Cherry Blossoms and Thoughts

Today would have been a perfect day for a stroll, a trip up to the mountains, or a walk around unexplored roads and places that are off the beaten path. I close my eyes and I see them as if all these are within my reach. I hear the endless whispers of the breeze and feel them in my fingertips.

Would. Have. Been.

Three words that may hint the feeling of resentment for someone who has been inside her room-turned-workshop for the past two weeks. But really, it is far from how my heart is beating now. I am elated at the thought that my little handmade craft shop reached four years. I may have moved a little too slow, given a number of reasons way back about time, commitments, day jobs, and the like. But I realized, there will never be a right time and there will never be time to do things if I don’t do it now or if I don’t strictly discipline myself to do it.

So this leads me to that dreaded word – adulting. You see, nobody warned me that being an adult could be this difficult and exhausting. There are bills, deadlines, commitments, piles of work and responsibilities. But I’d like to think that somehow, our childhood prepared us for this. Unless of course by some act of the universe, you lived a grandiose, sheltered life. I have given this a long thought in between designing my next products. As much as all these things can suck the living soul out of me, I refuse to give in and give up.  This is where I have to stay grounded and keep my eyes on the goal. It is all a matter of DISCIPLINE – disciplining the heart, the mind, the body, all of which are essential to keep that A-game.

Continue reading Cherry Blossoms and Thoughts

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Travel Diaries: REAL, QUEZON

Happy Buttons, my craft shop, operates on a lot of sunshine and happy vibe. I knew that it was one of those seasons again when I badly need an upper – to bring the right balance for my love for craft and my regular day job. What could be probably the best part of my life is that I have good friends who are easy to drag on random road trips to places.

Two nights before the November 30 holiday last year, we thought of going to this new and hipster surfing spot at Real, Quezon. It was about 3 hours away from Antipolo/Marikina, depending on which route you take and what time you leave. The drive could be longer if you happen to pass through rough roads and experience unfavorable weather, which kind of happened to us for the most part.

Continue reading Travel Diaries: REAL, QUEZON

Email Discovery — an old prayer

I was cleaning up my mailbox when I saw this message from my old work email. I know I was going through a rough patch during this time. But after reading it again now, I have no intention of finishing this entry to keep the meaning of the whole letter intact.

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Dear God,

When it comes to my career plans, you know how bad I wailed and complained before finally giving in and letting the flow of events take me. After five years of trying to fit in the job description, learning and unlearning things, of acquiring difficult skills which are unnatural for me while searching for that sweet spot, I have now determined where I want to be. But the question now is, is this where you want me to be?

I ask you that question so often but still you have given me no clear answer. So again, I let all opportunities come, taking them one by one — evaluate, pray, assess. My friend calls it Daily Dependence. What comforts me is for every worry that I have, you give me an assurance and an answer which I do not expect. While I might risk thinking that I may be doing things right because of all the timing and opportunity, I don’t want to let myself be complacent. You haven’t, after all, given me a Yes or No yet.

Faith is never passive. Even in Hebraic roots, emunah or faith is not a noun or an adjective. From a Hebraic perspective, it is an action and a constant expression in daily life. Emunah means believing that all things come from God, He allows things to happen or not happen,

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I hope that whoever is reading this right now would find the strength to take a bold step forward in the direction that God leads you to. Or maybe to find the clear answer to all your work struggles.

 

Love Letter – to the place I’ll always call Home.

It’s almost a month since we transferred to a new house to give way to a major facelift of our ancestral home. Four generations of memories, families, and of roots deeply planted had to give way to a major decision of tearing down and rebuilding a new home.

Devastation, sadness, homesickness set in and all during Christmas season. Two days after the transfer and while failing at swallowing back my tears at work, I wrote this freely out of my head. The gallery below is all the photos I took which until now brings lovely memories to my heart.

Continue reading Love Letter – to the place I’ll always call Home.

Handpainted Rock Paperweights

I have always loved getting my hands colored, messy, and dirty through hand painting. During one summer break in High School, I thought of doing a project of painting on rocks and turning it into a nice paperweight. My very first rock art was literally hand painted of different shades and varying swirls of brown. You can just imagine how covered my hands were in acrylic paint. But it was a masterpiece and a work of art for the young 14-year-old me. I was so proud of it and kept it as a reminder of making more projects with rocks.

Fast forward to a several years later, and stressed and workaholic adult version of me, I looked up in the Internet a few simple projects I can try on my own.  Of course I added a bit of a flair here and there and tweaked some of the colors and designs. These are some of them – the easiest and simplest to work on are animals.

Continue reading Handpainted Rock Paperweights

Travel Diaries: PALAUI ISLAND, CAGAYAN

I’m not here to tell you how to get there and where to stay. I’m not here to give you an ideal itinerary for the trip either.

Instead, I’m here to write and tell you an experience, to describe in the best way possible what it felt like to be on the edge of what I’ve known as my home and my comfort zone, and to invite you to take an adventure of your own.

Cagayan is probably the hottest province I’ve ever been to in the entire Philippines. But what makes it so charming are its unknown gems – the Caramel Halo Halo which is simply mouth-watering, the kind-hearted and hardworking townsfolk who know so much about their history, the islands which make me want to run up its hills and breathe in the salty but cool Pacific air.

Halo halo with caramel
Halo halo with caramel

We were able to savor the quiet and cool breeze inside Callao Cave. The cave, which holds about seven other interconnected caves, is the most fascinating cave I have ever seen in all my travels and adventures. While there were already stone steps heading up to the entrance, the moist soil and rocky path inside preserves its delicate and natural beauty. What makes the experience even more intimate is the fact that the people erected a chapel inside, lit by the sunlight from the open rock ceiling, but leaving everything else undisturbed and untouched.

Continue reading Travel Diaries: PALAUI ISLAND, CAGAYAN

These Scattered Thoughts

The question really is, how far can you go? When you hear music, who does your heart sing it to?

You lost me because it felt like reaching out to someone fading away.

I’m a free spirited person. Can you handle how random, spontaneous, and carefree I can be?

And you who feed my soul with sunshine, can you light up the darkness within me?

So what’s different with this third take? This third shot?

It will be okay

When someone tells you all the stuff you haven’t heard in a while. Or maybe never heard at all. Thank you. But what to do now?

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Series of tweets in a span of two months from my personal Twitter account.

Reblog: Why Girls With Dogs Are More Adventurous, Carefree And Spontaneous

This was originally posted at Elite Daily by Zara Barrie. (click the link to see the original post)


 

 

Girls with dogs are oh so very different from “regular” girls. Pretentious as it may sound — we girls who have found ourselves in long-term, committed partnerships with our pets have tapped into a hidden (dare I say sacred) part of ourselves.

A part of ourselves we didn’t know otherwise existed.

See, a vastly different side of one’s personality manifests itself when an animal makes its way into the equation.

From that defining moment when our wide eyes locked into the deep-set eyes of our dog, we intrinsically knew it was destined to be our soulmate in this cruel, cold world — life as we knew it was forever changed.

Not only have our dogs been solely responsible for saving us from the harried mess of ourselves, they have served as the grounding force of our ungrounded lives — the weight of their entities pulling us back to earth. Our dogs gave us something to finally come home for.

They provide us with something to nurture and care for outside the realm of ourselves. Most importantly, our dogs have taught us that a true healthy relationship is collaborative, made up of equal parts give and equal parts take.

What most people neglect to realize is that while our dogs made us more cohesive and responsible adult women, they also have turned our lives into a more adventurous, carefree and spontaneous work of ART: Continue reading Reblog: Why Girls With Dogs Are More Adventurous, Carefree And Spontaneous

Pawprints and Memories

Today, we celebrate mother’s day. And today, I lost my furry baby and one of my best friends.

Albus was one of the best pals I’ve ever had. He was not just a dog, he was family, much like a son. As much as I was there beside him to cross the rainbow bridge, seeing him make his last breath was heartbreaking. I guess the only comfort I could ever have was that he was free from pain and suffering, and I was there to comfort him that he can go and that I’m okay.

Thank you, Albus Dumbledog (yes, in honor of the wise wizard from Harry Potter) for the love, friendship, loyalty, and strength you gave me. Thank you for making me whole, for witnessing my joy and pain, for the comfort, for filling my heart with so much love. You were a joy to see and hear singing. You were so brave and courageous. You were my buddy, my source of energy, my baby.

I know we never really lose them. They’re always in our hearts. But each goodbye is different, each moment cuts deep. Then we heal and find ourselves able to love again.

I love you Albus and I’ll see you again.

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Albus Dumbledog

2002-2015

 

These Thoughts Undefined

We flee and silence our thoughts when we’re not ready to face them. When we can’t dissect each and every piece, when we can’t put them together or pull them apart, when we can’t put words and define what we’re feeling and thinking.

At times we feel, only to deny. We think, then we push it back. All those things floating up my head, wishing I could pluck them out of those bubbles, hold on to them, and see if I can concretely describe what they are. To categorize them, to have definite lines and boundaries on each thought, and then maybe finally I can take a step towards something more familiar  and clear – no longer the unknown.

You are a world not far from mine. And yet I haven’t explored you still – not fully, not all, not everything. Each day is a step towards unfamiliar territory. I take my time and pace. I take risks with every said and unspoken word. When I read between the lines and I’m not sure if I have observed and interpreted everything correctly. And yet, you make me stronger, braver, better. You challenge me at each turn.

You are a world fully complimenting mine, if not almost the same. Breathing you in like a fresh air is a welcome respite after each day. You have searched every nook and cranny of my being and welcomed the flaws and ugly truths. But you made me see the good, the beauty, and what could be out of each scratch and wound I wear.

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In this confusion and maze of thoughts that I have, I try to paint the future and yet I don’t know which tool to use, which colors to choose. I can see but not too far ahead. I can sketch but can’t seem to define and finalize the draft. So until then, I search, I draw, I walk, I think, I feel, and hopefully, I would see with clarity.