Finding the magic in the mundane

Honestly, I’m tired of saying “same, same” whenever people ask me how I’ve been. Life is great, life is good, and it shouldn’t be “same, same” every.single.time.

I want to find the magic in the mundane, and I want to celebrate life again – every single thing about it, from the messy to the beautiful.

How do I get back that childlike wonder – the kind that is unassuming and leaves you vulnerable, lost even?

I want that thirst for new things, that drive to create, that desire to be. I’d do anything to be a woman who lives up to her name: joyful.

I really, really don’t want to settle. Not anymore.

Smiles and Promises 2.0: Week 8

August 8:

With less shows to watch (and no social media account to keep track so I don’t get OC), I decided to study again. Sadly, I’m back to zero with Mandarin and Photography, but I’m still giving these another shot.


Here are some test shots. Re-learning the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO again. Goodness, I’ve gotten bad at this.


An epiphany*

*Or why I don’t have a Smiles and Promises Week 7 entry 

“Carlo, I’m so tired.”

I just had to say it. He knew I love my work and I love it despite the long hours, so the short sentence must’ve caught him off-guard.

But it’s true: I was just so tired last week. It’s not the nothing’s-working-out kind of tired; I was just, honest-to-goodness, physically tired. And I had to tell someone.

Hala. Matagal na ‘to?” he asked, and then I went on to rant – conservatively so, if I may add. It was already my second time ranting to a friend that week, and I don’t feel any less tired after, so I tried to dial it down for my sanity’s sake.

Last Friday night, I was walking home after working at a nearby coffee shop, when suddenly I had this sinking feeling.

It was a long work day, I was alone, and suddenly, everything just felt meaningless.

It’s not the first time I had this kind of epiphany, so I knew exactly what to do, as I had always done whenever it happens: Purge.

The day after, I skipped a concert I’ve long wanted to go to since last month. I cleaned up the house, deleted two social media accounts, trimmed down my to-watch list, and decluttered my Apple Music.

It was therapeutic, getting rid of unnecessary things that took much of my time. The reason for the purge is simple: I no longer want to be that 25-year-old who wastes her time on things that have no eternal value.

Maybe I’ve been especially tired lately because I’ve been wasting more time than usual: at one point, I was even watching 6 ongoing dramas in a week. Imagine that.

I was not making time to cook, eat healthily, exercise, and actually live life. Maybe that’s the problem – maybe I’m the problem. And when you’re the problem, no one else can solve it but you.

This is my solution (for now).

Smiles and Promises 2.0: Week 5 & 6

Cheating because the past two weeks have been so crazy. Here’s what went down during my birthday week and the week after that🙂

July 17

Said goodbye to my straight hair again ‘coz I’m easily bored like that. To be fair I was last curly back in early 2014! That’s two years of straight hair!


July 19

Discovered Ang Bandang Shirley. On this day, too, I learned that we often blow our fears out of proportion. I thought I was gonna have a bad birthday eve, but I was happily proven wrong.


July 20

Kailangan pa bang i-memorize ‘yan?🙂

Seriously, a low-key but happy day. Spent quality time with the family, and received heartwarming messages from a lot of friends. ‘Pag tumatanda ka na sumi-simple na gusto mo sa buhay ‘no? I’m 25 – just smack right in between the 20s and 30s. Life is beautiful🙂

July 21 

Got these goodies from my best friend Rizza, who left them with me back in February when she visited Manila. I was under strict instructions not to open them until my birthday, and I was happy to oblige.


July 22

#TeamOrtigas hosted our monthly young adult cell group at this neat place in Greenfields District. I invited Mayel over, and everyone surprised the July celebrants (Me, Sai, Ate Lysh) with cake!


bday cake

Photo c/o Betsy

My accountability partner Betsy also gave me a gift that is so apt with my #GetFitAt26 goals. Thanks AP! :*

ap gift

And proof that I’m serious with that hashtag:


July 24

Ate Lysha’s birthday! Our youth group SOULDiers gave the May to July (oo, malawak ang scope haha) celebrants a birthday cake~

may-july celebrants

Photo c/o Mae

July 27

If this is what our environment beat weekly meetings will be like, then yey! Hello healthy food~

healthy living

July 27: Rappler Talk interview with Education Secretary Leonor Briones.


July 28

My only photo during Elize’s despedida. It was a great night of drinks and laughter with former and current officemates, albeit the reason for the dinner is still sad (until now)


July 29: Rappler Talk interview with Gina Lopez


What I don’t have photos of: dinner with Elize and Michael, and photo with Rey when we visited him at the hospital. Again, a night of conversations, long-distance walking, and puns😐 :))

July 30

Hands down the highlight of my month! The July celebrants’ birthday “salubong” is becoming a yearly tradition. I love it. Most of my updates that night went to Snapchat, and this day probably deserves a separate (detailed) post. For now, here are some photos from Saturday.



Photo c/o Kate

What it feels like turning 25


“Tumatanda ka na nga,” my cousin quipped after I told her how I spent my first day as a 25-year-old: at home, watching movies and television shows, eating pandesal and taho and home-made spaghetti from the friendly neighborhood karinderya.

This year, all I wanted to do for my birthday is rest, because it has been nonstop since 2016 kicked in: elections, opening of classes, and the start of the Duterte administration.

I am in desperate need of rest, and my body says so too. For two months now I’ve been coughing like there’s no tomorrow, and I’m just really, really tired.

I should’ve taken a birthday week leave (Kai beat me to it!), but I wanted to keep my yearly tradition of taking a week off every August. I wonder if this cough will get any better by then.

On my birthday, I found time to rest and just be grateful that I am one year older, and only because the Lord willed it so.

I told my best friend Carlo that turning 25 feels like the most natural thing.

I realized that the so-called quarter life crisis people keep talking about is the least of my worries now. I’m not worried about where I should be at this point in my life because I have eternity – not the world’s timelines – in my mind,

And as far as eternity is concerned, where I am right now is exactly where God wants me to be, and where He will use me for His greater glory.

For the past months, the Lord has been teaching me two things: patience and courage. Patience, and to wait upon the Lord and His promises. Courage, and to fear nothing but God, as I grow more in love with Him every day.

How apt, because the best years are still ahead me. And that’s why turning 25 excites me.

Here’s to another year of daily surrenders, and “relying on God…as if nothing had yet been done”.