Finding the light

"Get excited about the little things. About wearing a new outfit for the first time. About Sunday brunches with your best friends. About the new cute guy in your class. About finding an extra dollar in your pocket. About anything that even remotely makes you happy because as you grow up, passions fade and enthusiasm gets mistaken for foolishness. So don't let the grey world stop you from shining."


The thing about reunions

September swung by the same way I flew to and from home: quick and easy, but still worth the while. All of a sudden, the airport felt like jeepney terminals and train stations leading me to my sisters on any given weekend. It was nice. My calendar was filled with many a reunion, all of which long overdue. An insightful and encouraging time with our spiritual/life coach at our favorite American diner. To keep tradition, the better-late-than-never coming together of graduates from our high school, those who braved to thrive at the nation's capital. Welcoming our youngest America-based uncles who returned to the nest for a month-long holiday. Refreshing afternoon coffee dates with our best girls. And finally, two years of our little angels, Shiloh Tristelle and Summer Veronique. Life could not get any better than that.


Chill pills and heartwarmers

I've been meaning to go back to Baguio for the longest time. And that's such a shame for someone who claims it well may be her favorite place in the Philippines, granted her undeniable love for the great outdoors and the perennial sweater weather the city offers. That said, each trip up the mountains remains unforgettable.


Wolf in proudly-Pinoy clothing

August also saw me amongst the sea of squealing Twihards when Jacob Black came stomping in onstage for a rather overwhelming fan meet and greet in the arena thanks to his endorsement deal with Bench. Don't get me wrong, I like Taylor Lautner. I adore him as a little tot playing the fiesty Sharkboy with all his wonderful adventures and can never forget how he sneaked his arms over young Alyson Stoner's shoulder on their cute movie date in the second installment of Cheaper by the Dozen. If I had to choose, I was on Team Jacob too. Plus I also commend the heartthrob hottie for his choice in women, dating my girl Selena Gomez and later her best friend, whom Lautner had the same first name with which made it confusing yet easy for fans do their thing, Taylor Swift. But I wouldn't go out of my way just to see him the size of a Ken doll in a place crowded with loud teenage girls. He has no Zac Efron effect on me that way (Sorry for missing your visit back in 2012, babe, America was calling).


Stairways to the clouds

The Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao had us lost for words. And its very sight last August was quite enough for us to forgive and forget the horrible weather which cancelled the forum we sucked up the ten-hour trip from the metro for, the one we have been preparing for weeks.


Sisterhood everlasting

It's true what they say about growing up: the real world is hard to get by alone. And for someone who has been catapulted into the "independent adult" (emphasis on the quotation marks) stage and figured this out earlier than most people, I choose to cling on to the friends, the sisters who have stood by me through thick and thin, through good times and bad, despite the distance and time apart. As we celebrated National Sibling Day yesterday (April 10th, despite what everyone in my social media networks say, gyfs people), I honor them—those based in Manila at least—on this #flashbackfriday (photos taken mid-2013), before it's too late.


White hat's on

I got hooked on the amazing political thriller that is Scandal around the same time I started working in our side of the world's White House and you could only imagine how much of a giddy fangirl, taking her obsession to heart and all, that made me sound. In fact, I was in the middle of my season two marathon when I was sent on my first assignment on the field literally on my first day. There I was able to squeeze in a few episodes while on the road and during our down time.

But mind you, I'm no Olivia Pope or any of her associates. I'd like to think, however, that I may be called a "gladiator in a suit" (or business casual, in our case) in my own right. I believe anything is possible if we all work hand in hand to make this country achieve new heights. That said, I have always wanted to serve this great nation and I can't be more glad to be doing so with my writing.

This opportunity has exposed me to worlds I could not have been to alone and under any other circumstance and to inspiring lives which continuously motivate me to write. Each day I have seen the seemingly-impossible turn possible because of the bayanihan spirit which resonates around the Philippines amid the inevitable natural and man-made disasters. The experience has been humbling, to say the least.

It's no walk in the park, in all honesty; serving the "bosses" aka fellow Filipinos has its trade-offs.


Placefulness and transitions: a study

What better way to rediscover oneself than in transit? More so, the morning light can illuminate even the darkest corners of a troubling mind.

With this lovely sight to welcome each day, our beautiful home of a college dorm will be seeing more of me · Accepting defeat after two hard, commute-filled months: the concrete jungle just wasn't for this restless soul· Alone at my sister's condo, with the sunrise that greeted my John Green (reflections- and emotions-filled) week · So comforting that for first time in a long time, our family was complete on Mother's Day and in my happy place · Stuck in EDSA on a rainy June day instead soulsearching at my godmother's basement or jobhunting in the city · And yet another last hurrah: Pico de Loro with the relatives to bid our respective "summer breaks" goodbye

Leaving this door open

I'll let you in on a little secret: I used to think I had artist potential. Not the type with the chart-topping albums nor who stars in a blockbuster film, just your regular visual artist kind. No, I never aspired to be one of the big shots who create masterpieces through a flick of a paintbrush in a canvass or some complicated molding of clay: I was simply content with doodling on the back pages of my notebooks back in grade school and later tear and give them to my friends.

I wish I kept up with the hobby, I would've been really good at it at this rate—what with my willingness to learn, the art books I have been gifted with, and the considerable practice I can get myself into. Shortly after, however, I traded my sketchbook and pencil to lined papers and pen. I let my passion for words take over my love for drawing because I couldn't see my knack for sketching thrive at this day and age. (And don't even get me started on my fear of failing/mistakes, remember you're talking to a girl with a dash of OCD here.) There are no regrets though, my so-called talent in journalism and communication brought me to heights I'm sure my meager skill in the visual arts couldn't.

But every once in a while I find myself craving for art and aesthetics not even the arrangement of letters and words could satisfy...