Monday, February 13, 2017


Seeing and having small talk with old friends you haven't seen for a while brings so many memories - it's nostalgic! Laughter & reminiscing about the good old days also brought about a lot of reflection on my part.

It's evident that each & every one of us has changed in one way or another in the past 10 years. And if there's one thing I realized while walking home today was that I've grown a lot more patient. I remember I used to get pissed of, annoyed, or worried by so many little things. Eventually, I guess with age & hopefully some wisdom, I've learned to let go of things that do not seem to matter in the long run. I won't delve into the specifics anymore, but my anger levels have definitely subsided. Not a lot of colleagues will probably know my angry state. Hehe. Further, a personal motto would probably be 'smile through the pain.' It's actually funny because for the first time in a long while, I had a big, silly smile fixed on my face while walking home thinking about this... :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

4 Years

4 years...
The length of time we spent trying to transition into adulthood...
The length of time we spent dreaming of going down the hill & facing the real world...
Now, the length of time I've spent in the real world we've long aspired to be in.

I have to say, those 3 chapters in my life all flew by fast, filled with memories to cherish & lessons worth learning. I guess what this most recent chapter has taught me most though is how to be a lot more patient, to smile in spite of everything, accept things I have no control over & act on those I do have the power to change - all contributing to my own personal growth.

So, cheers to the past 4 years &, I hope, to a more impactful & exciting new chapter!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Can't Sleep...

I cannot go to sleep and I keep on thinking, "why can't I sleep?" I'm thinking of nothing at all. Is it the stress from the day? Probably not - it was a pretty normal day. Is it the uncertainty of tomorrow? Maybe. Is it the fear of unfulfilled dreams? Too deep at this time. Maybe it's just my body telling my brain to digest its dinner first before going to bed.

So what now? I got up, fully intending to read a book, but with my journal instead. I'm feeling overwhelmed with emotions I can't explain with no specific outlet to express but these pages on which I'm writing on. My fingers are gripping the pen too hard, writing as fast as I can to chase these thoughts & put them on paper. It's starting to hurt - my wrists I mean.

So what do these words mean? What do these thoughts signify that they keep me up all night?

*Note: This was first written on paper.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Over the past weeks since the new year, I've been inspired to take up cooking & baking - which a lot of people ask why. I guess those seemingly easy-to-do video recipes that keep popping up on Facebook are just too tempting not to try. Also, since I've found so much leisure weekend time post-exams, I've been trying to find an outlet that's more productive than sleeping. :)

Anyway, there are a few things I realized while spending time in the kitchen with this new hobby.
  1. We are extremely protective of our own.
    • Of course I feel that the food I made is absolutely delicious, even more so than those bought in stores. But if I were being honest and objective, I know that my leche flan still has a long way to go. That chicken was a bit too dry. Though I have to say that my molten chocolate lava cake really tasted great! :)
    The Leche Flan that burned my fingers.
    Chicken Breast w/ Veggies
    Successful Molten Lava Cake
    1. Family will always be your most loyal supporters.
      • My first molten chocolate lava cake was a bit burnt & overcooked, yet was still consumed in a matter of minutes, albeit with some constructive criticism.
        Burnt Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
    2. Creating something out of virtually nothing gives you a tremendous amount of satisfaction.
      • No matter what the outcome was, I was always overwhelmed with joy in seeing the finished product.
    All these realizations make me think of the people who spend their days creating. How many people lovingly churn out delicious goodies from their home ovens? How many coffee shops have seen writers, doodlers, & dreamers create their masterpieces? And, how many of those masterpieces will actually see the light of day & be noticed by the world?

    Sometimes, I think the joy that comes with creating is enough. Most things don't need the world's adoration. The process of creating makes them worthwhile endeavors. Although putting them out there doesn't hurt, especially if you have something that can inspire others.

    Friday, January 1, 2016

    Ushering in the New Year that is 2016...

    How time flies! We just said goodbye to 2015 & are now welcoming 2016 with all the celebration we can muster with our loved ones. And, here I am conjuring up words in my mind trying to sound smart with my new year reflections. Haha!

    On 2015:
    The past year was a blast! 2015 had been full of firsts & travels, realizations & surprises, and a full spectrum of emotions. With the many things that happened, from meetings, concerts, & travels abroad, to exams, books, & tons of coffee, I honestly cannot think of a better year at the moment. On top of it all, I've interacted with so many people, old & new, from whom I've learned so much over the past year. All I can say now is a big, fat "Thank you!" :)

    On 2016:
    This will probably sound cliche, but the only thing that comes to mind right now for the new year are action plans & milestones I want to accomplish - in mainstream terms, new year's resolutions. :)
    1. Lose 10lbs. I never thought in my whole existence that I would ever have this goal, but here it is. Age is catching up & metabolism is slowing down.
    2. Read 24 books. This has been a staple in my yearly goals for 3 years now. So far, it's been working well for me.
    3. Go through the 52-week saving challenge. Also on its 3rd year in my list.
    4. Start on that personal project. This is new & something I will keep private for now. Ever since I finished those finance exams, I've been looking for a personal project to keep me occupied. Hoping this will, indeed, come into fruition.
    5. Write more. 2015 has been the year when I wrote just 5 blog posts. To be completely transparent, I do write down personal essays on a private journal, but it hasn't been much. I need to re-start this habit this year.
    6. Engage in more conversations. People close to me know that I hate being in a loud crowd; however, I do love sitting around just listening to people share their stories. I find those moments the real classrooms of the outside world, where we can learn from others' experiences & connect more to one another & our own humanity.
    That's it for now! :) Cheers to everyone! Have a happy, prosperous, & blessed new year to all!

    Sunday, October 4, 2015


    There are at least 3 months in a year that I'm extra reflective, not counting any major life events:

    1. October, wherein I usually think of my age, what I've accomplished so far, and how far along I am on my self-imposed timelines;
    2. November - the time when we remember the people who've gone ahead of us, forcing me to reflect on my own mortality and what life is all about;
    3. December crossing January, understandably because of what it signifies - ends and new beginnings.

    Basically, the last 3 months of the year is when I think of where I am now, reflect on how much time I still have left, and anticipate new beginnings. These musings usually trigger a lot more writing from me, which I regret I haven't been doing as much as I would like to lately.

    So, what do I have to say right now? Frankly, none. I just thought, "Hey, maybe it's a good time to crack open that journal of mine today, maybe even write a blog post." Well, I might as well just answer those 3 reflections I have based on how I'm feeling today.

    1. Where am I right now?
    I'm actually not sure. I'm feeling in limbo, but I know I'm happy & content. I'm not saying every day is easy and does not have its troubles, but really, I have nothing major to complain about.
    2. How long do I still have in this lifetime?
    I do not know and it doesn't matter. Just knowing I'm here right now and writing my thoughts out is enough of a miracle to be thankful.
    3. What's next to anticipate?
    I have yet to decide. I think I do need a change in my life right now - new beginnings. Yes, I'm currently happy & content, but I need a new purpose to dive into. Maybe not an entirely new purpose, but a novel way of driving towards my personal endeavors.
    That's about it. I guess I just needed to get those questions out of my mind and in writing. :)

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Perceived Values...

    How do you perceive the value of money or anything for that matter? I believe that we have a bias on placing a much higher value towards things we own. For example, I feel enraged when I lose a Php20 pen I own, but I don't really care about a Php50 pen my sister loses. Recently, however, I learned of a different perspective to look at this question without considering direct material ownership.

    Photo from Amazon

    Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir posits that not having enough, whether in terms of money, time, even calories, subconsciously alters a person's behavior towards choices and perceived values. Throughout the book, the authors give examples of studies and experiments backing this hypothesis. Taking a personal example, I actually become more wary with how I spend my money whenever I'm about to hit my self-imposed weekly allowance. This is the time when I scrimp on food by cutting out dessert and snacks to manage my budget. When faced with deadlines, I usually am a lot more serious in deciding whether watching a 2-hour movie is worth that precious time. I've also become more conscious of what I eat since imposing a calorie limit on myself.

    The most intriguing part I've read so far though (I'm only halfway through the book) is the idea that the poor might actually have a better sense of the value of things precisely because they face real trade-offs in any of their purchases. Consequently, they may also suffer from fewer inconsistencies in their decision-making process. It's a striking insight because the way I think of it, no matter how frugal I think I am & no matter how I try to put myself in their shoes in order to understand their needs, I may never be able to fully comprehend them. And since I don't face real trade-offs in the extreme sense, I am now wondering whether I'm actually taking the value of some things for granted & therefore being extravagant in that sense.