Sunday, September 17, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 283 - During those days

I was looking forward for this week because of the Manila International Book Fair. In the middle of the week, I felt reluctant. I was feeling weak and sluggish. The rainy weather also discouraged me to go out. My body is calling me to rest and stay home. But come Wednesday, the weather was better. I decided to go and took advantage of the day to accomplish some errands. It was a productive day, except that I went home with a case of bad colds. Good thing, work was light over the next days. I survived another week, coupled with some unexpected thoughts.

My decision to distance myself against someone made me realize that I made the right choice. Another incident convinced me that I'm keeping an excess baggage of another ungrateful person. There are friends for keeps, then there are those for painful learning experiences. On the positive side, a friend helped me salvage a disappointing day. I spent the last few hours of that day with a friend over cheap food court treats, long walk to the train station and some meaningful exchange of thoughts. 

Becoming a victim of someone's inefficiency is annoying and stressing. However, an early apology changes the tone of the story. Unfortunately, I rarely hear words of apologies these days. Not that I demand for it, I'm completely aware that some people will never admit mistakes. Uttering words of apologies will taint their immaculately protected asset called pride. 

There were days when I feel demoralized on the state of my career life. I have been a staff / follower / corporate slave for more than a decade. My career path maybe stagnant but modesty aside, I paved the way to create great managers. I have executed ideas born by managers and senior leaders. While they have creativity and command, I have all the hardwork and perseverance to turn their vision to reality. 

I wanted to write more, but some of my thoughts are better off to stay in my mind. Here are the beautiful things that happened last week.

Weekend scene of red and green - Time to use these red Cath Kidston mugs for the merriest season

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Manila International Book Fair 2017

As of typing this post, the main website of the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) remains inaccessible. It has exceeded it's bandwith limit, probably because of the continuous outpour of hits. With this post, I hope I can provide useful information to readers trying to get information about the event.

I started attending the MIBF last year. Although I have heard of the event in the past few years, I never attempted to join. I thought everything was devoted for academic related books and publications. I learned that almost all bookstores and publishing companies in the country are participating from fellow Filipino bloggers. Last year, I attended an errand to a nearby government agency. I finished early so I took advantage of the time to see the event. I had an unexpected book shopping spree that caused damage to my credit card. :D This year, I was having second thoughts. I don't want to splurge again. On the last minute, I gave in. But this time, my will power was stronger. I took home one book. I'll share it on my next Sunday post. (Edit: I showed it on the end of this post. #LowEQ Hahaha)

Here are some photos from the event. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 282 - Tiring week

I didn't realize how exhausted I was when Saturday came. I slept the entire day. I felt weak and sluggish. My back and shoulders were sore and heavy. I must have slept on the wrong position again. In the evening, I had dinner with my family, watched our favorite weekend shows and wasted the entire time with my social media accounts. I was trying to recall what happened last week that consumed all my energy. I always went home late. I attended to some challenging freelance clients. The work required is manageable, but attitude is another story. :p Added to this, I can't figure out my way to a "special assignment." I swear, I will treat myself big time once this task is done. Even though I don't earn or gain anything from it. Haha This has been the story of my life. More so, my journey to weight expansion. Hahahahaha

Speaking of contributing factors to weight expansion, I need to pay for a lot this week. I'm so guilty of overeating. It started with shawarma rice in Escolta with my friend A. The next day, I had an unexpected dinner with my friends T and M. New York's finest, spicy chicken wings and Charlie Chan from Yellow Cab define heaven!!! Setting aside the fats, I'm beyond grateful for the company of great friends. How many friends will conquer time, distance and the demands of their everyday lives to comfort you, even in the middle of the week? 

Aside from great friends, here are other beautiful things that happened last week.

Backyard scene at dusk - Thankful to my Dad who cleared the backyard and ensures a supply of organic produce for the family

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 281 - The past years

Saying hello to September! Nearing the last quarter of the year and for us Filipinos, it signals the arrival of the merriest season. In my case, the month marks a significant milestone. I started working exactly 13 years ago. It took me 5 months of job search and 13 companies to finally land on the job I wanted. I stayed with the same company (Beat that fellow millenials! Hahaha), transferred to another position, went to different job assignments and worked my way for the opportunity to teach. Along this journey, I met people who became mentors, friends, inspirations and learning opportunities, a better way to address my enemies. Hahaha A few became close to my heart, they rejoiced, laughed and cried with me. Some captured my heart and broke it later, without them knowing. Hahahaha While it always feels great to rekindle the past years, time demands that I wear the shoes of maturity. There's no more turning back. All efforts must be directed to move forward.

In other news, the two national holidays last week was the best. Maybe years ago, times like these would mean a trip to the mall or a brief getaway with friends. These days, I'm all excited for rest, sleep, soft and white bed sheets, food delivery, coffee table books and emails about freelance works. Yes, I'm becoming a hermit. :p Though I love the quiet life at home, going out once in a while still excites me. Meeting good old friends, discovering new restaurants, going back to hometown favorites, finding treasure from Booksale and those random and unplanned trips with my cousins. An additional treat these days include the colder temperature, fast internet connection and a great playlist. I've been listening to Boyz II Men since Friday and discovered nice renditions of other groups. 

Meanwhile, here are other beautiful things that happened last week

Backyard scene - I haven't seen my Father's backyard for months already. Blame it on the rain and my laziness. The bed has always been my constant companion since the rainy season started. So much has changed, especially the variety of crops planted.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 290 - To something better

Looking back, this has to be one of my longest weeks. It started with the holiday last Monday and the suspension of work on Tuesday. The weather disturbance gave me more time to accomplish my teaching tasks. Despite having enough rest and sleep, I was struggling for productivity when I returned for work. In the middle of everything, I had my own share of sad and distressing encounters. One was the melancholic yet meaningful dialogue with a colleague. I almost ended with another crying episode. On a positive note, it always feels great to share grown up sentiments with an equally burdened person.

Before the week ended, an inconsiderate member of the male populace played an offensive joke on me. I was placed on a pathetic trap, designed to contribute to his selfish empowerment. He probably aims for an egocentric story to brag among his friends. It felt no different with rude men who took advantage of helpless females inside public transports. It feels even worse because I knew the person and assumed that we respect each other. I held on to my composure and made all means to escape that disrespecting conversation. While I can't prevent situations like this to happen again, the least I did is to discretely eliminate all possible connections with this person.

The negative experience maybe overpowering me. Amidst everything, some pleasant surprises came along the way. My pending freelance work was already accomplished. My client also referred me to another client. I'm feeling optimistic because I was already hired for the project. It's another long weekend and I'm enjoying my quiet time at home. The colder weather is conducive for resting. My skin feels better. My usual dizziness attacks in the afternoon is gone, at least for the weekend. Other beautiful things that happened last week are summarized in these photos

Default photo of the week : weekly planner mess - We are nearing the last months of the year which also means, I'm about to finish an entire planner. I will surely reread all entries before the year ends. I'm also in search for my 2018 planner. I'm eyeing this floral planner from Kate Spade. I hope National Bookstore will carry it for a reasonable price. But with how the US $- Php exchange rate is going, it will surely be overpriced.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 279 - Long weekend

I'm typing this post on a quiet and relaxing Sunday night. The rare times I feel relaxed because of the holiday break. I don't feel the rush and usual frustration that weekends are over. I still have some work to do but from the looks of my tired and lazy self, everything has to be set aside. I long to sleep before 12 am, wake up before sunrise and accomplish all the tasks in my list tomorrow.

Before the week ended, I attended an important event. There was an advice to come in business attire. I skipped my usual Friday jeans and sneakers. I wore slacks, short sleeved top and my favorite pair of ballet flats. When I arrived in the venue, I felt out of place. I should know better. I should have taken the business attire seriously. This also reminded me of the usual advice, it's always better to be overdressed. Later that night, I realized that I don't have a set of formal clothes to begin with. I have plenty of clothes, but none would qualify for formal events. Same goes with my bags, I don't have a clutch or any formal bag. This only proves, I keep on buying the same items. At this age, I should have my own pieces for formal events.

During the weekend, I had another weird wedding dream again. Oftentimes, the wedding had no groom and the ceremonies will not push through. For several years, I thought it meant as a prelude to my future. No groom, hello to single blessedness forever. Hahaha However, some reliable materials gave me deeper meanings. Weddings may symbolize change, independence and commitment. Some even connected it with sorrow, agony and bitterness. With my current state, I would like to believe that it relates with bitterness. I remember discussing an issue with my mother a few days ago. It really frustrates me how some people can resort to cheating and commit other wrong doings in exchange for promotion, advancement and other forms of progress. Aside from promoting a culture of inequality, these people demoralize those who adhere to full honesty and hardwork. 

On a positive note, I realized that honest and hard working people will always have priceless respect and value. Something that those who cheated will never achieve. Whenever, I feel hopeless I guess I have to rely on this thought. 

Meanwhile, here are some beautiful things that happened last week

Weekly Planner Mess - Despite all the frustrations, I was reminded of some good things that happened last week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nakauwi na - A 2017 Cinemalaya Short Film

The review may appear biased because I knew the team behind this short film. They were former students who graduated a few months ago. A school project that landed on the stage of Cinemalaya is already remarkable. However, the achievement went beyond expectations. It won Cinemalaya's Audience Choice for short feature film. Hats off to Nicholle, Sean, Martin, Jaynus and the entire team!!! 

Nakauwi na deals with a social and political issue that has become a constant content of the local news, EJK or extra judicial killings. Nakauwi na focuses on the untouched side of EJK. If there is anything that remains unadulterated about EJKs, it's the concealed stories of families behind each death statistic. 

Father and son, Mang Jerry and Emman, depicts the life of a typical Filipino family. Mang Jerry is a struggling yet optimistic jeepney driver, who wanted nothing but for Emman to finish his studies. Emman is the dutiful son about to finish his degree in Engineering. A few days before Emman's graduation, Mang Jerry woke up to the worst nightmare for any parent. Emman's lifeless body was plastered, disgraced and labeled with the usual accusation in those summary killings. 

The film highlighted the reality that most victims of EJKs came from poverty stricken families. It's almost tantamount to saying that poverty begets EJK. Another eye opener was how poverty and EJK can deny anyone even with the least respect. Surviving families cannot even mourn because of financial burdens, legal concerns arising from a crooked justice system that favors those with resources and connections, and the depressing reality that even your remaining support system (friends and relatives) will eventually close their doors. All these happened to Mang Jerry. 

Despite all the inhumanity, Mang Jerry, who has all the right to blame the system, remained meek and honest. He resorted on pitiful measures just to give that decent send off for his lone son. In the end, he stood up and fulfilled that one last mission. The scene was painful yet heart warming, heroic and dignifying. 

The short film is overflowing with themes and sentiments, setting aside the ruthlessness of EJK. The film also emphasized that Mang Jerry and Emman's story represents only one of the thousands in the growing list of death figures. The film does not aim to end all the summary killings or aggravate the hate to the people behind this injustice. There were compelling scenes that challenged viewers to rethink or change their perceptions. A significant part of the film relates that while we condemn all forms of social injustices, we have unconsciously become its silent contributors.

No doubt, 5 out of 5 stars for Nakauwi Na.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 278 - When everything changed

I started writing this post in the middle of the week. I already have a theme and direction for the content. The earthquake last Friday changed everything. A few hours after lunch, I felt unusual swings in my work cubicle. I thought I was just dizzy and feeling light headed. It always happens because I rarely get enough sleep. When everyone was already reacting, we left and moved to the school's open ground. Prayers were uttered and soon enough, everything felt stable again. It was quite a relief.  Some things I learned after, I'm thankful that I don't stay in a high rise building. The school's open grounds provide more than enough safety space for everyone. 

Work life went on. I even attended to my Friday night classes. Going home was stress free, traffic was nowhere. Though honestly, I was exhausted. Aside from the threatening incident, I was plagued by grown up concerns. I'm making plans, one of which already materialized. I'm hoping for positive responses. In between, part of  me feels frightened. I can only wish a great blessing will come my way and in a snap, all my worries will go away. But life works on a different way. Oftentimes, it leads to the most difficult and painful pathway. 

I sound so disheartening. It feels like I see life with nothing but sorrow and agony. I attribute everything to my old and usual habit of excessive worrying. Despite these heavy life concerns, some light, happy and heart warming moments still come my way. The highlight of the past week was the visit to Chinatown (Binondo) with my cousins. After attending to some errands, they treated me to a bowl of hand pulled noodles and a lot of dimsum. Nothing beats authentic Chinese food. It also feels great that one of my longest running projects at work is finally done.  

Here are the other beautiful things that happened last week

Weekly Planner Mess - I noticed, my planner reflects my prevalent sentiment. I tend to generate dark and less colorful output when I'm consumed by sad sentiments. 

I'm loving this designing eyebrow pencil from The Face Shop. A few weeks ago, I dropped by The Face Shop to purchase my usual eyebrow pencil. I was disappointed when the sales assistant told me it's out of stock. In return, she offered the designing eyebrow pencil. I was reluctant because it's expensive, not until I learned it was 50% off its original price. Added to this, the store is hosting a buy one take one promo. Deal!!! These items originally retail from Php 399 to 495. 

I've been using the pencils for weeks.Much to my surprise, they didn't disappoint. Though it's quite tricky to use, the pigmentation and pencil's versatile tip create the best eyebrows.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Postcards from Inspiredby.Ph

My fascination with postcards intensified when I started my own postcard challenge. I challenged myself to send at least one postcard to a friend every month. The task was easy, the real challenge was finding a constant supply of quality postcards. I was fully aware of the scarcity of postcards in the local market. Shops like Papemelroti, Hub Make Lab in Escolta, and the on and off vintage shop in Sta. Cruz Manila gave me great selections. Problem is, new designs don't often arrive. I already sent all the designs to my friends, long before another series is released. In the end, I'm always in search for shops that offer beautiful and reasonably priced postcards. Once in a while, I settle for independent sellers in Instagram. Etsy and Society 6 make another great source, but shipping fees often exceed the  price of the postcards. On a few times, some local artists email me for possible collaboration. Unfortunately, none of these offers materialized. 

A few weeks ago, I received a message from the team behind Inspiredby.Ph. I was surprised that there is at least one company, who takes postcard production seriously. Aside from their in-house design, the company collaborates with local artists in promoting the Philippines through postcards. I always admire businesses that provides opportunities for local talents to showcase their artistry. But what further caught my attention, the company is owned by real life couple who are not Filipinos. Soulmates, Jane and Max are originally from Russia, but found home here in the Philippines. They are currently based in Dumaguete and manages their own business. Creating postcards is just one of their ventures. 

I'm hoping there are other postcard enthusiasts reading this post. You will surely love their designs.

I appreciate businesses who takes packaging as a serious business. All items ordered online will come in this beautiful box. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 277 - Accomplished

I'm typing this post feeling so weak and lazy. It must be the activities I had last Saturday. I attended to some errands with my cousin. I arrived home feeling so exhausted. In effect, I set aside all my other plans. These include office work and checking some examination papers. My body is calling me to rest, but there's just so much work to deal with. I hope I could finish everything before the day ends. I'm also looking forward for a great work week. There's this assignment I've been wanting to finish. I can't wait to tick it off my list this week. I swear, I will celebrate it with a Taco Bell meal once its over and done. :p  Who wants to join? :) 

The past week gave me some pleasant surprises. Some items from the mail, rare dinner with friends, a slice of my favorite cake, found the perfect gift for my cousin and most importantly, unexpected freelance earnings. ;) Whoever said that money can't buy happiness. In my case, it can buy delicious meals for my family. Years ago, it would have been a nice blouse and a new pair of shoes. These days, everything is all about food. When you get older, metabolism slows down, weight accelerates, clothes and all those shopaholic stuff are becoming unappealing. As proof, the rare mall trips left me without any purchase. My past purchases were comprised of planner stuff, cool Korean make up from The Face Shop, nice perfume, a few dinnerware and more food.. again. Hahaha 

So much of my boring stuff, here are the the other things that made the past week

Weekly Planner Mess - I realized that I'm halfway with my planner. I can't wait to find out if I will complete the remaining pages. I also learned that half of the semester is over for my classes. A few more months and my Friday night schedule will be over. :)

Happy Mail - Thank you Terra and Marieken for the postcards. One reason that relieves me after a long day at work.

Goodies from Antipolo - I can't even remember the last time I visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage, more popularly known as the Antipolo Church. I'm lucky to have friends and relatives who visited the place and took time to share some goodies. I miss the classic thin sliced kalamay, topped with latik and wrapped in banana leaves. So here's another proof that life is just all about food. :p

Some goodies from the mail - Last week, the team behind Inspiredby.Ph reached out to me. Just when I thought that finding beautiful postcards in the Philippines is a challenge, I discovered an independent local shop that produces unique and beautiful postcards. I will blog about my postcard loot soon. 

Meanwhile, it's 11 pm and I'm feeling so weak and sleepy. But there's some work waiting to be accomplished. Define the life of a grown up...

Wishing everyone a great week ahead! 

StyleBest's Zanstyle Major Sale

Starting August 15, StyleBest will be hosting a major sale. Shoppers who will order a minimum of $ 30 can gain discounts from $ 10 to $ 100. Items under the brand of Zanstyle will be included in this promotional sale. I browsed the selections and here are my favorite finds.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4
from top clockwise 

Zanstyle's collections exemplify a clean and laid-back look. It can be worn on those casual days to a typical workday. My favorite finds include the classic v-neck shirt, which can also double as an inner blouse on formal work outfits. The gingham bell sleeves blouse can serve as a smart casual wear. I love the cropped pants because of its versatility. It can be paired with a casual top, flat shoes and my favorite white sneakers. The symmetrical cut top is another casual wear that can hide those stomach bulges.

Check out StyleBest's Zanstyle's collections here

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 276 - Break the rules

First things first, my blog underwent a semi-face lift. :p This is probably the product of not having work for two days. Added to it some midweek drama of frustration, rejection and some grown up issues. While everything remains uncertain, I don't have a choice but to keep going. The path is unclear, but the journey continues. I feel hopeless, but I'm still hoping. I'm tired, but I'm not quitting. Napapagod pero magpapatuloy. Nasasaktan pero hindi susuko. Wait, I think I'm diverting. Hahahaha 

Setting aside this heavy and serious aspect of my life, I'm grateful for the unexpected two-day off from work. I had an extended weekend. I was able to sleep well. My skin looks better. I had healthier meals. Although on some occasions, we have fastfood delivery in the evening. It's one of my family's guilty pleasures. Like tonight, it seems like everyone has become addicted to Jollibee. We had chicken, spaghetti and the classic peach mango pie. After a great meal, my parents would usually get to bed early. While I spend my quiet time switching different TV channels, checking my social media accounts, watching some drama series until my eyes feel heavy. Unfortunately, staying at home for three days seemed to become unhealthy for me. The weather is threatening my body of an upcoming cold or fever. I love the colder weather but my weak immune system is never ready.

In the middle of the week, I had some learning points, courtesy of a government agency. I have high respect for established and performing institutions. Unfortunately, another experience taught me that it's harder to bend such kind of institutions. Processes and practices are designed for their convenience, at the expense of their clients' welfare. I'm tempted to detail everything. But for the sake of my sanity and reputation, I'm reserving everything in the future. Also, I need to consult some friends with background in human resources. Alright, I can't prevent myself from providing a hint. Hahahaha 

So much of all these uninteresting stuff, here are snapshots of the past week

Weekly Planner Mess - I want more stickers!!! But those that are sold in shopping malls and bookstores just don't fit my budget and preferences. Oftentimes, I find nice pieces from sellers in instagram. Problem with these independent online sellers are the shipping fees. :( 

Farm to table home produce - My Father's harvest turned to fried cassava in a cold and rainy afternoon

Postcard from Terra and some sad news about Apple's move to phase out all iPod units - This iPod nano gave me my first taste of Apple. It has been with me for 10 years!!!! Everything is still perfectly working, except for the original earphones. It surpassed all mobile phones I used for the last 10 years. It has become a witness to all my adventures and emotional episodes. It knew all the songs I associate for each chapter of my life, including all the unrequited love I eventually regretted? Hahahaha 

Apple's decision to phase out its stand alone music players is understandable. Smartphones and applications such as Spinnr and Spotify can already perform its function. But the old soul in me still prefers a separate device. I prefer that my phone's battery be reserved for other purposes. I also feel that I get better sound quality with this device. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Apple will not simply pull out its line of music players. If I have resources, I might acquire the last version of the iPod nano... for posterity purposes. Hahaha

Some old and new - Can you spot my recent Cath Kidston purchase?

I gave in to the temptation of acquiring the detachable strap. I love how the strap can change the look of my usual monochromatic bag. 

Another Cath Kidston love and a little reminder to everyone

This brings me ... how to differentiate breaking rules from violating rules.

Speaking of rules, I was quite affected with the incident involving a lawyer and a high ranking government official. Part of the issue was a Facebook post that irked the guilty government official. I'm reserving my stand over the issue. Instead, I wanted to focus on the aspect of social media. 

Few years ago, a social media policy was circulated at the workplace. I don't oppose the existence of the policy although I saw gray areas on some provisions. Unfortunately, part of me feels that the policy does not serve its purpose. It's not being implemented. I have seen several incidents that qualify as a violation. Much to my surprise, the lead of the policy became another uncaught violator. I knew my place, so I chose to remain silent. As you know, we have another unwritten workplace principle to follow. Choose your battles, which sometimes translates to shut up or else. Hahahaha 

Having these thoughts, I'm drawn to the idea of identifying the thin line that differentiates the two schools of thought. Breaking the rules vs. Violating the rules. In my own belief, breaking the rules means transforming the playing field to create better opportunities. It challenges, but not devastates. Violating the rules is self-centered and breeds nothing, but problems that promote more wrong doings.  

I think I sound too preachy already. I have to end here. :) Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Some midweek thoughts


Two years ago, I reached one of my lowest points in life. It started around May and lasted until the last quarter of the year. It was only my birthday and the Christmas season that changed everything. A year after, I probably got used to with the sadness. A few friends, family and some little surprises along the way helped me get through everything. Fast forward now, I think everything remained the same. It's sad and disheartening. More than the struggle, it makes me realize that my efforts are useless. I'm still a failure. My greatest fear is remaining in this pathetic state and accepting that I will never be meant for greater things. That hurts.

I'm not sure if it's the weather or because I'm idle. Work was suspended for two days. I should have followed my instincts. I should have brought home some files to accomplish. If I was productive, I will never have time to entertain another set of sad thoughts. But these sentiments have been recurring for years already. This leads to the lone and obvious action, I have to painfully wear and walk the shoes of a grown up. 

I'm exerting efforts. A few times, I thought I was on track. Only to later realize, I'm on my way to another taste of failure. I hold on to the idea that a rejection means one step closer to that dream. But standing up and moving on is never an easy phase. It entails another state of sadness and losing that dwindling self esteem. 

While everything is still uncertain, my prayers remained the same. More than finding some light to my struggles, I wish and pray for good health for me and my family. It's more than enough reason to remain grateful, amidst my other struggles. 

StyleBest Selections

A cold and rainy weather is always the best time to stay home, read books, finish some Korean drama series and do some online window or real shopping. :) A few days ago, I was invited by the team behind Style Best to check out interesting items from their shop.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 -5 (from top clockwise)

Aside from clothes, StyleBest offer bags, shoes, and accessories like sunglasses, hats and fancy jewelries. They also have selections for the male populace. 

StyleBest ships worldwide for a minimal fee. They accept Paypal and major credit cards as modes of payment. Discounts are given for bulk orders, usually a minimum of 10 items.  You can check out more selections from StyleBest here

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 275 - New Beginnings

I woke up in a cold and rainy Sunday morning. The cold weather, a set of clean and soft bed sheets and a great sleep is my definition of a great weekend. Everything becomes perfect, when a sumptuous set of meal awaits me. A hot and savory broth, grilled fish stuffed with tomato and garlic, fried chicken in garlic and butter sauce, tacos or nachos with beef and cheese sauce, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice or margarita to cap the night. The broke and pathetic person in me can always dream. :p Truth is, right now I just had some cheap afternoon snacks from the neighborhood bakery. I'm over and done with a cheap spanish bread, pandesal and pan de coco with a glass of Coke. I'm more than awake to realize that there are more responsibilities ahead. Adulting is always the best way to awaken the sleepiest and laziest person in me. Or sometimes, an unexpected cold shower is more than enough. :p 

The past week surprised me with some farewells. People moving to new places and venturing to better opportunities. Along with it are people who remained, but changed? This week, I have close encounters with people who traded their principles for personal gains. One thing I learned from this practice, other people will never recognize your capabilities. There's always that grain of doubt planted whenever you achieve something. Sad, but there will always people who would fall in this vicious trap. Some used to be a significant part of my life. As much as I want to preserve nurtured relationships, being used as an instrument for some self-centered gains calls for some grown up decisions. I have other burdens to deal with, I don't need excess baggage of deteriorating relationships.  

I'm done with my weekly dose of drama. Here are the few beautiful things that made the past week.

Weekly Planner Mess - Monday was great because I arrived so early for work. Luck was on my side, I escaped the usual hell of traffic in the beginning of the week. In the afternoon, work was suspended because of the impending public transport strike. I was able to leave work early, dropped by the mall, ended buying nothing (achievement!!!), went home and spent the rest of the afternoon with zzzzzz. 

Tuesdays and Fridays always feel like achieving something great. I'm back to having evening classes that extend until 9 pm. I can feel my adrenaline overworking. I have to finish my office work, make all means to look at least half decent before my classes, rush for early dinner, attend to my classes and run as fast as I could to catch the last few trips of the train. 

Scene last Saturday morning  - Coffee table books, suman (steamed sweet sticky rice rolls), fresh buko juice, watching some Korean drama, daydreaming and convincing myself that everything will make sense someday. :p While these are happening, I have full blast sounds from my radio (Yes, radio. Beat that millenials hahaha) or iPod nano. Spotify is good, but I hate that it prevents me to fully customize my playlist. 

Can you guess the title of the book? :)

As always, in search not for a happy ending, but new and happier beginnings. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Fashion Mia

A few days ago, I was invited by online fashion store, FashionMia, to check out their interesting pieces. The site offers varied clothing line which include blouses, pants, dresses, swimwear, accessories and plus size items for women. I later learned that Mia actually means modern, irresistible and affordable. True enough, I noticed their extensive line of clothing pieces that would fit different personalities and lifestyles of the female populace. A few pieces I love are the following

Blouses 1 - 2 - 3
Skirts 1 - 2 - 3

In addition to my selections, the shop also offers fashion knitwear and different styles of pants for women. For women who worry about sizing, the shop has sizes from Small to XXXL. 

FashionMia offers worldwide shipping via DHL, EMS and TNT. They provide free shipping for orders with a minimum amount of $ 79. Payments can be made via Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Western Union. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Track registered mails and packages from the Philippine Postal Corporation / Phlpost

I'm not sure if the Philippines is the lone country that maintains a manual system of handling letters, parcels and packages. While some parts of the process may be automated, most still require manual procedures. As proof, the logbooks still serve as their trusted companion.

On those times I claim a parcel or a registered mail from the Manila Post Office, I took the opportunity to inquire and hear the sentiments of the employees. Our short dialogue often meant hearing explanations on why parcels are always delayed. A staff told me that most Post Offices are undermanned. They don't have enough personnel to deliver the parcel / package notice. Same goes with the people involved in sorting items that arrive. Manual inventory and checking of items from the delivery sheets, compiling  and writing items in a logbook, writing down information in the parcel notice form and attending to the bulk of clients about to claim their packages.

There was a time when my expected package has been delayed for several months. I took the initiative to follow up. I was accommodated by the Post Office personnel even in the absence of the "white card" (parcel notification form). I was given series of folders containing tracking numbers and names of recipients. It was a tedious task, but way better than worrying and waiting for my package. After browsing several folders, I found my tracking number and name. Alleluia. :p I was told that I can always proceed and follow up the status of my package, as long as I have a tracking number. 

While I can always make advanced visits to the Post Office, I wasn't comfortable with this approach. I wanted to ensure that my package has indeed arrive at the local Post Office. Some countries have their own online tracking system. For instance, UK Royal Mail can track packages originating from their area to the Philippines. (provided that the item was sent under a tracking system) In the Philippines, I was wondering if we have the same facility. I searched for local tracking system and I was led to this.  

For the longest time, I didn't know that the Philippine Postal Corporation has this useful online facility. I was initially in denial. :p I don't have much expectations. But anyway, I tried the and was surprised that everything worked.  

I felt that my package has been most likely forwarded to the Manila Post Office weeks ago. I printed and brought this status page and sure enough, my package has been sitting in the Post Office for weeks. 

The tracking page can be accessed here

For those who are expecting parcels and packages via the local post office , here are a few tips I can provide based from my experience.

1. Always ensure you have a tracking number for your registered mails, parcels and packages. It will be almost impossible to trace items without the tracking number. Most tracking numbers en route in the Philippines usually have codes of RS-0000000, RF-00000 SP-00000 and the like.

2. Once the status page declared that your package is en route to the local delivery office, there's a high chance that your item has been sitting in the Post Office. Just print the tracking records above for reference. You might not need to wait for the parcel notification form. 

3. Don't forget to bring a valid ID. Parcels and packages will not be issued in the absence of this document.

For now, I'm quite satisfied with this facility that Phlpost provides. In the future, I hope more automation and faster processes will be rolled out. 

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.

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