All posts tagged: Life

#Hello

Last Christmas, I told my friends I had a feeling 2016 would be an eventful year for me. Call it a hunch, but I just knew it would bring about something great, or at least something greater than the year before.  I even ushered it in with my family in Batanes, one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. There was no way my year could go wrong. Barely two weeks in, and I was suffering from vertigo and what my doctor would diagnose as acute hearing loss. It eventually healed, much to my relief, but it left me shaken. Add in the turmoil of my job, and I was dazed and confused and so, so stressed. But I had another chance, because February meant Chinese New Year. And though I’m not Chinese and not really into horoscopes and zodiacs, I learned that the Year of the Fire Monkey would be a great one for Dragons. Ding, ding, ding. I thought, This is it. February 8 came and went. Still no turning point. It’s okay, I told …

Coffee with a dash of story

I haven’t made a secret of how much I love Toby’s Estate (see here and here), but this only made me adore them more. Nothing makes my favorite cappuccino taste better than a surprise story excerpt. I just checked the link printed on the cup, and while this particular story is featured here, apparently the main site moved here. Check it out—it’s all about Toby Smith’s coffee-flavored journeys. Didn’t I say that coffee mixes perfectly with traveling? I’m an even bigger fan of Toby’s now that I know he (Toby Smith, I mean) has a way with storytelling. That’s all I need—a man who travels, appreciates good coffee, and writes, too. Here’s an excerpt from the continuation of my cup story, where Toby writes about studying up on coffee in Brazil: I learned a lot, and much of what I learned was what not to do. That’s what coffee is about. Trial and error. Roast, taste, try again. Toby Smith, “Woolloomooloo“ Sounds a lot like real life, doesn’t it? Many times, we don’t know what we’re doing, but we muddle through, …

Sights and insights in Saigon

One of my favorite things about traveling is how it shows me how different other cultures and countries are from my own, just as it reveals how similar they can be as well. I love how no two places are the same. How every experience brings me another level of appreciation, of understanding and misunderstanding of the world. How the most random people I come across impact me in the most unexpected ways. A few days ago, I came home from a short trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam–at least that’s how it’s properly called these days. I much prefer Saigon, if not because it reminds me of that beautiful musical I’ve yet to watch, then because it paints a picture more vivid and representative of the city than “Ho Chi Minh” or HCMC.   Many things about Saigon reminded me of other Asian countries I’ve been to, including my own–from the tangle of electrical lines criss-crossing along the streets to the busy markets where shoppers haggle their way to the best prices. But you know the …

The Art of Being Happy for Someone Else / “Dare to BE HAPPY”

I hadn’t planned on writing about this, but I figured I might as well get it off my chest. You know how they say that you should be happy for someone else’s successes? I’ve read a number of different things about this, like how the successful ones are those who don’t begrudge others for their good fortune. And yes, I know that if that person is important to me, I should be happy for them. Problem is, sure, I’m happy, but more often than not, the scale tips over in favor of jealousy. Oscar Wilde said: “Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” If I go by his words, I’m thinking I don’t have ‘a very fine nature’. Does this make me a bad person? I know I should be happy and I want to be, but knowing and wanting are two very different things from ‘being’. How do I go about being truly, genuinely happy for someone else? Is this ability …

25 for 2013

The one constant resolution I make at the beginning of each year is to shake off my excess padding. I guess it doesn’t say much about my resolve that I have to make the same promise every year. This time, though, I was able to shave off roughly fifteen pounds — FINALLY. It was a combination of exercise (particularly Zumba + our elliptical machine) and my GERD diet. Amazing what replacing white bread with whole wheat and sugary desserts with fresh fruits can do. I confess to slacking off this holiday season, however — my bad. For 2012, I made another promise to myself. I swore that that would be the year when I’d take the leap, go off track and switch career paths. If you’ve read my previous entries and/or know me personally, you’ll know that I checked that item off my list. Now that I’ve decided to say goodbye to interior design, this year will be all about immersing myself in the world of writing. 2013 is a big year for me — …

Saying Goodbye to 2012

It’s the last few hours of 2012, right about the perfect time for me to look back at the twelve months that have passed. This year has been full of many firsts, endings and beginnings, challenges and adventures. At times, I felt like I was standing still, like the days couldn’t pass by quickly enough. Other times, I wish the hands of the clock would slow down, drawing each second to its fullest span, freezing my world in that very moment. Unfortunately, time control hasn’t yet been invented — but thanks to the powers that be, we’ve got cameras that encapsulate experiences in frozen images, and we’re all equipped with that incredible machine we call our brain, which stores memories and associates them with the corresponding images. So much has happened that I won’t attempt to remember them all, but here are some especially memorable moments that brightened up each month of my 2012 : Today, I give thanks for my many firsts — my family’s first time to celebrate New Year’s out of town, …