I remember it was summer of 2003 when I created my first blog. I did it out of the need to channel my inner Hulk who gets infuriated at life's slightest inconveniences into something rather creative. Then I became mature (surprisingly) and started sharing my opinions—without being pompous, my experiences—the good, the bad, and the mundane, and pretty much every minuscule achievement and monumental milestone in my life. I have always thought it's not a bad thing to have something to look back to. 

I know people rarely read blogs nowadays. Most people crave for aesthetic visual content, usually in the form of a curated feed or fifteen-second reels. But then again, even though I have active accounts in most of these content-sharing platforms, I still wouldn't want to fully detach myself from this little old habit. I have not changed my content just to stay relevant. This blog is still about me and the mundane things I do. And it's reassuring to know that there are readers who have been somehow inspired despite the fact that my blog lacks depth and seriousness.

But for the most part, I have used this little space in the internet as a training gym to build and flex my writing muscles until I make it as a Palanca awardee.

It is just not happening as I have envisioned and planned it though. 

I often find myself slipping into a slump. And sometimes, I would stay down there because drowning in self-doubt is easier than believing in yourself. I even declined those offers to become a columnist for a local newspaper and a contributor for an online news publication because the mocking voices in my head tell me I could not do it. And I think my middle finger agrees. 

Look how swollen it has become. I guess gotta stop writing typing.

My writing journey resembles a roller coaster ride. There are the overwhelming highs and crippling lows, the slow and relaxing ascent, then the big exhilarating drop. The ride will eventually come to a stop, which is a good time to take breather before I hop on to the next, probably more challenging one.

The thing is, I have been riding the same roller coaster again and again. I have not improved over the years. And I am not talking about the technical aspects of writing here because I can say I've gone a long way when it comes to English grammar and composition. Of course, there is still so much to learn but I am at the point where I feel like I have mastered my craft... and not in a good way. To put it simply, I have been doing the same thing over and over. My writings have been trivial then and now because, well, it's the easier thing to do.

Five years ago, I dreamed of joining and winning the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Four years later, I snapped into my senses and scrapped the idea of winning. Heck, it didn't take long before I scrapped the idea of joining too.

A few days ago, I was ready to abandon writing altogether after reading Atom Araullo's winning Palanca piece. I was impressed, inspired, and at the same time demotivated because it only proved how juvenile my writing skill is. πŸ˜…

And today, I know exactly why I couldn't muster the courage to start a draft. I have not been diverse in the things I talk about. Or maybe I am just devoid of ideas that I have been writing nothing but these simple, everyday occurrences in my life. Nothing of real importance. Nothing that leaves a valuable lesson or insight. Nothing that enriches the lives of those who read it. Nothing that's worth writing ten pages long.

I want to be better than that. I want to be brave enough to hop on to the next roller coaster and take the front row seat knowing there will be a steeper drop and sharper turns that I know would hurt. 

I think I should impose an internet ban on myself just to keep my thoughts clear of outside influences. The voices in my head—that are probably rooted from all the thoughts and opinions I read from others everyday—are getting too loud and destructive. I want to hear my own voice this time. 

And maybe, just maybe, I will discover a stronger voice. And maybe, just maybe, I will realize I can actually write something that is empowering and meaningful. Then maybe, just maybe, I will emerge victorious in a pool of professional writers and seasoned journalists.

Maybe.

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I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed today: 

Funny how Netflix can make it seem like a charming, cutesie, and heart-warming childhood movie...

Then completely destroy you without warning.

It happened to me too. It was 1998 when my parents started bringing me to Video City or ACA Video to rent out movies we can watch over the weekend. I remember dawdling from one aisle to another, scanning the shelves with movies I've never heard of, paying attention particularly to the covers and interesting tag lines. I lingered a lot more around the horror/thriller, adventure, and comedy sections. And then one time, there, on the comedy shelf, My Girl caught my eye.

On the front cover it read: "A funny and moving family film". I picked the empty VHS tape case up, flipped it over, and read the plot summary. It seemed cute and charming. You know, first love, first kisses and all. Maybe a little bittersweet. But hey, it's a comedy. What could go wrong? There's nothing like picking out a feel-good movie to take home on a Friday night, right? Damn, I miss those times.

It was funny, alright. But I suppose they have placed it on the wrong shelf. The shocking plot twist caught me off guard and it hit me hard. Emotionally damaging kind of hard. It was like Artax sinking in the swamp all over again.

It did nothing to my tear ducts though, if that's what you're thinking. No movie has ever made me cry—not even Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, or Marley & Me (I also have the books of the last two). And it's not like I'm holding back my tears nor I am that soulless. I do cry. But my tears are reserved only for serious matters like finding out I forgot to push the "cook" button on the rice cooker an hour after I left it and everybody is already starving. πŸ˜‚

Anyway, these video rental shops stopped existing ages ago but the internet made it possible to watch the classics once more. However, I could not bring myself to watch My Girl again. Especially now that I'm an adult. Such emotional scenes don't get me anymore. I would most likely just notice inconsistencies and illogical movie scenes, and ruin the whole experience like what I did with most movies. Hachi: A Dog's Tale, for example.

If I may digress slightly.

Hachiko, sure is deemed one of the saddest movies. Watching it did make me sad. But probably not for the same reason you have. What bothers me is that he was "set free" or more likely abandoned to his grief by his family shortly after the "main" master dies and they let him live ten monotonous years. No loving, responsible pet owner, especially one that was owned by an important family member would do that. I was sad, and only because I don't think Mr. Wilson will be happy to see how his dog lived terribly right after his death, enduring harsh weather conditions and living off scraps from strangers. I can make a whole blog post about this. LOL. 

While most of us romanticized the dog's devotion and loyalty, I think the filmmakers could have done better than inadvertently portray the family as dog-abandoning jerks. I had to read up on what really happened because I was disappointed with the movie-logic. At least, the reality is less merciless. There was a more sensible reason why he can't be kept by the surviving wife. The real Hachi who waited daily at the station, although bullied and mistreated by some passers-by, actually had a place to come home to. He lived a short distance from the station with his previous owner's former gardener. 

And that is why I'd rather not watch these sad, emotional movies as an adult, I easily spot things that don't make sense.

Outside Shibuya train station in Japan. 

Anyway, let's get back to the topic.

Needless to say, My Girl has left a lasting impact on me that I could say it's still one of my favorite movies. As a matter of fact, more than a year ago, I created a small part of my island in Animal Crossing dedicated to this movie.

There was the tree, the dock, and the lake.
And now there is booze. 
So whether you are a tough guy who always has a ready excuse that there is just something in your eye when an emotional scene comes, or you are bold about your feelings that you can bawl like a child with no shame, or you are just like me who needs to slice onions just to conjure up some tears, it's always nice to watch some movies that will make you feel all the feels.

I know you don't need another reason to cry. But in case you are a glutton for sadness, I would definitely recommend My Girl (1991), then add the Bridge to Terabithia (2007) in the mix for an extra dose of heartbreak. 


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Perhaps I have not made it very obvious but I've said this before: I am addicted to boots—even if it is something I know I cannot wear regularly here in the tropics.

Anyway, I finally got my very first Dr. Martens! 

Hands down to the coolest, sickest, and most badass shoes I've ever seen.

I love how I can rock the boots with anything.

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I don't remember the last time I wrote something serious.  And I think this post will be serious. And long. and unrelatable. And boring. 

And... anyway. 

Let me start this with our daily scuffle: 


I wake up before 5AM and I only have ten minutes to finish a freshly brewed coffee before Isabel wakes up. I usually finish a cup down to the last drop at around 5PM. It's obviously cold and more bitter by then. During those sips, I give myself time to think.

Today's thought is kind of bitter-sweet. Just like how I want to enjoy my coffee. And it goes...

Once you give life in this world, you cannot expect to keep yours.

As a mom of three, this rings true to me, and in two different ways. 

The Young Mom

The first time I became a mom was an accident. I was twenty-three years young, wild, and free. I was far too irresponsible. I have not achieved nor proven anything. I had a low-paying, unstable job. I was in a toxic relationship and didn't know it. I was unprepared, emotionally and financially.

But giving birth to my first-born, as clichΓ© as it sounds, certainly turned my life around, which also meant putting my dreams on hold and letting go of the life I had before. A life that was so full of adventure and freedom.

I took the risk of getting a job that is completely unrelated to my college degree just so I can do more. I worked two jobs (Writer and a Virtual Assistant) while having a side hustle by selling baby stuff online, which eventually killed my social life. I went out of my comfort zone and learned new skills to advance my career. I did everything I can to give my son a good life.

It was not easy. It was mentally destructive, to say the least. But I survived and it did pay off.

"Single"-Blessedness

Fast forward to many years, my first-born grew up and so did I. I learned how to love myself and walked away from a toxic relationship. I sashayed my way to a totally different career that I never thought I would enjoy, not to mention, get a better pay. I learned how to overcome challenges with grace.

My life started to become somehow relaxed. I raised a good, polite, obedient, and semi-independent son. Plus, I have a village with me. So single-parenting was fairly a breeze. I gained back a bit of my freedom too. And with that, I learned a few new sports, joined social events, made new friends, tried new things, and even committed myself to someone in a new relationship. I relived the life I lost after becoming a young mom. 

Rhett's very first international vacay.

I achieved most of my goals, took those mini breaks by traveling to new places, and did most of the things on my bucket list. Inarguably, they were some of the best years of my life. I maximized the short season I became "single" again without, of course, putting my motherhood duties back seat.

The A-Little-Bit-Older Mom

The second time I became a mom was entirely different. At this time, I already feel complete and content. I reached a degree of financial stability. And on top of that, I married the best husband a wife could possibly have.

But...

I realized no one can ever be fully prepared for this because I was confronted with another challenge. For someone who is already approaching her forties, I no longer have the same energy I had in my youth. Pregnancy is risky and parenting tiny humans, even though I'm sharing the responsibility with Jan, is more difficult at this age. Back pain is inevitable, fatigue is real, and burnout becomes more common than ever—something I have not experienced with my first-born despite being a hands-on mom who worked sixty to seventy hours a week back then.

Rhett, 13. Chris, 2. Isabel, 10 months. Look at those tired eyes. But seeing these beautiful faces makes it all worthwhile.
And come to think of it, I will be forty-one when I drop Isabel off on her first day of kindergarten. And when she graduates in college, I will already be at least sixty. That is currently the age of my mama who is retired and just enjoying her pension and all her apos. I hope I will not be mistaken as my children's lola when the time comes. πŸ˜…

My mama and Chris.

I may be faced with different challenges now, but one thing remained constant: I had to let go of my old life. This time, I had to sacrifice a career I painstakingly built over the years. And to tell you honestly, it's driving me crazy.

But I don't, not even for one second, regret any of it—even though I know that we will never have that much freedom again to learn and try new things, work, and travel until the kids are grown. Hopefully when that happens, our knees are not yet wobbly and we are still strong enough to explore the world.

So when is the best time? 

I came across these two posts on Facebook today. Some people tell you to have children when you're still young and able (young ha like young adult, NOT teen). While others tell you to do it when you're content and stable. I've done both. I pulled through becoming a young mother, a single one at that. And I am surviving motherhood now.

I say, there is no right or best timing to have a baby. Do it young, you will be burdened with financial issues. Do it later, you will have a hard time conceiving and you will be dealing with health issues you didn't know existed. Some things are certain though: being a parent is difficult and exhausting, it will ruin your body, and YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME regardless of your age. You will be faced with different challenges but it's how you handle and take full responsibility after having a baby that matters most. After all, wanting to have a baby is, honestly, a hundred percent selfish. The least we can do is make life worth living and experiencing for our children.


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I am silently panicking.

I never thought I'd experience a heartbreak far worse than a break up.

My heart sank. It literally felt heavy when I read the news because I know that once this year ends, my dreams of having a Doc Martens pair is over. Either I buy one now—something this broke ass cannot obviously do. Or do it later (optimistically a year or two from now), and pay taxes, import duties, and international shipping fee that can amount to half the 1460 Classic's regular price—something I am not very willing to spend.

Cherry red. 😍 Dayumn. My dream Docs.
And because of that, I am having this moment again. I feel a lot of things now. Grateful and regretful, contented and wanting more, enjoying the now and dwelling on the what-ifs, and more.

You see, after years of building my career from being a Writer to a Virtual Assistant to a UI/UX designer to a Web Developer, I am now a full-time stay-at-home mom and a housewife who couldn't even keep the house clean. 

And each day, I am consumed with thoughts about being fully hands-on to our children as well as having this strong desire to contribute financially to our family. It is difficult. Really. Especially when I used to be financially independent and this new reality slapped me in the face that I am now completely dependent to the husband.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for having an all-out supportive husband, for the life we are living now, for everything. It’s just the unnecessary extras that are getting me down at the moment, which I admit is kind of selfish. If I had a job, I could buy those boots in a heartbeat after I saw the announcement, you know. But sadly, I only earn through TikTok now and everything I made the last three weeks can only afford four pairs of Dr. Martens shoe laces. πŸ˜…

I guess, I will continue bemoaning and stressing over losing something I never had because I failed to plan ahead and save adequately for these sudden, unfortunate incidents such as permanent store closures. πŸ™„

-------

UPDATE!!!

I wasn't able to sleep well last night because of this. Haha. I was up all night devising strategies how to convince the husband to buy me these 11k worth of boots that I probably would not wear until our next out-of-the-country trip.

Just kidding. I just couldn't sleep. Period.

Although earlier this morning, I swallowed my pride and mustered the courage to ask my husband to buy me one.

I've got my script ready about how he can buy the things he wants like an AirPods Pro without question, followed by the exaggerated retelling of my labor and childbirth stories, then draw that "you-don't-love-me-anymore" card in case he says NO. 

But before I could give him that puppy face, this beast has been checked out:

You must be wondering what happened to the cherry red dream Docs?

1. I couldn't find my size in any of the authorized/legit sellers.

2. I was ten times more excited and I hyperventilated when I saw this 1460 WB Goonies.

Let me tell you a short backstory. 

Stand By Me, The Little Rascals, and The Goonies were the movies I have watched over and over when I was a kid. That's where my thirst for thrill and adventure probably stems.

Anyway, these are LIMITED EDITION and luckily, I was able to grab the very last pair of my size!

Yaaaaas! NEVER SAY DIE!

It's a MERRY CHRISTMAS for me! Can't wait for this!


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I grew up in an era where the concept of Wishlist does not exist. In those days, whenever there is an "exchange gifts" during Christmas parties, the giver carries the burden of gift-giving—one that I carried ever since I started high school.

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I was never really a sandal girl. My toes look funny and ugly to be wearing one. But I have always wanted a pair of Birkenstock. They are not exactly attractive but they go well with my manly feet. They are also easy to wear and can go with anything—jeans, shorts, even dresses!

The malls here sell them for more than Php5,000. And each time they go on sale, I would slip one on in hopes that one day I would finally give in and get myself a pair. But every single time, I'd take it off with an expected dismay. Because every single time, it doesn't feel right.

I get it. I pay for the brand and durability. But if I'm paying for something that steep, I would have to pay for comfort as well. At my age, comfort has become my deciding factor for everything. Seats, accommodation, car, clothing, and so on. Apparently, the Birks do not have it. At least, not on the first try.

I settled for different brands that have a similar look to the classic Birkenstock Arizona because they feel much more comfortable. Unfortunately, they didn't last that long.

And then yesterday, strangely enough, I finally own a pair of authentic Birkenstock Arizona sandals. I love them. I've always wanted them. But wearing them for the first time wasn't as magical as it did with my brand new sneakers. (New Balance 574 ftw!) If anything, it was unsurprisingly anticlimactic.

That's Chino, our adopted cat.

I still can't wrap my head around why people worship these Birks (and why I'd still want them no matter how many times I have been let down). I'm on Day 2 of breaking them in and I already want to unlove them. 

But I can't do that to a 5k worth of sandals, can I?

I'm going to stick with it. I'll give it a few more days. Maybe even months. There is a promised comfort and people swore by it. The pain of breaking them in is all going to be worth it, they say.

Source: Birkenstock

I certainly hope so.




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When you become a mom, you take on not just one, not two, not even three, but multiple roles. 

As a mom of a teen, toddler, and baby, I can be a referee, a teacher, a nurse, a storyteller, an entertainer, an event planner, a coach, a caretaker, a driver, a repairman. And if I have the whole day, this list can go on forever. And I am not exaggerating.

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Of course, the whole world has to know.

Because I feel like a domestic goddess after doing such feat.

And just in case it doesn't happen again.

I don't know if there's a household chore more tedious than folding clothes. I would have seizures just thinking about it. Plus, it requires dexterity and a higher degree of patience to perform such simple task—and unfortunately, I do not possess the latter.

I have found ways to avoid folding though:

  1. Cut our wardrobe into a week's worth of laundry and wear the same thing over and over again;
  2. Not wear clothes at all;
  3. Buy a new set of clothes every time.

But of course, there are practical and more acceptable albeit lazy ways to do it too:

  1. If it doesn't rain, we leave the fresh laundries on the clothesline until we use them again;
  2. Dump them into a tidy pile on a couch or a crib and pray they magically fold themselves overnight pluck whatever clothes we need to wear from the respective heap until all clothes are gone. Repeat.
  3. Use hangers on ALL our garments (including the pambahays) so that we could just stuff it right into the closet without the need to fold it;
  4. Hire someone else to do it.

We usually do numbers 2 and 3.

But today, I bravely took out all unfolded clothes in our closet that probably have little house elves living in it. Who knows? The clothes have never seen the daylight ever since they started to become too snug for my swelling tummy two years ago. 

Imagine my delight to find few favorites I have not seen in quite a long time and see some of them fit me again, then the horror knowing how severely wrinkled they have become that I am bound to do another deplorable chore: ironing.

But at least, no creatures were found in it. 

And the clothes have been folded. 

For now. 

Because once I need to go out and try these garments on one by one when I'm having a hard time deciding what clothes to wear for that day only to end up with a plain white tee and a pair of jeans that has been used for the nth time, I'm pretty sure those unselected pieces of clothing will be thrown back into the closet in their unsightly and unfolded state. Whew! That was a long statement but to make it short: it's going to take another year or two to get those clothes folded again. 

Or not.

Yes, I can neatly FOLD FITTED SHEETS now! They say that only monsters can do that. πŸ˜†


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