someone who only listens to what he wants to hear?

This serves as a friendly reminder from one Davaoeño to another. Let's take pride in the awesomeness that is our city without running amok, bombing ad hominem and lambasting anyone who speaks ill of Davao or our Mayor. We do not need to retaliate. Arguments that escalate to name-calling and insults to one's mental capacity do not help. We know better than that. We don't stoop down. We hold our heads up and show them our strengths and the virtues we uphold that stem from the roots of our city. Remember, we are disciplined, honest, friendly, well-mannered, and law-abiding citizens. We are Davaoeños. We lead by example.

And since this is a free country where the government seems to be coming apart at the seams and the justice system fails the society, we can't stop anyone from inflicting petty crimes of cyber attacking us. So let them haters bombard us with harsh and destructive criticisms. Let them tell us we are wrong. Let them tell us otherwise. Let them believe we're suffering from delusions of grandeur. Let them call us names.

None of that matters anyway.

Because deep within ourselves, we know who we are. And we are the goddamn lucky people to be living under the Davao sky. We are the ones reaping the benefits of a good governance. We are the ones enjoying the fruits of our taxes. We are the ones who feel safe. We are the ones who know what it's like to live in Davao City - the land of promise, a place where there is unity in diversity, where progress and peace can coexist.

Of Twerks and Thank Yous

I should have written this post the moment I knew this blog won a major award in Bloggys 2015. A few bloggers have published a word of thanks on the same date after bagging their awards and I could have done it too knowing I wasn't actually doing anything the night they announced the winners. But from the moment Jan broke the news to me, I fell short for words. I had to wait a day or two for the elating feeling to subside because my vocabulary became limited to "oh", "my", and "gosh", and only in that particular order.

Honestly, I do not know what to say anymore. I believe I have already said everything before - from the moment I got nominated to the time I made it to the voting stage and when I finally became one of the finalists. I never thought I'd have to write another post for this. I don't want to make it sound like I'm giving a speech in The Oscars (albeit the feeling might be pretty much the same thing), so I'll keep this short and simple. This may sound like a broken record, but I'm going to say it again anyway...THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I guess, no matter how many Thank Yous I write, it will never be enough to express how grateful I am to every single one of you reading my blog, my family and friends who never get tired of clicking the links I shamelessly feed on Facebook, and to Jan who always believes in me. You fuel my desire to write, be better, and make a difference. I know more blogs deserve your time than mine, that's why I am truly honored. Again, thank you!

Life Is So Full of Tae won Best Personal/Diary Blog in #Bloggys2015 Philippine Blogging Awards. So as promised, this is yours truly twerking it (even) better than Miley:

Finally found a way to post a "video" of me twerking without giving you nightmares. I hope you guys didn't think I won just because I said I'd do a twerking vid if I win, did you? Haha.

Humanity Is Not Only for a Select Few

THERE'S A WHOLE LOT OF SCARY STUFF GOING ON IN THE WORLD TODAY. Yesterday, I woke up to a tragic news. Yes, we are outraged with what happened in Paris. While the hashtag #PrayForParis that has been all over the internet punches you right in the gut, stabs you in the heart and etches terror in it, it is comforting to know how much the world cares about this terrible tragedy that happened.

But truth be told, sadly, we have been selective of humanity. While almost everybody supports France by turning their profile pictures on Facebook filtered with the French flag on it, the cries of the people getting trapped and killed in the rubble of their very own homes in Palestine fall on deaf ears. Tragedies like this do not only happen in Paris. Violent deaths happen every day. People die in the most brutal way every day. More than the broken bodies and broken homes, people live with fear, broken dreams and broken lives - even far worse than death - every day. Why do we turn a blind eye on the less developed countries?
via Facebook
The blood that spew across the streets of Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt, is the same blood that scattered across the streets of Paris - from humans. Yet, people stand silent, no hashtags, no flags, and some people are even oblivious about it. Shouldn't we also be outraged and storm the heaven with prayers for the things happening on a daily basis in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Africa or any part of the world that has been dwelling in the dark? (Not to mention, the Lumad killings right inside our own backyard.)

I condemn the attack in Paris. And it felt disturbing reading about the news yesterday. But I felt even more disturbed seeing the French flag all over Facebook today. Because the way I see it, it only shows how selective we are of the sympathy we give to people. Not that I'm asking you to stop doing or praying for it. By all means, please do. It's just that I feel disappointed, bitter, perhaps hurt, and definitely ethnically inferior knowing that I also live in a third world country. Maybe we can pray for the world and for humanity instead, and not just for Paris.

Thank You!

First of all, I really don't know what to say.

I am still waiting for my brain to fully process my thoughts and turn them into words. Because right now, my mind's clouded with emotions that the words just might not come out right [insert inaudible words, shriek, and mild and stifled sobs here]. And I also suspect ninjas have been cutting onions in front of me again.

But it's not what you think it is. No drama, I promise. Earlier today, I was in for a huge surprise because.... drumroll please...

Adulting Sucks

Yes it does. And nobody told me about it.

Nobody handed out manuals for Surviving Adulthood back in school. And the How to Become an Adult kit didn't come with foolproof instructions either. So I had to figure that out myself. When I turned 30, I paused and re-evaluated my life. Ten years into adulthood and what exactly have I done? Shouldn't I be grown up by now? I grit my teeth.

Back then, I was really excited to become an adult and have my freedom. I wanted the days to move forward to the time when I no longer have to seek parental consent each time I wanted to do something or go somewhere. And then one day, I just woke up being officially an adult only to realize that the only good thing that comes along with adulthood is that you don't have to lie anymore about your age being over 18 so you can have a booze. Other than that, adulthood wasn't exactly what I was expecting. You'd be more deprived of freedom even - a slave of your job or your lifestyle. And it also comes with this one-size-fits-all notion of how you should live your life: how you should act, who you should be, and what you should have. Ten years into adulthood and my life doesn't measure up. Not even up to par of what's acceptable to the eyes of the society.

And the Best Guy to Love is...

"...the boring guy is the best guy to love", said the article I've read a few minutes ago.

I beg to disagree (and all the articles that tell us what kind of person is the best one to love).

Because the best guy to love can either be boring or exciting. Shy or outgoing. Funny or serious. Good guy or bad-ass. Nerd or rock star. And the list goes on.

The best guy to love is the one you choose to love that isn't based on feelings of attraction to a certain trait alone. Not that I am undermining feelings here, because I'd say it is an initial phase that everybody goes through. But love is sustained by something more than that. A decision. Remember, you are living for the whole life, not just a fleeting moment. All those traits will be gone. People will change. Not even that elating feeling of "falling in love" will remain. Things will turn dull over time and eventually vanish. But you can decide to continue to love regardless of your feelings or whatever change - which is the only constant thing in this world - will happen.

The best guy to love is the one you decided to love consciously. Because if you do, you will love him no matter the obstacles, no matter the feelings, or no matter the flaws. And so it follows that everything he does, no matter how small it is, will truly make you happy.

So to the man who makes me happy, cheers to eternity! This is for the man I love. The one I decided to love not just because everybody around him pales in comparison. The one who loves me even in my fugliest. The one who is keeping me sane (it has been crazy the past few months). The one I desire. The one I want to take care of. The one I would want to spend the rest of my life with.  Ito ay para sa isang taong napakasarap mahalin. This is for you, Jan Carlo.  *blush*

If you can't stand the cheesiness, just don't mind the post. I just actually want to show off my mad animation killa skillz.

Thoughts on Moving On

Things don't always work the way we want it to be.

Because life was never meant to be perfect. Shit happens. There will always be those days in your life when you have been wronged or have made decisions you regret. Days when you've poured too much of your time, effort, and invested a lot of emotion on something - a relationship, a job, or anything you've committed yourself into - and yet, things don't come your way. There are days you'd feel down, disappointed, or devastated. And days when slumping into the dumps felt more comforting than anything else.

But no matter what you do, there is no way you can ever change those days that happened in your life. You can only linger for too long on the pain, and that's just about it. Pain will always be part of who we are. What defines us, however, is how to see the way things are and how we react on them. So, you can either choose to stay down in deep shit, or just look on the brighter side, stand up, and move on. Because either way, you will eventually get out, and you would certainly be not the same person anymore. So choose to be the better one.

Someday, all the things that happened in your life will be but memories. You'll forget the pain, the reason you're hurt, and who caused you those tears. You will realize that those things of the past are the ones weighing you down on your journey; that there is no way you can embrace the new life you want if you are still holding on to the baggages of the past; that the secret to attaining peace within yourself is being free. Free of grudges, bitterness, and hatred. Let go of those baggages and let a new life unfold before you.
Don't let yesterday consume all the time you have today. After all, what really matters is not how you begin your journey but how well you made it through and how you ended it. Life is beautiful. So look on the brighter side of life, forgive, and love all over again. :)

I feel...


As a matter of fact, I am. I am growing more anxious as the days pass by. Every day, when I wake up, I am in an argument with myself of where I should be and what I should be doing. I am in a grey area. The place that falls somewhere in the middle. The place between yes and no, happy and sad, here and there. The place where everything is uncertain. Falling into the grey area is like enduring a balancing act, one foot on a rope high above the ground and the other dangling on the air. A place most of us don't want to be in.

I wish life was as simple as black and white. But it isn't. Not anymore. And it will never be.

Life has become a tedious journey for me. And in every chapter of the journey, there's the beginning that is exciting, a destination that is rewarding, and the the middle? I'd say it's the hardest part. It is an unsettling place. An uncomfortable place where both the extreme ends are trying to pull you away.

I am standing still in the middle of the gruelling road of where I was and where I should be. And I am beginning to belittle my existence and my worth because at this point I just did the worst thing I could do... I stopped. I stopped just because I'm not quite sure what to do and I was afraid to put my efforts to waste. All these waiting, thinking, and over thinking have made me paralyzed that I begin to question the value of pursuing success in life.

But I'm not quite ready to give up yet. I've already come too far for that. Becoming stuck in the middle prompted me to look around for signs and directions. I know here and now, I need guidance the most. I moved away my eyes that were glued on the road for a long time. And it turns out that in every area I've passed - white, black, or grey - He was there all along. I've been too focused overcoming the roadblocks and bumps along the way, and all this time I thought it was all I ever got. But I've never been so wrong. I've got something larger than life. He is faithful as He was from the beginning.
Lead me, Lord.

I am still in the middle. I am still not sure where I should be headed. The road ahead of me is still uncertain. Dark days could be up ahead. Who knows? I may or may not be ready for that. And it is very tempting to quit. But God has never let me go. Yes, I am in the middle. But I think this is where exactly God has put me now. This is where I needed to be. Because in the middle, this is where we are tested. This is where we are made. This is where we build ourselves before we can move forward to the days ahead.

Yes, I am in the middle. The grey area. The place where most people don't want to be. But if there's one thing I am absolutely certain now amidst the uncertainty is that I am not displaced after all.

The Fine, Elegant, and Noble Art of Not Giving a Fuck

WARNING: "Adult" language, although not necessary, will be used a lot in this post.

While I was taking a dump, I just realized that my presence in the internet is becoming large that I am now running the risk of being exposed to one of its dark sides: the snide comments and personal attacks.

These keyboard warriors, or maybe trolls, could be anywhere - lurking and waiting for the moment to pounce you with their filthy language and wild insults. If you aren't smart enough, you'd fall victim to their relentless barking, take the bait and latch yourself into the perpetrator's mouth, and you become emotionally consumed before you even know it. Well, if I didn't know better I would have gladly fed them by responding to their audacity - which is often fueled by the power vested upon by their anonymity - to give meaning to their life even if it sounds pathetic. But I realized I just ran out of fucks to give.

But I won't be talking about keyboard warriors or trolls here. They've already gotten too much fucks from my previous paragraph alone. However, I'm here to talk about the fine, elegant, and noble art of not giving a fuck. Because not giving a fuck is like bacon, it makes your life better.
Damn. I simply love ideas coming from the toilet.

Why should you not give a fuck? 
You see, all our lives, we have devoted every waking hour caring far too much how to please other people, worrying if we look cool enough for them starting from the clothes we wear.

But here's the thing you must understand: no matter who you are, where you're from, or what you say or do, people will judge, criticize, or hate you. Nobody is an exception to that. Unless you're a cat because nobody gives a fuck about licking your own ass.

As emotional beings, our emotions don't really fall under our direct control. Yes, we can feel bad about it. We're not immune to that. And we shouldn't be. But we know what's happening. And as rational beings, we can react or decide whether to indulge or feed our attacker's fantasies of putting us down or not. We have a fuckin choice here.

Should you wrap yourself miserably in other people's bullshit? Or should you just freeze people out by actually not giving a fuck?

How to actually not give a fuck.
Simple. You just have to accept yourself. "Not giving a fuck" in modern English translates to, "I accept myself." You know who you are. You know what you want. The opinion of other people about you will not really matter. Because frankly, my dear, the universe doesn't give a fuck about the fuck it has given you. So why should you give a fuck?

When you give a fuck, make sure it's worth it.
Fucks are given everywhere even in situations that don't deserve it. Fandoms, for example. Tweet something bad about a celebrity, and devoted fans from the pits of Hades will be there to fight eye for an eye, then all hell breaks loose. Or ever saw someone got infuriated just because of a misspelled name on the coffee cup? Exactly. Fuck those fucks given. You see, that's how life fucks us, when we choose to give a fuck at every petty little thing we can actually just shrug off.

Be selective to what and who you give your fucks to. Give a fuck to what really matters in your life like family, friends, or a career. And if there's one most important person that you should give a fuck to, that would be yourself. So do yourself a favor and stop offending yourself and be the fuckin person you want to be and start not giving a fuck about what others think (without being an asshole, okay?). So do whatever the fuck you want with your life and just die fuckin happy.

P.S. I don't even know what P.S. means, but I don't give a fuck. Anyway, I realize the profanity of language in this post is damn too high. But as long as I made my point clear, then who gives a fuck?

Blogging and the Power of Vulnerability

When I started blogging, I was only a college student who thought life was so full of shit (although I still think it is) that I blogged about how shitty and unfair life can get after stepping on a bubble gum with your brand new shoes. Half of the time I was ranting. And half of it, I was trying to make myself look good. My voice was soft, quiet, and dampened back then. I wasn't comfortable being myself. So I wrote only of the things I wanted the people to read because I was ashamed and afraid. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid that people I don't even know would hate me. I was afraid that they may see me less of a person by my choice of words. I was careful with anything I wrote that hitting the publish button was a challenge.

Years passed and life became shittier than it was. It became so murky that I couldn't help but type my words to let the fog out and have some sense of clarity. It was hard for me to open up. Questions began to surface when I started showing the profound and "less edited" version of me. Questions that begin with what if. It's pretty amazing how the simple and innocent words What and If - which are perfectly harmless on their own - can become really catastrophic when combined. It's like a bomb that when dropped would make me go back scampering inside my shell. What if people will judge me for this? What if they'll think I'm like this or that? What if it's not good enough? It was a war between me and my inhibitions. A struggle to survive the pangs of truth.

Truth is, blogging makes you vulnerable. And it's not easy to become wounded and let people sprinkle you with salt.

It is one way of opening yourself up to public scrutiny. You would occasionally find yourself the target of judgment, criticism, and unsolicited advice. People will begin to question your opinion, decisions, or principles. And most of the time, they can be vile, ruthless, and they show no tact. You can get bashed, flamed, ridiculed, or trolled for genuinely expressing yourself. You can be misunderstood. And unfortunately, this ordeal is inevitable.

But with this continuing struggle, I've seen the power and beauty of vulnerability in blogging. For years of posting and trying to be as genuine as I can, I didn't know that by opening myself to others, I was making a difference. It was unbelievable that having the courage to post something dismal or something most of us wouldn't dare tell anyone about can draw admiration worthy of virtual pats on the back. Mistakes I've made. Things I've done that I'm not proud of. Bad life-changing decisions. Shares of failure. And those moments I wish I've never been through. Showing the authentic self not only made me realize that I wasn't alone but it served as a bridge to reach out to others, to truly touch or inspire another. It creates a connection because you're giving away more than just the facade. You present yourself as a human, capable of being wounded, just like the others.

I have embraced vulnerability. But that doesn't mean my shame and fears have all gone away. It never will. I'd be lying if I say I am not scared. But I'd rather be vulnerable, put myself out there and be seen as a human being than dodge the blows and stand behind a mask of lies (which then defeats the purpose of a blog). If there's one thing I learned about being vulnerable is that you can be hated not for who you are but for the vision people have of you. And none of that will really matter. Being vulnerable is not always a pleasant experience but as long as I am alive and breathing then I will stay vulnerable. Because being vulnerable builds a gentle and quite breeze of freedom inside. And trust me, it can never feel so right.

So be vulnerable. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching. And write like no one's reading.

9 Exciting and Adventurous Date Ideas

Oftentimes, people see dating as eating out together at a fancy restaurant, holding hands while walking at the mall, hanging out in a coffee shop, or watching movies together. That's cute. But I think I've already outgrown these kind of dates and I don't get impressed with pretty flowers and chocolates anymore. On a second thought, the chocolates would do. Super dark, please.

Anyway. Jan and I have been going out on countless dates and we are always on the look for something that will allow us to truly know each other but... with a twist. We're looking for something beyond those movie dates and candelight dinners. Something more challenging and exciting. Something worth reminiscing and laughing about over and over again.

Here's a list of nine exciting date ideas (as illustrated in crappy pictures) that we have been doing, and I thought I might share this with you, too - which you may also this find interesting and fun to try:

1. Chase waterfalls
Jan and I have been to a lot of waterfalls. Mysteriously, the waterfalls has its way of drawing us close to nature. Its power combined with grace can give us sense of peace, inspiration, and pleasure. Should the need to relax arises, the waterfalls' mists and roaring thunder can soothe the weary nerves. And not only will it pull you close to nature but closer to each other, too.

Vote for SarWrites at Bloggys 2015

I was never made for popularity contests. I cringe at the attention. Although I was popular on my own before. I was top of the class batch for the number of absences, lates, and incident reports made. But other than that, I am unknown to many. Never won or even joined a contest that decides the winner through voting. My charms, or lack thereof, is not enough to win a vote or two.

But sometimes the inevitable happens that I am forced to compete. So here I am, asking for two minutes of your time to vote for my blog at Bloggys 2015 - Philippine Blogging Awards. Because surprisingly, my blog has made it to the shortlist of the Philippine's most prestigious blogging awards in search of the country's finest bloggers.

Not that I'm aiming to win the "People's Choice" award here. I know my chances are way too slim to nothing. Who am I, anyway? I am barely visible in the blogosphere. A crack on the sidewalk in the avenue of stars. Yadda yadda. Yet, despite being wala lang, I don't want to be the first from the bottom either. Ayaw ko namang maging kulelat no. I'd probably melt in shame if I only get 4 votes by default (one coming from me, my boyfriend, and my mom and dad). Although I don't think I'd even know how many votes I'll get. But still. Kaya eto kakapalan ko na mukha ko.

So, if you could...
Can you say NO to this?

Vector Art: Workadas

I haven't done so much of this, and I know need a lot of practice now. I seemed to be satisfied with a botched artwork. Ugh. But hey, my friends loved it! :)


Expecto Patronum!

Do you know what Dementors do aside from guarding the prisons of Azkaban? They suck light and happiness out of you. They feed on every good feeling or every happy memory until you are left with nothing but despair.

Just like everyone in the wizarding world, muggles also have dementors of their own. They come in the form of the true horrors of our past to minute daily life inconveniences such as the horrible meat and bread ratio in a sandwich you just bought.

Well, life was never meant to run on an even and straight path. It's not a bed of roses. And it isn't always going to be rainbows and butterflies (and whatever cliches you can think of). Every now and then, we experience trials, torment, tribulation, or trepidation - which is really my overstated way of saying, life sucks. Shit happens. These inconveniences, no matter how big or small they are, can completely unhinge you and ruin your mood, your day, and your attitude towards others.

Somehow, a lot of us find ourselves in that slump and choose to stop seeing the brighter side of things. I am guilty of that at some point. But what suddenly dawned on me while watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (for the nth time) earlier is that the power of positivity is overwhelming but is often underestimated. All these negativity can actually be warded off. The same way dementors can be repelled with a Patronus Charm.

You see, the Patronus Charm is a projection of all your most positive feelings. It requires more than just saying the spell, Expecto patronum! It can only be conjured when you think of a powerful happy memory. So what I'm really trying to say is, when you are becoming a living proof of Murphy's law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong), the first step to conjure the charm, just like how Harry Potter did it for the first time, is to think of anything that makes you happy.
Bacon, for example.

Yeah, I may have made life sound so magical, but I regret to inform you there will be no unicorns, incantations, wand-waving, or pixie dusts here. The only magical thing about this is that the seemingly insignificant things have the greatest powers to completely turn that frown upside down on an otherwise bad day. I am a believer of little things. I believe in counting your blessings no matter how small it is.

Recognizing those life's tiny miracles isn't really that hard. It's in the kindness of people you've never met before. It's the stranger that opened the door for you. It's the joke you overheard somewhere that made you laugh. It's your dog that's so happy to see you when you get home from work. It's the food on your plate. It's the clothes you wear. Or the shelter in the rain. It's your friends and family that never left your side. It's the air you breathe. It's being alive. It's simply just being thankful for all those things that often go unnoticed. And when you fill your heart with gratitude, there will be no room for discontentment. There will be no room for dementors.

My life isn't exactly how I expected it to be. Yes, I have a broken bike, a thinning wallet, (skill-wise) self-esteem issues, ugly and manly hands, a fugly big zit on my face, but I also have wonderful friends, a smart kid, an amazing boyfriend, supportive family, a sound mind, and a healthy body.

As cliche as it may sound, whatever it is that you experience, however big or small or nasty it is, things do get better eventually. There will always be a reason to be thankful. So choose to be thankful. Keep calm and just Expecto patronum!


I went 3 days without the internet. Not that I did it on purpose. It's the crap PLDT, that is (wow pldt is getting a lot of attention from my blog lately).

I just saw myself reacting poorly to the situation by getting agitated by, excuse my word, inutile customer service representatives who cannot help solve internet problems brought about by my ISP's poor quality service.

But then I realized I may have lost my internet connection, but I gained something. TIME. A lot of it. I gained a few extra hours a day. Not to mention, I've added a few more hours of sleep which internet has robbed me off since forever. But that doesn't mean I won't lash out for the frustration of not having a decent internet connection. I didn't pay hard-earned money for crap. (Yes, I'll get back at you, PLDT.)

So for three days without the internet, I was far more productive. I finished my tasks gracefully ahead of time and I've got spare time for a hobby or two. I felt good about myself. And even better to have miraculously survived three days without internet. Yay! So aside from exercising, breathing fresh air, and catching a glimpse of the sunshine... for the past three days:

1.  I drew something.  If it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't realize adult coloring books are a trend. They said it's a good way to relax and de-stress. Pero mas lalo ata akong nastress sa presyo ng isang coloring book. So I figured I just have to make do of whatever I have: a pen and paper.

I decided to draw something that I can color later. But then I realized I'm pretty bad at coloring. There are too many lines and it stresses me out. Plus, I couldn't even follow one simple rule: to stay within the lines. Pfft! So I just let it stay that way.

The GuLat Project

This is an old, old idea.


But I cannot think of a better way to fuse my love for writing and drawing than to create blog posts devoted to both. Hence, the GuLat ProjectGulat is a Filipino word that means shock or surprise. But I've also coined this from two words, Guhit (draw) and Sulat (write) - which are apparently the things that I absolutely love to do.

As you can see, I've been including doodles in my entries lately and this is what I plan to do on my succeeding posts. I got this idea from Doodlemum - a blog that I've been following for a long time. What separates her art from mine is that her doodles are waaaaaay amazing while mine are just mere stick figures you wouldn't have to second guess if they were drawn by a five-year-old. But, oh well.

Some days my hands are as stubborn as my head that they refuse to draw what I tell them to. Some days I invite myself into a self-hosted pity party themed "I suck and can't do anything good." Some days I allow myself to hear voices telling me "You will never be a good artist, Sarah!" Voices that I just made up. But nothing stopped Barnett Newman from selling Onement VI for 43 million dollars and I'm absolutely sure my stick figures are way better than that, so maybe I can sell one for 10 million dollars. And some days I am delusional.

From this point on, I'll be spending a minute or two slaving over a doodle that may or may not be relevant to each post I write. I think two minutes should be enough because more than that already defeats the purpose of fun (and I've an excuse for this crap). Plus it saves more time I can watch a cat video or two instead of looking for images at Unsplash, StockSnap or Gratisography just in case I don't have awesome pictures of my own to post. Yes, that is where I get my free stock photos. You're welcome.

I should have done this a long time ago. Jan has been encouraging me to do this before. But it took a little while and a little push to get my hands doodling just for the heck of it without seeking any body's approval or worrying about what others will say.
Well, not everything I draw has to be the best and be liked by everybody. But it sure does pay when I do things just for the sake of having fun. :)

On Writing, Peanuts, and Belgian Waffles

I never really wanted to be a writer. Not that I consider myself to be one. As a matter of fact, I didn't like my English classes back in high school and college. I have even failed English (literature) once. My lack of interest in the English Language and Literature, however, unexpectedly warranted me to end up writing stuff for a living.

Well, that's what I did a long time ago and I tried to do the same thing recently. I was under the impression that I can make writing pay the bills again. Before I glued my butt to the swivel chair to write a 1000-word essay, I was so pumped up by the mere fact that I really do love writing. I can write more than a thousand word blog post in an hour or so.

This should be easy.

Bloggys 2015: I Am a Nominee

I've never heard of Bloggys until quite recently when I received an email notifying me being a nominee of Bloggys 2015 - the Philippine's premiere blogging event.
Nominated in Bloggys 2015

Desperately Wanting

I have always been fascinated with people - guys for that matter - who play guitar. And I've always wanted to be the one who can play the guitar. I wanted to be a badass guitarist. You know. The one who plays with the band that lives and breathes beautiful music. That chic worshipped by rocker boys who got blown away by her jaw-dropping solo.

Back when guitarists were labeled "cool" and the one who'd always get the attention (and by guitarist, I mean anyone who can carry a tune with the instrument), I was pretty excited when one of my friends in high school taught me how to play the guitar. I grabbed the neck, laid it close to my chest, hugged the body, and made love with it. It was a beautiful moment. I told myself I'm going to be a budding female version of Slash sans the top hat. (I only know Slash because of Sweet Child O' Mine. Other than that... No, I won't pretend that I really know him. But yes, I wanted to have mad skills like Slash.)

What's the Score Behind the Wheel?

Just a few days ago while Jan and I were walking along a quiet street on my way to my interview at past midnight, we were startled when a driver of a Toyota Fortuner honked his horn at us. I looked around and saw no one, except for the cars parked alongside the road. We were walking on the side too or maybe a little further from the side, but still there's enough space for two cars to pass without hitting anyone walking by. So I'm not really sure if that's the reason for the honking. I gave Jan a puzzled look and continued to walk. After a few meters, the car was still behind us running at a very slow speed. I am well aware of the city ordinance's 30kph speed limit. But if it's running at the same pace as ours, it wouldn't take long to smell something suspiscious. We were cautious. So we slowed down and the car slowed down. We stopped and the car stopped. We continued to walk and the car continued behind.

It Is the Little Things

I came home very early today (by early, I mean five in the morning), dragged myself towards the only heaven I know at that moment - which is my room - stripped myself off the oxford shirt I've worn during the job interview, and put on my most comfy cottony clothes. 

I still have an hour to go before everybody starts going out and about the house, preparing themselves for a day ahead. I would have loved to catch some sleep as my eyes were already droopy. And I owe myself a good, long one too. But before I drift away to slumber land, I took out my phone and sent Jan a message telling him that I'm already home. Then I lay on my bed and waited for his reply. I was staring at my screen for quite some time when a warm feeling washed over me and I smiled. Suddenly, I was not sleepy anymore. Thoughts kept running on my mind and I just felt the need to spill it all out even though I have said on my previous post that I won't be writing anything until I come home from our weekend vacation.

Waiting for his reply just reminded me how blessed I am. I think about what I've done in life and how I must be favored by the gods to deserve someone so loving, caring, and thoughtful. I think about all those little things he has done and how he cares so much about me. Just like most girls, being treated like a princess is a guilty pleasure. But he's no prince charming nor a leading man as he does not follow the script that was laid out for couples like a love story written by Nicholas Sparks. To tell you honestly, he's no cassanova nor does he make cheesy romantic gestures to prove his love. No chocolates, no flowers, no gifts, no fancy dinner. No, he does not spoil me like that. But he has his ways. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

His reply came shortly and I'm glad he's home too. He was with me during a job interview with the client at one o'clock in the morning (the company works with the US time zone, that's why). He came from his day job, but still waited for me patiently without complaints - just an all-out support and making me feel better when I'm too nervous, and even went out of the way to stay up all throughout the night. I couldn't count the number of sacrifices he has done for me. Those times when he doesn't feel well but would still get up and pretend that he's okay just so he can spend a little more time with me. Or those times when he would patiently wait while I'm working overtime so we can eat dinner together. Those simple gestures of giving me a part of his life that he can never take back - his time - is something that I truly cherish. He makes time for me even if time is something we don't have much for now. And I don't think I can ever be grateful enough.

The Sunday Currently Vol. 4

I just noticed that my blog entries lately are sort of heavy and meaty. You know, those write-ups that have been well-thought of with words that seem to last forever, or a better way to put it, boring. Thought I would write something refreshing and light this time. :)


Selling Hitler by Robert Harris. I actually had this book a few months ago and I never got to read it until today. I bought it at BookSale for only Php 20. Sweet heavens!

I don't know if it is with my fascination with the Third Reich or simply because Harris has done a remarkable job in writing a page-turner piece of history served hot and delicious with a flavorful humor that I find this book impossible to put down.

Note to self: Tomorrow's Monday. Please get some sleep.

this blog entry and nothing else. Although I was actually thinking of writing a script for my verbal attack on PLDT for their lousy service. I am having crappy internet issues for almost a week now. Calling their hotline and following up for the nth time doesn't seem to help. Konti na lang, mapupuno na ako. I hope their customer service actions are as prompt as their bills.

to Jack Johnson (again, yes). I don't think I'll ever get tired listening to his songs. Sundays aren't complete without a dose of him. Go on and listen to his songs and you'll feel a lot better.

Currently playing: Flake

this blinking cursor. Because I'm still racking my brains out if I watched something significant (or insignificant) earlier today. Oh yeah, I was watching my mum cook dinner while I sit and wait. This is why I love Sundays.

of ways to keep track of my finances. I'll do better this time. I promise.

for a good week. I found other ways to earn moolah again. Woot!

the little attention my blog is getting. I feel loved even though I know most of those who come here are technically strangers. I hope I made you feel home in my little space in the internet as much as you made me feel better each time you read, lurk, and more so interact with me. Gracias, amigos!

to eat Lucky Me Chilimansi pancit canton with dumang. I've been obssessed with dumang lately. It's a chili powder I got from our recent trip in Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental. I've been putting dumang to everything I eat, including green mangoes and pickled cucumbers.

EXERCISE. I've been really inactive lately. I need to work out those damn muscles again and get back in shape.

excited for our long weekend trip to Bucas Grande! Woot! So from here, this blog's going to be quiet until we get home from the trip.

for the days to go faster. Like I said, I've been waiting for the weekend and it's killing me.

or more like raping the Refresh button. Internet's been acting up. And yes, the Publish button in a few (that is, if I could even publish this given the sluggish speed).

How did your weekend go? I hope you had a good one. And I wish everyone a great week ahead! :)

Join The Sunday Currently blog link up by Siddathornton.

Top Ten Tuesday

I thought I'd introduce a new blogging feature, Top Ten Tuesday. This is nothing new. Perhaps a lot of people are doing something like this already. This was inspired from the creators of the idea, the book bloggers: The Broke and the Bookish. And since my blog doesn't exclusively talk about books, I thought I'd share with you Top Ten of anything I can think of. Be it my top favorite movies, quotes, beauty regimens, or things to thank for. The topics are limitless - so there'd be no reason to run out of things to write. And I encourage you to do the same. Just write top ten of anything that says something about yourself. :)

So for my first ever Top Ten Tuesday feature, let me talk about my top ten favorite tv series. I know, I know. I have already told you a thousand times that I don't watch TV. Yes, I don't. But I do have some days of binge-watching my favorite series in one day. This is the reason why I hate the waiting game, and that's why I haven't watched Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead yet. Haha. Don't judge. :)

Getting Out of the Murk

I don't have a job right now. And maybe a lot of you are wondering how the f*ck was I able to survive three months of paying bills and tuition fees, splurging on unneccessary stuff, and gallivanting without having a stable and full-time job. I do have a few Mobile App design jobs however, and I depended so much on my savings to sustain every whim (wrong move, I know). But just when August ended, I realized that I am running out of funds. Really.

August Blues and September Goals

Finally, we've hit the "ber" months and I'm not really sure how I should feel about it knowing that the holiday festivities are just around the corner and I am nearing financial doomsday.

I don't know what came up to me when I had my dad's old car fixed. Maybe because I have this thing for anything vintagey. What we have here is a Suzuki Jimny from the 80s (or late 70s?). It is old and has seen better days.

This thing has not been used since my dad left for USA to work (that's like ten years already). Ipinapakilo na dapat ang mga ganito. But surprisingly, the mechanics said it is not hopeless and this little truck would be powerful again once it comes back to shape. Although I think it needs more than just an overhaul (I talk like I know automotive. Haha). What's even more surprising is that a lot of people has shown interest on it despite being heavily scratched, severely dented, and junk shop worthy. Not only that it was neglected but it was abused as well, dahil kung anu-ano ang pinapatong dito, sako-sako ng semento, bakal, stocks, at kung anu-ano pa. And my dad, being the sentimental person that he is, is very reluctant to sell his first car. Well, this going to be classic, they say. Old Suzukis are known to be tough little horses. So I got that going for me.
This is how it looks now. Still a work in progress, about 30% done.
Although I don't really want to think how much moolah was spent, but to give you an idea, I would have been able to scratch Skydiving off my bucketlist or I can survive a month without a job if not for this. And it's not even halfway there yet. Pintura pa lang, umiyak na ako ng pako. T_T Haha

Car talks aside, I hated that I just lost weight without even trying. And you should know how much I struggle to maintain or gain weight. These are the times when I wish I love sweets and fats, or my metabolism could've at least slowed down a bit. Hehe. I also hated that I don't get to see Jan as often as I like. The same way that I hated the fact that the past few days were just all about getting through the day without computer or internet because I couldn't use both while people were working (welding) on some grills in our garage. I hated that I am lazier than I was. And I hated that I whine too much over these petty little things, when others could have had it worse.

August wasn't really productive. So for September, I only have one goal: that is to look for a full-time job that would allow me to see the sunshine and have a real human interaction again. And oh, I think I have got to build those damn muscles too. Aaaaand I am seriously thinking of going back to school and take some units in Education, because I think I want to be a High School teacher. Haha. Or just forget it. I was just delusional and I plead temporary insanity. Hello Sarah, please look for a job first.

Things are going to change now. September has always been good to me. And I am claiming this month. This is my month. I know good things are about to happen. And I will make it happen.

Hello, September! Ready to rock this month? Let's get it on! :)

Create an Archive List/Page for Blogger

After revamping my blog with this awesome free theme from ThemeXpose that I absolutely love, I decided to remove the archive list widget for good in hopes of decluttering my sidebar. However, I still want to offer you, my dear readers, an easy way to backtrack and dig my old posts just in case you want to read about how I sucked at handling life, or just for the heck of hate-reading me, or simply, just because you want to get to know me more (aaaawww ). So I decided to go for an archives page instead.

Do blog archives matter?
Yes, they do. As a matter of fact, they are essential, not only that it gives your blog depth and credibility but it also cultivates loyalty to your readers as well. How? Having an Archives increases the amount of time your visitors spend on your site - giving them a chance of knowing you more which will eventually lead to keeping them engaged and loyal to your blog. Don't just let your old blog posts sit in the dark and gather dusts. :)

For months, I've been using this code from jhwilson's Create a Blogger Archive Page. Here's how it looked like:

The Sunday Currently Vol. 3

How is this photo relevant to my post? It's not.

I tried my best to steer clear from writing anything that has something to do with politics but there's already too much drama happening and I couldn't help it.


Facebook posts, comments, and anything related to Duterte, the pressing issues regarding the anomalies in the Bureau of Customs, the INC rally that caused inconvenience to many, and Aldub - yeah, I didn't believe such atrocity exists. Hehe. Just Kidding. No hate here #Aldub fans, just love. :)

this blog post and my opinion about Duterte running for Presidency. Okay, don't get me wrong. I believe he'd be a great leader given that he wins. But for him to carry the burden of this country, I think, would be too much to ask for a 70-year old who is supposed to be retiring and having the time of his life with his grandkids.

Am I Not Filipino Enough?

To my non-Filipino friends: this post has a lot of Filipino words that I did not bother to translate. You may proceed or read my other posts instead. :)

I am not Filipino enough.

Case I:
I had the opportunity to join Google Translate-a-thon as part of the Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) celebration. It would have been great to give up one day to help improve Google's translation in Filipino. But one thing stopped me... I am bad at using the Filipino language. Okay, I'm not really that bad. But I would have a hard time translating English into pure Filipino words without sounding archaic.

Case II:
Back in high school, we were required to read Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I have had several attempts finishing it but I just couldn't get past fifty pages, especially with those lengthy tagalog words. I was just skimming the entire time taking notes on what I think are important points that will come out in the quiz. No offense meant to Jose Rizal but those books proved to be a difficult read. Not until I read the entirety of it in English.

Case III:
Right now, I have a few drafts on my blog. I am hesitant to publish them because they are not good enough. I actually wrote an article about the killing of "Pamana", a Philippine Eagle - which as many do not know, is critically endangered. I was quite enraged so I thought of writing my sentiments about it. But I just couldn't cut it because the English language seems so soft for something this heartbreaking and I want it to hurt. I couldn't write without cussing. Alam nyo na, yung maisulat mo yung malulutong na. "Putang ina mo! Mamatay ka rin sana hinayupak ka!". But I couldn't write the entire article in straight Filipino that sounds natural as well. So it ended up as just a mere draft.

Case IV:
A cousin asked me to write a 300-word essay regarding the importance of your Mother Tongue (or tongue ina mo. Haha. Joke. Baka makulong ako nito) in Filipino. After organizing and agonizing my thoughts an hour later, I found myself writing this blog instead.

Case V:
You're a Filipino, so why don't you write in Filipino?

(I didn't know what to say)

Am I not Filipino enough?
I was raised in a Tagalog-speaking home by Ilocano parents, grew up in Davao City where Bisaya is the main language, and I am surrounded with cousins who are Ilonggo. So yeah, aside from Tagalog, I speak three other languages quite well. Speaking and conversing casually in bisaya or tagalog can come as naturally as breathing. Reading or writing it, however, is another story. Hindi sa nagmamayabang ako. Inuulit ko, hindi ako nagmamayabang. But honestly, I feel more comfortable writing and reading the English language.

First and foremost, English was the medium of instruction back in the schools I have attended to, not to mention, all the books we used were printed in English. Second, I fully recognize the value of being able to know the English language. We already use our native language everyday in our lives. I think it would be better if we would also practice and learn the English language because we use it to communicate with the rest of the world, and considering the ability to speak and write English provides one an edge to be competitive in the global market.

Just because I don't write in Filipino, does not mean I am unpatriotic. Before someone would direct Gat Jose Rizal's (who is, by the way, a polyglot, and wrote most of his writings in Spanish) words, "Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, ay higit pa sa mabaho at malansang isda" straight to my face and tell me I'm arrogant, let me ask you one question: how do we actually show love for our own language? Do we really have to use it every second of every minute of every hour of every day when we speak or write? I don't think so.

Being misunderstood can be unpleasant sometimes. And many times I have been misunderstood and labeled arrogant just because I use the English language (especially when using social media and replying to comments on Facebook) more frequently than my native language. Okay, let's put it this way, I am born Ilocano and I grew up as a Davaoeño, which "native tongue" should I use/love? Ilocano? Bisaya? Or the legislatively-imposed Tagalog which is now known as Filipino? Or should I just use the English language which is the de facto lingua franca?

Language is a great tool to communicate. And it pays to know more than just one tool. And it pays better to know which tool to use and how to use it properly in any given situation. Yes, I am up for preserving our native languages, that's why I use it whenever I converse with a fellow Filipino too. But the world is moving and so should we. This is where English will come into the picture. And this is something that should be accepted and understood, the English language is not foreign for us anymore. So I hope you don't mind if I use English to express and write my thoughts because that's what I am comfortable with, and I assure you, it doesn't make me less of a Filipino. #JustSaying

P.S. I still despise broken English or conyo language (if there's such thing) propagated by the likes of people who love to order overpriced coffee and make tambay in some overrated coffeshops. Like, oh my gosh! They're so annoying talaga

Here's something you may find interesting. This is Baybayin, an ancient (and lost) Filipino script. Now, I think it would be better if our country preserved this and reuse it in writing our language. Don't you think?
It says Ako ay Pilipino (if my memory serves me right). Surprisingly, I still know a little bit of this. :D

Aliwagwag Falls, Cateel

There is something about waterfalls that draws me to it. Perhaps it's the sound the raging waters create as water drops from above, releasing "feel good" mists when you're close to it. Or simply because waterfalls - no matter how small or big they are - are powerful, majestic, and beautiful. I have the same reaction to the sea as well - the sound of the waves resonates positive vibes. Nature indeed has wonderful ways of removing negative energies from within. And this is why despite the conveniences and comforts the city life brings, my body will always seek refuge in communing with nature no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable it can become.
Aliwagwag Falls
This is the beautiful Aliwagwag Falls, located in Cateel, Davao Oriental. Deemed as the highest waterfalls in the Philippines, this photo has not even shown its full glory. I took this photo right after I had a little accident. I was walking up the bridge to get a better view and angle. I was so mesmerized by the cascading beauty that without a warning my foot slipped into a water drainage and I fell over. I got up immediately, took this shot like nothing happened before I realized I was bleeding. That small mishap left me with a nasty scraped shin about four inches big - not as big as the memories I have of this place though. Charaught! Haha. But really, I ought to be extra careful next time.

Dahican Beach, Mati

Kadayawan Festival was a blast. And I'm sure of that even though I wasn't actually there to witness it. I grew up celebrating Kadayawan Festival in Davao City and it has always been great. Not that I'm not proud of it, but for a change, Jan and I decided to escape the crowd and took a 5-hour ride to Mati, Davao Oriental instead.

After all the stress from work last week, I believe we deserve this much needed break. Well, what can I say? I think I left my heart in Mati - home of the famous Dahican Beach. It is by far the best beach I've ever been. I love how it remains underdeveloped, unspoiled, and untamed. And despite the number of tourists, skimboarders and surfers around, there was a sense of tranquility.

I couldn't count the number of times I've told Jan how the beach took my breath away. The turquoise waters, white sand, the big and playful waves, plus the sunny weather just made everything perfect. When we decided (out of impulse) to go to Mati, I didn't know we were in for a treat!
Dahican Beach, Mati City, Davao Oriental

The Perils of Living in the Age of Social Media

Funny how we allow social media to open our lives to public scrutiny. We announce just every effin' thing we do. We show them what we eat, what we wore, where we went, what we feel. Kulang na lang umabot sa ganito: 
We tell the whole world about our upset stomach, a throbbing headache, or a snotty runny nose. We rant pretty much about anything from crowded streets to long queues to heavy traffic to the smelly armpits of the person sitting next to us on the way home. I've heard in a jeepney once, "They just broke up." "What? How'd you know?" "Saw it on Facebook." Don't you think it's kind of disturbing when everyone knows the score when couples fight over Facebook? And funny how we hate it so much when we get an unsolicited advice after airing our dirty laundry online. (Do I sound like a hater yet?)

Of Beers and Sundays

Finally, Sunday! The week has been pretty exhausting. I never thought that running a food business can be draining, especially for us who have no experience, training, or whatsoever on this.

Just to give you a little background, my friends and I started this food business that will run for the whole duration of Hudyakaan sa Kadayawan starting August 14 until August 23. I thought we've had a good start-up plan. Menu, costing, staff, and equipment were all planned out well but when put into the actual situation of serving beer and pulutan to an overwhelming number of customers, everything seemed to whirl in eddies that I was left stupefied and, not to mention, clumsy. But I'm glad we made it through our first night without losing money and sanity; although I can say it was kind of a disaster. Haha.
Popong Landero in the house!

First WPAP Art: Duterte 2016

Last week, a friend asked me to create a vector art of our dear Mayor Rody Duterte to support her advocacy in encouraging him to run for Presidency. Okay, I'll be honest with you. I really don't like the idea of him running for President. You see, I, for one, love him so much that we don't want anything bad for our dear Mayor.

I have had six heart attacks. Pag presidente ako, I have to deal with Bangsamoro and may China pa. Mamatay ako. But if I can get Joma Sison, Nur Misuari, the Bangsamoro to agree, then I will run but they must drop their arms first. It will be an all inclusive government,"  -Duterte (source)

See? It would not be an easy task.

But if there is no other person who could go on par with his level of competency for the highest position in the government, then I'd definitely get myself registered again and vote for him as our leader (that is, if he runs).

I just hope Philippines is ready for his leadership. I hope the Filipinos know what they're getting into when asking for the iron fist to rule the nation - because that entails a lot of discipline. There is no way he can do this alone. If you want change, it will have to start with you.

Anyway, I did not create a vector art. I'm too preoccupied these days. I've got a logo to create for our business, a new design job for an app, and a lot more. Hence, I created a WPAP thinking it will just be easy. But I was so wrong. It took me a week to complete this. I've had a lot of stops in between and there were those times when I think of quitting because I really have no idea what direction I'm aiming for. Haha.

Here's for my very first WPAP: (I know I still have a lot to work on, like color harmony and stuff. But I think it's not that bad, is it?)
Duterte artwork wpap art

The Sunday Currently Vol. 2

Sunday isn't exactly a day to be productive. But what I love about this day is that I can do whatever the hell I want. And that includes doing almost nothing.


A Better Way to Live by Og Mandino. I've had this a long time ago but it's just today that I was able to flip and read its pages.

this blog post. And another entry about my stand regarding pyramid and ponzi schemes. If you're on to it, don't even think about talking me out of these networking/pyramiding shit. I am lazy and I don't have the charms. And I'm not sly enough to lure and sweet talk people out to join the plans of world domination through get-rich-quickly schemes. Besides, I couldn't dare to lose my friends, their trust, and their hard earned money. So yeah, there I said it. I'm not sure anymore if I'm still going to finish writing that because I think I've said everything in two sentences.

to Jack Johnson on Spotify. His songs never fail to soothe my nerves. I got a little upset over the issue that I cannot use my computer as there were people working in our garage who were using the welding machine. The thing is, I've got projects to do and deadlines to meet. I've busted my computer before on the same event as interference and power inconsistencies can happen. So I have no choice but to unplug everything lest I want my new baby to have the same fate as the other.

It's Been a While

I'm posting this because I'm so damn proud of this man and so damn proud of myself. I missed doing vectors and it has been more than 3 years since the last time I did this. I am amazing! And I am the best! Okay, this is my blog and I can say whatever I want! Haha. Kidding aside, I think I'll soon be scanning all the doodles I did and turn them digital. That is, if I don't get lazy. Hehe. :)
Vector art is one of the forms of art that I love doing. I am inspired and I've got time to spare. Who knows? I might do one for a random person, a friend, or a blogger for free. *wink*

10 Things I Wish I Had Learned Sooner in Life

It's August. Cheeses, where did time go?!

I have made it more than halfway through 2015 and thought it would be good to see how I'm doing. I know it's still early to say this but so far 2015 turned out quite well. Although turning 30 this year didn't seem to have a really big impact in my life like how I expected it should be. Perhaps I am still having a hard time realizing that I've lived three decades already because deep inside, I still feel like I'm in my early twenties or maybe even younger. But of course, for 30 years, I've seen how life can sometimes be sneaky in delivering valuable lessons right in front of me. And there were those times that I just wish I had known them sooner in life. Just like...

1. Being yourself doesn't mean you don't have to change. Simply put, just stop being a half-assed version of yourself and aim for a better you. Yes, it is true that you have to "be yourself", but don't use it as an excuse to stop working on improving yourself.

2. It's okay to say No. Just because you don't want to come off as rude, insulting, or in any way, you don't want to offend or raise a conflict doesn't mean you're obligated to say Yes to the things you'd rather turn down. If it doesn't enrich your life in one way or another, then learn the art of saying no politely.

3. Being selfish is not a bad thing. And sometimes it is even essential. You need to respect yourself too by acknowledging your own needs. If you don't, you run the risk of completely becoming stressed and burnt out that will eventually lead you to suffer the ill-effects of living a life of misery. Come on, be nice to yourself. Book for a vacation that you deserve.

4. No one is too smart or too tough for love.

5. You don't live to please everybody. Go ahead and try - and watch yourself fail miserably. Some people will hate you just because. And it's not worth wasting your time trying to please people who don't even give an eff about you. You will realize you are happier the moment you start not giving a f*ck about what others think.

6. Life is too short for reality tv shows, bad movies, social media, crappy jobs, and shitty people.

7. You don't have to be absolutely too forgiving. People always tell you to simply let go of the past and release all the negativity. Just forgive and forget, they say. But in reality and sadly, life doesn't work that way. Regardless of what the society and religion tell you about forgiveness, there are those times when you just have to take a stand against the kind of behavior you won't tolerate. And not forgiving easily is as good as sending a message that it's not okay to be treated that way. Don't be pressured to forgive just because you think it's the right thing to do. Give yourself a time not to forgive... until you're ready and when the time is right.

8. It's worth reading the instruction manuals, terms and conditions, and the fine print. It can save your ass, your money, and your life.

9. Sunblock is essential.

10. You will never know when you are "grown up". As I have mentioned earlier, I thought I would feel different when I become an adult. But the fact is, I still feel pretty much the same way I was ten years ago. I am still that same girl with eyes that sparkle at the sight of a Nerds candy. Adults miss life just because they're adults. Fun becomes underrated. Come on, it's okay to be silly and do something crazy sometimes. Sometimes it serves well not to think as an adult, it keeps life simple.

Perhaps, it's an "adult" thing when you contemplate about your life. Or simply because I don't have internet right now. Hence, this post. Either way, I can say life has so much to learn. And what makes it powerful is that you'll never know when you'll learn it and you will always learn it the hard way.