The past week ... was full of exclamation points. :) The week started with the most awaited Miss Universe. It was one of the rare times when my home country is hosting the event. I admit, I was one of those selfish beings wishing for a holiday last Monday. :p But to no avail. It felt like a typical day. I reported for work and sneaked in access to live streaming. I was rooting for Miss Haiti, but destiny had other plans. After the event, I was eager to hear all the insider information from my "happy and gay" colleagues. I was entertained and partly amazed by their stories. All the more when I discovered how the entire pageant transformed to an industry. I never imagined all those efforts needed in making a candidate. It felt like everything equated to acquiring another college degree. 

After the pageant, my desire to exercise suddenly intensified. Hahaha I'm inspired to lose weight but let me clarify, I don't have intentions. Hahahaha Overage and overweight. Hahaha I was exercising for three straight days after work. I was doing good except that I got sick in the middle of the week. My legs and arms were aching. I started to feel chills, sore throat and slight fever. It didn't help that I slept late because I was attending to some unexpected work. Some were brought by freelance clients and a few were unsolicited requests, to which I have some issues. I have friends, relatives and colleagues requesting my assistance in the field where I freelance. And because they are friends, relative and colleagues, my services are free and everything felt like sky is the limit.

Unfortunately, working with relatives and friends have placed me to a disadvantaged position in many ways. Pardon my words, I noticed that they form most of my abusive clients. They impose impossible deadlines, to which I comply. More than the unrecognized efforts and sleepless nights, I sometimes don't receive any word of gratitude. My worst experience was a relative who committed to pay, but never rendered a single centavo. This happened years ago and I have been warned by concerned relatives. The cousin has a negative reputation with money matters. I was willing to let everything pass, not until I learned that my cousin started spreading stories that I received money from her family.

While I can be generous and accommodating, I have my own set of limitations. After all the assistance I rendered, I was left hanging in the tree of uncertainty. Added to this the claimed compensation that never happened. This was way beyond disrespect.

I would love to be in the shoes of a supportive friend or family member. It's a great opportunity to uplift or help anyone in need. But if the situation comes with some level of distress, I'm starting to question if having a good and generous heart is still worth it. 

So much of my personal drama, here are the few beautiful things that made the past week

The Mikimoto Crown - This is my favorite version of the Miss Universe crown. It's one of the simplest yet has its own share of controversy. Some said the crown has been cursed because the first Miss Universe who wore it was dethroned. The last Miss Universe who used it was from Japan. Some claimed it was a secret deal between Miss Universe's management and Japan's famous jeweler, Mikimoto. Regardless of all these unverified stories, the Mikimoto crown is my forever favorite. The pearls and diamonds won my heart.

This promotional effort by Domino Pizza Philippines - Aside from having the ever gorgeous Liza Soberano, the concept and effort are commendable.

This song from M People can't get out of my head. :) 

Renee's Instagram account is love! Same with Andrea's account that features everything vintage.

Thank you Jennifer from the letters and stationery items from Australia. Had it really been years since we had that Quezon City - Manila - Mandaluyong trip? 

The Beatrix Potter collections' postcard, thank you Terra for sending this rare and unpopular version of Mr. Tod. 

These cards from Miniso!!! I wanted to detach the intricate paper design and keep it for myself. But these cards are meant for someone else. They will find their real owners soon. :)

Starting to read this book! It's one of my splurge from last year's Manila International Book Fair.

I'm typing this post while having a sinful dinner, KFC spaghetti, huge cut fries and Coke. What could have been the best way to end the weekend :)

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!