Category Archives: Randomness

My Five Guidelines for a Happier Year

Happy 2014, everyone! Sorry this greeting and post are weeks late.  Life has been complicated for me this 2014 and this is just the thirtieth day.

How are your resolutions going? This year, I did not make any concrete resolutions, only guidelines. Nonetheless, I am sharing these because I believe that it is beneficial for everybody. Also, tomorrow is Chinese New Year. I do not consider myself as Chinoy or Chinese-Filipino though I have Chinese blood. Then again, this is a great day to do some changes in your life.

 

WHAT WE DO EVERY DAY MATTERS MORE THAN WE DO EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE

Face it. We think that our lives are a bore or some people live better lives than ours. This is especially true now when a lot of us record happy aspects of our lives in the social networks. But you see, those are the highlights of our lives. We do not usually post things that make us upset or our argument with our parents or our significant other or days where we practically did not do anything special at all.

That’s why if you’re a law student or medical student or taking up other courses which requires a long period of staying in school and feel that you are missing out so much in your lives, stop feeling that way. “Living to the fullest” does not mean frequent travels or having romantic relationships or giving in to that pressure of having a family by mid-twenties. Living to the fullest is giving your best every day in the path you choose so that someday you will be able to fully share the world your purpose. Besides, you can never be overdressed or over-educated.

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to reward yourself every once in a while. There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 reminds us that,

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

 

INVEST IN YOURSELF

Well, of course, we could all agree that vanity is a sin. I seriously started giving in to makeup and skincare products on about the last quarter of 2012. I’m practically broke every single week because I spend them mostly in Korean beauty products. I also do not return the changes in the bills of my parents because I malverse them as extra money for the said products. Yes, do not dare do this, ladies. The rule of thumb is act your wage or in my case, act according to my allowance.

I’m wiser now. I do not buy new makeup until I almost fully consumed it. I also stopped shopping for skincare products and this act rewarded me. When I went back to the simple cleanse-tone-moisturize routine, my skin became visibly healthier. I hardly had any new zits.

Yes, I will still continue in investing myself. After all, I only have one body and I need to maintain my health because I have so many dreams to concretize. By the way, this is the year I’ve been waiting for all of my life. I’ll take the bar this year. Nevertheless, I will keep it simpler this year. Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize. Add some makeup. Do not forget some sun protection to prevent wrinkles. That’s it. Also, do not forget…

 

MEDIA CALL US UGLY TO SELL US SOME SHIT

There are so many ways of media that tells us we are not pretty and that we are not good enough. They tell petite people to wear higher heels. They make fun of every acne and scars we have. They convince everyone that they are fat by keeping their models unhealthily thin. They also tell us that we do not have enough clothes, shoes and makeup. But the truth and in fact, every one of us is made uniquely beautiful in our own ways. We do not need any validation from others. Feel free to express yourself. Do not wear shoes and clothes that do not feel comfortable to you.

You do not need to be in the trend. You just have to be you.

 

LISTEN TO OTHERS…AND DO NOT FORGET TO LISTEN TO YOUR OWN WORDS, TOO.

True, the ‘selfie’ generation had become a part of us. I love how it made some people in a way empowered to face the camera and share a part of them in the world. Honestly, this wasn’t easy for me in puberty years and pretty much the whole high school. I have looked at myself as a very, very, very ugly person. I hardly look at the mirror and when a person brings a camera with them, I immediately volunteer myself to take the picture. That is how disgusted I am with myself.

However, this ‘selfie’ generation also made some people too self-centered. I hate people who always begin speaking with “I” and end their paragraphs with “me”. Sometimes, I hate reunions or meet ups with some people I know who are so self-centered. They often complained about how stressing their work are, how their bosses bully them, how their co-workers gang up on them, how their family suck and basically how they play as the victim to every aspect of their lives. It’s almost they are implying that the people who are listening to them have no problems of their own. On the other hand, if we are not talking about how life ‘victimizes’ them, they are starting to badmouth some people we know and often gossip on their matters which details they do not know firsthand themselves.

I admit that sometimes I am guilty of saying those things, too. And when I started hearing myself saying nothing but complaints about my life or badmouthing some persons, I know that something is so wrong with me. It’s either I am tired of my life or I am very insecure or jealous of some people I know. That’s why I learned to listen to myself in order to assess the person I am becoming into. Always reassess your words to reassess the person that you are evolving into.

No matter how hurt you are, do not turn into a person you hate.

Always remember the wise words of my favorite Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habit.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

 

WHEN YOU ARE LOST, REMEMBER YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAMS

It’s generally easier being a child. We have adults to take care of our money and ourselves. We have our innocence to easily identify the right from wrong. We are beginning our lives that is why it is easy to build a dream.

However, when adulthood creeps in, we realize that the world is not that huge playground that we first thought it was. We get frustrated. We are told we are not good enough. We are told that we are not talented enough or smart enough. Then, we just see ourselves just battling every day to exist and not anymore to live.

I am not saying that you cannot change your dreams. You can. But the beauty of childhood dreams is that they give a mission and vision right away in our heads because back then our innocence is there and our intention for the world is always pure and good. For example, a lot of children want to be a doctor in order to help people. Maybe you have thought that you are not suited to become a doctor but the reason why you feel so empty now is because you are spending everything you own to yourself and not in helping people which you initially perceived as you mission here on earth. Or as a child, you could dream that you want to become rich in order to buy a house for your parents because you were living on the streets before. But now that you achieve your dream to be materially rich, where are your parents? Did you fulfill your promise or are you wasting your life in vices and practically isolating yourself from everyone you know?

When I want to give up on law, I remember my first year high school math teacher who defended me from the person who bullied me. I always thought that for thirteen years, I’ve been battling my bullies alone. It feels so good to be defended by someone that is why when I grow up I will do everything in my power to protect the suppressed through the power of their rights vested in them. Unfortunately, my math teacher died in 2012 at a tender age of thirty-five because of esophageal cancer. But I will offer to him my license to practice law as soon as I get it next year.

 

Well, there you have it. Have a great 2014 and life ahead. Feel free to share some life guidelines to me as well!

ggg
Sky Lanterns. I edited this photo of mine in an App called Moment Cam and used it to greet my Chinese-Filipino best friend a Happy Chinese New Year. It turns out that the Chinese do not make Sky Lanterns fly in their new year; there is a separate festival for that. Nonetheless, I am always fascinated with sky lanterns (as if it is not obvious in my blog’s name). It reminds us that in letting go, beautiful things are coming ahead of us. That is why, let go of all the heartaches, the past, the what ifs and embrace the life’s surprises coming for us. 🙂
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2013 in review

(Wow…thank you for all the people who viewed my blog. I know that majority of my viewers come from the Philippines and United States but I was surprised that after those countries, I have many visitors from FRANCE. Merci beaucoup!

Happy 2014 to all of us!)

WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2013: A Year of Life Lessons

I had high expectations in 2013 mainly because this is my “silver year”. Yes, folks…this girl grew from that awkward teenager to that still awkward, twenty-five years old adult. (It both amuses and baffles me whenever someone still thinks I’m still halfway through college). Anyway, there was a trending topic in Twitter a few days ago, #My2013InFiveWords. I described mine as ‘a damned roller coaster ride’. But now I thought that how I described it has a negative undertone to it with the word ‘damned’. Sure, 2013 had a lot of downs but it also has a lot of ups that cannot be compared to yesteryears.

So, I’m changing it. My 2013 in five words would be: A year of life lessons.

Definitely, if I have to enumerate everything what has happened to me this year, I would not be finished before the New Year starts. So, instead of doing that, I will share the top five lessons that 2013 taught me.

 

LIFE IS SHORTER THAN WE THINK.

Cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. This year, I said goodbye to a close aunt of mine. She was sickly all her life and this year, she was bitten by an insect which made her bedridden for weeks. When we thought she was about to recover, we received a news that she had died.

There are two more deaths that affected me although I personally do not know these people. First, my father’s former boss died days before Christmas. My father used to be a medical representative when he was in law school. That boss of his is like a father to him. His boss was obese and diabetic for years so we all expected that the cause of his death was diabetes or some sort of heart attack. But, no…that did not kill him. What causes his death is a canker sore aggravated by some sort of virus. For my Filipino friends here, canker sore is our regular singaw. According to my parents, who were there yesterday in his burial rights, his wife, who is with him every single day after his retirement, is still in shock and could not accept the fact that her husband already left her.

Second, the fifteen-year old brother of my twin school bus mates back in high school died. Actually, I don’t know the cause of his death because her sisters refused to talk about it on-line. Nonetheless, I know that it was a very sudden death based on the tweets and statuses of her sisters. At fifteen years old, that boy is about to graduate high school. I also know that he was a CAT Officer, a violinist and a very smart boy. I really have no words for the twins because just thinking that my younger brother is hurt breaks my heart.

I just know one thing. This is the day for you to express love, say sorry, kiss, embrace and laugh with the people that matter to you the most. Tomorrow may be too late.

 

BURN BRIDGES IF NECESSARY.

My Facebook account was deactivated for almost half a year and I only reactivated it a month ago because the holidays are coming and I want to see all my tagged pictures in Christmas parties. Anyhow, I just realized that I have 843 friends but only a handful really matters.

I used to comment on significant moments on the life of those 843 ‘friends’ and make sure to greet them in their birthdays. I also kept in touch with some people I do not like and secretly labelling them as my ‘frenemies’. But now, I do not care with those excess people in my life. They do not do me good. I just waste so much time and energy with those people. I do not ‘unfriend’ people though. I simply ‘hide’ them from my timeline. Out of sight, out of mind. I now keep things easy for myself and do not take hurtful comments personally now. I only put my time and energy to the people that really matter.

 

MOTIVATE YOURSELF—AT ALL COSTS.

There are so many times in this year where I feel depress and I had no motivation to do work or anything at all. I simply stare on my tablet or computer monitor for hours tirelessly and let the time pass. But really, for 2014, this is the lesson that I must keep on remembering. The bar exams would probably be on October and I feel like there are still so many pieces of law unclear to me or is not yet interlocked with many concepts. That spells trouble for me. Anyway, UE cursed/blessed me to stay in class for this semester. It was compulsory yet it was free of charge. I really cannot explain much the details because it was also a clear as mud why I’m still in school but I’m taking it as free bar review for me.

 

TIME WORKS DIFFERENTLY FOR ALL OF US.

When we were still in school, life was simple to us. If we are in first grade this year, next year, we are looking forward to become second graders next year. But starting college, life does not go on as planned. Sometimes, you have to stop school because of lack of funds. Or you have to transfer schools because you did not reach the maintaining grade.

However, after college, it is worst. Those classmates of yours in college and high school are now earning big while you are still in school. They are also having their dream-like weddings and starting their family. You, on the other hand, just gawk their happy pictures in social media while taking a break from your long readings for school.

But I realized that I could not afford to have a relationship now, much less a family. Again, there is a bar exam waiting for me next year. Also, with all those jerks running around the world victimizing one girl after the other, I thank God for saving me from them. I have faith that someday, I will marry the man God planned for me. I will bear our beautiful children and live in a big house while at the same time being a successful career woman.

I remember nine to ten years ago, our teachers in high school repeatedly asked us to draw what we vision ourselves ten years from now. I just thought that if all my classmates’ dream came true and I could see almost every one of my classmates as nurses abroad earning dollars. Fortunately for some, halfway through their nursing courses, their parents gave in and let them choose their preferred course. Unfortunately, some stayed in limbo here in the country, having very little opportunities for them.

Life does not turn out how we plan it, especially if you let others decide the dream for you. But even at this age, do not hesitate to start again.

 

HAVING A LEGAL DISPUTE, EVEN A CIVIL CASE ONE, IS MADDENING.

When people ask me what kind of lawyer I want to be, I always answer that I want to be a family court lawyer or at least a lawyer who handles civil cases only. I really do not want to be stressed dealing with criminals. Also, I thought, handling a civil case is ‘easier’.

But then before the year ends, my parents decided to buy a new house. After having a deal with the price, my parents and the vendor executed a deed of conditional sale and my parents gave their down payment. In the deed, full payment would only come after she leaves the house in two weeks. However, it turns out that the vendor is one with the worst personality in the world. She spent all the money we gave her and she demanded for the full amount before leaving the premises. She also made my parents look bad to her father, who is my father’s friend, and her ex-husband. She made stories of us harassing her. These cause sleepless nights to my parents, especially my father. The amount paid to her is huge and without it, we just could not buy a house anymore most especially because my sister is just starting medical school. Also, my father retired from work this July. I would not go into details anymore because somehow, they had an agreement in the barangay level. Let us hope for the best. I do not want to take this to court any more.

Nevertheless, this taught me empathy to my future clients. I now know the feeling of losing such a big amount of money and therefore, I will do all legal remedies in order to protect my future clients’ interest.

 

So, that wraps up my 2013. I am not looking forward to anything in 2014 except the bar exams and perhaps moving in to the house we are trying to buy. Also, hopefully, I could get a job right away after the bar exams. After all, I passed my Civil Service Exam this year.

Goodbye 2013 and hello to the biggest and boldest stepping stone of my career, 2014. Yes, I’m ready for you.

My Reply to Ate Wendy (and to the World)

yes, your intuition is telling you something. i’m glad you listened and took action. 

i know i get those too. i think that’s also my reasons for doing yoga, it helps for me. having period sucks and mine’s irregular so i don’t know when it’s coming. and eating proper nutritional diet helps too and of course less stress.

i’m happy to see that you have your 13 units to graduate. before you know it, it is time for graduation. just keep doing what you are doing. you are doing great! 

yes, christmas in the philippines is wonderful. i know your aunt and uncle will have a fabulous time. how i wish to be there especially during the holidays. sigh…

well maybe sometime in the future you can get enrolled in a gym. are there other ones that are cheaper? in my case, i always look for better deals or no cost at all to register. i’ve learned where and how to budget income/expenses and make it work somehow. meditation practice, i volunteer. yoga and tango, they go by donations but i give what feels true to my heart when i give and i also see the benefit and importance to the practice.

food, that’s where i invest the most. it is a difficult process and i try and educate myself on all different kind of foods out there and what works with my body. so far i am having fun experimenting and trying out new and different kind of vegan/raw/vegetarian recipes out there. i am beginning to like making breakfast food and desserts. wow, so yummy and healthy ones too. i can’t resist desserts. must have sweets. aw.. thank you! you are too kind. i think my main intention/ingredients to my sorcery is i try new things and keep doing that makes me happy and and to have appreciation & gratitude on the little things in life! 

alrighty! it’s a gloomy day out here for a summertime in san francisco. but i’ll make the most out of it. i hope you have a good day and talk to you soon! how is the weather out there right now?

luv,
wendy

 

Hi, Ate Wendy!

Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been busy lately because of school and helping my family finding a new home. Last Friday, Daddy finally retired from work and now he has all the time in the world to find a new home for us. I am with him on his quest during my free time. It isn’t easy finding a new home and we have tight budget, too. All of us are still studying and sending my sister to medical school cost more than we estimated. But I’m happy that she’s doing her best despite the fact that she is now losing her mind with homeworks and quizzes given to them almost every day.

In the meantime, pray that God shall not send extraordinary rains in the Philippines. The reason why we are looking for a new home is because whenever the dam near our place overflows, it submerges our home. It happened to us twice. Once in 2009 because of the typhoon Ondoy. The flood was so deep that almost half of our second floor was submerged in flood. Almost everything was broken in our house including a lot of irreplaceable things like our parents’ wedding videos and pictures of us growing up. Anyway, we hoped for the best and decided to stay here. However last year, a very strong rain flooded our house again. It wasn’t as bad as the first one, however, it did submerged our first floor and damaged things there. But nobody really have the time to search for a new house then. Also, part of us didn’t really like to go. We love Fairview. The air is cleaner here compared to the rest of Metro Manila. People are nicer. Also we live near our cousins’ house. It is also near Le-Anne’s med school. I also don’t want Daddy to waste all his retirement money for us. I mean, that guy started working ever since he was 13. Throughout college, we was a working student. He even managed to send Uncle Ding to medical school. Lastly, he retired without any of his children helping him with some expenses in the house because all chose long courses in college. I somehow feel guilty about that.

Anyway, I bought a DVD on basic yoga yesterday. I’ll check it out next week perhaps. I hope I could like it. Maybe after I take the bar, I could resume gym. I don’t want to ask for any more additional expenses from my family. Nonetheless, ever since I resumed school, I decided to count calories of what I am eating. I shed few pounds ever since I did that with some Zumba. I really want to lose some weight so I will look better in my graduation photos. Hahaha! And also, truthfully, I gained about 30 lbs in law school. Can you believe that?! Well, I’m trying to lose weight for health reasons, too. I mean, I do not have any disease that developed yet because of my being overweight—yet….but why on earth should I wait for something bad to happen to me before I take action? There are people who have the same age as me and are thinner than me but they are now suffering hypertension, diabetes and gout! So there, I’m now limiting the food but at the same time I give some treats to myself. I also love sweets so I eat some dark chocolates occasionally and only with one serving’s worth of it. I know this sacrifice will bloom to my betterment.

It’s a surprisingly sunny afternoon in Quezon City now. I hope it will be like this all this rainy season. Then again, with some rain. I love the rain…but not too much. You know what I mean.  🙂

See you soon I hope. Who knows, you might come to the Philippines really soon.

Love,
Maica

And Because I Won Something…

It’s rare that I ever win anything. That is why I’m going to share with you my winning entry from Tony Moly Philippines‘  Happily Ever After Story-writing contest. Don’t laugh. I just type the whole thing without thinking for an hour. And after I wrote everything, I did not bother re-reading or proofreading it.  Actually, I was not supposed to join this entry anymore because firstly, I initially lacked time. Secondly, I just won one of their contests two months back. However, I posted on their wall last week that I would join and it hurts like hell for me if I break promises. Also, my professor told us that he will not meet us on Thursday in advance.

So, I gambled and tried making it to their 12NN deadline. But you see, I had fun writing it. The feeling reminded me of my teenage years where I spend some time writing fan fiction. It was a good experience for me.

Lastly, just to emphasize, I am really using Tony Moly products. I first started with their skin care products like their Appletox scrub, Latte Art Cacao Pore Pack and their Intense Care Live Snail Ampoule Set. Slowly, I am now buying their cosmetics like three days ago, I bought their Backstage Self-Smoky Eye Collection which is a conveniently packaged gel eyeliner, eyeliner brush, two eye shadows and a mirror paraphernalia. I really liked it. It is like a Swiss knife of makeups. Anyway, keep supporting Tony Moly Philippines!

The Story:
I woke up suddenly. It was a dream. It wasn’t a dream. I could still hear the sound of the soft jazz ringing and the soft sighs and laughter of the people last night in my ear. The taste of the scrumptious food lingers upon my tongue—and the delectable cupcakes, yes, the cupcakes! I could see all the decorations that night imbued with magic. Then suddenly, I could just see myself plainly upon the mirror facing directly across my bed.

No makeup on. The red, frilly dress is now replaced by my old nightgown. My hair is now a mess. I guess I am back to my own reality.

But still, I could feel how they held me last night. I never felt more like a lady until last night. Jae-joong was dashing. He captivated me with one look. When he looked upon me, it is as if that I am the only girl in his world. He is really romantic. He gave me a teddy bear with a card asking me if I could be his Valentines. In there, he promised the best view of Seoul, the candlelight dinner and the fireworks. Just thinking about it makes me go lost for words that I just find myself snuggling his bear blushingly on my bed. Then again, he seems to be a little lost for words. We did not have a proper conversation last night.

“What music do you like?” I asked him.
“I listen to everything.” He replied.
“Oh,” I quipped. “What is your favorite food?”
“I eat anything.”
“Oh.”

And then, the scent of roses filled in my room. Upon the corner, I saw a bouquet from Joon-soo. I picked it up and I noticed that there is a card attached to it too. He asked me if I could be his Valentine and also asked me for dinner date. But it would be by the pool this time and there would be violinists serenading us. Joon-soo is really a God-sent man to every woman on earth. He knows how to handle me and is the most gentleman person that I have ever met.

When he approached me last night he said, “Hey, beautiful lady in red.”
“Me?”
“Yes, you…” he looked at me lovingly. “You’re perfect. I love the sharpness of your eyes and the redness of your lips. God was probably showing off when he made you.”

I swear that I could have melted at that moment.
Nonetheless, I am not so sure. He seems to be very friendly to be—but as well as the other girls in that party. I wonder if he also promised this to them.

While I am about to choose my Valentine, I remembered that I received one more gift.

Oh. Right, a card from Yoo-chun!

Now, Yoo-chun is not a stranger to me. He is a fairly new guy in my work because he was accepted just two months ago. He is always funny. He makes me laugh all the time and cheer me up whenever I get frustrated because of work. He’s like an older brother to me who supports and teases me all the time.

We did not danced last night. He simply excused himself while I was trying to have a conversation with Jae-joong and gave me a card. It is a plain, blue card. No fancy hearts or words on the cover. There was no bear or flowers coming with it. In there, it was written: “By your balcony at 10AM.”

I looked at that big digital watch on my study table. It was already 9:59!

I went to my balcony in a hurry. Nothing seems to be different except there was a rope tied on one end of it. Did I put it there some days ago? I could not recall.

And then, lo and behold…a huge blue hot-air balloon floated suddenly. In there, Yo-chun was there, smiling at me.
“You’re finally awake, sleepy head.” He chuckled.
“Hey…” I uttered in amazement. “What is this?”
“Well, it is a beautiful day.” He started. “Look how blue the sky is. Care to fly?” He then reached for a basket. “I even made kimbap and bibimbap. I know you have not had your breakfast yet.”
“Be careful not to eat too much,” he added. “Otherwise, we might sink suddenly in the Han river.”
I didn’t know how exactly how to react.
He smiled, “Hey, I’m just kidding! Hop on!”
“But wait!” I exclaimed. “Look at me…I just woke up. I am not dressed properly. I do not have makeup on yet!”
“It doesn’t matter!” he answered. “You look beautiful whether you’re fully dressed or stressed from work. And now, you proved that you’re beautiful even if you just woke up!”
“But…”
“Go on, sweetie.” a voice from behind me said encouragingly.

I look behind me and it was mother. She was smiling and there was a bouquet of red roses in her arm.
“Eomma!” I went to her. “Wow…you have roses!”

“Yoo-chun gave it to me.” She said tenderly. “I never knew that I would receive roses again since your father died five years ago. Yoo-chun was here two hours ago and asked me properly to take you out this Valentine’s Day. I really like that boy. He gives so much respect to us elderly and my tummy now hurts from so much laughing. He made me laugh so much! I also love how witty he is.”

I just smiled.

“Go on, sweetie.” She said while kissing my forehead. “Have a good time. Also, he promised that you will be here to have a lunch with me. It’s a date.” She winked.

“Well?” Yoo-chun said. “Shall we go now?”

I turned to him. “Wait! I will go get something downstairs for you.”
“For me?” asked Yoo-chun.
“For him?” asked Mom almost at the same time as Yoo-chun.
“Yes. Just a minute.”

A minute later, I arrived with a box and with my phone.

“This is for you,” I glanced at him with some shyness. “Happy Valentine’s Day. Go open it.”

He opened it and saw several heart-shaped chocolates inside.
“I made them myself two days ago.” I said proudly.

“Thank you.” He uttered blushingly. For the first time ever, I saw the great prankster, Mr. Yoo-chun Park lost for words.

“I know you were raised both here in Korea and the United States,” I started. “In Valentine’s Day, it is the women who gives something to men and on March 14 or White Day that man will answer. I made that to you two days ago as a thank you gift for everything that you had done for me. I mean, I don’t have a boyfriend and I only have you in my mind to prepare for Valentine’s Day. Had I known that you will surprise me with this, I should have prepared something grander, maybe? So yeah…Happy Valentine’s Day.”

He suddenly embraced me and from there I literally heard my heart pumped so fast. He then led me to the hot air balloon and he winked to my mom, “Later, Madame!”

“Come on, Hyo-rin!”

I texted Jae-joong that I could not make it and when I was about to text Joon-soo, I saw him walking down the street with another girl. Oddly, it did not hurt me. It only convinced me more that I was really with the best choice.

Seoul never looked this beautiful. I lived in this city all my life but it was so fresh and dazzling in my eyes. For the first time ever, I am with a man who is like my father, best friend, brother and soul mate rolled at the same time. This is it. Everything is new. Everything is wonderful. Everything is all that I ever hoped for.

Sarang hae, Park Yoo-chun.

Kamsamhamnida. Why did Tony Moly Philippines chose my entry? According to them, "Your romantic Valentines story about friends turned lovers was a big hit!"
Kamsamhamnida. Why did Tony Moly Philippines chose my entry? According to them, “Your romantic Valentines story about friends turned lovers was a big hit!

Lucky 13

Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started.
― Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

Hello, how are you?

I am asking that not only to you, my dear reader, but to myself as well. It has been more than a month since my last blog entry which was promised to have a part two. I swear I’ll do .it But today’s entry is not about it. But I’ll go back to it.

It may seem that my life had additional dynamics for the past months. First, I have more meet ups with my friends when I have time. Second, I thought that my life would be more at the easy side this semester because I only took 15 units. But hell, I was so wrong! Each unit demands so much from me. I swear that you cannot neglect just one unit otherwise the consequence it might ask for you for a price is impeding your graduation. Well, maybe not to me because I still have one semester left which will contain 13 units but failing is not an option for me. I cannot fail because I really have no face to show to my parents if I fail one. I believe that my education in University of the East is their second chance given to me that I cannot take for granted. I also have all the time in the world because I am a professional student. Nonetheless, the stress given to me by this semester is so much. The readings and digests to be submitted are endless. What hurt me the most is the fact that our official vacation started on the so-called end of the world, December 21, 2012 and resumed on January 3, 2013. One of my professors said that we are going to have early preliminary exams when we resumed classes on January 4. My other professor demanded 40 digested cases from us. It was freaking crazy for me. Yahweh should have made the eleventh commandment as: Thou shall not assign homework on Christmas break.” Christmas is about being with your friends and relatives which you have not seen in a while. It really feels improper to say “no” to an invited gathering during the Yuletide season. But I did declined some. In days which I stay in the house, I tried making digests and read the Civil Code notes in Persons and Family Relations. I’m glad that accomplished them all although I felt annoyed and a little depressed that I did not have the chance to write at least a blog entry. Last Friday, the results of our preliminary examinations in Civil Law Review were returned. I did not get a high grade though I was one of the few who passed that nerve-wracking exam. I guess I’ll just do better in my midterm and final examinations.

Anyway, I look back now on how 2012 has been. It was seemingly a very stagnant year for me because as a whole, I did nothing but stay at home and go to school even on summer break. But in between that ennui and routine-based life, I learned many things: That 20 seconds of courage. Those birthday cakes. That want to feel beautiful. That high school friends are really the closest you can have for a family. That a broken bone is nothing compared to that broken heart. That feeling when you dared yourself and actually did it. That realization that I was so blessed and I hardly recognized it. That feeling that you inspired people to look at their best, too. Those encouragements and expressions of gratitude. And all those magical moments in between.

This 2013 entered with so much expectations, plans and excitement. I want to tell you all about it however, I will not spill anything until it is official. This 2013, I don’t really have much of a resolution. Maybe I’ll improve my makeup skills and relearn skills which I had forgotten like driving and cooking. I will also not include losing weight anymore because the more I wish for that to come true, the more I fail it. Nevertheless, I will ensure that I will live a healthier lifestyle like I’ll try to eat less meat and sweets. Hey, I am not getting any younger. I’ll turn 25 this year, the age of officially ageing. I will take care of my skin more and probably start jogging after I obtain my orthopedic’s go signal that I could again run. Also, I need to focus more on studies because the moment the clock struck midnight of January 1, I could already say that, “Yes, I will take the bar…next year.” Damn. That thought electrifies me because passing it is all I ever wanted ever since but the question of whether I’m ready for it or not rings in my mind all the time. I know two things, though. One, preparation is the key. Second, you can do it while having fun.

Silver
Silver Year. This 2013 will be my silver year. Time seems to go faster now that I am an adult. But still, I do not hide my age. I am very proud of what I am and what I will be for next years to come. How about you, what do you look forward this year? 🙂

Let us have a blast this year.

On Boosting Self-Confidence

We spend money that we do not have, on things we do not need, to impress people who do not care.

Will Smith

I think that I had come to this point in my life wherein I could truly say that I like myself.

If you had been a follower of my blog, you would know that I have a hard time growing up. I look, talk, think and act differently from others. But now I have this strong verge of confidence inside of me and I am willing to tell you the secret: I now fully know, understand and accept myself.

To accept oneself is not really easy. I believe that while man is essentially born as good person, he is also born a pessimist. We see awful things around us. We brace ourselves for the worst. Also, have you ever wondered why about 90% of the news on the television, radio and the web is composed only of bad news? The reason is pretty simple: bad news is the only ones that sell. The more horrific the news, the better because of the sensation and interest it absorbs from us. Therefore, if we look upon the world with so much negativity, then how do we perceive that one thing closest to us: our own selves?

When you look at the mirror, what do you see? A lot of persons see nothing but their imperfections. You see your pimple and other blemishes one hundred times more than your natural beauty. Or even if you are lucky enough without any skin blemishes, you would wonder why can’t you be skinny or tall or rich or talented or famous enough? That’s another fault of all of us: we like to compare. Then again, why do you need to compare? Whatever happens we live our own, unique lives. We have our own pace in finding our own purpose and our successes in life. Also, understand that no one is perfect. Everybody is struggling every day. Everyone has crosses to bear. Everyone has secrets. Don’t compare yourself to anyone because we don’t know what kind of life he or she is living in. You know, everyone is different even in handling pain. Some goes ballistic with a paper cut but some could smile beautifully despite having a stage four cancer.

Know yourself because chances are if you don’t know who you are then other people, who are most likely insecure of you, and media will tell you negative things that are possibly not true about yourself. You could be told that you would possibly fail in your plans or you lack qualifications or you are not attractive enough.

When I look at the mirror this is what I see: This month, I am officially twenty-four and half years old and a few more months, I will be a quarter of a century old. I am still studying when the people my age are starting to earn their first million pesos, travelling the country and the world and starting a family. I never had a boyfriend. I am voluptuous. I am too tall or too fair for a South-East Asian. I will never have a perfect skin. I am clumsier, quirkier and more awkward than most people I know. BUT I DON’T CARE ANYMORE.

Because I know and appreciate myself better now. I am still studying because I know that I have this much passion, intelligence and love to become a lawyer after a few more years. Yes, I am aging and I am dating nobody but if I will be in the single-blessedness stage forever, would that fact make me less than a person than those people who are married? Are married people or at least people who are in a relationship necessarily happier than those who are flying solo? Of course not.  I may be ageing, but I am very thankful for living wonderfully with so much love around me for more than twenty-four years.

I know my body well, hence, I accept that I am indeed a big and fat woman. But because I am aware this, I learned to choose clothes that are flattering to me. I could just walk myself with chin up because I know that I still could carry a level of sexiness within me. My skin is becoming fairer and fairer as the years go by mainly because I lack sun exposure because I stay at home in the morning to prepare for my lessons at night and leave home when the sun is about to expire for the day. However, I now consider myself lucky because I am no longer one of those girls (or even boys) who would inject thousands of vials of glutathione for their skin to be fairer. However, I really do not see what is wrong with being dark-skinned. To maintain a fair skin is way harder than you thought. A single blemish could be seen easily. Also, sun-kissed skin is always sexy.

My skin would always break out and I’ll never be those girls whom you could call pretty. Recently, I now learned how to use makeup which is so fun. Slowly, I learned that my skin is breaking out mainly of a lot of unnecessary stress. Stress because I was trying to please other people that I don’t like so hard. Stress because all my life I was trying to fit in. Stress because I was tired of my life. And all this were just a lot of wasted, precious energy!

I am clumsy, quirky and awkward but that is just me. Everything that I have said is my imperfections and that makes me who I am. My imperfections made me understand and relate to more people and with this knowledge, I could possibly inspire and boost self-confidence of people who are struggling with the same. I know my value and I am living my life. I do not need to prove or explain myself to anyone. My acceptance of who I truly am give me this long-lasting happiness that I carry on with my life every day. I am now the type of woman who could laugh at her mistakes, shrug it off and move on with your life.

So stand tall, chin up and smile. We are good enough. We matter. We are worthy. We are beautiful persons. 🙂

 

Happy, Quirky and Crazy.She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” —Proverbs 31:25

A Touch of the Color of Happiness

I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness.

—Coco Chanel.

I think that deep inside every woman, no matter how tough or manly her occupation is or no matter how tomboyish or brawny society looks at her and no matter how plain Jane she appears in public, she just wants to feel one thing. She just wants to feel beautiful.

It’s really strange that nowadays, I am often with makeup. A few years back that would be unimaginable. When I was a child, makeup intimidated me. My aunties in Pampanga often told me that you don’t need to put makeup because only the malalandi or flirtatious girls are the only one who needs it. All you need to do is keep your face clean and eat vegetables. I believed them for a long time. By the time I was thirteen years old, I was a high school freshman. Some of my classmates began using powder pacts, cheek tints and lip gloss. I looked down on them. I can’t believe that at a very young age, they are beginning to be flirtatious when some of them still forgets the multiplication tables at times. I resented everyone who wore makeup in school. In my mind, my aunties are correct. Your physical attributes does not really matter anyway. You just need to be a smart girl. You must be a kind girl to everyone. What is inside is all that counts. Dabbing everything to your face makes you superficial and fake.

That’s why my proms are disasters. I don’t know what to wear. I don’t know how to keep my makeup on. I do not know how to act like a lady. I was awkward, very awkward. Worst, during my junior year, I was wearing my very think eyeglasses up to our prom because I was afraid to try contact lens then. In many ways, I think I’m a deviant in my school proms.

But before I graduated high school, I decided to ask my mother if she could buy me my very first pressed powder which she agreed. You see, I’m very pimply in my youth. Unfortunately, at age twenty-four, I still experience some skin breakouts. That explains a lot why I still have a lot of pimple scars on my face.

Zit. A particularly big one. It still leaves a remnant scar on my face.
Zit. This is a particularly a bad one. The big scar of it still remains on my cheek.

Anyway, things changed a little with beauty and I when I reached college. My choice of clothing was better though. I refused wearing very loose clothes that I was wearing in high school in non-school days. I loved hairbands and earrings, too. My haircut is layered for the first time. But it’s different when it comes to makeup. I only wear pressed powder and sometimes because of lengthy and difficult paperwork, I forget putting them on. I tried wearing something for my lips but it I didn’t like the reaction of my block mates. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Economics classmates to death but probably they gave me weird reactions because of over familiarity? They weren’t used in seeing me like that. Then again, probably I misunderstood their reactions because I’m too self-conscious?

In law school, nothing changed in the beginning. After all, I was still wearing uniform in UST Law School. But eventually, I got so pressured with law school that I forget so many things even keeping myself tidy. I look harassed every day and I was gaining so much weight. Eventually, you all know what happened next and I went to UE College of Law. I went there looking so much like a slob. There are no prescribed uniform in UE except that as much as possible; one must go to school in semi-formal attire. That was my first problem, I barely have clothes and eventually I began raiding my mother’s closet. My parents are helpful though. They started buying me appropriate top pieces. The black slacks I wore were all from my old UST uniform so there is no problems with the bottom part. Soon, I was getting sick of wearing black slacks so I began wearing black skirts. It was uncomfortable at first but I realized that I keep changing classmates all the time in UE so I decided not to care anymore if someone would look down on me or laugh at me with what I am wearing because there is a big chance that I’d only see that person once or twice a week for just a few hours.  Once, my mother is buying lipstick from Maybelline. I showed her my interest; she bought me two with a simple blush. My Chinese best friend also gave me a lipstick from the same brand with lip gloss for Christmas. I suddenly felt like an adult. I started putting on some makeup to school though with great caution with the blush. The fuchsia shade that she bought for me is too dark and loud to my pale, sallow skin. Also, last Christmas, with some cash I earned, I absentmindedly entered into a Korean beauty shop, Etude House in SM Fairview. Not knowing what exactly to buy, I bought a makeup base because I thought that it was the foundation I need to even out my skin. I also bought a blusher with a highlighter in it which I’m puzzled on using. But both products turned out great. Surprisingly, my parents bought me a foundation from Paul and Joe as Christmas gift.

The Basic. How I usually dress up for school before.

Yet something is still missing.

For the longest time, I always believe that I’m not beautiful. This is especially true when I was in high school. If someday, I’ll be a very prominent person and there are clamors to have my autobiography written, my biographer will have a really hard time in finding pictures in my high school days. That is mainly because I look at myself as a very ugly girl. I dressed ugly, I wear very thick glasses, I am chubby, I have a lot of acne and my parents refused to grow my hair long before I reached college. There are days when my haircut is shorter than my boy classmates! Some people actually mistook me for a boy.

Then, one day I woke up thinking out of the blue that I want to use makeup as in I really, really want to use makeup. The next weeks, I saw myself scrimping so much on my expenses and kept on returning to Etude House. Suddenly, nothing fits with my makeup kit that I bought another one. I also read a lot of review blogs on makeup products and watched a lot of makeup tutorials in Youtube. Presently, I have a makeup base, a foundation, a BB Cream, two powder pacts, five pots of eye shadow, three lipsticks, two lip glosses, two matte blushers, an eyebrow color, an eye cream liner and a mascara plus some other accessory products and skin care products mostly from Etude House. I guess I now have the basics of a makeup kit though in the next weeks to come, I’m still scrimping on my expenses to ensure that all beauty products I use are Etude House. I have this weird inclination with a brand that I think works for me. My shampoo, conditioner, soap and deodorant are all products by Dove. I want to try other products like brown eyeliner pencil and cream blushers.

It’s exhausting sometimes especially that I can’t eat the food that I like particularly Korean foods. For some reason, the University Belt this year has so many Korean restaurants which sprung like mushrooms. Nonetheless, Korean foods took the hearts of many of students like me. The sassy spiciness of their food ended with their sweet and unique ice creams were addicting. So yeah, I went from a Korean drama addict, to a Korean foodie and now to a Korean makeup geek. I so hate Korea for making me spend too much on their merchandise for years now! Just kidding, of course I love Korea.

(By the way, if you guys are starting makeup these days, I highly recommend that you choose a Korean or Japanese brand. I just love the East-Asian philosophy on makeup. They do not just do makeup that are flattering to a woman’s skin and are long lasting but they also put into consideration the long-time effect on it into the skin. That’s why their makeups, especially their powder pacts and BB Creams, have sunscreen included to prevent both UVA and UVB rays penetrating to our skin which hastens aging. BB Creams are amazing because aside from acting like a moisturizer and foundation with good concealing properties but it also possess healing properties that soften, smoothen and refine skin. It encourages skin regeneration to create and maintain youthful skin and has anti-wrinkle and skin lightening benefits. Yes, it is the beauty secret of the ‘perfect’ Korean celebrities. Lastly, East-Asian brands are hypoallergenic and does not have that weird cosmetic scents like Eastern brands and are pareben-free. For now, BB Cream worked for me as it evens out my skin tone and my pimple scars are now fading slowly but surely.)

Anyway, by wearing makeup, my perspective changed. It revived the creativity in me that died when I went to college. You see, I’m not a really smart girl in high school especially with anything that has to do with numbers but I get high marks in drawing and crafts, well, besides languages. Also, by looking more prepped up people seems to respect you more. I feel that slowly, people are now recognizing me as a woman and not that clumsy girl that they always knew. You also get compliments saying how beautiful you look today or how you seem to bloom by the day. It also highlights your best feature. I always thought that I have ugly lips because it looks plain to me but when I started applying lipsticks in a daily basis, I get compliments that any lipstick shade I use looks good on me because I have nicely shaped lips. Slowly, you realized that all these time you were made beautiful in your own way. Now I do not see why not a woman must not put a little makeup. I mean we polish our shoes and we decorate our homes so I see no reason why we shouldn’t fix ourselves every day before we head out. Most especially if we’re going to show our clean, polished and confident selves to the world.

Of course, I do not forget that the real beauty comes within. These days, I am not just beautifying my face but also my soul. I try to read the Bible a little more and read articles in the World Wide Web on Christianity, kindness, love, inspiration and passion. As much as possible, I try to apply that to my everyday life being a good daughter, sister, friend, student and colleague. Thus, by being good and pleasant to others, that is what really makes me bloom more than my exteriors. No matter how much concealer you put into your face, it cannot hide an ugly soul. Hence, before you move on to your exteriors, make sure you had worked on or is working on into your exteriors.

I understand that not all women would want to wear makeup but the bottom line of this article is this: if you want to do something for yourself, do it right away if you think it will make you happy. Do not be fearful on what will people say or comment on you. People will always have an opinion on you whatever happens anyway. This quote that I read from tumblr best explains it:

You eat, you’re fat. You don’t eat, you’re a freak. You read, you’re a nerd. You don’t read, you’re stupid. You tell a secret, you’re an attention seeker. You don’t tell a secret, you’re still attention seeking. You let someone in, you’re easy. You don’t let someone in, you’re too uptight. You’ve had sex, you’re a slut. You haven’t had sex, you’re a frigid little bitch. You wear makeup, you’re a slag. You don’t wear makeup, you’re ugly. You can’t please anyone. Ever.

A Touch of Color. This is how I usually dress up now before I go to school minus the brow color because it really takes up time.

Life is short. As long as you will not hurt another person, who cares what others think. Always go for happiness. 

 

In my Next Life, I Shall Be Little Miss Philippines

I have a lot of mistakes in my life. I am guilty that there are a lot of instances which I could have used my time more productively. But I have no regrets. Well, except one.

If I could go back to my yesteryears, I would have joined Little Miss Philippines.

I am dead serious.

Well, when I was a child, I’m pretty much the same girl now except I was more energetic then. Everybody loved me. And who wouldn’t? It’s actually rare to see a child who has so much energy and spirit within her. I am basically a shameless kid. I would talk a lot, tell incomprehensible stores and inquire lots of nonsense in the world. I also dance and sing—both poorly but everything a toddler or a pre-schooler does is cute anyway. And because of my enthusiastic disposition, some people actually suggested to my parents that it’s a good idea for me to join the infamous Eat Bulaga segment.

You know, I may never admit it to a person face-to-face but I secretly love attention and the spotlight. My parents were just asking me, “Do you want to join Little Miss Philippines?” and I would not give a direct answer, although sometimes I shall give a sheepish smile.

But that’s that. They never let me join.

Little did I know that I blew my chance completely on becoming a beauty queen…ummm…princess.

Shortly in middle school, I saw myself as a very ugly girl. Media dictated the young, innocent minds of my classmates and I on what beauty is all about. I am overweight, have a cushion-like nose, crooked teeth and I wear very thick glasses. My parents also did not want to let my hair grow with reasons that only made sense between them. I actually have pictures wherein people mistake me for a boy.

I hated myself. I can’t bear looking at myself in the mirror and I hardly have any pictures from middle school to high school.

Now, almost seven years after I graduated high school, I look pretty much the same except for my hair which I could grow as long as I want and my teeth were somehow straightened by the use of braces for two years. I am also wearing contact lenses when I go out. Nonetheless, there is still no way I could join a pageant. The measurement of beauty is somehow the same, still. The society looks up with fair, thin ladies with shaped noses and silky straight hair. If you ask me, the only category I fall squarely in is my fair complexion and nothing else.

Is that what beauty is all about?

Somehow, I want to go back to the days where beauty hardly matter. In pre-school, it did not really matter what your classmate looks like or how he dress like but whether or not that classmate of yours would like to play and befriend you.  Character also matters. As children, we see the beauty of the soul better rather than the superficial attractiveness of a person that is temporary.

Perhaps, in this lifetime, I shall never have the opportunity to become a beauty queen until there is a criteria for beauty. That’s why I regret not being able to join Little Miss Philippines where your chubbiness is even an asset because in the eyes of the audience, you are extra cute.

In my next life, I shall DEFINITELY become the Little Miss Philippines.

“If we could destroy custom at a blow and see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse.”
—G.K. Chesterton

Eleven Hints for Life

This is the “Eleven Hints for Life”. It’s my first time to post something that was not written by me, but I believe that we shall all learn something from this. Maybe when I become a better and more mature person, I shall be able to write my own version of this. But maybe I’ll limit it to eight. In enumerations, I usually could remember ten items because each item is represented by my fingers. Nonetheless, I decided to limit it to eight because eight is my favorite number and turn it 90 degrees, you would get the infinity sign. I believe that what we really learn about in life is what makes us eternal, infinite.

We only have one shot in life. We must make the most out of this. Anyway, if you ask me on what is my favorite among the lessons below, I have to say that I agree with the eleventh. I want to make my loved ones happy that if I die, they will cry both happy and sad tears. I want them to reminisce my weird humor,  happy disposition in life and my playful nature. I want them to miss me because I’ve made them truly happy in a way that no one else can. The legacy that I want to leave in this world is definitely, love.

The author is unfortunately, unknown. Nevertheless, I thank you, whoever you are, for giving me that spark of inspiration to live more in my life.

 

  1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return. But what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel.
  2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and you just have to let go.
  3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you’ve ever had.
  4. It’s true that we don’t know what we’ve got until we lose it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.
  5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
  6. Don’t go for looks, they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright.
  7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go, be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you want to do.
  8. Always put yourself in the other’s shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.
  9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may heal and bless.
  10. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
  11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’re the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.