Saturday, July 26

On being Busy

I came from a humble home of hard-working parents. Their back story as former working students to help their families is a clear indicator of how they added value to the limited hours of each day while keeping their eyes are fixed of earning a college diploma. Lucky for me and my brother, we didn't need to find a job while in studying and are privileged to have attended good schools in our province. Our only task is to do the best that we can whatever season we are in - to study well and learn more than the lessons taught inside the classroom.

Growing up, I thought I have unlimited time to spend. I thought living a full life means keeping my days with full schedule. Back when I was living with my parents... pre-college years, my days are quite simple. Pray, eat, sleep, study, play, clean then repeat. Fast forward when I entered college, I felt like the world welcomed me with so much opportunities. I always take full units every semester wanting to finish college in less than four years or maybe I could learn more subjects. I joined every organization that fits my interest.. you name it! I say yes to every friend's invitation with the fear of missing out if I pass. I was living independently so going home exhausted from all the activities, my body still need to finish my household chores - cleaning, doing the laundry, cooking and you know, the not-so-glamorous works. 

All these, by doing GOOD at almost EVERYTHING. I was deceived by the enemy. I was brainwashed that doing good at everything makes me a better person to myself and to others. By saying yes to everything will make me happier. Haven't I known that good is the enemy of best? That being good at everything will make me great of nothing. 

Just a few weeks back, it hit me hard when God reminded me once again that I needed to pause from all the works I committed myself in. I am being tagged as a busy person and I'm not liking that either. I know, God just wants me to be better at simplifying my life while doing great at what is important and value-adding. Joyce Meyer, one of my favorite writers wrote a powerful message, "I have committed to learn to do things in God's rhythm, not the world's pace." 

My prayer is that we shall live every day full of God rather than be fooled by the fullness of our schedule.

Sunday, July 20

Goodbye, blurry photos!

Yes, that's right. No more painful, not Instagram-worthy photos. Hehe! Although I did come back with professional photography skills, the dark blurry days are over.
When I started here, I've using my Ipod Touch and sometimes (when it decides to turn on) my point and shoot Canon camera. I did not complain (or you might) because they are the only equiptment I got in my attempt to document my daily musings. But, God has been so good to those who patiently wait like me. I mentioned in my comeback post that I've been doing side jobs as a party planner, and through my little earnings I was able to purchase my dream camera! Wait for it... it's Lumix LX7. I haven't figured it out yet but I'm pretty amazed at how this little thing can produce vivid photos plus it is really handy. If you're planning to get one, super sulit!!
Selfie #1
Super Lumix has a sidekick too. I now update my blog using my newly acquired Samsung Note3 :) You may see photos here that will be taken using this amazing gadget. I'm actually thinking to start a series here called "My Life According to my Smarterphone". Sounds good, eh? I promise to refrain from too much selfie ;)
Selfie #2
So there you go my friends.. embracing the changes in my life and here on the blog too. Cheers to betterment! Weee! Power hug!

Taking a leap higher,

Where to Eat When in Manila

I have a very serious, long-running commitment with food. During conversations of totally non-food related, food would somehow streams its way through the middle deceiving us with its magical power and we end up craving for something. If you follow me, aside from selfies (kidding!) I post photos of food I discover near or far. Movie dates don't impress me, take me to a pop-up or a hole-in-the-wall restaurant whether they serve beer with ice or not, you might have a chance for a second date ;)

In this entry, I'll compile my foodie adventures with a promise to constantly update it. For the love of food and the things that happen while eating!

SALT, Makati
Frozen brazo 
T-bone steak
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: Value for money -- yummy and affordable, cozy place and very accessible, friendly and accomodating staff, fast service.
PRICE: Php200-300 per pax
MUST-TRY: T-bone steak with BBQ sauce and frozen brazo
WIFI: not sure
TIME: 5pm to 1am
WHERE: 5887 Fermina St. corner Enriquez St., Poblacion, Makati
BEWARE: You might turn into a full-time carnivore with their offerings.

Pistachio French Macarons and so many colorful flavors to choose from.
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: They have different flavors of French macarons available six days a week.
PRICE: French macarons at Php35 each, ~Php 200-250 per pax
MUST TRY: French macarons, any flavor. Wintermelon milk tea (at zero sugar level) is also a must try together with Gyudon Beef Bowl.
WIFI: yes/super-fast and always available
TIME: 8am to 11pm Mondays - Saturdays
WHERE: 141 Katipunan Ave. St. Ignatius Village, Quezon City
BEWARE: Desserts? There could only be one... French Macarons.

BURP PASTA, Mandaluyong City
Blueberry cheesecake
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: They serve the best blueberry cheesecake, use mason jars and very near my office.
PRICE: Php 150-200 per pax
MUST-TRY: blueberry cheesecake, fish fillet, baked pasta and lemonade
WIFI: none
TIME: 8am to 10.30pm
WHERE: G/F Uptown Center, 56-58 Madison St., Mandaluyong City
BEWARE: blueberry cheesecake can be an addiction.

Devil's food cake.
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: There's variety in the menu and their unlimited homemade iced tea is ze bomb!
PRICE: Php 200-300 per pax
MUST-TRY: devil's food cake, homemade iced tea, any of their pasta, fish fillet with salsa
WIFI: none
TIME: 7am to 10pm
WHERE: 2F Bahay ng Alumni R. Magsaysay St. UP Diliman, Quezon City
BEWARE: You wake in the middle of the night wanting a glass of their iced tea.. but you live far away from the campus.

Fiesta rice.
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: It's quirky layout and they serve their own version of traditional Filipino dishes.
PRICE: Php 150-300
MUST-TRY: tinapa rice, tortang talong and kare-kare
WIFI: none
TIME: 10am to 10pm
WHERE: 329 Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
BEWARE: You might plan to go have lunch with family on a weekend and it's jampacked.

Strawberry-mango shake
I LOVE IT BECAUSE: They offer a variety of yummy, student budget-friendly fresh fruit shakes.
PRICE: Php30-60
MUST-TRY: You can never go wrong with your favorite fruit in season.
WIFI: none
TIME: 10am to 9pm
WHERE: UP Diliman (back of post office)
BEWARE: sugar overload in a cup or cups ;)

Saturday, July 19

Oh Hello Again, A Catch-up Post!

I know.. it's been a long time. Really long. Let's not count the days.. errr months.

Needless to say, I got caught up with a lot of new things happening in my life. I've mentioned here before that I'm visiting America. And in between work, and more work in order to finance my trip, it's finally happening exactly one month from now. Whew! Where did the time go? Maybe I did a lot of changes with my lifestyle the past months and totally rocked them ;)

Because of my US trip which roughly gave me about six months to prepare, I have to work double time and save more than I used to. I had to give up on a lot of socializing and random purchases like local flights on sale, washi tapes, scarf and French macarons. You get the picture? For about 4 years now, I'm not much of a big spender so little things like those are a luxury and a bit difficult to let go. Aside from my day job, I self-advertise myself as a party host/planner/coordinator/crafter to my Facebook friends.
The best reward is when people are grateful for your help. That's me from a destination wedding last March.
Happy to report, I have commissioned five events in the first half of 2014 and even have the need to turn down some offers to concentrate on the preparation of my long haul trip! I'm truly grateful to my first clients who trusted me. They made a big contribution in making one of my travel dreams come true.
Travel fund jar for plane tickets and a Lumix LX7.
All the hardwork, sleepless nights and tight muscles are totally worth it. No amount of stress can shake the reality that I'll soon be ticking off America in my travel bucketlist. 
Aside from happy, exciting changes at work... I also made an effort to try new workouts. Side thought: it seems like I love working this season, "work per se" and "working out" if you miss those out. Hehe. I did continue on boxing at the gym while my vouchers last. I tried pushing my core to its limit by training for the Triton Dragonboat Team every Sundays. I also took a 7-day bikram yoga which is totally addicting if only I could afford the unlimited package rates. I did my best to run and do 25-minute T25 workouts at home. Guess what, I'm not sure if my weight lowered but I feel better and stronger. To add, I lessen eating pork and having desserts. I eat breakfast at home and packed my lunch almost everyday.
Paddles up!
Outdoor running is ♡.
Our favorite line is "Concentrate. Meditate. Push"
Another positive change this 2014 is focusing on what God wants me to do. I actually have a virtue theme, OBEDIENCE. Without the grace of God, it is impossible for my bull-headed self to obey whole-heartedly. Praises to Him! I was able to find a Victory group (a bible study group with about 8 eight ladies) whom I shared life with and have been my sisters in this walk of faith. I continued to attend my Wednesdates with friends to talk about Jesus while sharing blueberry cheesecake. Also, I enlisted my talent at the Production Ministry.
Oh the joy of serving at our local church.
Sharing God's truth to these wonderful ladies.
Burpmates forever.
This pretty much summed up what I've been up to when I went MIA from this little space. Good times, good vibes!

Oh, miss you! I'll be right back soon to share my preparations and how God blesses people to bless me too! Thank you for sticking around ♡