Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 274 - Rebound

It was one of those days when I woke up feeling like a decade was added to my age. Grown up concerns, worries and fears are always the primary culprits of early aging, especially for the female populace. Despite knowing the root causes of everything, I keep depending on anti-aging products. :p I try different moisturizers to eliminate all the fine lines on my face. I do this even when I'm aware that facing my issues and letting go of unworthy concerns are the antidote to advanced aging. Okay, enough of my weekend rant. :)

The past week was challenging in so many ways. There were so much thoughts in my head. As always, much of it were induced by circumstances and people around me. Some years ago, I used to be the quiet person on everything. I'd rather bear the burden because I was afraid of conflicts. I had my own learning points so I transformed  and became frank and opinionated. Never mind the after effects of raising my thoughts .... but not raising my voice. Hahahaha It's always a different story when someone begins to raise his / her voice.  But another experience changed me again. These days, I realized that being silent seemed to have more benefits. With all the experiences, thoughts and opinions I have in mind, I sometimes feel that I could already deliver a TED talk. Hahahaha

A few weeks ago, I had an experience with someone who left words possessing an element of offensiveness. That someone pointed the behavior of some people, who refuse to render unpaid overtime or report to work hours before their official time. The exact words uttered was, mahiya naman kayo sa nagpapakain sa inyo. Whew! While that someone has the right to demand from subordinates, I don't like the choice of words and meaning behind. Just when I said that sometimes, it's better to hold on to my silence. But heck, receiving hurtful words make an exemption. Contradicting my own thoughts, remaining silent sometimes give an artificial right to other people to hurt us. But since I'm writing this experience, one can easily tell how the situation was handled. Yes, I was one of the many people who decided to remain silent. :p 

Setting aside my scattered and complicated thoughts, here are the beautiful things that happened last week.

Default photo of the week - Half way of the year, I hope I can religiously make journal entries until December 2017. I'm running out of stickers but I don't want to splurge anymore. Also, some companies are starting to release their 2018 planners. I'm tempted to get a Kate Spade. But if Papemelroti will release another version, I might as well stick with a good old and affordable brand. 

Finding some inspiration during mornings ... with my all time favorite Yakult :) But truth is, one bottle is always, NOT enough. 

The book I've been wanting to finish, one of my Cath Kidston sale finds, a nice bargained top, and a recent discovery, Clinique Happy!!!! My friends have been telling me to try this scent. I don't regret trying it, but with its price ... this might be the first and last. Hahahaha

How to  make the best weekend! Pizza from my Father's Birthday, favorite chichacorn from Binondo and wine to cap the night. 

On a lighter note, Kris Aquino is giving me that much needed comic relief. Check out this job interview and our week as told by Kris. Jollibee also released a sequel to its commercial series about that guy who attended the wedding of his one great love. Apparently, there is a female BFF who has been loving Mr. Heatbroken. Surprise of surprises, my friends left negative sentiments for Mr. HeartBroken. #Rebound* Hahahaha I'll keep silent about my opinion. I'm quite sensitive and equally negative with such issue these days. HAHAHAHAHAHA 

Another weekend has ended, another full week ahead. Breathe in,breathe out. There will be better days ahead. :)

*Thanks dear friends, I found the perfect title to my post. :D 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 273 - Inspiration

This may not be the best weekend because I'm already counting the days before the next payday. :p However, treats like a cold rainy day, softest bed sheets, salmon soup for lunch, cheap and freshly baked bread from the neighborhood bakery and coke with potato chips on a Saturday night are more than enough to make me forget my payday struggle and everything from my usual weekdays. Ahhhh weekends, I will never get tired of expressing my appreciation for it. Pardon my repetitiveness, but I realized that weekends make it as my picture of a perfect lover. Everything seems to fall in place on weekends. Quiet, relaxing, and romantic? That is if romance means being allowed to sleep without being disturbed by an alarm clock. Hahahaha

Lately, I noticed a few friends and acquaintances sending me inspiring and "feel good" reading materials. While I appreciate that they remember me, it made me realize a fault. I have been spreading pessimism and negativity  in this blog. Apologies dearest friends, I have become uninspiring and pathetic. Unfortunately, expressing my sentiments (especially the negative side) has become my coping mechanism.  

Setting aside my issues, here are some of the good things that happened last week. I'm slowly adjusting to my Friday night classes. However, going home after my 9 pm class means holding on to my adrenaline. I have to rush to the train station to catch its last trip. Added to this, my stomach seem to overreact. I'm fighting the temptation to have a second dinner. ;) Like last Friday, I gave in to some nachos and cheese from Taco Bell. I needed it. I craved for it. I'm at my happiest state whenever I have a full meal from Taco Bell. Hahaha On the positive side, I think I will miss all mall wide midnight sale for the next five months. But heck, there's no point in lying. Hello online shopping. Hi to our greatest collaborator, Mother E! Hahahaha 

Meanwhile in photos, here are the other beautiful things that happened last week

Weekly Planner Mess 

The love for Peter Rabbit never ends - Thank you Justine for this Peter Rabbit set. Justine is a former student who made a surprise visit at the office weeks ago. More than the gift, I feel overwhelmed whenever a former student remembers me. You see, I'm not the most lovable person both in the workplace and classroom. :p

And lastly, trying to find some inspiration from an old coffee table book

Aside from books, listening to TED talks has been one of my constant sources of inspiration. In fact, one of my ultimate life goals is to become a TED speaker .... one day. In my dreams, I know. Haha But before I become a potential speaker, I have to become a great person first. I should become an expert in a specific domain. I have to be great in something. Unfortunately, that niche of greatness remains indeterminable for me. A confession to make, I always daydream of possible topics I can share on my future talk. Like shallow topics of how not to lose your confidence even when no one seem to take interest on you, how to survive a stagnant career, how to avoid retail therapy when depressed hahahaha This afternoon, I discovered a TED speaker I least expect. The controversial Monica Lewinsky talked about a growing industry of Public ShamingI never knew that Monica is a great public speaker. I can't help but admire the person she has become. I guess she's proof that we can always insist a different ending to our stories. 

I think I already talked about a lot of the past week. I'm hoping to finish a major task (Crossing my fingers.)

Happy Sunday to everyone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # -272 - Moving on

And just like that, half of the year is over. Like probably most of you, I'm trying to recall anything significant that happened over the past months. My attempts to lose weight, some accomplishments related to work, pulled out some draining investments, and cleaning out of my closet (literally and figuratively). Added to this some things not worth mentioning anymore. I'm keeping some for the sake of my sanity and reputation. :p 

Six months went so fast, but the past week felt so long. I'm back to teaching and thankful that I was still given the opportunity. Even though my schedule is quite challenging because I have classes on Friday nights. #Loser Hahaha But come to think of it, I don't really have critical or life changing (exaggerated, hahaha) activities on Friday. Save for the mall trips and dinner every Payday Friday. I hope I can survive the "enviousness", while all my colleagues are rushing to leave work. This arrangement will last for four to five months, I hope I can survive it. Better yet, I hope something good will emerge. Like some unexpected weight loss. Hahaha

A few days ago, I had some personal drama episode again. It paved the way to close some chapters and grown up struggles. I have two friends who patiently listened, albeit online. Thank you E and LT! While nothing has been resolved, I felt better knowing there are people who can embrace my shallow and repetitive emotional outpour. My major learning this week, I created my own heartbreak because of expectation. As much as I don't want to admit it, I waited for something that won't ever happen. 

On the positive side, there were pleasant surprises that happened along the way. I was visited by a former student in the middle of my drama episodes. Thank you Justine!!!! The nearby 7-11 store at work is currently closed, which lessened my Coke and junk food intake. Although I'm missing the little conveniences it provides. I'm enjoying another Korean drama, I regained my shallow cheesy hormones. Thanks Rose for the recommendation!! After several months, I felt motivated to finish a book again. 

A Tale of the Time Being has been sleeping in my shelf for months now. I hope to finish it, as my first long read for the year. Also in the photo is the Cath Kidston case from my cousin. Thanks M!

Weekly Planner Mess containing a lot of personal drama this week 

This lace up ballet flats is love!!! It's a replica of Miu Miu 's ballet laces. Please don't judge me ;) because there's no way I can afford a pair that costs $ 670!!! I'm tempted to wear this in class, but I'm afraid of the distraction it will bring to my students. Hahaha

Just when I promised to forget shopping. ;) One of my finds from Cath Kidston's online sale this month. Thank you Mother E for facilitating the easiest shopping experience.

I'm typing this post while (as always) munching a bag of potato chips and mini-oreo cookies. So did I say that I want to lose weight? ;) I'm loving my quiet time at home. I woke up from a long sleep in a cold and rainy Saturday. The intense summer heat is finally gone. I had the best home cooked meal, much of it were products of my father's attempt to make a farm-to-table home. 

There's another full week ahead of me. Like what I often mention, I just wish for a stress-free and fulfilling week ahead. Time to move on again. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 271 - To be great even with hate

I was looking forward for this weekend for two reasons. I want to break my unproductivity and I allowed myself to be bothered by some insignificant nuisance Admittedly, ignoring insignificant incidents is not one of my strengths. Allowing myself to become easily affected is one of my undesired talents. However, experiences like this never fail to give me some unexpected learning opportunities. For one, I encountered another case when maturity does not come with age. Some choose to plant hatred, even among silent and innocent individuals. Hate seems to be a superiority indicator for some. I don't know, but I noticed some individuals seem to feel empowered whenever they have an opportunity to express it. An unfortunate reality or irony, people expected to wear the shoes of maturity become living evidences of this immaturity.

Focusing on the good side, I'm thankful for this long weekend. The quick holiday break started for me last Friday. I had a sumptuous Korean meal with my friend A. I treated myself to more sleeping hours. I'm starting to regain my interest in reading. I wanted to finish another Korean drama but my obese and aging body is always calling me to sleep. On the few hours I'm awake, I watch The Voice with my family, while enjoying a bottle of Coke and a bag of potato chips. This has been my definition of peace and tranquility lately. Everything seems to feel right whenever I'm with them. In between, I check my social media accounts and entertain myself with valuable items in my newsfeed. Here are some interesting reads from my social media accounts.

KFC's search for Goblin's wife lookalike - Several days ago, a netizen noticed a KFC crew who has resemblance with the popular Korean actor, Gong Yoo. I guess the company took advantage of the opportunity. There's a sudden advertising campaign formulated. Unless otherwise, everything has been planned from the start.

An insightful read for HR professionals, managers and rank and file employees - Times are changing, there's always a better way to do everything. I hope the points raised in this article warrants some attention... and action.

This Facebook Community Summit - So much to learn and realize after watching this video. Never knew the power of Facebook groups. I was also amazed by the fact that Facebook is engaged in research based and customer empowering activities.  

Here are more beautiful things that made the past week in photos.

My weekly planner mess - My current sources of happiness are stickers, sticky notes and more paper products.

Discovered this inspiring planner from Mother E! - The 100 Bucket List will make it as one of my favorite items for 2017. For those interested, I discovered some sellers from Ali Express offering it for a cheaper price. 

Thank you Terra and Marieken for the postcards and wonderful messages. 

On usual weekends, I'm always rushing whenever Sunday arrives. I love that this time, I'm able to take things slow and my exposure towards negative people are lessened. :p No matter how much I rant, I can never get rid of them. #Fact #Reality Whatever it is, I just hope that I emerge as the better person after everything. Can't wait for the day when I reread this post and realize a lot has changed. I will eventually laugh about everything. There will surely be better days ahead.  

Like Father, Like Son


A few hours before Father's Day ended, I chanced the local airing of a critically acclaimed Japanese film, Like Father, Like Son. It's most prestigious recognition came from the Cannes Jury Prize. Truth to be told, I've been half-hearted with award winning films. Either I like it or don't. It has always been a make or break outcome for me.

Like Father Like Son relates a life changing discovery that intertwined two families. Years after the birth of their sons, the management of the hospital admitted a tragic mistake. Their sons were switched by a frustrated and depressed nurse. To return the sons to their real families is easier said than done. In the end, the two families agreed to gradually prepare their sons. Every weekend, the two families meet and exchange sons. Unfortunately, the arrangement only worked for a limited time. As expected, more worries, conflicts and problems emerged.  

The incident in the hospital is impossible to happen in today's time. However, the events that prevailed between the two families surely happen among parents and children. Much of the film dealt with the well-off family residing in the city. Ryota Nonomiya, a successful businessman is driven by his ambition to economically uplift his family. The tradeoff of Ryota's priorities, lesser time and attention for his wife, Midori and son, Keita. The movie also personified Ryota as the imposing father to Keita. 

Yudai and Yukari Saiki live in a modest province with Ryusei and other children. Unlike Ryota's family, Yudai's family is economically challenged. In fact, Yudai was even portrayed as a greedy victim, hoping to receive some money from the hospital. However, Yudai appeared to  be the better father to both Keita and Ryusei. Both kids loved the modest home that Yudai and Yukari provided. On the contrary, all the comforts that Ryota provides seemed to be irrelevant for Keita and Ryusei. An ironic reality present in the film, those who don't have that much in life appeared to become a better provider of love and affection.  

There's so much about family and parenting to learn from this movie. During this time when money is everything, one will realize that parenting goes beyond providing. Parenting is nurturing. Likewise, the movie emphasized that children define love with time and attention. I guess there's nothing new with this kind of theme and message. What made the film moving was its execution. Initially, Ryota was depicted as a selfish and heartless father. He even taught Keita to lie about the time they spent as father son for a school interview. He was presented as the protagonist exhibiting the attributes of an antagonist. Some turn out of events, Ryota saw in his own eyes, his lone heartbreaking failure. It took a painful father-son scene to make Ryota finally learn how to become a father. 

This time, an award winning film did not fail me. Definitely, 5 out of 5 stars for Like Father, Like Son. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 270 - Lighten up

I'm typing this post at 2:35 am. I started three hours ago and thought I was halfway done. Somewhere along the way and my grumbling stomach, I decided to change everything. I sounded too preachy. I felt like I was writing a pretentious reflection paper. :p Well, I have the same sentiment in some of my old posts. I cringe when I reread them. 

Whenever I write my regular Sunday post, I try my best to identify a word that can capture the previous week. This week, the nearest I can identify is rattled. I'm all for silence, stillness and stability in all aspects of my life. In reality however, more than half of my life has been a compilation of different downstream and upstream. I wallow in sadness and frustration. I celebrate little accomplishments. Most of the time though, I survive by allowing things to settle on its own. I make plans but I admit, I rarely become creative or goal driven over the past years. So when another set of wave arrives, I easily get rattled and shaken. In effect, I overanalyze everything. I worry about things that eventually don't happen. My friends can attest to my irritating and stressful coping mechanism. :p 

I think I've written so much boring and serious thoughts. Let me lighten up by sharing some photos from the past week.

Weekly Planner Mess and a reminder to enjoy all the little things, which I did for this weekend - I had enough sleep, TV series marathon, and some great food at home. Speaking of great food, I had a lot this week. In effect, my weekly exercise marathon became useless. 

My Beatrix Potter's book collection is alive again. I wish to complete the 23 books in this green hardbound edition. I was lucky to score some copies from Book Sale and a few sellers via Instagram. Please help me complete my collection, tag me or email me stores that offer this vintage edition. 

And here's another vintage book I scored this week, Guess How Much I Love You is a perfect father's day book.

Recently, I often visit the children's book section of bookstores. There's something about children's books that can unearth and captivate the kid-at-heart of every grown up. I also feel that children's book are more challenging to write. (Consider this as one of my ultimate life goals now.) My recent favorites include The Day the Crayons Quit, Missing Mommy and The Heart and the Bottle

Thankful for having a Dad who supported all my endeavors.

Unfortunately, I failed to upload this post on a Sunday. :( In a few more hours, I'm back to work again. I hope this week brings me something great to look forward. I maybe rattled again. I'm hoping that some sources of happiness will come along the way. My friends and the Big Boss above know how to make it happen. ;) Insert one of my life's current OSTs.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 269 - In a good way

The past week was exhausting in a good way. I started the week feeling lousy and unproductive. It was one of those Mondays when I have to drag myself to start moving. (I guess all Mondays were designed that way. :p) The succeeding days felt almost the same. I tried my best to feel motivated and inspired. Nothing seemed to change. My only consolation was the company of great friends. The short one hour lunch break with them was a life saver. Unlike what other people might think about us, we never had those backstabbing sessions. Our own lives were more than enough to create the perfect lunch break riot recipe. :p 

While the past week has not been so good, the weekend made up for everything. I spent the entire Saturday in BGC. I meet up with my friend A, we had chicken wings from Wing Stop, tried Tim Hortons for the first time, and supported Mother E and her company's book launch. BGC is a great place. Unfortunately, the Manila girl in me feels intimidated whenever I visit places like Ayala Avenue and BGC. The towers, luxurious cars, high rise residences, boutiques of signature brands make me feel that I'm not in the Philippines. :p It also doesn't help that I still can't navigate the entire area. However, I appreciate the open spaces, parks, trees and pedestrian friendly streets. So I guess getting lost in BGC may not be a bad idea after all. 

Meanwhile, here are the other beautiful things that happened last week.

Hello from my weekly planner mess

Bidding farewell to my current favorite pair of shoes - Next week, I'm back to my office uniform again. I have to wear the same clothes for 10 months. I will surely miss my comfiest jeans, shirt and everything laid back. 

I'm developing deeper appreciation for non-fiction books, even though some principles don't work for me. I just enjoy reading varied and interesting point of views. 

Big thanks to my friend A for this beep card (train card)! Wonder Woman is love!!!

My lifetime and grown up mantra :D - Read books, sleep more, and laugh so hard. If these three happen in one day, then I'm all done and thankful.

Snippets from Philip & Ana's book launch for Francesca, Isa, Dalawa Sorpresa - Thank you for the invite Mother E! It was my first time to see Pottery Barn, whose kids and baby section interest me than the living room showcase. I later realized this was the first event I attended as a blogger.

I wanted to end this post on a positive note. I recently watched a TedTalk that deals with achievements. While everything sounds so inspiring, the actual work depends on the path that needs to be constructed. Added to this, the roadblocks that never fail to get in the way. While there is always a way to surpass everything, I'm also concerned with a common yet least discussed pitfall. When people lose or become confused with their ambitions. I'm a guilty soul here. So much in my list, tried to simplify everything, and ending to be confused, frustrated and become a failure at the end of the day. Life and its never ending complexities. I guess, I'm beginning to sound non-sense here. :) Apologies, but my mind is occupied with scattered thoughts. I probably need some redirection, another inspiration or just some point of relaxation. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! And for my Filipino friends, enjoy the long weekend!!! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 268 - First of June

First week of June! I'm trying to recall everything that happened over the past week. The opening of the annual sports fest at the workplace, unexpected dinner with a friend, seeing some of my financial plans are working out and rewarding myself with some treats on Friday. I planned to do some decluttering activity on weekend. As expected, I failed to finish because I'm always distracted. Checking my social media accounts every now and then, encountering some random notes and items and sometimes, wallowing in useless thoughts, realizations and life plans. I guess my emotional hormones are overreacting these days. I feel highly sensitive to the extent that the local actress who can't fluently speak Filipino in a travel show is irritating me. I swear, I'm in the brink of bringing my exasperation in my Twitter account. :p 

I'm avoiding to write another negative post. In my effort to recall something that made me smile last week, I almost forgot my mother's birthday. We had a small celebration at home. Like the usual years, we had special food shared with some of our relatives. I love my mother except when she opens a topic I refuse to discuss. When will the one arrive? :p This made me remember an incident that happened a few weeks ago. A family friend visited my parents because they wanted me to become one of the principal sponsors for her daughter's wedding. My mother made the most hilarious reaction. She expressed her intense protest. (My mother seemed to forget that her daughter is already 30 plus years old.  Hahahaha) She was afraid because I might not anymore get married once I start to become a wedding sponsor. As it appears, my mother is still hoping that there's someone out there. So to those who also love my mother, you can easily guess the best birthday gift. Pray for me and my pathetic heart. :p If only I can bring my mother to convince my "crush at the workplace," then the entire home will finally be in peace and harmony. Hahahahaha

Meanwhile, here are some photos that made the past week

Weekly Planner Mess

Postcards from Terra - They all arrived on the same week. Thank you Terra!!! You words always inspire me.

And the last photo was inspired by my mother  hahahahahaha

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

YumeTwins : My first subscription box

I have always been fascinated with subscription boxes. I love the idea of receiving a box of surprise goodies every month. The first subscription boxes I encountered contained Korean based beauty products. Over time, I noticed the growing variety from clothing, food and accessories. Recently, I discovered a Japan based subscription box. It was one of the random ads that appear in my Facebook newsfeed. I rarely click ads, except when the product featured interests me. I first saw Tokyo Treat's subscription boxes. Upon, browsing its website, I discovered its affiliate brand, YumeTwins. While Tokyo Treat compiles packed snacks, YumeTwins deals with everything kawaii. Kids at heart who love Japanese toys, stationery, and other knick knacks will love YumeTwins.

I wanted to try both Tokyo Treat and YumeTwins. While reading all the information in the website, I discovered that both brands provide an opportunity for bloggers. Those who wish to receive a free box for review can submit their application via email. You can secure the details here. Fortunately, my request was granted. I was qualified for the May subscription box. The only downside, the box arrived on the last day of May. :p I even have to make follow up visits in the Post Office. Nevertheless, I'm still happy that everything arrived.

Unboxing my first Kawaii box

What I received from YumeTwins

1. Sailor Mercury plush toy - Brings back some childhood memories from the Japanese anime, Sailor Moon

2. Rilakkumma New Year Mochi - Yes, it's an edible Rilakkuma. What I thought as a library bell turned out to be two pieces of mochi. 

3. Rilakkuma Shampoo Bottle - Another Rilakkuma item :) I plan to place my favorite body wash in this kawaii bottle. 

4. Tsum Tsum Cosmetic Pouch- Sheer cuteness! It's a Japan licensed item so this can't be purchased from any other store.

5. Sanrio Cozy Socks - Pompompurin is love! Here's another Sanrio brand that I miss because the lone distributor of Sanrio products in the Philippines closed its last branch. I miss Gift Gate. :( 

6. YumeTwins Monthly Magazine - Even the magazine is kawaii. It features the monthly products,  and updates of future boxes.

Overall, I was happy with the first subscription box I received. I kept some of the items for myself and the rest was shared to my niece.

For those who are interested, visit YumeTwins website here. They ship worldwide and best about everything, it's free. Order your first box and get ready to be surprised with everything kawaii.

Learn more about YumeTwins through Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Thank you YumeTwins!

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Book Stop Project in Intramuros 2017

It was during the summer of 2016 when I discovered The Book Stop Project. I love books and libraries so anything that imbibe such concept will appeal to me. Last year, Intramuros became one of the destinations of The Book Stop Project. Check out my post here.

After several months, The Book Stop Project traveled to other places. Fast forward to 2017, the structure of the mobile library was given a major improvement. The roof of the mobile library has wooden bleachers that provided ample and comfortable space for reading. Kudos to the people behind WTA Architecture for always thinking out of the box and believing that libraries remain as partners for creativity and invention.

In my biased opinion, Plaza de Roma is still the best venue for The Book Stop Project. I love that there's a library in the middle of a spacious park and the historical structures in the backdrop.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader

The Book Stop Project will remain in Intramuros until July 22, 2017.  I encourage everyone to participate in the book donation or exchange project. Leave your books in exchange for other books. Better yet, donate than accumulate. A book you haven't read for years surely deserves another hungry reader. I also noticed the regular presence of children to teenagers.  Unfortunately, the library does not seem to have enough books for this age group. I urge everyone to take this opportunity to donate books for young readers. Although the library welcomes any type of book you can leave.

If Intramuros is far and inconvenient from your end, I can offer a little assistance. You can ship the books to my Manila address and I can leave the books for you. Just send me an email dianewrites15(at)gmail(dot)com.

Have a great day ahead! 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 267 - Smile

Train rides in Manila every Friday usually gets more crowded and exhausting. The additional influx of passengers is attributed to the Friday devotion to the Black Nazarene. Last Friday was no different. I was expecting the worst, given the sudden outpour of afternoon rain. I was tired, I was hoping to have a relaxing trip home. I intentionally skipped the first train because I wanted to secure a seat. Despite being first in the line, I was pushed away by some rude passengers. I ended standing in the middle area of  the humid and crowded train. I wore my earphones and shifted to my usual introvert mode. When the train started to depart, my attention was caught by a family. The grandmother voiced out her frustration. She wanted seats for her daughter and two granddaughters. This is a common episode in my train rides. Hence, I never felt any form of consolation or sympathy. I was ready to ignore everyone not until  I noticed a tiny baby resting on her mother's chest. The grandmother started to relate the fate of her tiny yet "special" granddaughter. I took off my earphones and learned that her daughter caught the Zika virus during pregnancy. At that time, all I could remember was the congenital abnormalities to children. The grandmother mentioned that they regularly attend the Friday devotion for her granddaughter. 

The love, patience and faith of the grandmother were more than enough to warm my heart. All the negative sentiments and petty issues that agitate me went away. It was one of those times when I felt too selfish of my shallow problems. In the course of the train ride, another heart warming moment caught my attention. Fellow passengers started to make all means to provide comfort to our most "special" passenger. Some lent their portable electric fans, bottles of water were offered to the family, and a group of college students started entertaining our special passenger. The best thing that happened, our special passenger rendered her sweetest smile. And just like that, my heart melted. It was one of those rare times when I felt something genuine and heart warming. What further amazed me is how a tiny human being can give that much needed harmony and relief in the always complicated world of grown ups.

In addition to this rare heart warming train ride, here are the other beautiful things that made the past week

Trips to Taal Vista Hotel and Pinto Art Museum

Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisines in one week 

Weekends with my cousins, recalling our trip in Macau and some random photos from Bag of Beans in Tagaytay

This has to be my last post for the summer of 2017. When did time go again? Three more days and it will be June. I have mixed sentiments for everything that happened from April to May. A few things I remember include the absence of most people at the workplace. My colleagues were enjoying their leave credits, while I was left alone in most weeks. I started spending lunch breaks with my friend A. I scored freelance works that augmented much of my income. My reliable Samsung deteriorated because of some accident. I thought I was able to score a great deal when my Smart plan gave me an opportunity to acquire an iPhone. Much to my surprise, I have been visiting PowerMac twice every week since May started. I discovered years of friendship that eventually fell apart. I made some financial related decisions. And that one great wish that seemed to be so elusive.

I'm not sure what's in store for the next month. I have a number of concerns to deal with. I guess it wouldn't hurt if I would receive another smile from someone enough to warm my heart.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 266 - Cycles

Life and its cycles. It was one of those weeks when I sit down and become involved in accomplishing a recurring task. If my memory serves me right, it has been 6 or 7 years. While it has been the same activity, its outcome remains unpredictable. On the rare times, I ended the day feeling fulfilled and grateful. In most cases, something sad and frustrating is bound to happen. This task eventually brought me another recurring realization. There's a different system governing the world of grownups. 

As a kid, I was taught to help anyone in need. In the world of grownups, helping sometimes means an opportunity to emphasize one's inferiority and highlight another person's superiority. A person who never apologize and admit shortcomings eventually become praiseworthy. When did pride and ego become a measure of strength and superiority? This is way contrary to that classic childhood reminder that being good meant being humble, admitting mistakes and saying sorry. As kids, everyone is encouraged to make friends. In the world of adulthood, one becomes selective in accepting and initiating friendships. We try to protect ourselves from people who befriend us for a selfish purpose. 

On the positive side, I love how the world of adults redefine happiness in its simplest and shallowest form. Handwritten notes never fail to warm my heart. I don't remember having the same level of appreciation as a kid. A pat from the back, hug and those appreciative gestures will be more than enough to make my day.  

I guess I'm making a long and serious post. To lighten up things, here are some photos that made the past week

Some postcards showcasing my dream space - Having my own library still counts both as a childhood and grown up dream

Journal entry for this week - Looking at my planner, I worried a lot about something this week. ;p Only to find out that 90%  of it did not happen. Hahaha 

Another thing that consumed me this week, the defective iPhone I received from my plan. The phone kept shutting down on its own. It was the third time I visited Power Mac's service center in SM North Edsa. I feel so exhausted and irritated.

I gave in to the white Keds sneakers :p -  I was reluctant to purchase a white pair of sneakers because it easily acquires dirt and looks too bare and simple. Unfortunately or fortunately, I have been surrounded by people who were able to wear the pair with "class" and "style." :p Though its color does not complement my dark skin tone, I love that this pair feels so soft and comfortable. Better than my usual pair of flats because of the thicker sole support. 

Meanwhile, in my efforts to console myself :p Found some refuge in an old book

It's been weeks since I was able to devote a Saturday night for a blog post. I miss Saturdays like this. Watching weekend shows with my parents, potato chips and a decent internet connection. I was occupied with freelance works over the past weeks and the defective iPhone unit is testing my patience. I'm hoping to be given a replacement unit. I can't accommodate another diagnostic test that will declare the absence of problems. When I eventually use the phone, another set of previously undetected issues will arise. I will again return to Power Mac and ..... the same cycle will recur. Seriously, I'm beginning to lose trust with Power Mac's service center and Apple's devices.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! Hopefully, better than mine :p

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 265 - Trips and Treats

Before anything else, Happy Mother's Day!!!! I've been waiting for this day weeks ago. It's the rare chance I get to treat my mother on a weekend. These days, it's quite a challenge to encourage my senior citizen parents to go out. We went to the mall, had great lunch and did some shopping. I also took advantage of the time to return the defective iPhone I received from my plan. :( Actually, much of my weekend was consumed by that phone. I was able to use it for several hours until it died and went to iCloud heaven. :p Part of the photos for this Sunday posts were taken by it's camera, which I failed to back up. Award! hahaha I was able to salvage some photos from my old phone. 

I was tempted to use the word revelation for this post. It was another week when I discovered something that changed the way I view some people and I guess, life in general. My doubts were confirmed. I was able to open another can of worms. Over time, I gained this grown up realization of how ignorance define real bliss. The unfortunate trade-off of knowing the truth includes having doubts, confusion and losing that hard earned trust. The irony of trust, it takes years to build and a snap to ruin everything. It sounds like I'm on my way to deliver a negative blog post. :p

On the positive side, some great news came along the way. In the middle of the week, I received my teaching evaluation results. The testimonies of my students were enough to make me believe on the rare times I've done something right in my life. :p I accomplished all my errands on Friday. I finished and gained another set of freelance works. The past week could have been less exhausting if I had sightings and interaction with my crush. ahahahaha 

Meanwhile, here a few photos I was able to salvage from the past week

I toured my friend M in my hometown last Saturday. The real intention was for her to try Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. We finished early so we visited the nearby Shoe Museum. Though much of the collections belong to the popular former first lady, the place is still worth a visit. 

Left is the photo of an old church in my hometown - Honestly, I wasn't impressed with this church. It took a friend to make me appreciate its structure and the spacious area it provides.

On the right is a beach front somewhere in Batangas - It wasn't another vacation, some errands enabled me to discover this area yet to be developed.

Unexpected meet up with my friend T - They forced me to treat them at our favorite pizza place. Hahaha 

French macarons is love - A few of the treats I savored during Mother's Day

Breakfast at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo - Goodbye exercise hahahaha 

While typing this post, my legs feel so heavy from all the walking I've done this week. Same as with my arms filled with strips of Salonpas. Proof that I needed to shed off some weight. :p

I was looking forward to have a relaxing week. Unfortunately, the activities lined up spells another exhausting story. I'm also feeling quite rattled because of some pending works ahead. Wishing everyone a great week ahead! Hopefully, it's a little less exhausting than mine. :)  
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