Sunday, April 29, 2018

Confessions Part 7: The One Where Emotions are Checked at the Door

And so another week is done and it's time for weekly confessions and current lists. The title of the post pretty much describes how this past week had been. There was certainly a whole lot of feelings for things and in order to get through, I had to constantly check myself and deal with my emotions.

I highly believe that Monday starts a precedence for the whole week. That's why I used to have Pamper Me Mondays - well tried to have at least. Lasted me about two Mondays and then that was it. Anyway so this Monday I found myself at the gym after work hours. It's the first after two Mondays of either not being present at the gym at all or being there early morning that I was at the gym again after office. My schedule at work was light that Monday so I went. Also my going after work was to somewhat prove to a friend and to myself that I was not hiding at all from anybody. And as if the universe wanted to test that further, I let another friend of mine talk me into attending a class that I had been avoiding since our falling out incident happened. I was nervous truth be told even though I knew no harm could be done to me and I kept thinking about the last words this person told me right before we stopped speaking to each other which I had to constantly push at the back of my mind as I worked out. I did that again the next day when I once again I decided to attend another one of his classes. I was partly relieved that I had another friend present at that class, team teaching with him. But it still was a tough act I put on, acting like it doesn't affect me - what he said, what he did.

At work, there was a crazy, overreaching and incredibly stupid idea thrown in. And when I think an idea will likely only make me part of a laughing stock but will be forced to follow anyway, I tend to get riled up. But I'm trying to be a little cooler nowadays than I was a year back. No sense getting worked up when things are not in my control.

There was also the family gathering where I heard people throw those old age questions at me when they're trying to ask how I am. "May boyfriend ka na/asawa?" "Bakit wala pa boyfriend/asawa?" It honestly bugs me because it's like being single is a sad state. But I expected those questions so I had to brace myself. Smile and shrug as I continue simply saying "Wala pa po e." I certainly wasn't about to say "Walang gustong magkamali" because that's putting myself down.

On the lighter side of things, remember the blind date of a book I got from Dia de Libro? I finally unwrapped it today! Look at what I got!


It's a Harlequin Romance book! I'm actually thrilled that this is what I got. You see, back when I was a teenager, I used to read a lot of Harlequin Romance books! These books are old! I remember getting these from a thrift shop in Evangelista, Makati - there's a certain street there that's popular for the rows of thrift stores.

And I dined at this newly opened taco place at the Top of the Glo in Glorietta called Taco Man. I found their food to be delicious. Ryan and I half and half it but the prices are affordable with good serving sizes. Try it if you ever were in Glorietta.



Current List

Listening to: Alternating between Lady Gaga's The Cure and Demi Lovato's Sorry Not Sorry

Ryan told me about the first song. He's been teasing me a lot towards a certain guy - the one who I spontaneously went to the movies with last week - who's favorite song is The Cure. I don't think we're each other's type so my best friend can tease all he wants but it won't fly. I like the song though. It's got a seriously sweet message. And the latter song? Well a rekindled appreciation for Demi's Sorry Not Sorry after hearing it on Body Jam class. Powerful moving on message right there.

Watching: Flight and a whole lot of Marvel movies 

Actually just finished watching Flight on Netflix, a movie about an airplane pilot (Denzel Washington) who successfully manages to land a plane on ground after experiencing a lot of difficulties on air, avoiding a crash that will kill everyone aboard and put under investigation after. 

Tried to watch The Week of starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock also on Netflix but I couldn't bring myself to finish the movie. Probably not in the mood yet for this kind of comedy. I can't tell you yet whether it might be worth watching anyway because I was not able to sit through it long enough.

But yeah, I'm also watching Marvel films. As you know, Marvel's Avengers Infinity War is now showing in theaters. Ryan's a big Marvel fan and he shared with me and his partner the movies that are essential to watch before Infinity Wars to understand the new Avengers movie better. I'm not a big fan of the Marvel films though I am liking watching them. Will I be catching it in theaters? Maybe when the craziness has died down aka the crowd lining up to watch it. I could also just wait to see it once it becomes available on Netflix like a lot of other Marvel films.

Excited about: My upcoming Las Casas trip 

I have the outfit ready and the bag. All I need now is to identify what other things to bring to the trip. One thing's for sure though - I have to pack light! This is just a day trip after all.

Reading: Dear Universe by Pierra Calasanz-Labrador

It's a collection of poems on love, longing, and finding your place in the cosmos. You can shop for that here.  

Feeling: Determined

After two weeks of not being able to go to the gym regularly, I believe I've gotten my groove back. This week, I worked out for five days! In the coming weeks, I fully intend to keep working out and watch what I eat again! I know I'm looking fit now compared to 2016 but still, got a lot of visceral fat to lose!

And I know I haven't been able to blog much saved for my weekly confessions. It's been a struggle honestly - part lazy and part busy. But I'm determined to make the time starting this week to blog, blog, blog!

Lastly, I have every intention of curbing my spending habits more so I can save more. My finances honestly took a hit when I resigned from work, transferred to a new supposedly higher paying, better job and didn't like it so I resigned again and now I'm here - trying to regain back what I lost and save better.

 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Confessions Part 6: The One with the Spontaneous Decisions

I thought I'd give this weekly blog content of mine a title to describe what's in it. The title is inspired by the TV series, Friends, which I am still watching and now on Season 9! Did you guys ever like Joey and Rachel together, by the way? 'Cos I did. I know, Rachel and Ross are perfect for each other but Joey with Rachel is not bad at all.  

Anyway on to my weekly confessions...

The week that had gone by had been pretty much humdrum for me saved for Saturday when spontaneity hit me and hit me hard. Started that day with only a workout in mind but as I was waiting for yoga class to begin that afternoon, Facebook reminded me of an event I said I was interested in.

Dia de Libro 2018 is an annual event held by Instituto Cervantes in celebration of International Book Day. On this day, booklovers can enjoy checking out books from different genres and even get it at a discounted price. When you buy a book, you get a rose so if you're also a romantic, that's definitely going to appeal to you even more, right? Well also at Dia de Libro, you can enjoy taking in Spanish culture with poetry readings, food and Spanish classes. 

I've always wanted to check out the event but somehow every year, I forget about it. So this time, on a spur of the moment decision, I ditched yoga and went to Ayala Triangle where the event was being held to finally see for myself what the fuss is all about. It was free anyway so there was nothing to lose if I ended up finding that there was nothing awesome about it. 



Well, ended up buying 3 books at the event. Bought a Filipino made graphic novel since I started expanding my taste in graphic novels beyond Archie Comics last year; a book called Goodbye Girl which I bought since so relatable what was written on the back of it. The book's only Php185 but got this at 20% off at Dia de Libro. 

Ito ay para sa lahat ng nagmahal, pero nasaktan at naiwan... para sa mga nagpapaalam. Para sa mga Goodbye Girl.

And I also bought Dear Universe which is a collection of poems. I'm not big on poetry. But when I saw this book I was drawn to it kasi...kasi nakarelate na naman ako! This is Php395 but again at Dia de Libro, it was 20% off. 

Whether you are searching for a soul mate, battling self-doubt, clearing out skeletons in your heart, or trying to chart your own course in an increasingly judgmental world, Dear Universe is an astute, empowering reminder that you are not alone.

The Book Stop Project PH was also at Dia de Libro 2018. It's a project that aims to encourage reading by letting people borrow books and also donate old books. You can read more about this project here. Part of the Book Stop Project's activity is "Blind Date with a Book." Basically, the idea is you donate a book but you have to cover it up and just give a brief description of what the book is about for the benefit of the other book lovers who will come by to check out the books. If they like what they read without actually knowing the book title, they can take the book with them to read and they can also donate their own wrapped up book. 

  

I picked this one out. It's the only kind of blind date I can bring myself to go to nowadays. Ha! Ha! I have had enough blind dates with guys to last me a lifetime. 

I was perfectly enjoying the company of one, mainly myself at Dia de Libro 2018 but I found myself saying yes to a movie invite posted by someone I know from the gym on Facebook. I've been meaning to see A Quiet Place which stars John Krasinski and Emily Blunt because I've read a lot of rave reviews from my Facebook friends and critics. So off I went to Robinson's Manila to go watch the movie. 

I liked the movie. It's not scary but it's full of suspense. Will keep you at the edge of your seat. In my case, sliding down my seat just a tiny bit and covering my mouth as I braced myself for what might happen in the movie so I don't suddenly make a loud noise from the excitement. I liked the company too. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." 


Current List

Currently reading: None.

But that's because I finally finished my first James Patterson novel, Postcard Killers today which makes progresses my GoodReads 2018 challenge to 4 books in total read for the year out of the 12 books I set out to finish. 

Still thinking of my next read 'cos there's so many lined up!

Currently listening: Red by Taylor Swift

Did I tell you guys I'm a Swiftie? Well, so ever since Thursday I think, I've been playing Red on Spotify over and over again. I'm determined to learn all the lyrics so I can sing along. But yeah, I like Red because the lyrics perfectly describe how I feel. Yes, again with the relatability! I have so much feels.  

"Losing him is blue like I've never known. Missing is him is dark grey all alone. 
Forgetting him is like trying to know somebody you never met. But loving him was red."

Know what this TSwift song means? It's about loss of someone you love. Taylor sings about the pain of heartbreak, using colors to describe the feeling. Blue and dark grey depict loneliness and red was passion and love. 

Looking forward to: May 1 for Las Casas day tour trip with Ryan and Dom

Been wanting to go that place for a long time now! Long before the media recommended it as an Instagram worthy place. 

Musical plays I'm excited to watch:

Sa Wakas A Pinoy Rock Musical which uses Sugarfree songs. It's described as a play that raises the timeless question of why relationships fall apart. 

This is one play I've been looking forward to watching since last year but I missed it then. Won't be missing this one this time! 

Ang Huling El Bimbo which features Eraserheads songs and Mamma Mia which will feature Abba songs. I love Abba songs ever since I watched Mamma Mia the movie. My personal favorite is Take a Chance on Me and Honey, Honey. 


And that concludes my confessions for the week. As always, feel free to share your own current list on the comments section.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Travel Diary: Exploring Iloilo's Gigantes Islands

"How far is this island?" I asked Ryan when we were finally at the port waiting to board the boat that would take us to the town of Carles where Islas de Gigantes was located.

"Ayun lang yung island oh," he answered as he pointed out an island that I could see from where I stood.

Confession: I'm scared of the open waters. Not because I can't swim because I can!

I blame it on all those movies I've seen as a kid about the open waters. Ha! Ha! Did you see JAWS? The sun shining above the sea making its surface seemingly sparkle did not do anything to appease my nerves. I think my knuckles had turned white from gripping the handle of the seat in front of me during the trip which tightened even more as we passed by the island that Ryan had initially pointed out to me and so much more as our boat traveled on meeting wave after wave that splashed us and got us a little wet. The boat trip to Islas de Gigantes was probably 1 1/2 hour - 1 hour longer than I thought it would be. Ryan told me later on that he honestly thought that he was gonna be in trouble with me for giving me the wrong information though he said that in his defense, he really thought that was it. All that time though I was thinking he actually knew the islands were farther than that but he was simply trying to calm a nervous friend down aka me. Ha! Ha!

Anyway, Islas de Gigantes is called that because the islands from afar looks like a sleeping giant. It's such a popular tourist spot now and I can understand the attraction. If you're willing to go the extra mile - aka travel about five hours on the road and the open waters - white sand beaches, interesting rock formations, crystal blue waters and amazing sceneries will be waiting for you.







We took the day tour as part of a joiner group. You can opt to stay here overnight because I think there are other activities offered on the islands. But the day tour package that we availed included lunch which consist of an abundance of seafood so if you're a seafood lover, expect your tummy to be happily satisfied and full. I think one of Iloilo's specialties as well is seafood. Not really a fan of seafood but luckily there was chicken served during our lunch and it was also delicious!



Even to our island hopping trip I had a big bag to hold my stuff from my camera, phone, powerbank and sunblocks for the face and body (I didn't want to get sunburned)! I also brought with me snacks to eat during the trip because it was a very early trip!

Well with such a beautiful view, you know #OOTD was a must! For this trip, I chose to wear my H&M sundress, Havaianas slippers and shades.






Underneath the dress is my blue swimsuit from Freeway which I also wore to our last beach trip. I honestly didn't get to do much swimming in Islas de Gigantes but I definitely had a lot of photos! You can check out more of it on my Instagram



I still got a little burned from the sun though. Can you see my tan lines from the photo above?

To quote someone I really liked who hailed from Iloilo and to whom I showed photos of this trip to, umaura kami sa Iloilo (we made like Vogue and struck a pose! A whole lot of poses!). 







For the whole Islas de Gigantes tour, I think we spent about Php2,000-3,000 give or take which includes the van transpo that took us to the port and back to our hotel. Not bad huh?

Compared to the famous white sand beaches of Boracay which is also part of the Panay Group of Islands, Islas de Gigantes is relatively underdeveloped. You won't see rows of restaurants, coffee shops or hotels in the area. Let's hope it stays that way really. Would be a shame if we fail to preserve this beauty.

I enjoyed touring Islas de Gigantes. I really did. But my knuckles probably didn't because when it was time to return, we were met with bigger waves that really made us wet thereby prompting me to keep on tightening my grip again, shutting my eyes close and praying we reach land soon enough! Ha! Ha! 

Also, I didn't like the joiner group tour that made us sit in a jampacked shuttle van for hours.You can't really sleep properly that way. Plus the road to Isla de Gigantes was a bumpy ride. If you're touring Gigantes, I think it's best to rent a van all to yourselves. You'll be more comfortable that way.

Anyway that wraps up my second day in Iloilo but you can also can read about my day exploring Iloilo city.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Confessions Part 5

Second week of April means birthday celebrations for three of my friends - three fourth of the Awesome Foursome: Ver, Ryan and Mai. So let me just give a quick birthday shoutout.


Happy Birthday to my BFF, Ver! When it comes to striking a pose for the camera, no one does it better than her.



Also happy birthday to another one of my closest friends, Mai - the girl I've known since high school and who I usually turn to for advice when it comes to fashion.



And of course, happy birthday to my best friend, Ryan! Who would've thought the guy who teased me a lot in fourth grade would end up being my best friend? Shared a lot with this guy - dreams, hopes, travels, work frustrations, love and heart break and of course, fitness.



I'm definitely lucky to have such awesome friends!


This week, I had a work event that asked us to wear royal blue, white or black as a dress code requirement. I chose to wear my royal blue structured tube which I bought from Warehouse a few years ago.

This look can turn from day work outfit with the white vest on...



to a date night outfit!



And topped that look off by straightening my hair and putting on make up. The only thing missing I have to say would have to be a guy to date! (Not that I could that night because I did have to work). But I have to say it was the first time this past week that I felt good after the shitty week before that.     


Ryan thought the dress I was wearing was new but the truth is, I just haven't been able to wear it for a long while because it felt snug around the tummy area! I really put on the weight! But I'm happy to report that since I've gone to the gym a lot, I have lost a good amount of weight that I could fit into the dress again and this time, breathe more comfortably even after eating! Yay progress!

 

The picture on the left is from 2014 and on the right is also me, wearing the same dress again 4 years later!


Current List

Currently watching: Friends on Netflix

Yep, been binge watching it all week this week. It never fails to bring on the laughter. Also, Chandler is such a good boyfriend/husband to Monica! I never realized til now! I need a guy who can also love me for all my quirks and crazies.

Currently reading: Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund

This is my first James Patterson novel. Borrowed it from a friend at the gym who turns out also enjoys reading books. So far, I'm liking this book.



Recommending: Netflix's Lost in Space

If you like sci-fi, you'll like this new series on Netflix. Actually, it's more of a reboot of a 1965 series of the same title. I quite like it. I think it's kind of exciting to watch. Watch the trailer below.




So anyway that's it for this week. If you have your own set of current list, drop me a note below and share your list with me. Always looking for something new to like. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Confessions Part 4

What a trying time this week had turned out to be for me.

There was the proposal at work that had to be done on a very tight deadline and I had to stay at the office 'til late evening of Monday and Tuesday to get it done. Thank God for teammates who despite the stress and pressure of the job still manage to crack jokes and laugh while still doing their best to pull through the job! Overtimes are not fun but when you've got those kind of people working with you, you're in good hands. On that note I'm lucky. Very lucky and I'm truly grateful.

Speaking of grateful, I can't forget people whom I call friends. Be it new people I've only known for months but already we're becoming fast friends - good friends (Hi Dom!) or people I don't always get to meet or talk to but still remain friends with (Hi Apol!)


Me with Ryan and Dom having fun on the photo booth again in Timezone. It's become our monthly tradition! 


Me with my buddy Apol. I met him through a leadership seminar I attended a few years ago and we met up this afternoon to catch up on each other's lives.


This week also brought in disappointment and heartbreak from a falling out with someone I thought was deserving of my affection. My judgment of the person was wrong apparently. It makes me both sad and angry. Angry at the way I was treated by this person because I don't deserve it! And angry at myself for letting my guard down so easily and so I got hurt. It makes me sad because I wasn't valued enough by this person even as a friend. It makes me sad because I cared for this person and I wouldn't have wanted us to end things the way we did. But there's nothing there to do but accept things the way it is and move on. 

Current List

Taking solace with this quote: 





It won't be an easy road to recovery and right now I do feel sucky even though we were never together. He still broke my heart and it hurts. But I'll get to that place again eventually.

Currently listening to:

My Moving On playlist. Powerful messages about fighting through heartbreaks and pain. That's what's gonna me through this.   



Tonight, I end my post with this sun set. Because that first time we spent together when I felt this happy feeling, I immortalized the memory and the feeling with a photo of the Manila Bay sunset. And now it comes full circle with this sunset that is all about our sad ending, the goodbye and the hope that the new day will bring me something better.   
 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Travel Diary: Wandering Around Iloilo Day 1

"What's with Iloilo?" 

It was the immediate question when I first brought up the idea of going to Iloilo.

My travel buddies - Ryan, Mai and Ver. Someone from this group (not me) branded us the #AwesomeFoursomeTravels since we traveled to Boracay around the same time last year. 


It was asked again by my best friend, Ryan, the first night we were there in the city, having dinner at Festive Walk Parade, a lifestyle mall developed by Megaworld filled with rows of restaurants and coffee shops with walkways filled with very nice landscapes on its surroundings.  

"Wala lang. I thought it's nice," I answered as casually as I could.



Seriously, it's nice right, judge it from the photo above. The food park stalls were closed that night - only open during the weekend but there were rows of restaurants and Instagram-worthy coffee shops in the place so all was not lost. Our exhausted selves were able to find a nice, affordable enough restaurant to eat in that also allowed us to experience the local food of Iloilo that was also not packed with people.  

"Kasi we never talked about Iloilo before. You never considered it before." 

It's true. Out of all the provinces I could go exploring in the Philippines, you wouldn't find Iloilo in my top 5. I don't think it's even in my top 10 (if I had a top 10 list of must-visit provinces in the country!). Now I don't dream of exploring all the provinces of the Philippines unlike a friend of mine but I do have some places in the country I'd like to visit such as Siquijor, Zamboanga (for the vinta festival)and Sagada (for the hanging coffins).

So why Iloilo? The idea started when while browsing through Facebook news feed  I saw a video of Garin Farm, a place they said where you  could see heaven on earth. It was beautiful and I was immediately enticed. That was followed by an article I also happened to stumble upon on Spot.ph - things to do in Iloilo. I shared the video and the article and together with suggestions from another friend to visit Gigantes Islands and Guimaras Island which appealed to the beach loving friends, the plan to go to Iloilo was hatched and set in motion.

And yeah... I went to the City of Love aka Iloilo because someone I really like is from there. I was looking for a connection between us I suppose. And thought seeing his hometown would be a good way to somehow know him a little bit better.

Anyway, so four days in Iloilo was spent exploring the city and the nearby islands, Gigantes and Guimaras. For our first day, we spent it visiting ancestral houses, trying out some local delicacies and visiting a church.

Iloilo Food

When in Iloilo, one shouldn't miss eating La Paz Batchoy. We went to La Paz Market and dined at Deco's. I enjoyed this food. I thought it was delicious (minus the pork and liver toppings which I gave to my friends!) and filling enough plus. Also that puto - not a bad combo meal. Pretty affordable too at less than 200 pesos.



We also tasted their version of longganisa which tasted real sweet so I loved it!


And this tsokolate is from Camina Balay Nga Bato. For 150pesos you can get the tour of the house plus this. They also serve the tour with pansit molo and tsokolate at 200pesos and lunch, tsokolate and pancit molo at 500 pesos.




Someone I know who hails from Iloilo asked if we tried siopao at Roberto's (he said he always orders like 2 siopaos from there whenever he's there!) and if we went to Breakthrough. which is a seafood place but I'm no seafood lover. I guess if you guys are traveling to Iloilo, include those in your must-visit places. We didn't get to do so unfortunately but maybe next time.

The Places in the City

Camina Balay Nga Bato

The name means house by the river and the architecture of the house reflects the merging of indigenous Filipino and Spanish influence. You can read more about that here.


There's a bell behind Mai and you're supposed to ring that by the way for assistance. How cute was that? It's like the old days I imagine when a noble comes calling for service.


The stairs in Camina Balay Nga Bato is built at an almost 45 degree angle. Read that the reason for that is so that anyone who goes up the stairs will have their backs bent inwards like a bowing gesture to the owners of the house. Also read that all the stairs in the area are built facing the setting sun.

At the elegant dining hall of Camina Balay Nga Bato. 

This is us feeling like Ilustrados sipping our hot tsokolate in the afternoon in the dining hall


We visited another ancestral house during our stay in the city- the Yusay-Consing mansion more popularly known as Molo Mansion. This ancestral house faces the town plaza and St. Anne Parish Church also known as Molo Church. 
 




Wondering when I can have my own mansion? Ha! Ha!



We stayed at the garden cafe for a while so we were able to see the mansion all lit up at night. Also so beautiful. 



We couldn't miss dropping by the Neo-gothic feminist church, Molo Church as well. This Spanish-colonial church has an all-women ensemble of saints in it.


It's nice to visit this place in the afternoon so you'll see the golden rays of the sun as it touches the coral stone facade of the church.


 
You can also drop by Molo Plaza which is beside this magnificent church structure.We took a stroll around that plaza and of course, had to take a photo of my outfit.



And if you still feel like continuing your stroll, head to the Iloilo Esplanade which is just a couple of walks away. The nice thing about this river esplanade is it's so clean. People stroll around this esplanade and some even jog around the area. But a friend of mine who went to Iloilo with me as well shared on Facebook that it wasn't always the case. It used to be that this esplanade was full of trash until the Ilonggo bikers in collaboration with DENR and DPWH planted more than a thousand mangroves in the area.



This first day outfit took me from the airport to Iloilo.

What I wore on the first day:

Top - ForMe
Skirt - SM Surplus (I bought this skirt on impulse. A reward to myself for making it through strong rains in the city that day)
Shoes - Superga sneakers


So that's about the first day of our travel in Iloilo. Next up, Garin Farm and a continuation of our city tour.