30 April 2016

Once I was Twenty Years Old, My Story Got Told

Oh my goodness, time! I know I have so little regard of you but must you really fly before my eyes so quickly? I'm still reeling in from my birthday celebrations last January and here we are, almost at the open of May. Give me some leeway here; everyone knows how self-centered and self-serving my January posts have always been owing to it being my birthmonth Hahahaha

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Dress: Topshop | Bag: Michael Kors | Watch: Tag Heuer | Shoes: Zara| Laurel headband: from China Town in Malaysia

I celebrated my birthday with my family, friends, and officemates separately. I'll begin with posting my celebration with my family. Since I was, yet again, the center of the night at that time, I got to choose where I wanted to eat. For my special day, we ate at Cafe Ilang Ilang in Manila Hotel.

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Once I was seven years old
My Mommy told me that if I do my best and study hard, I would succeed in life. Back then, to succeed in life meant to get a new Barbie or Polly Pocket or another Sylvanian. That's why I studied hard, ate the vegetables on my plate, and obeyed everything that my parents asked of me. 

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Once I was eleven years old
I think it was around that time when my Mommy had to explain to me how there are people who would always fare better than I do just as there will be a select few whom I'll end up besting out. It's not that I failed to give my best. It's just that, their best is better than my best. Then again, I didn't fully understand it. Because when you live in a world where everyone around you, from the Grandmothers to our beloved angels (most notably my beloved Ate Lea whom all of my friends from grade school until college know of), tells you that you are the best, you somehow end up believing in them. 

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Once I was twenty years old
As far as I remember, the only time I dedicated my focus on studying was when I was in Nursery and in 1st grade. That's it. I never experienced the hardships of studying in college because I'm probably among the laziest and "chill" student there ever was. College life has been very kind to me. Even my thesis let me have a good time save for that 1 week of writing and revising. So now's really the first time I exerted this much effort. Perhaps the reason I'm having a difficult time coping with my demanding day job, attention-seeking side jobs, and equally time-consuming personal activities is the fact that I've never been prepared for this kind of burden. I'm too young to be burned out and I'm definitely not complaining about all the things that are genuinely keeping me busy for months now. It's just that, my 2016 is proving to be a good yet taxing year. It's making me think back to those times when I'm supposed to have learned how to budget my time and work on as many things in my life simultaneously as I possibly could. It's too late for regrets though. All in all, I still consider myself lucky for what the universe is throwing at my way. Never mind the thousands of regrets that I have, I am yet to redeem myself in the future.

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I do not fear the future in general especially since I have high hopes for a good one. But I greatly fear having life pass me by. I fear passing on from opportunities just because I didn't have the guts to leave my comfort zone. I fear entering the late part of my life knowing that I do not have any fruits to reap. I'm most afraid of retiring without having anything to secure the 'things that I'm trying to build now'. I've never been the type who has written her Life Plan but I've always been the girl who, like so many others, wants to leave a mark. 

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Sometimes there are songs so nicely written that they seem like they're a piece of poetry. My friend and I have been singing this song plenty of times just to remind us why we can't stop.

Title's from Lukas Graham's 7 Years

20 April 2016

Enlightenment

I've forgotten about my last post from my Malaysia trip last August 2015 so here I am, a little dazed because I sadly couldn't remember everything that I wanted to say about Malaysia but whatever. Let's push through! Besides, I've to collate my thoughts and summarize my short trip already because I might find myself in the same country next month yayyyy!

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Top: Zara | Pants: River Island | Sunnies: Oakley | Bag: Kipling | Sandals: Zara | Headband: Scunci

I am very interested in the different cultures that exist. Certainly I am not an all-welcoming person who reserves her judgments until I'm sure that no one will get offended, when I am a person who assigns identifiers on almost everything and everyone. There are different facets of a thriving culture that I enjoy observing from afar. First, there's religion. There's something about how a group reveres an Image that fascinates me. I haven't read Yann Martel's Life of Pi but I've seen its movie adaptation. For a while, I considered becoming like Pi. You know, try this and that to see which religion would work best for me. Of course in the end I've accepted that someone has to be responsible for how the world turned out to be. It just happens that to my easily influenced mind, it's the Biblical God  that made the most sense.

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Second is their lifestyle. I don't uphold any tradition that's distinct to the culture in my country save for being extremely family-centered. Whereas other women my age would already start hunting for their own flats to live in, separate from their parents', I'm firmly resolved to live with the comfort that my parents can provide for as long as possible. I have nothing to boast of when it comes to being a walking Filipino-tradition. So I always find myself amazed when I go to places where a lifestyle distinct to them is obvious.  

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Third is how the young people address their superiors. I've briefly talked about millennials in this POST. Allow me to add another nugget of information about our generation that I've read somewhere. They say that we, millennials, are too frank that it can almost be considered insubordination. Perhaps it's true, perhaps it's not. But whatever. Showing respect may come in different forms so what's rude for one may be acceptable to another but I believe that there are some behavioral conduct that're universally unacceptable.

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Culture fascinates everyone but culture isn't supposed to be used as an excuse for any ill behavior that will affect another. 

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I've enjoyed going around Kuala Lumpur. It's a beautiful place that has different races that intermingle well. It's also very easy to go around as the directions and various modes of transportation were helpful to tourists. I'd love to go back! (And perhaps I will soon. We'll see!)

You can see my other posts about this Malaysia trip HERE and HERE.

03 March 2016

I Wanna Be Like Kanye

Seeing that I picked a rather 'inspiring song' to open up my 2016 posts, allow me to express how inspired and enthusiastic I am for my plans for the rest of the year. This year's mantra is all about "achieving, succeeding, and conquering". I'm kicking off 2016 with photos taken last November wherein I attended my first official work-related event.

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Dress: Topship | Shoes: Zara | Earrings and bag: River Island | Watch: Marc Jacobs

When New Year started, I didn't make any resolutions. There's no point in trying to come up with a list that I'll never see through until the end anyway. If I cannot even commit myself to a monthly ritual, how will I  commit to a change in any ritual at all? So, there. Scrap writing New Year's Resolutions. This transitory year is after all the year where I'm up for anything! So screw whatever will bring permanence and embrace all that promote the illusory grandeur. (Note that that's quite a rich statement coming from someone whose major decisions in life are still heavily reliant on her mother!)

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If there's one thing that I like the most about my job, it's the fact that I get to talk and be exposed to people who come from all walks of life. One day I get to talk to someone whose achievements in life would inspire me so much so that it'll make me want to brave the vast ocean of opportunities and disappointments just like he did while on the following day, I'll be talking with someone who'll make my darker, condescending side excited. I keep on oscillating between being thirsty for more and grateful for my blessings.

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That's our Ambassador behind me, by the way!
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I'm quite happy and contented with where I am at the moment, work-wise. I have a good job - it requires for me to constantly think and act on my toes quickly, officemates who treat me as their equal despite being the youngest and newest hire for the past 3 years, applicants who clearly respect me despite looking and being so much younger than they are (although I'm aware that it's only due to the job title), and of course it's a job that pays my exorbitant bills (at least a quarter of it since my parents, aka the most generous persons in the world, "insist" on paying them). Again, I am quite happy and contented with my job, for now.

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These photos were taken in Fairmont Hotel last November, during the celebration of the King's Day.

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Title's by The Chainsmokers
Photos from others 

19 November 2015

Inside the Pocket of Your Ripped Jeans

If it's any consolation, I'm truly becoming very busy. I'm really growing up (figuratively), woohooo!

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Top: Zara | Pants and necklace: River Island | Cap and shoes: Adidas | Umbrella: from Hong Kong Disneyland | Watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs

I am among the immediate beneficiaries of the APEC 2015 traffic scheme. I left our office which is located along Ayala Ave, Makati at exactly 4 in the afternoon, got into a car 2 minutes later, then arrived at a village along EDSA 13 minutes after. Under normal circumstances, that's about as possible as me waking up earlier than 10am on weekends (which is almost never save for the instances where I have no choice but be awake earlier). And then from EDSA, my friend and I drove to Antipolo. We reached our destination in only 19 minutes! Again, that's another impossible feat given that we traveled during the supposed rush hour window. We had another easy breezy time going back from Antipolo. To make things even better, I've been waking up at 6:30am to be at work by 8:30 for the past APEC-affected days. I didn't have to be in the Embassy early since we only had a handful of applicants thus making my life as well as those of my colleagues' so much easier than usual. So you see, APEC has been wonderful to me!

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When it comes to dressing up, I'm unfortunately among the majority whose options are quite limited owing to different factors. There's this thing about my height, also my build, and then there are my prejudices. Much as I'd like to be among those supermodels who can pass off as beautiful even in sacks, I'm afraid there are certain styles that I won't be able to pull off no matter how hard I try. I'm not the casual Dr Martens-hipster glasses-effortless girl (although I've a pair of Docs as well as an arsenal of fake hipster glasses. I can never consider my style effortless because despite the lazy outfit I don at times, believe me, there's been even just pinch of thought process that went into it. My vision just didn't quite translate well hahahaha) But seriously, I'm sadly not the girl who can look nice in the simplest of clothes. I'm more conscious of how I look when I'm dressed down than when I'm overdressed. Anyway the concept of being overdressed is just that; a mere concept. As what the illustrious Wilde said in one of his works, no one can ever be overdressed or over-educated.

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Christmas is arriving and it's making me so excited that my computer at work is playing Christmas songs on loop, in a scandalizing volume that perhaps everyone in the office now knows that there's a Christmas elf amongst their midst. What can I do, my Christmas spirit is stirring! Soon, I'll focus on blogging about Christmas, Christmas, and Christmas!

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Photos were taken in Aquaria KLCC
Title's from Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' (which I've been singing nonstop as well!)

06 November 2015

It's Our Time

Not publishing any entries, be it about the recent book I’ve just read or the place I’ve been to or the dates with my friends or the devastating departure of my great grandmom after her month-long battle in the hospital, drains out more ideas from me than say, when I publish in quick succession. I’d have these ideas that at one point mattered (often, they are bordering shallow and pretentious, to be honest) and let them slip away because instead of pouring my brains out about them here, I’d choose to wallow in my misery (i.e. because of my beloved laptop’s untimely death) and refuse to use available substitutes where I can continue with my normal online updates. Now at 10:17AM, I find myself too lazy to function so instead of doing the work that I’m getting paid for, I’ll  spout out incoherent thoughts here.

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Dress; Charlotte Ruse (which my grandmom got for me) | Sandals: Topshop | Necklace: Promod | Bag: Juicy Couture

Several weeks ago, I read an article in Levo that concisely describes our generation. To put simply, millennials are best described as selfish, impatient, lazy, and entitled. (Well, at least for me they’re all true.) Perhaps it’s because our generation is raised in a fast-paced environment, where almost every answer is just at the tips of our fingers that it’s frustrating when things don’t go like the way we’ve intended them to be. I think we are the generation that demands too much from others and takes a lot of things for granted. (Like I said, at least these speak of truth about me). On the other end of the spectrum, the article rounds up its points by stating that although these may be true of the Millennials, it’s not to say that we are the good-for-nothing generation. If anything, we are the go-getters. We want things so badly, perhaps fueled by our innate ambitiousness or our tendency to compare ourselves with our neighbors or just because, that we search for short cuts to arrive at our destination earlier than expected. In a few years, I’ll be a quarter of a century old. By then, I’m supposed to be nearer to whoever I wish to be.


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Setting aside my pretentious existential crisis for a while, allow me to bombard this blog with photos taken at varying points. I’m going to use whatever photos are left in my arsenal, including the not so recent ones. (I swear it made me so sad to bid adieu to my 2 year old laptop, what with my thousands of selfies stored in it plus my overconfident narratives. Who wouldn’t be disappointed in losing another know-it-all, right?) Anyway. These photos were taken last May in Green Canyon Resort in Subic. It’s only been up and running for a year so although it’s already satisfactory as it is, there are still lots of possibilities. Still, it’s worth a visit.


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27 August 2015

Cheers to Nights Like This

I wasn't able to babble for weeks here so allow me to be loquacious. August has been an exceptionally busy month. There were weeks where I had to be in the office as early as 6 in the morning just to clear files of the previous days else they will add up to the current day's files which in turn would end up bulldozing me. I don't even remember if I was able to squeeze in an afternoon or evening hang-out with any of my friends since I had to leave the office in the evening as well. And then for the past 3 weeks, my family has always been on alert. My great grandmother, or Inana as how we call her, has been transferred to the ICU for 2 weeks now after being confined in a regular room for a week. Her health has been oscillating from better to worst that we no longer know which is which. My parents and brother are in Quezon province as I type, after having had to rush in the middle of the week due to Inana's recent cardiac arrest while receiving her treatment. My beloved laptop also proved that the built-in battery of a Macbook Pro, no matter how latest the model is, will explode if left charging overnight (no thanks to my brother Gio for proving this theory). There's also the matter with my phone. It has given up on me two weeks ago. I could've easily ran to the nearest phone shop but my schedule doesn't permit me to do so. This weekend, I'm going to Quezon to join my family and relatives in watching over Inana. So friends, I'm terribly sorry if I'm unable to reply to your text messages. I'm still phone-less! But naturally, there were plenty of good events that transpired in August too. I'm growing closer to my colleagues despite my only almost 3 month stay since I got hired. We've gone out a couple of times just to relieve ourselves of stress only people who work in an Embassy know of (I swear it's difficult for someone who's always relied on others to get things done for her, suddenly rise up to the demands of an Embassy). And then, in the middle of the month, I escaped with my Lala and relaxed in a beautiful foreign land. 

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Dress, earrings, bag: River Island | Charm bracelet: from Jerusalem, Israel | Ring: Aldo | Shoes: Zara

Due to my jampacked schedule (I know, trust me, it still baffles me how I'm handling the major changes in my supposed grown-up life), I'm slowly transitioning into a shopper who's on the look-out for clothes that are appropriate for my activities from day to night. Something appropriate when I suddenly get called by the Ambassador or the Consul in their offices to explain a few things or when receiving applicants at the counter, or when I still have energy in the evening to go out with friends. But for this particular evening, the highlight of Lala and I's trip (it has to be, since I didn't research for touristic places to go to but I made sure that we've a reservation in the best restaurant in the country), I chose a dress that I would wear if, say, I were to spend an entire day in Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. No kidding, I was thinking of Mirage's attractions such as the volcano or the Secret Garden as the perfect backdrop of my dress. Or or or I could be in another Vegas hotel! Hahaha! But oh well, I'm not complaining even though I was miles away from Las Vegas since after all, I'm in another grandiose place, Marini's on 57 which is located in Petronas Tower 3. I know, I know. There are supposedly only two towers but who am I to argue if the receptionist told me that we're going to Tower 3?

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We entered Suria KLCC, the mall under Petronas Towers, to begin our way to our destination. In order to go up to the 57th floor, we had to transfer to 3 different elevators, which was perfectly fine with me! I enjoy the journey that preludes an elegant place. Our server was really nice and guided Lala and I through the menu. We ordered the following: (Note that we weren't able to take photos of the last 2 courses because our phones have already died then. Shame.)

For appetiers:
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Ancona fried olives
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Apulia burrata, Japanese Momotaro tomatoes & fresh basil

Entrees:
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Roasted guinea fowl, fennel, onions, apple & sago tarragon 
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Dry-aged Wagyu beef tenderloin with beetroot, cauliflower, polenta & dried mushrooms

Desserts:
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Custard Bread
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Cotton Candy
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Summer chocolate pralines, mixed fruits & gelato served picnic style

I wasn't kidding when I said this in a previous postHere's to another term infused with mediocre outputs and half-baked enthusiasm, all pieced together with ho-hum objectives. I've always lacked the necessary consistency to carry me through the task. I figured, there is always an easier way out so why go through all the labyrinthine process? But guess what August made me realize? Vacations are even sweeter when an equally tiring and draining work had been accomplished. Guess what the other thing August made me realize? When you give your best, it's easier to dream big. Because at least you know that you're slowly going where you want to be. Take this dinner for example. It's Asia today, who knows where we'll dine tomorrow? :)

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Goodbye for now again!
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