Mama

My mother celebrated her 52nd birthday yesterday, but unlike in the past years when I’d normally put up a mushy post on Facebook, this year, I chose not to.

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She shares a Facebook account with my father and even though they are on it, they’re not too comfortable with the whole social media hoopla and want to maintain as private as possible. They’ve warned us countless times to be careful not to tag them on some photos or posts as they don’t want to be overwhelmed by responses from friends and colleagues. Either that or they don’t want to come off as braggy.

Of course, I mostly just ignored them because hello, freedom of expression! I also think that it is another way for them to get the rare recognition they deserve not only for their hard work in their respective careers, but also for their love and commitment to us and to their loved ones.

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For the past years, I’ve made it a point to post something witty or hilarious on special occasions to celebrate their colorful lives without being too mushy. As expected, these posts had the most number of likes and comments on my page, evident of the love and support that friends and family have for them both.

It makes me happy seeing them happy with the responses they get every year. I can’t say that reading these responses myself doesn’t touch me, because it does. This is another reason why I continue to do this, until this year.

If I remember it right, I did not do something special for my papa’s birthday as well. We just had a simple celebration after attending mass, much like what we did for mama’s birthday.

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This year, I just woke her up to greet her at 12:05 am when she dozed off while waiting for my sister to come home. Hours later, I just tried to make her laugh and make her feel good on her special day. I cooked breakfast (and dinner) for everyone, while my sister did the dishes because she and my papa were busy painting and cleaning up. We went to church, had a sumptuous lunch and went back home.

It was the least festive birthday, but it wasn’t bad at all. My sister and I amused her enormously while she’s finishing painting the walls, jokingly sending rude responses to all her friends, family and colleagues that greeted her. Her reactions were as usual, hilarious!

And yes, you read it right. She was painting the walls on her birthday. She also meticulously cleaned up after, while I was just sitting around. I have to say, I couldn’t admire her more for how tireless she is. She has been awarded numerous times for her dedication and hard work in the same company she’s been working for for the last 20-30+ years.

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Truly, she’s a woman who has achieved so much, yet has remained humble, kind and generous. I could never even become half of who she is now, but I try to do good by her as much as I can for whatever we do, it would almost always boil down to how we were raised by our parents, right?

To add to that, I feel blessed to have her as a mother, for not spoiling us and for teaching us the value of respect, generosity and helping around the house and at a young age and for being half responsible for raising really good kids (yes, I’m only talking about my siblings here :P).

I don’t expect my mother to ever see this post, but on the off chance that she does, I hope it leaves a smile on her face as it did when I wrote this. 🙂

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P.S. All photos were taken by papa except for the last 2 🙂

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The Sunday Currently, Volume 14

Because I dozed off in the middle of writing this last night, I’m posting it just now. It’s still Sunday somewhere across the globe anyway!
C u r r e n t l y . . .

 

R E A D I N G  Gideon Lasco‘s “Day Hikes and Nature Walks from Manila“. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book ever since I saw it on Sir (or should I say, Doc) Gideon’s instagram account (actually, I might have seen it on someone else’s ig account). Anyway, he’s the man behind Pinoy Mountaineer, which I find the most helpful and most organized site, where one can see uber detailed guides to climbing most if not all of PH mountains. They even indicate which ones are limatik, lipa and rattan free and which ones are not! My brother and sister, being the more experienced climbers among us, insisted that we go to ROX today where my sister bought the book!

 

 

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W R I T I N G  a more personal entry on my Journey app. If you haven’t heard of it yet, try it! It’s a free Chrome and Android app with a very simple and neat interface where you can pour your hearts out without having to worry about privacy. I’ve been writing on my journal too, but typing really saves so much more time! haha

 

L I S T E N I N G  to the sound of our electric fans and to the light buzzing sound of my sister’s air-con unit.

 

T H I N K I N G  of convincing my father to put up a small design business once he retires (just like what their brand managers suggested). Of course, I’d be very much happy to help out. It would be a dream come true for me–being your own boss (I mean, having your dad as your boss eerrrr), doing what we both love doing! I mean, c’mon I would love to study over and over again if it’s going to be all about art & design!

 

S M E L L I N G  nothing last night, but banana fritters this morning!

 

W I S H I N G  for more free/sponsored workshops on photography, graphic design, or anything artsy fartsy and more DAYHIKES and probably a PULAG climb this year!

 

W E A R I N G  my lime green GH shorts and my “spread the love” shirt

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L O V I N G  this android game, “Good Pizza” and this  old school game turned android game, “Bomberman 2016“. Also loving the apps, “Vocabulary Builder“, “Our Daily Bread“, “Bitmoji” (from where I got the bitmoji above! Love dressing up mine btw!), the new calligraphy and handwriting fonts I downloaded and these collages I made for my friend’s birthday yesterday. I’ve delayed making this for about a week, but the good thing is, I did manage to make 2 in time for her birthday!
W A N T I N G  to finish our trip itinerary and to have our visas processed this week! Please pray for us!

 

N E E D I N G  some peace of mind still, and a whole lot of inspiration!

 

F E E L I N G  blessed that we got to spend time together as a whole family again! My brother went home for the weekend before he goes to a conference tomorrow and leaves for Boracay on Tuesday. While it’s obvious how fleeting time was for us, I’m happy we went to Church as a complete family again, held hands, hugged, had lunch, got stuck in traffic before finally having dinner at one of our favorite restos, Cafe Lidia. It makes me want to say that truly, the best things in life are free and the gift of family is one of God’s greatest.

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Life Lately / 5

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I can’t believe 2015’s over in just a few hours. It’s been a scary, depressing but amazing year for me and I wouldn’t have been able to make it through without the people who helped me and the exciting new things I’ve got to try!

For this Life Lately entry, I’m listing down the things, experiences and people I’m really, really, really grateful for in 2015.

  • THINGS:
    • Film Cameras: This year, I’ve added a few more cameras to my collection, all of which I’ve used except for the Minolta weathermatic camera. So If I remember everything correctly, I got:
      • Yashica Electro 35G rangefinder in sexy red 🙂
      • Polaroid Land Camera 230 which is the most old school camera I’ve ever held in my hands in this lifetime
      • Olympus AM-100 Point and Shoot – didn’t think I’d enjoy using one!
      • Minolta Weathermatic underwater camera
      • Yashicaflex TLR – still trying to figure out which one it isIMG_20151204_220732
      • Olympus Pen EE-S – a half frame camera I never thought I’ll ever find IMG_20151219_152911
    • I also got myself a cheap film scanner. It’s not the best but it has been quite useful.
    • I’m also grateful to finally have started investing for my own life insurance. I would never have been confident in getting one without my former colleague’s help, Ma’am Donna and of course, my sister.
    • Adult coloring books and my own Daykeeper. Not so long ago, I saw a bunch of these adult coloring books online and I’ve been curious since it was on the bestselling list of the Book Depository, so when the fad finally arrived in the RPH, I jumped into the bandwagon, hoping to de-stress and unwind. My officemates also got me another one, coz my wrinkles might have given me away. 😛 Kidding aside, it was very thoughtful of them. I also got my own Daykeeper. Last year, I didn’t get to order in time so I made sure I ordered extra early this year!
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    • Hammock – How could I not be thankful for these cheap hammocks we got in Taytay? I could stay behind our house for hours just looking at the stars at night on these precious little hammocks. 000027
  • TRAVELS/EXPERIENCES:
    • This year, I got to travel more with my family and some friends and first time with B. To be honest, I would never have been able to do so when I was working in the hospital so I have to say, my current job really has its perks.
      • To start things off, this is not exactly far from us since we’re from Rizal, but my family visited the beautiful Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. My father got the idea from my sister who just went there with her then boyfriend the day before. LOL. We had an amazing time. My heart exploded having seen so many lovely works of art in one place in 2 hours. I didn’t want to go home, but I’m glad it’s so near, I could go back when I want to, and also I need to make sure that my films are properly loaded! 10974402_10206310924117774_833056609924935684_o
      • We went to Pagudpud for the first time and visited a few of the landmarks in the region that we haven’t been to yet:
      • We stayed at the farthest resort in Pagudpud, Pannzian and it was magnificent. The food was great and the place is relaxing. There was no WIFI, no cell service and no TVs, so it was just us and the beach!PIC20150515220112
  • We also got to try the Sand Dune activities in Paoay for the first time! It was unforgettable! 000027
    • We also visited Cape Bojeador and got to try fresh seafood streetfood. I still cannot forget getting a piece of fresh grilled squid for P10. No wonder everyone’s stopping by the road to try them and the rest of their seafood choices. They were dirt cheap, but super fresh and yummy! I’d go back to Ilocos just to hoard these! 000011
  • In May, my sister planned another trip up north, to Bagac, Bataan. It was another first for our family and we got to stay at the beautiful Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar. The moment we got there, I can’t express how we were so in awe of the reconstructed ancient houses in the whole resort. Even the hotel rooms looked as if they were literally transported from the past. It’s definitely one place I want to visit again, especially in Summer.11222305_10152807686751895_8834770626067608159_n
  • Also in May, my officemates and I went on a quick weekend getaway to Laiya, Batangas and I’m glad B was able to come with me. It was our first trip together and I was very happy it turned out pretty amazing. We stayed at the beautiful Blue Coral Resort000024
  • In June, B and I got to watch the UP Samaskom’s LIVE AIDS. I have to say it was one of the craziest and funniest shows I’ve seen in my life and we’re lucky because it was their 30th year and the it was directed by Tuesday Vargas herself!
  • B and I also got to visit UP’s Chocolate Kiss Cafe twice this year and these were 2 of our most memorable dates. 🙂 new000034
  • We also got to visit the beautiful Monasterio de Tarlac which is situated in one of the mountains in San Jose, Tarlac. We also squeezed in a bit of biking with our parents in the equally peaceful Tarlac Recreational Park before capping the night off at a karting place called KCT nearby. Did I also say that this was back in my birthday? image-9c0643ac995f80d759e09cd354f04222339391237d049ef3d3d49490a60776ba-V-01image-a791d6fe0d19bfff9d8524201f7f939b138041b024c7ca6e006719a86f7792a3-V-01
  • A few days after, we had a chance to visit Padre Pio’s shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The place was flocked by so many devotees and I’m glad to be part of that, being a devotee myself. new000025
  • Just a few days ago, we had the chance to visit the beautiful Laresio Resort situated in the Alligator Lake itself in Laguna. I’m really thankful it turned out well since it was a vacation that we, the kids, planned for our whole little clan. We got to try their resort attractions like their giant slides, vine swing, cliff diving and kayaking. It was also our first trip with my tito’s girlfriend whom he got back together with, years after it didn’t work out (I assume) between them when they were in college. Isn’t that crazy beautiful? image-a72c966c7092288cc66fb1ee3e20f7f3e1128dfa67cb431f583f24c41dcfa807-V-01
  • To cap things off this year, we got to drive around Clark, Pampanga and do a bit of shopping before finally ending the day back in KCT, this time with our brother. It was so nice to be back! FB_IMG_1451411875760-01
  • PEOPLE:
    • Lastly, above all of these, what I’m more grateful for are the people I’ve shared these moments with, this year. Without them, I don’t really know where I’d be now:
      • My family – They’ll always be the one I would want to come home to, travel with and spend amazing quality time with. They’re forever going to be the people I’ll love unconditionally. I’ll always be thankful for them for the strength, faith, love and profound happiness in my life right now.image-7d0f997e861b12b0d4cea667952fc51ac228c04f8eb68e4e613cf344cc2f9e72-V-01
      • Brianne – He’s beyond the best friend and partner I never imagined I could have. Apart from my family, he’s one of the reasons why I have never given up on life, no matter how ugly it has been. He’s been with me through the most trying times and through my worst days and he has seen the worst version of me. Thank you for holding on.
      • A few of my friends – I’m really grateful for those who stuck with me. I’m a mess and I’m to blame for losing the ones I’ve had, but I never thought that there’d be people who would stay despite my personal issues and I want to thank you all for that. Thank you for listening and just for making me feel that I’m not alone. I specifically want to thank 4 of them, Joey, Juci, Ina and Ma’am Donna for taking me out this year. Having spent time with you all was a breath of fresh air!
      • I’m also grateful for my officemates who have been really helpful and thoughtful and for making me laugh from time to time. Life in the office (and the constant changes in the office) wouldn’t have been bearable without them.
      • I’m also thankful for manang. She has been my dinner mate for the past year and we’ve been bonding over a lot of telenovelas, even though she’s a Kapuso and I’m a Kapamilya. 😛

This year has been really ugly, but looking at the bright side, I didn’t think it would be this beautiful still. Looking back at all of these things, it truly is a miracle that I have so many reasons to feel grateful for.

I’ve been through the worst this year and I don’t think I could ever go this low in life, but despite all these, never have I felt abandoned by God, not once. Even at the brink of giving up, I felt Him there and He always gave me a reason to hold on. So thank you Lord, for 2015. It was the most meaningful year yet and even though I’ve never been the best me this year, I hope I could make it right someday.

Here’s to another beautiful year!

P.S. I’m also thankful for:

seeing this:image-cfaed3c45744dd13dfb8b195d5a877453391d4daeea190f7139ab4255e59f08a-V-01

and this:

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My Weekend in Moving Photos

It was quite a long weekend for my family as one of our beloved lolas died last week. She was one of the coolest lolas I’ve known, literally, as she doesn’t seem to ever lose her cool, evidenced by her permanent and ever radiant and beaming smile.

We could only make it to the last night of her funeral, which was on a Saturday before she was laid to rest today. Unfortunately, apart from it being a manic weekend, a storm was about to enter the country too, so we were stuck in the rain, wet and cold…

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After being stuck in traffic for quite a while, some of us had to go on a pee break and grab a quick bite before going back on the road, so off we went to, ‘their’ favorite happy place…

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C5 was tolerable and SLEX was very much in our favor, so it didn’t take long before we got to the place and saw everyone all huddled up in a corner…

Some were…

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and others were…

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while this one couldn’t resist picking up something to chew on… again…

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Of course, we couldn’t call it a day unless there were selfies and groupfies taken, some even with one of the coolest lolos on earth!

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I had to fix everyone’s eyebrows before going home at midnight, so were all like…

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The next day, we were up at around 4:45-ish to 5 in the morning and before I know it, we were back on the road by 6 in the morning…

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The night before, a car flew over and hit a concrete barrier perhaps ‘mid-flight’ and smashed his hood, while another one hit another barrier this morning, both along Ortigas extension. Typhoon Lando really hit us big time!

Thank God, we made it back to the funeral by 7-ish, safe and sound.

We were told that the mass will be at 7:30, so everyone was…

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taking selfies again…JK!

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They were all chillin’ like lola here…

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After the mass, everyone had time to freshen up and to do some catching-up with everyone else…

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The mood in the room lightened up a bit, but then again, everyone knew what was coming to them next and that nothing else could be any more painful than finally saying goodbye…

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I hate funerals, but I love the fact that everyone comes together not only to pay tribute to the departed, but also to set everything aside to comfort and catch up with everyone else.

But like what the priest said, nothing’s more pathetic than talking to a corpse that wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the tears, apologies and gratitude one extends in funerals or in cemeteries. It wouldn’t be right, so yes, we all have to make amends and thank people while they’re still alive and not only when they’re on their death beds or worse, when they’re gone forever.

On a lighter note…

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Hope everyone else stays safe and dry while we wait this one out! Do I really have to go back to work tomorrow? I mean look at the trees out my window!

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Btw, I’m really loving this app, Gif Me! so I’m thinking of posting more stuff here and putting everything in a new series on my blog (My Life in Moving Photos) just for these photos that are too cool, they look like those magical paintings on Harry Potter!! I’m pathetic, I know! 😄

The Sunday Currently, Volume 7

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R E A D I N G
this self-help book by Francis Kong called “Being the Best You Can Ever Be“, which my parents brought home from their conference. Yes, there’s still hope for me and yep, I’ve always liked this person, mainly for being able to “move mountains” by way of his words and probably (or most definitely) faith too! I’ve been in one of his talks back in college so I know why he has been in demand over the years.

W R I T I N G
Nothing for today except this entry and another one for the 30 day writing challenge!

L I S T E N I N G
to a lot of Gospel and Worship songs on 8tracks. I was supposed to just listen to “Still” by Hillsong United on repeat mode but I might end up “turning on the waterworks” again like I did in church this morning when the choir sang this during the Holy Communion!

T H I N K I N G
of how happy I am today…

of how good our God is, being able to forgive endlessly…

and how lucky I am to have my family.

I’m content and I’m good, I’m good, I’m good, I’m good! 😛

I’m also thinking about tomorrow and how I’ll turn my zombie mode on again. Uuuugghhh!

S M E L L I N G
my father smoking cigarettes…

W I S H I N G
for the plans we made earlier today as a family to push through! I’m so looking forward to this!

H O P I N G
for the plans above to push through! Not to jinx it though, I really hope we could make it come true, together as a family!

W E A R I N G
my boyfriend’s shirt and comfy pair of bedroom shorts!

L O V I N G
this coding guide/suggestions I found on tumblr written by Devon Meyer. I won’t ever be patient enough to learn about dev stuff, but I can probably make time to study the basics and see where that can lead to… Is this really me, speaking…errr typing?

W A N T I N G
more VLs!!!!!

N E E D I N G
to learn more about make up, to make the next 5 months more productive and to just enjoy life as it is!

F E E L I N G
anxious, sad, happy, crazy and sleepy. I ain’t ready to go back to work yet! Can I have one more day off please??!?!

C L I C K I N G
on my 4th Buzzfeed’s Books Newsletter since I signed up back in June! I have to say that it made me want to get a copy of and read: Jane Eyre (I haven’t been interested since I’ve seen the movie, Definitely, Maybe), The Kite Runner, Great Expectations (not a fan of classic novels, but I’m really having great expectations this time!–no pun intended), The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (even though I completely abhor anything that has to do with the holocaust), Mansfield Park (I know right?) and The Virgin Suicides (and maybe watch the movie after too!) and Tiger Eyes (this one, I have a feeling that I’ll only want to watch the movie rather than read the book).