Much has happened the past weeks. I don't even know where to begin. But I guess, I'll start with the news that we now have two feral toddlers to keep an eye on. Our little girl, Isabel, turned one this month. And I know I have already said that we won't be traveling until she turns two. But here I am, creating a toddler-friendly itinerary for our next out-of-the-country trip.

I am sure no one is going to disagree when I say that traveling with a toddler is a pain in the ass. I've seen it, experienced it, and proven it an understatement. Yet, we find ourselves turning a blind eye to the thought that with these feral two in tow, we may never be able to relax—which defeats the purpose of a vacation.

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Yes, folks! I still play (with really long breaks in between). And yes, after 13xx hours, I am NOT YET DONE. I strongly believe that no Resident Representative (a.k.a Player 1), not one, has ever finished this game. I lost count on how many times I've tore down some parts of my island because new ideas and inspirations always come popping in. And when I "finish", I actually feel the need to start another. The possibilities are so endless! 

My island is a never ending work in progress but, at least, I have some update and I know it's getting better with each build. (Related article: my last island tour)

So let's start...

The Entrance

When I first built my island, I didn't care about entrances. I placed my Resident Services (town hall) near the airport because I thought it would be better for easy access.  Until I started joining catalog parties and trading with other players around the globe that every time I step out of their airports, their grand entrances would stun me, wishing I could stay long to explore their islands. 

That's when I realized that I placed my town hall way too close to the airport. Since it is not aligned sensibly and the structure cannot be relocated, I had a hard time designing my entrance creatively. It took me too many builds before I settled with this one:
Animal Crossing Island Tour - Airport
This is what you will see the moment you step out of the airport.
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For as long as I can remember, I have been skinny. While I can devour a truckload of burgers and still not gain a pound, being cursed with a metabolism that burns up calories more quickly than I can eat isn't always a good thing. 

I always had trouble finding clothes that fit me well. Size extra small (XS) is not exactly easy to find. Plus size women have a shop and an entire clothing line dedicated for them. But for the petite size? Not much. And I cannot always shop for children's clothes if I want to be taken seriously. So, I'd usually end up with these constricting, figure-hugging clothes because it's the only way for me to look womanly and accentuate my low-key curves. If I wear anything loose and comfier, it would be impossible to tell me and a coat hanger apart.

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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 got through that teenage angst phase and became mature (surprisingly). 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.

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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...

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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. But 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.
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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.

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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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