Sunday, May 20, 2018

Confessions Part 10: The One About the Status Check

May is almost done and summer is about to come to a close. Time flies sure flies, right? But who's keeping check?

Well... I am. I can say that this month's been about crossing things off my bucket list. After years of wanting to go, I finally got to explore Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan (watch out for my blog post on that!) and watched Sa Wakas The Musical, a play based on Sugarfree songs which I've been thinking about seeing since last year but never got to until now!

I tried to also visit the National Museum of Natural History over the weekend with my friend, Mai Ann. Unfortunately, we found there's a snaking line to the entrance and we have no patience for such. We revisited instead the other building of National Museum, the one that houses Juan Luna's Spolarium. Still a wonderful sight to see even though it's been my third time to see it. If you haven't seen it, go visit National Museum. Entrance is free anyway. Just you know, go there to appreciate the exhibits and not just take photos for the sake of the 'gram. 


But yeah, I did take one #OOTD shot during my visit. Just one because I wasn't really feeling like posing and smiling for the camera.



With May almost to a close, it also means it's been a month since the fall out. It's been a month of no talking. No acknowledging each other. I can't say I like it but I'm dealing with it because I think this is the new reality. Months and years might pass and we're never going to have the kind of relationship we had before. I wish we could rekindle of course. I thought what we had was almost a friendship.

Anyway, let me just move on to my currents because I have a few things I wanna rave about!

Current List

Recommended Watch: Sa Wakas The Musical

This is a play about the bittersweet story of a couple's failed relationship based on Sugarfree's songs. The play tells the story of their crushing breakup to the beginning of their starry eyed relationship. When I told Ryan about me wanting to catch this play, he looked at me in surprise and said "I didn't know you liked Sugarfree." Well I do. I don't know all their songs but I do love Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin; Kwarto; Hari ng Sablay and Makita Kang Muli.

Anyway so I got lucky that this play came back this year and I told myself I wasn't going to miss it this time around. So last Wednesday, I went to Circuit Makati to catch the play. Watch it! It's really an awesome play. There's still time. Last run of the show is on May 27. The one I saw was with Vic Robinson as Topper, the lead guy. I highly enjoyed his performance.



Also another recommended watch: The Kissing Booth

Actually I watched this Netflix original film last week about a girl who develops a secret romance with her best friend's big brother and is faced with the dilemma of telling her best friend or not about it. It's cute actually. And the big brother, Noah Flynn is a hottie!



Watching: Brooklyn Nine Nine

I'm four seasons late to the game I know! I mean it had been cancelled and saved by another station and I've only just started watching. It's so funny! I adore Jake Peralta and am rooting for him and Amy Santiago. Nobody tell me whether they get together in the latter seasons please! I want to find out for myself! 

Listening to: Moving Parts by Trixie Mattell

I don't watch Ru Paul's Drag Race but Ryan does. He asked me to listen to this song because he said I would so relate to the lyrics. He was so right.


No one gave a warning to the breaking of your heart. Pick up all the pieces and go back to the start. 

It's a country song about moving on. It means that even though there's a piece of you that's broken, you can still get through life when there are all the other parts of you that's still there, intact. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

Judy Blume's Forever: Remembering Firsts

I read somewhere that every girl should read a Judy Blume book as they grow up. She just got it - the things adolescent girls go through - hormones, boys, love and periods. My first encounter with Judy Blume was back in College when I found a book written by her called Summer Sisters though that one was an adult novel. Forever is my first adolescent Judy Blume book. It was one of my book hauls at the Big Bad Wolf Books event.

 

The plot: Katherine and Michael meet at a party. The attraction is instant and pretty soon they're going out - and making out. This is love, and love is forever - right? But love isn't simple - and when Katherine's parents make them spend the summer apart, forever begins to feel like an awfully long time... 

Forever is a classic novel of first love, first sex and first heartbreak. While I am past my teenage years, I still appreciated this book. It's so relatable! It made me look back at my own teenage years, more specifically my first brush with love. 

I met him through text chat. Feature phones like Nokia 3310 were cool back then and there was no Facebook. Some text message exchanges and a few phone calls and we decided to meet. I was initially interested in someone else - his friend but after awhile, I found myself having more frequent phone conversations, text messages and chats on Yahoo Messenger with him and looking forward to them. I found myself falling in love for the first time. 

Michael stopped the car and kissed me again. "You're delicious," he said.  No boy had ever told me that. - This line from the book brought me back to my first kiss. It was inside a movie house with a James Bond film, Die Another Day. He asked if he could kiss me and I nodded. I remember feeling all giddy with excitement and nervousness that I was about to get my first real kiss that day! I didn't know how it would feel like but I so wanted to know if it was as they described it in the books that I've read. I read a lot of Love Stories novels back then!    

And like Katherine in the book, my parents thought I was getting too involved with a guy too soon especially my Dad! So yeah, when they voiced out their disapproval, I rebelled because in my mind back then, I was thinking they just don't want to see me happy in love! Typical teenage angst. Ha! Ha! 

Eventually they got around to accepting that I had a boyfriend. We lasted for four years actually.  I remember buying him cards for our monthsaries, him giving me stuff toys and Silverworks bracelet as gifts and celebrating our anniversary at a "fancy" restaurant - it was more like Chef D' Angelo but when you're students living on allowance, that was as fancy as it could. I remembered loving the feeling of having someone as a constant plus one. We watched a lot of movies on date days back then!  

But as the years went by and he talked about future plans like settling down with me, having kids and building our home, I found that the once intense feelings of love were no longer as strong as before. I started to think what else or who else was out there. So needless to say, we broke up. He found another girl and I remember running home to my Dad that day bawling my eyes out as I told him about our break up. My first heartbreak. I thought it'd take me forever to move on from that heartbreak because during that time, it just hurt so much. 

It's years later now and I can actually just look back at those times and smile and sometimes laugh at myself because I was so naive! I thought that because I loved him and he loved me and we've been together for years, we were supposed to stay together for the rest of our lives. I'd never regret my first love. He taught me a lot about love. 
  
Judy Blume's Forever may have been set in the '70s but it's still as relevant as ever, even now, in the year 2018. It's a wonderful read. It'll make you laugh, reminisce and go "aww" as you travel down memory lane, remembering your own firsts.  

 

  

Confessions Part 9: The One About Mom

Since it's Mother's Day today, I thought I'd tell you guys five things about my mom.

1) She's a great cook.

In fact people love her cooking so much, it's brought her a continuous stream of food orders for small gatherings. Her specialty is sotanghon. I want to cook food as delicious as she does. But eh, I'm such a lazy girl in the kitchen. I've tried several times in the past to cook with her supervision. They've turned out good naman. But I'm weak on follow up so here I am, still just wishing I could cook as well as my mother.

2) When it comes to gifts, chocolates are the best bet.

My Dad always said he has a tough time picking out a gift for my mom for special occasions - birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas. She's appreciative of the gift gesture but the question is always more like will she use it? I didn't believe Dad's claim so much until I experienced it firsthand. It was our first Mother's Day celebration after my father's passing and I wanted to pass on Dad's tradition of giving my mom a gift so I bought her a bouquet of roses. She said thank you but also told me 'sayang yung pera' because flowers wilt and die anyway. Fail, yes?

It took awhile but I discovered chocolates are the best bet for her. I'm not big on chocolates so whenever someone gave me chocolates, I ended up giving them to mom. Her face lights up in real delight whenever that happens. So you know what I gave her this Mother's Day? You bet! Chocolates!

3) She hates being late to church.

Sunday church is sacred for my mother so being late to mass is a big no-no. From all these years that I've been going to mass with her, I know that so well but to be honest, I still fail at waking up early to prepare for church often. I get this rude awakening on Sunday morning (that'd be mom banging on the door of my room consistently) and then she'd reprimand me for being late while she waits for me to finish drinking my coffee up 'til we get to church.

It's such a stressful way to start Sunday morning I know. Trying to be more responsible now by setting an alarm so that Sunday morning won't suck for me. I can't blame her for not wanting to be late to church. It is the only time God's asking from us, isn't it? An hour of time on a Sunday.

4) My mother just recently joined the online world and loving it.

She's not a very tech savvy person. In fact, for the longest time, the only gadget she's owned was a feature phone. Then I bought her her first smartphone and got her on Facebook and now she's constantly chatting with her friends on Messenger, sharing photos and quotes and whathaveyou on her feed, exchanging comments and just recently she's started watching IWantTV on her tablet every night until she falls asleep. I introduced that to her 'cos I got tired of my mom always rushing to get home to catch her favorite soap opera on TV whenever we go out. This way, she can catch it online and find out what happened on her favorite show the same night it aired on TV.

5) My mother can't wait for me to a)have a boyfriend 2)settle down and 3)have kids

When I turned 18, on my debut party, she gave a speech as the mother of the debutante. You know what she said? She said she didn't want me to grow up so fast. That I was still her baby. Oh boy! That narrative sure has change. Now a decade after, she's been bugging me to find a man I can call my own. In fact, she'd tried to play cupid for me before without my consent! Thankfully, she learned to listen to her daughter that I was going to find my own guy, my own way at my own time. I haven't found one though! And so my mother keeps bugging me still.   


But yeah, I love my mother to bits! She's my rock.



Current List

Loving: Our new 32" W60D series Sony Bravia smart TV

Before this, we owned a box TV. I know! So old already! But it was working so... Well it's not working now. It finally conked out on us a couple of months back. Mom kept telling me we should buy a new TV but I've been putting it off. Until she finally told me she was getting a new TV with or without me.

And so we looked and we bought. That had to be the easiest transaction that sales guy ever had to make. Not a lot of questions except 1) What kind of cards are accepted and 0% interest 12 months at least? and 2)Can we watch Netflix with that?

Oh yes, so wonderful to watch movies and TV series now on a big screen rather than my laptop. It'll never be the same again. It makes me want to buy a LazBoy next to really level up my binge watching experience!

Liking: Aztec clay mask

Nicole, my friend from work, gave me a small bottle filled with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask a couple of months ago. People were raving about this. Finally, today, I got around to making a mask for a pamper me time.

It's true. You'd feel your face pulsating as the clay mask dries up. But after washing it off, I honestly felt like my pores cleared up and could breathe. My face looks a little brighter. A little. Perhaps with continued use, I'll see more of a change. But yeah, first impression? Definitely liked the mask!

Thankful for: The long weekend

It's a break from the daily hustle and bustle. After I vote, the rest of the day tomorrow or rather later this morning is mine to do anything I please. Guess what I'll be doing? Netflix!!!

But yeah, tomorrow we cast our votes for community leaders. Let's all choose carefully. Choose people whose intentions for running are to serve the people not themselves. The country is in a shitty state right now politics wise. Let's not drag it any further down the ground by not taking the time to think through the officials we're electing in to position even at a barangay level. Remember, small changes can still have a ripple effect.



Monday, May 7, 2018

Travel Diary: Discovering Guimaras Island

As I stared out the port where the motor boats that will take us to Guimaras Island, I felt the uneasy feeling I felt when we were about to go on our island hopping adventure in Islas de Gigantes again. Thankfully, the feeling didn't last long as the trip is only 15 minutes short, the water was calm and we had the whole boat to ourselves because we rented it.



Just like Islas de Gigantes, Guimaras Island is visited by both local and foreign tourists for its picturesque beaches. It's also famous for its mangoes, one of the sweetest in the world.

One of the places we visited during our trip to the island is the Guisi Lighthouse. There's a Spanish colonial lighthouse in the place but more than that really, what I loved about this place was the beautiful seascape.





The plan in Guimaras was to hit the beach and swim. But it's not something we were able to do. More of posing for the camera lang. At one point in our trip, the driver of the van we rented to take around the island stopped by in the middle of the road and pointed towards a blank space area where only grasses were around. We were told it was overlooking. Overlooking what exactly? Well that was actually also my question but you know, no matter. We went over to the area anyway and let our imagination loose as we took photos.




I mean, the place is still very nice for photos right? Nice blue sky in the background. I pretended I'm in Arizona in these photos. Kinda looks that way to me.

If you ever were in the area, you should try the mango pizza at Pitstop. Yes, mangoes on pizza. I know, sounds weird! Some people are weirded out with pineapples on pizza already. Imagine mangoes? I liked pineapple on pizza but I honestly was hesitant with mangoes on pizza.



Tried it anyway because I was hungry. One bite into this and it was love! It's seriously sweet but not overpoweringly so because of the cheese! I wish I could have brought one home back to Manila with me.


Us the happy diners outside the restaurant. Our van driver was the one who recommended this place to us actually so kudos to him!

I think this was the highlight for me of our Guimaras trip. I wish we were able to actually find a beach to swim at because the resorts we were taken at were reminiscent of Laguna resorts - packed with people and noisy. Not exactly our idea of a beach getaway.

So that wraps up my trip to Guimaras Island and the entire Iloilo adventure. More of my Iloilo travel adventure in the city, Garin Farm and Gigantes Islands on my previous blog posts. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Confessions Part 8: The One Where Ted Explains Love

And just like that, we're almost halfway through the year. Welcome to May where it's still summer and the sun almost always shines intensely especially in the afternoon, you could almost faint from the heat. Even I find this weather becoming too much to bear and I like summer! 

More than a month since my Iloilo trip and I haven't finished telling you guys all about it yet and already I have another travel to tell! I really should get around to wrapping up my Iloilo travel soon. Meanwhile do read my third day in the City of Love

Anyway  I'm talking about how this How I Met Your Mother video clip where Ted explains love. I watched it and thought how this would have been so appropriate that unfateful day we had our falling out. "Actually there is a word for that. It's love... If you're looking for the word that means caring for someone beyond rationality and wanting them to have all everything they want no matter how it destroys you, it's love!"  

 

 
Never saw How I Met Your Mother on TV but yeah I know it must've been a real good one because people can't stop talking about it even now. I do plan to watch it. It's in there - my ever growing list of series and movies to watch. 

Current List

Blogging soon: My trip to Guimaras Island and Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Day Trip

This'll be the last of my four day trip to Iloilo. Kamusta naman ako di ba? I went to Iloilo end March and now it's been more than a month and I'm still talking about it! And that other travel I was telling you about, yep, Las Casas! Finally went there during Labor Day. Here's a sample photo I have from that trip:


Posting more photos of my trip on Instagram so you can also follow me there while I draft my blog post about this.

Reading: The Goodbye Girl by Noringai


Bought this book during Dia de Libro 2018. It's got a really nice introductory quote to it. 

"Para sa lahat ng may heart problem na hindi kayang gamutin ng pinakamagaling na cardiologist... Anuman ang estado ng puso mo ngayon... Sugatan. Wasak. Durog. Duguan. Hangga't tumitibok pa iyan --- okay pa 'yan!"

How to describe nga ba the state of my heart right now? Sugatan. Wasak. Durog. Duguan. So I guess all of the above! Reading this is bringing so much feels to me. I'm no stranger to heartbreak.

Recommended watch: Déjà vu on Netflix

An ATF agent (Denzel Washington) can't shake off images of a disaster that may or may not have happened. Real, or déjà vu or all over again?

It's kind of a sci-fi thriller. And yes, it was a very interesting movie to watch. It can get a little technical on some scenes but overall I think you'd be hooked. Actually, I think I'll have to watch this one again to better understand it especially about that ending scene. 

New app discovery: Preview

A friend tagged me on a post in Adobe Lightroom Classroom Facebook group where Preview app was recommended. If you're big on having #IGFeedGoals, usng this app will allow you to plan your app and see how your posts will look like once it's posted on your Instagram. 

Listening to: Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

This song has been on repeat in my Spotify since yesterday. I just really love the meaning of this song about an empowered woman. 

"Looks like a girl, but she's a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name"

    

   

    


 



   
    
  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Travel Diary: Wandering Around Iloilo Day 3

What does heaven look like?

Isn't this something a lot of people wonder about, especially kids? And when heaven is described, isn't heaven always pictured to be a place that looks so white and so bright? There's a place on earth now that makes that imagined heaven a reality.

Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo is described as heaven on earth. It's a pilgrimage site and a popular tourist attraction that's located about 50 kilometers away from the city proper. The main attraction in this place is the Pilgrimage: A Journey from Creation to Ascension.

You'll have to climb 480 steps up the top of the hill to see a huge cross on top and the dark meditation tunnel that will allow you to see the place they call heaven on earth.


Good thing I have strong legs and endurance now. So 480 steps you say? Ready for the climb! Some tips - bring facial mist, water to drink, dress comfortably with shades or umbrella to shield you from the heat of the sun and apply sunblock too. If you don't want to climb though, that's also okay since there are golf carts in the place that you can rent to take you to the top or bring you back down.

On the way up, you'll also see various life size statues of Biblical events such as Noah's Ark and Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.




When you get to the Meditation Tunnel, there will be a tour guide waiting to explain what you are about to go through. You'll be asked to close your eyes for a little bit as you go in the tunnel - don't worry, your eyes will adjust after a few seconds. The tunnel represents our negative trials in life and of course when you surpass these trials, you'll find redemption in heaven.





The view at the top is amazing! When I got out of the dark tunnel, I had to momentarily shield my eyes from the brightness of the place. And not kidding when I tell you that if you reflect on it, you'd really feel as though you are in heaven, surrounded by angels and the Holy Trinity at the center. 

Aside from Garin Farm, on our third day in Iloilo, we also went to Miag-ao Church also known as the Church of Saint Thomas of Villanova. This church belongs to the Baroque Churches of the Philippines and is also included in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. 


    
Do you guys know about the saying that when you visit a church for the first time, you should knock on the door and make a wish? So I did that when I visited Miag-ao. I made a wish. Didn't come true though! Oh well. Not all wishes/prayers can be granted right? Sometimes, God says yes, no or maybe.  


The church also has such a beautiful wall facade. Great background for #OOTDs. 



We also checked out the newly opened contemporary art museum at Manduriao called Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA). It's a three storey museum with a gift shop on the ground floor as well so if you'd like to buy a souvenir, you can do so there. You can know more about ILOMOCA here.

    


We also learned of Iloilo's Patrocinio Gamboa, Iloilo's very own revolutionary heroine at Casa Gamboa. Her house, located in Jaro, Iloilo, is considered a historical site by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. 

     
And in case you're hungry, you can eat at the small but quaint cafe in Casa Gamboa as well. We had our merienda there. Entrance fee is consumable guys so you can use that to buy food there or buy souvenirs and pasalubong. 

City Times Square is where you'll find the LED White Roses. The place reminded me of Bluebay Walk in Pasay because of how it looks. You can also dine and shop in the area or attend an event as they have an open space in the center.




And Plazuela de Iloilo reminded me of Bayside in Mall of Asia. There's a nice fountain show to check out in the area. 



Overall third day was fun and chill. I always love checking out places in the city and visiting museums. You can also read about my first day in the city and my trip to Gigantes Islands. Last one on Iloilo Travel Diary - Guimaras Island coming soon.


Day 3 Iloilo Fashion:

Dress by Kashieca
Shoes by Payless
Shades by ShopNicoleSyjuco
Bag by Long Champ