Sunday, May 15, 2011

Birthday Holiday!

lunch at Pizza Hut
Let me tell you on how I celebrated my birthday this year....

You see, days before the big day, I felt very down. I'm used to having the birthday blues. I dunno... probably 'coz I have this feeling that no one would remember me etc....I know it ain't true (just look at the greetings a got on my wall. I even suffered from a migraine that day due to too much text messages).

It wasn't until May 9th that I thought of an agenda for the big day. I had a couple of plans... I wanted to go to a hat factory to buy a chic fascinator. I even tried calling some restos for table reservations but deep inside, I really didn't know what to do. All I knew that time was I wanted to be with the right people and that I wanted that day to be stress free and simple.

May 10th came and I was glad that the sun came out finally after the recent typhoon which came to the country! I invited Badeth to have lunch and hopefully think of something to do. I felt glad when she told me Frank was to join us after his shift. I really thought he won't make it. Too bad Michelle couldn't join us due to some family matters.
Anyway, and so there we were, the 3 of us... hanging out at Pizza Hut Bistro, chowing on some Carbonara Pizza, Raviolis and Cheese Puffs while chatting like crazy and shared some good laughs.
cheese puffs

I'm glad Badeth came


carbonara pizza

havin' a great time...

After eating, Frank invited us to the arcade. I may say, it's been a long time since I last went to the arcade so what the heck!? I'm always game for anything! He mentioned about this game that was addicting.... I felt excited and a little scared for I knew he would easily influence us to be addicts as well! hehehe
The 3 of us happily marched down the arcade and as soon as we entered, he asked me to pick the prize I wanted. I picked the cute pig stuffed toy 'coz it looked so cuddly! hehehehe Frank then had some  bills converted into 1 peso coins and we were all set!
I used to be a Doraemon fan...

picking my gift...

weeeee! so hapeee!!

frank with his magic coin!

meet Booby!!

And yes! As expected.... we were instantly hooked! ahahahaha we inserted the coins one by one as the machine rolled out its tickets. We were dead serious to get as many as we could! ahahahahah after God knows how long, we finally decided to stop and gathered all the tickets!! Weeeeee!! I think we got more than 3500 points so he asked me to pick another prize! Yey! Yey!! This time, I chose the cute garfield doll! I got 2 dolls that day! Thanks to Frank and Badeth! I named the pig Booby and the garfield doll after Frank!
with coach

we won a couple of these

heheheh evidence

highly addictive

keep em coming!!!

Booby was thrilled!!!

certified  addicts!!
waaaahhh loads of tickets!


I can't believe we got all these

busy counting the tickets

woooohoooo! my 2nd doll! Meet Frank and Booby!

When I got home, mom gave me her gift. It was a simple emerald rosary. She chose emerald after the gem for my birth month. It was lovely and I liked it a lot. Of course she gave it to me so I will never forget to call on God.
never run out of faith

Friday came and it was time to treat my team for some afternoon snacks...
I ordered a special local noodle dish called Pancit Lucban at a famous Pancit Lucban resto along with some other finger foods. We bought some balloons and placed it on our stations. I wanted to hold a mustache party but I didn't find enough free time to make some mustaches that day. Anyway, the day turned out to be great! I also got some gifts from them...
a simple feast

delicious pancit Lucban

my birthday card filled with wishes

me and my officemate Ace

with my boss Elly

with kuya Albert!

with Naomi!
the gifts I got... a hat and a glam necklace

I believe with the huge amount of friends I have, this is gonna be a month long celebration for sure! hehehe
I got teary eyed when I saw the greetings and wishes of friends and supporters on my facebook wall. I was really touched! I really felt loved!
31 is the new 21

Age is just a number... I'm thankful to have reached this age. I'm thankful because I'm physically and mentally stable. I'm thankful because I have a set of friends to die for. I don't really feel old and all my friends tell me I don't look like 31 at all due to the happy vibe I got! I wonder what's in store for me this year....

Plans? yeah I do.... but not grand ones for now. I'm just taking it easy. I'm even at a point wherein I feel I wanna retire from singing on stage and just write songs instead. I wanna be more serious is taking pictures for now... my aim is to be more simple and be more true to myself. Gone are the days where I always grave for weekend gimmiks, gigs and alcohol. Nowadays, I'm rediscovering the homebody in me. I'm happy doing chores and cooking meals for friends. Last year, I wanted to be so glam and fab but this time, I just wanna stick on where I'm comfortable... to stay as simple yet sophisticated as possible. Simplicity is elegance...

I just wanna be ME!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

31 Lessons

31? u must be kidding me!
As I add another year to my crazy beautiful life, I couldn't help but reflect on the things which I've learned as well as the things which I'm thankful for. =)

I didn't live an easy life.... but I may say that those ups and downs have made this 31-year existence really remarkable with all the places I've seen, struggles surpassed and people whom I have crossed paths with. Each with their own lessons to learn and memories to keep.

I know I'm far from being a life expert ( and I don't intend to be one). I know I still have a lot of things to learn and lessons to share. I'm thankful for having established a good reputation over the years by being a role model to some. I'm grateful that many people appreciate my works and value the advices which I give them.

So for this week's entry, I've decided to list down and share to you 31 valuable life lessons/realizations which I learned over the years...

1. .. that VICTORY is much SWEETER when you worked hard to achieve it

2. .. that problems must be dealt HEAD ON.

3. .. that we must learn to be RESPONSIBLE for our actions.. face them with a head up high

live, love and laugh
4. .. we may claim and think that other people always try to pull us down and never want to see us succeed  but the truth is.... the only person hindering us is only OURSELVES

5. .. that GENUINE KINDNESS goes a looooong way

6. .. that we should never be afraid to say I LOVE YOU and show people how much we care!

7. .. that we should learn to APPRECIATE and value the people who choose to stay with us

8. .. age doesn't equal to wisdom. There are many elders who are still shallow and immature

9. .. that we should always make our parents PROUD and feel loved. Family first!

10. .. that saying sorry is never an act of weakness. we should never be ruled by selfish pride

11. .. physical beauty fades in building a strong foundation of friendship is a lasting bond

12. .. always strive to live with HONESTY. It really pays to live a life with INTEGRITY.

13. .. strive to know yourself and develop your innate gifts, always spend alone time with yourself to clear your thoughts and ponder

14. .. that TIME is so precious that we should spend it wisely

appreciate the people around you
15. .. always keep in mind that whenever you're DOWN,  there's no other way to go but UP!!!!

16. ..that we must learn on how to control ourselves especially with the things which we
        know are harmful for us.

17. ..we must know when to fight as well as on how to gracefully accept defeat

18. .. that our most valuable asset is our MIND. We should invest in our minds more than our bodies.

19. .. that we should never settle for less.  We all deserve to be treated well!

20. .. that we must choose our friends WISELY and the people we tell our secrets to

21. .. that we must strive to have a least 1 worthwhile hobby  to make life more exciting

22. .. that it's never too late to develop a skill. Age is just a number!

23. .. that sex is GOOD and a SACRED act!

24. .. that we should always reward ourselves for working hard and being good

25. .. that we should always carry a pocketful of CONFIDENCE anywhere we go

26. ..that we don't have control over other people but only ourselves

value relationships
27. .. that we should never underestimate people or judge a person with what they wear... every person having a decent job deserves RESPECT

28. .. keeping a low profile and staying HUMBLE is best! Nothing beats a simple life!

29. .. that we should stay LOYAL and faithful to relationships which are worth keeping

30. .. that you should not be afraid to stand up for what you BELIEVE in

31. .. that being BEAUTIFUL is a choice, and that we should always choose it!

in full bloom

31 years..... but it seems I've just started living. I know I have a long long way to go. More people to meet...
more lives to touch..
.......but with only one set of lips to kiss. 

If there is something I'd like to promise myself right now... I believe that would be
to never stop trying...
to never stop hoping...
to never stop dreaming and to


and the journey goes on.....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

All For Mum.....

I may say that I'm now at the stage of enlightenment. Thank God for the things which transpired which led me to where I am today. As I said in my previous post, I chose to be in this insanely exhausting situation in order to train myself and appreciate things more.
 soy milk and fruit every morning to gimme the boost
To give you an idea about my work schedule now, here's my daily agenda:

4am: wake-up time
4:10am : shower
4:30am : walk to the office
4:45am: time-in
5:20am: call 1st student
9:00am: go back home
9:15am: sleep
12:30pm: wake up /shower
1pm: get dressed / prepare lunch
1:30pm walk to work
2-11pm work
11:30pm arrive home
12mn: sleep

~~~~ this is my daily routine.

As you can see, I don't have free time anymore. Just work and home. I don't get the full rest which most of you enjoy (not to mention take for granted). I have to endure this in order to earn a few pesos more and I wanna experience how it is to work like crazy. Due to this, I have more respect to people who work really hard to make ends meet. Exhausting as it may seem, this is only temporary so don't worry.

On my latest payday, I felt very happy to see a slightly higher figure in my payslip. It made me so proud to have endured such stress. All the days of shivering, palpitations, headaches and sleep hours I've missed all paid off. Most of all, I was glad to have the extra cash to treat my mom.

I've learned to appreciate my mom more these days. Big realization for me. We sort of had a misunderstanding the past weeks due to her weird behavior. After thinking and analyzing stuff and with the help of one of my students, I've come to realize why she was acting that way. It hit me really hard!

My mom is a simple woman who have struggled all her life. Many are not aware but she graduated in one of the best universities in asia (Tokyo University- so never underestimate her), yet she remains to humble herself to the point that most of her so-called friends and even relatives ridicule and mock her for not being financially able. It hurts to see people looking down at her and treat her like a helper so I have this tendency to always protect her and sometimes even do the fighting myself. We are not financially rich. I've depended on my grandma and dad for my schooling most of my life and I also had to work to support myself.

we love trying out new stuff

she was the one who exposed me to gourmet stuff

we love cheeses!

After my parents separated... mom continued to work in real estate but never did she aim for success and riches. More often she would have no income. She also did not aim to marry again for she said she wanted to focus on me and taking care of pets. She did not pursue her passions in music, photography and in literature for she just wanted me to do them all instead. She's my teacher. She taught me how to cook, write and dream... an artist in her own right. Most of the time, I wondered why she seemed to have lost interest in life....'coz I never saw her pursue her dreams. Whenever we would talk about her dreams though, she would tell me she would like us to have our own business like a bakery, a cozy cafe or a studio someday. I am always included in her dreams.

Before, I got so frustrated at her because she seemed to stop living and just waited for doomsday.
But in reality, she never really stopped living... I am her life
And the reason why she tends to overly treat me like a baby is because essentially, I'm the only one she's got. I'm her investment... her masterpiece. Upon realizing these things, I broke down in tears and felt sooo sorry.
we both love shopping for cookwares
I realized how selfish I was for neglecting her the past years... for trying to escape from her. All she did was give...but I just gave back a little. She wanted all the best for me... she wanted me to be comfortable. She didn't mind sleeping on a tougher bed just as long as I was comfortable with a softer one. She didn't mind doing the laundry for me despite having detergent allergies resulting for having damaged and rough hands only for me to wear clean clothes. I realized that she never experienced someone doing the laundry for her. I was away for so long... how could I be sooo selfish all these years? I knew we were close because we would often talk and would be very open to each other.... but I never appreciated the little things which she's been doing all my life. I now realize that though having open communications with your folks is vital, still, nothing beats physical efforts to show appreciation. Though she would often tell me how proud she is of me and how good of a daughter I am,  I still feel I haven't done much to make her feel comfortable.

She wanted to have pesto
She likes PizzaHut a lot!
my messy plate
This realization fueled me to work harder and not mind squeezing in doing extra chores for her despite my crazy work schedule. The following day, as I saw the piling laundry, I told her I'd gladly do it for her and told her I didn't want her to be stressed out.  On my payday, I asked her out to go shopping. She's also a big fan of fancy cookwares and plates so we took a trip to the kitchenware section. Unfortunately, the serving bowl she wanted was already out of stock so we better go back next time. I took her to the grocery to buy her needs. This week, I did not buy stuff for myself... I still have enough. I just wanted to make her feel that I care. She chose all sorts of candy bars, cookies and snacks as well as her personal needs. We shopped for some gourmet items. She was the one who exposed me to gourmet stuff and cooking. I didn't mind spending extra for the things which will satisfy her. After that she wanted to have some pizza and pesto at Pizzahut. Though I know more restos with better tasting pizzas and pastas, I didn't really insist for I wanted her to feel like the boss on that day. We surely pigged out that time... but I never really mind gaining the extra weight for I can always go on a diet if I want to. After dining, we celebrated my camera's birthday (check out my previous post).

I love my mom, I love her for who she is, but I may say that I love her more today and I'm happy to be spending more time with her. She may not be known to many, she may not be an achiever, she may not be wearing nice fitting clothes or have spending power, she may not be the ideal mom but I love her all the same and she deserves much love and respect.  

Whoever I am today, I owe it all to her!
the wind beneath my wings
Yesterday, she expressed that she hopes to see me settling down someday with a man worthy of my love. She hopes I can find a good man to take care of me. I struggled not to show any tears.. I was really touched. I pray that whoever that man would be, I hope he would also love and respect my mom as well.

So for this Labor Day holiday, I'd like to dedicate this post to all of you who work hard day in and day out for your loved ones. We are the heroes of today and we deserve all the happiness the world has to offer. May our loved ones inspire us more to succeed in life so we can give them the best. I'm proud to belong to the working class. I take pride with what I do!
the breakfast I made for mum
Thank you for allowing me to share a piece of me to you once again and this time a piece of my mom as well. I hope this entry would inspire you to appreciate your parents more. If you have neglected or have been treating your parents badly, well shame on you! It's not the end though, now is the perfect time to change. It's never too late to show them love and appreciation.
Have a wonderful week ahead!

God Bless!

love always,

Maggie Turns 1!!!

Happy Birthday Maggie
This weekend was extra special....

I finally found the time to celebrate the 1st birthday of my camera Maggie! I know it may look insane.. Why the hell do I have to celebrate an object's birthday?.. and why did I give my camera a name in the 1st place? In Filipino, I'd say, "PAKE MO?" (Why should you care?") Hehehehe

Many people have asked me for quite some time and my answer would always be the same. I give names to my things because I treat them as my friends. I value them a lot because I worked hard to afford them with my own sweat and tears. As I've written in my past entries, I don't have many possessions. I'm not a big fan of the latest gadgets. I'm not luxurious when it comes to fashion. I only buy the things which I know are essential for my development. I choose practicality over style.

Anyways, as you know, I've been working like crazy lately. Last week, I thought I was gonna die. I already had some dreams wherein people were telling me I was gonna do so (probably due to soaring stress levels). Fortunately, with enough moral support and optimism... I'm still A-OK! I'm actually starting to enjoy it! I'm learning a lot of valuable lessons (I will write a separate article about it). It was not until I saw my payslip when I realized, I earned a few extra cash. I can somehow save extra now to buy extra stuff for my hobbies and to make mum happy!
For Maggie's 1st birthday, I've decided to buy a new sleeker bag. I wasn't satisfied by the big bulky ugly bag from Nikon. It looked too obvious that I was carrying a camera so I find it unsafe to bring outside. I bought a triangular camera sling bag fit for my telefoto lens. Also, I bought a huge 5 in 1 reflector so I can take better outdoor shots next time! I'm so excited for my next outdoor shoot! I must invite Krissy again! I'm currently trying to watch some instructional videos on how to use reflectors... I believe I need to try it out myself.
my gifts: a new bag and reflector

perfect fit!

Hmmmm Another reason why I wanted to earn extra is because, I wanna get more equipment coz I'm planning to study intermediate photography at the university. I know I still have to learn a lot!

Mom was also happy for me because I finally bought these stuff. She has always been very supportive of my endeavors. She told me she's happy that I turned out to be more than she expected... a very responsible and talented yet down to earth person (aaawwww! makes me wanna cry). She felt proud because she knows how hard I worked to afford them. I don't earn a lot you see, so I do my best to get other means to get by. It may be hard, but it's all worth it!

Before going home, we dropped by my favorite cake shop to buy a small cake for Maggie so the celebration would look real! heheeh I immediately took pictures as soon as we got home!
Mum was very excited about the whole thing! Her wish for me was that for me to save enough to buy a new lens or another camera. She hopes I can be a successful photographer in the coming days. (Wow! Thanks Ma!)
the birthday cake
mum enjoyed the cake a lot!

I know that Maggie may not be the best dslr camera out there, but I may say that I learned so many things by using her. Her lack of extra features pushed me to study more to achieve better shots. Maggie taught me to persevere, be patient and be more appreciate of the world around me. We also shared countless adventures (just look at my God knows how many albums on facebook) since I bought her last year. My life had an upheaval upon her arrival, and I will never be the same =)
one proud mum as well

I know there will be more and more adventures in the coming days..... I know there will be more good memories........