These days, I only wish I was a kid again. Everything would be vibrant, happy, and picture perfect!

I have been needing a reason to get out of the house this entire summer but unfortunately most of my friends are either busy studying for board exams or nowhere near Iloilo. So when my sister asked if we could do a little photoshoot, I agreed right away.

Wednesday afternoon was filled with smiles and sunshines. We chased the afternoon sun as they changed outfits and we moved from one venue to another. Kendi and one of her good and longest friends, Marnie, were such a joy to photograph. And the fact that they could pass as twin sisters despite not being related at all is completely beyond me!

And in the end, I got some photos of my own. I guess I don't have to go back to being a little girl to have such a photographic moment.

Trivia: People often say that Kendi and I look more alike than me and my twin sister. I'm still trying to figure out how that's possible. (Genes are so confusing. And Science, in general.) Too bad we totally forgot to take a picture together during the shoot. A photo of us might prove their observation! Haha, or not. :P

Overall, I had a tiring yet fun time with these two and am looking forward to more well-spent days with family and friends. Enjoy the rest of the summer, everyone!


Dim the lights, here we go

I may be rooting for Jessica Sanchez (for several reasons, other than the fact that she too is Filipino), but the first time I ever heard Phillip Phillips sing I had a feeling he was meant to stay in the competition. And now that he was just crowned as this season's American Idol, I would like to extend my congratulations to this true artist!

Instantly fell in love with Home! Everything about it was perfect! Thinking of watching one of their tour shows so I would be able to hear him sing it live...

Home by Phillip Phillips

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

Twitterverse was full of unwarranted hate tweets earlier this morning. And sure, I do admit I got really sad about the results. But I need not worry (and so shouldn't the rest of the country/world), Jessica has a huge career ahead of her anyway. All's well that ends well!


All that you can't leave behind

Mabel and I, we sort of developed a template, a formula for our bonding moments: they are never without good food, the latest craze, interesting life updates, and unending chikkas about our teleseryes and friends. It's our thing!

Although we barely have the same circle of friends back in high school, we have always remained close and I consider her as one of my bestest friends since. I am surely going to miss Mabel and our catch-up dates when we both leave Iloilo to attend to our grown-up responsibilities in Manila and abroad.

And the countdown begins...


You may think I'm the bookish type

Every once in a while I challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and do things I have never done before. Most of the time, this challenge can be as simple as reading a book.

Two summers ago I gathered ten novels (four of which were mine—presents given to me on my eighteenth birthday by friends who may not know that although I love writing, reading was just not my thing—and six of which were from my book hero and very good friend Lean) and attempted to read all of them in a span of two months. Now, for some this task may seem quite easy, but definitely not for me. What with other sources of entertainment available (see: TV and Internet especially), I have forgotten how it's like to read for leisure. In the end, I surprised myself by being able to finish the ten novels at a considerably fast pace and just in time for my flight back to Manila. I guess the reader in me that I have buried in high school was happy to be back again and even happier to have widened her vocabulary and opened herself to ten different worlds.

Ever since then I always remind myself that reading is good for me and attempt to grab the nearest book I could find. Unfortunately, because of academics and co-curricular activities, I never found made time to sit down and read while I was at university (although sometimes I get too preoccupied with doing nothing instead of forcing myself to read). It is only during summer, semester, and Christmas breaks when I get the chance to open a book and move from one page to another. However during my last semester in college and as I approached graduation, I was grateful to have with me an abundance of free time that I finally got to read at least two books a week. That rate, I believe, was a great improvement. Better than nothing, right?

And well, now that I may have all the time in my hands, I don't think I can find a good enough excuse to not be able to read. That, and I feel truly sorry for the electricity bill. Two months into freedom and I am halfway through with my seventh book. So far, I have finished the following:

They're still not the deep books you may have expected but they're good enough for me. Baby steps, I always say. Besides, they actually move me in ways I never thought light books like these are capable of doing. Or maybe that says a lot about me? I don't know. At least books—and movies and TV series—will ease my boredom for what's left of summer.

P.S. John Green is currently my favorite author!
P.P.S. I'm still holding on to my childhood ambition of publishing my own novel someday. You'll see.


Summer bummer

Aside from our second Bacolod daytrip and my much-awaited reunion with Moonleaf, nothing much happened this week. Sucks how fast I'm getting bored around here.

In other news:
  • What do you think of my new layout? The entire week I've been changing color schemes and designs, I finally decided to stick with this one. Simple, just the way I like it!
  • It's officially the week of the finales. I have already said (a temporary) goodbye to Once Upon A Time, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, and 90210. Glee, Revenge, and American Idol (Jessica Sanchez for the win!!!) next week.
  • Thankful that Camille and I were able to meet up in Bacolod. We talked so much about our plans for the future, we forgot to have our picture taken.
  • And well, I got a little disappointed today. Typical me ranted to my mom even though she's miles away (in Cebu) and she advised that I be an adult and send a letter of complaint. So I did, and I felt better.
  • Whatever. Three weeks left before I go and I am so excited, and scared. But excited > scared!!!


The space in between

While waiting for the rest of my life to happen, I keep myself busy with food and family—two things I just can't get enough of!

  1. Banana split at home, the cure for tooth extraction
  2. Homemade french fries, ahh I feel so loved!
  3. Dirty ice cream for the sun-scorched day
  4. I keep coming back for Tibiao's terenteren!
  5. Hot chocolate > iced coffee, for now I guess
  6. But there's always a time for happy hour!
  7. I haven't been to Mcdonald's in foreverrr
  8. Chicken Sari-Sari dinner with the fambam
  9. Spaghetti everyday if I may, because of my no-rice diet...

Yesterday was the perfect time to have a shoot for our family portrait since Kara's currently on her way to Manila for a two-week vacation and Karina's flying there tomorrow to go seek out her future. Ciao!


Lifetime piling up

Yesterday I took a stroll down memory lane with my sister and cousin as we visited our grandparents' house late in the afternoon. Our families, especially mine, lived there for almost half of our lives, about a decade ago. So it obviously felt so good to come back even just for a quick visit.

Despite how long it has been since we moved out, I have had with me a list of unforgettable moments spent in that home—from the small space behind the grand piano where we played house in, to the trees we used to climb on just so we could get to the roof of the house, to Christmasses and birthdays celebrated with the entire Gadong clan, to the way us cousins would gather at the dinning room round table for our early morning breakfast before we leave for school. And the list goes on.

The ancestral house has lived through one generation after another and has meant a lot to any of us. We even thought of restoring the house very soon. Hopefully, maybe, in time for this year's Christmas, so we could celebrate the season there just like used to. But in the meantime, I guess staying close with everyone wouldn't hurt.

The other day I was with Karina and Nikki at Fuel.ph's cafe and yesterday we spent the night over at their place, talking about anything while browsing through and laughing at our growing up photos. Before leaving their house this afternoon, I hoarded borrowed six books from Angel and promised to return it before the summer ends. With that, perhaps another kind of bonding activity can be ensued. If not, a sleepover is always a good idea.


Two milk teas, one day

And still, I just can't get enough. Perhaps it is my mission in life to taste all the milk teas in the world! So far I have already tasted all the milk tea stalls/places in Iloilo City (that I know of) and a few from Manila. However, I don't necessarily rate each and every one of them as good or bad (because I feel better that way, not comparing and ranking goods), but I do have my fair share of favorites.

Today I visited Smallville's newest cafes and gave their milk teas a shot. I was with my best friend Mabel the entire time and although we were both super full from lunch, our stomachs will always have enough room for some cold drinks, especially milk tea. From Fuel.ph to Trea House and back, the afternoon was filled with heartwarming tales and hope for futures!

P.S. Thanks to Jilly for blogging about/introducing me to both places and for dropping by to see us! My sister and two cousins were also around at the latter part of the afternoon. Such happy company!


Mayday, May days!

Two things I've been doing lately: reading books and eating.

It is unfortunate, however, that I have recently (yesterday) gotten a sore throat and hence is prohibited from eating/drinking anything cold and sweet that would worsen my situation. Also, I blame coffee for—as it should but never did, until last week—keeping me up until the wee hours of the morning. Or maybe it's the books I read that forces me to stay awake? It breaks my heart but I guess I should lay off these things for a while.

And hello again, Instagram: Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour Mondays we rushed to and got in time for; Hungry Ninja lunch (Pad Thai!) and Dulgies desserts with mi familia; and Audrey Hepburn and Frank Sinatra books I found at my grandparents' the day after I slept over.

It's been a great three days so far!