Ghost
ohhh if only it were that easyyy!
✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 1st - dream self fulfillment ☑  to summarize my whole 2011, this photo expresses it best. in order to be able to share myself again, i must first learn to be whole and love myself above all else. i know there’s still a lot to do and so many things to accomplish, but i am very happy to have found the fulfillment i have been longing for.  2011 has taught me a lot of things about life, and i can only pray that i will be able to apply all the wisdom and insights i have gained for this year and all the way till i grow. the only thing i can say now is i can’t wait for the time that i’ll get to share myself again, for this time around i am wiser, i am simpler, i am more complete, i am WHOLE, and as long as destiny is in control… i am definitely ready! =j

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 1st - dream self fulfillment

to summarize my whole 2011, this photo expresses it best. in order to be able to share myself again, i must first learn to be whole and love myself above all else. i know there’s still a lot to do and so many things to accomplish, but i am very happy to have found the fulfillment i have been longing for.

2011 has taught me a lot of things about life, and i can only pray that i will be able to apply all the wisdom and insights i have gained for this year and all the way till i grow. the only thing i can say now is i can’t wait for the time that i’ll get to share myself again, for this time around i am wiser, i am simpler, i am more complete, i am WHOLE, and as long as destiny is in control… i am definitely ready! =j

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 2nd - dream jetset lifestyle ☑ 


traveling. 

a term that was only defined as “road trip” my entire life, because unlike most kids who would travel the world together with their entire family, i grew up to be “travel-deprived”. being the youngest of a huge family composed of 10 was such a big factor because it would cost too much to travel as a whole, plus had i flown with any of my family members back then, i’d be too young to even remember anything. i used to think that excuse was such bullshit, then recently i realized that my parents did have a point - i wouldn’t remember anything if they brought me to such places like disneyland as kid. 

when the year started i had this insane goal of traveling every month. by that i meant alternating flights to domestic and international destinations. it started as a joke till i figured, WHY NOT? i was blessed enough to be financially capable of booking flights here and there, and that actually made my trips more meaningful. i felt proud that this time around not only was i old enough to store my travels in my memory but more importantly, i shouldered my expenses, with no help from my parents at all (except for the flights that i was treated to ü). it made me appreciate my adventures more and at the same time, i really turned out to be a lot responsible and made sure that i handled my finances carefully. 

by the time my year ended, i got to book 14 flights all in all (some were booked for me). i couldn’t believe it myself. i’m not gonna deny that my savings ended up bleeding like hell, but the feeling of self fulfillment was just worth every peso. if there’s one thing to be proud of, i got to travel all the year through budget travels. i found myself obsessing over seat sales of different airlines, and i also became the #1 travel “booker” among my family and friends. instead of adjusting the flights to my schedule, i did the opposite and adjusted my schedule to the flights on sale so i could maximize the discount. moreover, 2011 happened to be the year that i got to travel all alone, with no one to accompany and guard me. i felt so independent and all grown up, the exact feeling i was craving for. 

if there’s any bad side to this goal aside from the crazy expenses, it’s the way that my social life has been affected. i can’t even remember how many events and parties i had to skip due to my full schedule. i had a lot of people complaining left and right that i had no time for them. along with flying out every month, 2011 was also a busy year for out of town trips, simply because i got involved in scuba diving and promised myself to revive my “beached" self. i had to decline a lot social events, and even my friends started joking around that my absences were just plain excuses. every time i would hear a line like that, i’d always tell them "look at my passport" just so they’d believe that i was really away. i have such demanding and aggressive friends, but it’s also the reason why i love them dearly hehe at the end of it all, their whines and rants are just their form of expressing how much they miss me, the very same way i long for them too. it’s not that i was avoiding them on purpose, but i just really promised myself that 2011 would have to be really different from any other year. and just as i hoped, it did end far from my past years, and i can hardly wait till i’ll be ready to repeat this goal again. 

i believe i’ve been so incredibly blessed to have been able to do it especially while i’m still unmarried… no husband nor child to think of nor other obligations to worry. i would see other moms who would travel and get stuck on the phone every few hours just to check on their families back home, and although it was not really an obligation, they would tend to step back on their budget to give way to buying more stuff for their loved ones. in my case it was different. i spent all my travels just pampering and rewarding myself nonstop. my whole life, i would prioritize other people. even when it comes to relationships, i’m more generous to my partner compared to myself. last 2011, i made sure to focus completely on myself, and i’ve truly gone insane in terms of shopping. to be fair, i would only splurge every time i’m out of the country. back home in manila, i still had the decency to avoid temptations as much as i could, at least that’s what i know. ;) 

in closing, i shall share this quote that i randomly found online: “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” my 2011 jet setting lifestyle may have been really financially challenging, but i guarantee that it’s nothing compared to the insights and growth that i have gained emotionally, mentally and spiritually. i can earn back the money i have lost and spent all year through, but i can never replace the experiences and discoveries that have enriched myself as an individual. sometimes you think you wanna disappear, but all you really want is to be found. i spent most of my 2010 searching for myself, till all my travels and journeys flew me back to my inner soul. i will forever be grateful to my 2011 for that. ☺❤☺

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 3rd - dream passion


i’ve been mentioning for countless times that my happiest place is the beach. i believe i was a mermaid in my past life, i was born with a crabby cancer sign, i had an underwater themed debut, i always celebrate my birthdays in different beaches, it’s an ultimate dream for me to have a beach wedding, and i know that when i die, i would like to have a “waterbed coffin” plus a luau themed funeral. and i am dead serious with that.

last 2004, i saved up my college allowance to take an open water course for scuba diving. a lot of sacrifices had to be made just so i could afford to pay everything on my own. it was a great start, i managed to attend up to the 3rd session or so, until a very very very stupid thing happened - i quit. and to make it worse, i quit because i freshly got involved in a relationship so the “honeymoon” stage simply got in the way. no judgements needed, i know for a fact now how incredibly stupid that decision was, and i swear that kind of blinding love shall never take place again. haha but seriously, i decided not to pursue it because my then partner had a phobia since he drowned as a kid… so i figured scuba diving wasn’t really something we’d end up enjoying together and i knew that it wouldn’t be a priority during out of town breaks. so along with my dream of being a scuba diver, i let that half baked goal die the very same year last 2004.

until one day… around october of 2010, after having long forgotten about that goal, i flew to bellarocca island in marinduque province with a couple of friends and we were able to use the facilities for free. one of them happened to be snorkeling. while my friends were busy doing their stuff, i had this unexplainable desire to snorkel around the entire isolated island. so i lined up alone and approached the beach staff and told them i wanted to snorkel as soon as possible. i was told it had to be at least 4 people, but when i’m desperate for something i move mountains just to get it. in other words, i successfully charmed my way to the instructors till i was allowed to snorkel the whole island with one life guard. and there i was… snorkeling around in the middle of the ocean when it suddenly hit me: “this is so stupid, i can’t see anything from up here. i wonder what’s out there, meaning all the way below”. and from that curiosity, i suddenly found myself having the desire of reviving my goal of learning how to dive. the minute i finished going around the island, i told my friends: “i want to go back to scuba diving. i will learn how to dive again. soon.” ♒

to cut the story short, it was one of my top priorities as i welcomed the year 2011. the first trip i had last year was in our province bohol and it was there when i decided to take an intro dive, after 7 long years of not diving at all, and i have to admit that i freaked out at first. i wasn’t used to it anymore, and the initial feeling was i was gonna run out of breath. but as always, as most diving sessions turn out to be… i learned it perfectly and that intro dive was the clearest sign that i had found a new relationship with the sea. as soon as i got back in manila, i immediately enrolled myself in another open water class and after a few weeks, or rather 7 long years… i was officially a certified open water diver! getting my license was one of the BEST highlights of my year. =Þ

before, i loved the beach because of the experience of planning it, getting there, enjoying the accommodation, the resort facade, the quality of sand, the hypnotizing clear water, and the result of having instant rosy cheeks and fabulous tan lines. but at present, there isn’t any time that i go to any beach without having that strong craving for diving and exploring what’s underneath. i tell this to everyone all the time and i mean ALL the time, the best part about diving is knowing there is a whole new dimension out there… far away from the usual daily routine, so much different from the common things you usually come across with. having to witness different kinds of marine life floating around you is truly God’s wonder, and my favorite part is looking up whenever i’m at the bottom part… and along with the boat’s silhouette plus the tiny rays of sunlight opening, i blissfully say to myself: “woh… this is MY heaven!” ✔

unfortunately none of my close inner circle dives, so i encourage my friends and relatives to try it out all the time. on the contrary, it’s because of this reason that i got to meet a lot of new people and gained new friends, simply because we share this common passion for scuba diving. my next goal is to become an advance diver, but i know that i’m not in any rush. i am just so ecstatic that i have finally achieved an ultimate dream, and what’s better is that i was able to combine this with my all time fascination: photography. i have already invested so much in this sport, and i am not at all regretful for every single centavo that i have shed out. i love my complete pink & black themed diving gear, my new found calling for underwater photography, and i will forever love scuba diving for uncovering another world for me that instantly relieves my stress and drowns my worries in life. it sounds weird but i always come up as a newly charged soul every time i finish diving. this time around i know i will not stop at all, for my relationship with the sea has been the strongest & longest one compared to any other that i have devoted my heart to. =j

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 4th - dream destinations


together with my goal of stepping out of my comfort zone, i challenged myself to “dream big" and fly to certain destinations that i had been dreaming of for the longest time. don’t get me wrong, i didn’t dream beyond my realistic budget, schedule and condition. these destinations are actually “default” for most tourists, but in my case they were considered “dream come true" because it took me a lot just to finally reach those places.

a few years ago, i booked two flights as my surprise gifts for my then boyfriend, to celebrate our joint birthdays in hong kong disneyland and our 5th anniversary in coron, palawan. unfortunately, we ended up parting ways so i had no choice but to have those flights cancelled. of course i had the choice of rebooking them, but i was too emotionally dysfunctional to even think of pursuing those trips alone. we both dreamed of going to those places together, but i know deep down i was more excited to go there compared to him. and so i promised myself that one day, i will go to those two places and enjoy it to the fullest, without associating any part of that vacation with a bad memory from the past. last 2011, that promise i made to myself indeed came true. :) i first went to palawan and it was such a super memorable trip because aside from it being one of my “ultimate local dreamStinations”, i was also able to do my most adventurous experience so far = shipwreck diving! before going there, i used to think of bohol as the best beach spot in the philippines, followed by boracay then davao, but the moment i saw palawan from all the way inside the airplane, i knew my ranking will definitely change. the view of the island alone was so breathtaking, not to mention the marine life all over coron. i loved it so much i just know i will be back for more. i fell in love with the place beyond my expectations, and i went home making it my top 1 beach spot locally. i’m sorry bohol, but palawan has really transformed me. ☆

then we move on to my personal dream destinations, two places that are very close to my heart: disneyland and universal studios. there’s not much explanation needed here, i know you would simply understand why this has gotta be included in my list. the only thing that makes this special is the fact that i was able to go to these 2 places all in one year, just months apart, and that i have been dying to go to them ever since i was a kid. i went to universal studios and both my iq and eq dropped to a toddler’s level. i enjoyed it so much that i lined up more than once in some rides, good thing i was with someone who was as game as myself. being there made me feel like crying, another reason is because singapore just holds a special place in my heart too. it’s a place that i would consider settling in, if only given the chance to. ㋡ then after four months i entered the magic world of disneyland. it was so special that i really cried the entire time during the characters parade and even till the fireworks at night. i’m so so so in love with the little mermaid plus aladdin’s theme “a whole new world" so just imagine me pouring my heart out when i heard them play it during the fireworks. it was so unforgettable, every time i look back on my days spent there, it still plays so vividly fresh in my memory. thank God this time, i’m old enough to store it in my thought bubble forever.

in addition, this one i didn’t really “dream of” since childhood but i was too privileged to experience it also last year: my first mini cruise! i spent valentine’s day in thailand and what better way to wrap it up than having a cruise for us to fully capture the wonderful spots and sceneries. i was so emotionally high that time because it’s my first ever valentine’s day outside the philippines plus i was actually in a cruise!!! the setting was so romantic, though some things that only my closest friends know suddenly popped up to ruin the moment. haha! looking back, i just want to laugh it off because looking at the bigger picture, it was a trip that surely attributed to my growth as an individual, plus it also triggered my strong desire to spend the entire 2011 traveling.

and my last mention would be the place where i spent my 26th birthday together with my bestEST friends, doing the bestEST sport that i ever learned (scuba diving) —- a beachcapade in pamilacan and balicasag islands in bohol. it’s not my first time in bohol, but it’s the first time that we spent my birthday there in our newly built family house plus we got to be royal beach bums for a couple of days in my relatives’ spot, part of pamilacan island. it was extremely special because i was also able to convince my friends to try out scuba diving. it wasn’t a pleasant experience for one of my friends, but the two others managed to dive with flying colors. it’s an unexplainable feeling sharing your passion with someone, and this time i was so proud that even at least for an hour, they were able to relate to one of my absolute source of happiness. my birthday trip there will always and forever be in my heart, no matter how old we all get.  

i’ve been certainly blessed to travel most of my 2011, with more places i’ve gone to for the first time, but these 5 locations are the ones that ultimately stuck with me for the sentimental memories behind them. at times i still look back and still feel in denial that i’ve actually done it, pursued some of my dreamStinations, but i know that i shouldn’t stop there. i’m only turning 27 this year, i still have a long list to go, and i know that i will be able to reach all those places before i leave this world. I’M CLAIMING IT! 👍

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 5th - dream aquaventures ☑


there is nothing more that can ease my stress and worries away than to be in the beach. i believe i was a mermaid in my past life, i really do. ever since i was born, i’ve been exposed to that kind of environment because my family owns a beach house in the province and that is why we were raised to be beach bums. while most parents would be so controlling and protective over their kids’ sun exposure and swimming duration, my parents were too cool to just let us be. i can’t even remember how many times i had damaged face/back due to excessive peeling, but thank God i’m blessed with good skin that recovers fast. it’s simply in our genes. ;)

since i mentioned that we’re a family of frequent beach goers, it doesn’t come as a surprise that my siblings and i are into water sports as well. while i’m into scuba diving, two of my siblings are into windsurfing and another brother of mine is into surfing. i am very happy that for the first time, i actually got to enter their worlds by trying out these 2 sports.

it was march last year when my friend and i accompanied my sister when she went to her usual windsurfing resort when i suddenly decided to seriously learn the sport. i have tried it a couple of years ago when my eldest brother attempted to teach me, but i was a complete failure. balancing on the board alone was such a struggle. on that day however, i just got possessed and had this unexplainable desire to be a certified windsurfer, at least till i finally get to balance on the board. i actually paid for a formal tutorial and spent almost an hour sailing with my instructor. i remember feeling so nervous as i found the sail to be so heavy, plus the whole time my focus was not to let it fall, including myself, not because i was scared of being thrown in the middle of the ocean but because it was such a hassle going back up on the board. i did fall off once, but surprisingly… the next thing i knew i was already navigating it all on my own without my instructor’s guidance plus i got to sail back to the shore solo! the instructor jumped off on the way back and left me alone on the board, making me my own captain. i felt so ecstatic as soon as i hit the sand part, and my friend plus the other people there told me that they could see sparks in my eyes. yes, i was giggling like a kid, it was such a proud moment for me! ;)

after i crossed out windsurfing from my bucket list, of course i wanted to jump to the next level - surfing. this time i had to convince another brother of mine since he’s the only one who surfs in our family. after aggressive pleading, we finally had the time to hit a surfing resort during the halloween break. he brought us to this beach resort, this time northern part of the philippines, and i felt goose bumps as soon as i saw the surfboards lined up and displayed outside the resort. i could feel it in my bones, it was such a "dizizit!" moment. unfortunately, the waves sucked at that time so i didn’t manage to go home with flying colors. i spent most of the time watching and learning how to do the proper strokes and positions, but the waves just weren’t cooperating. i was still happy though, for i got to explore once again outside my comfort zone. i made my brother promise me that we will not stop until i formally learn, and that is definitely included in my goals this year. ✔

i can’t wait till i become a pro in these two… the only thing missing is for me to be put in a cage so i can dive with sharks. someday, life. someday… ㋡

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 6th - dream stress relievers ☑     if there’s one thing that i absolutely hate about me, it’s having the poor ability to do time management. this is probably the main reason why i’m anything but sporty, except when it involves water activities. it’s because of this realization that i decided to make some changes and dare myself yet again. it was only towards the end of the year that i drafted an ideal balanced schedule where i made sure to go back to what i used to do years ago, and even try out something new! i’m a certified insomniac so waking up early just to perform them was enough challenge, not to mention that my work schedule is mostly graveyard shift too. thank God i was successful in doing them all over again.  it’s a fact that i love swimming, but after a long time i finally decided to take it a notch higher by actually swimming in a larger pool, where professional swimmers actually practice and compete. i only used to swim in a small indoor lap pool nearby, but this time i decided to challenge my lungs and broaden my capabilities. i was so happy the first time i ever swam in that new pool, and the next thing i knew i was daring myself even more by increasing my round of lapses as days passed by. i was so thrilled, what kept me going was the fact that i was really doing what i loved best - being underwater! :)   then after a few weeks i tried muay thai again, the last time i did was actually in 2004! haha, such a gross amount of time to take a leave. i was a regular then, training under the philippine team in fact, then i just suddenly and i mean s u d d e n l y quit. the reason? wish i could reveal. of course i felt like dying during my first session, simply because my body was so surprised with the new activity. it was sooo far from my daily routine, but after a few sessions i got to adjust pretty well. then i moved on to bikram yoga. i first tried it 2 years ago and all i could remember was a combination of heaven and hell. hell because you feel dizzy due to the heat (duhhh that’s why it’s called heat yoga ü) but heaven because you feel so incredibly powerful afterwards. it was embarrassing to be a newbie since i was surrounded with people who were extremely flexible, but after around 20 mins or so you’ll find yourself actually going with the flow. and i shall repeat myself, the feeling afterwards is just really rewarding.   and to wrap it up, i’ve only done this once but i take full pride in it: i actually completed running around a whole oval track! as shallow as it may seem, that’s something to be so proud of considering i hate running with a passion! no exaggeration here, but i’d rather do cycling or elliptical trainers than jog/run on a treadmill. it simply bores the life out of me. but because i hated it that much, that became a motivation for me to actually train for around two weeks (it was the most free time i had last november) till finally one day, i got to run (not even walk!) the entire sports stadium. i was such in a high that i took a photo of that day once again, using my polaroid. at least for day in my life, i actually felt like winning in the olympics. ding ding ding! ★ ☆ ★    unfortunately december arrived and it was the busiest of all months in terms of my personal and work commitments. i had no choice but to temporarily take a leave again. i’m saying temporary because one of my new goals this year is to definitely work on my time management as soon as i finalize my balanced schedule (which should be done by end january), and these stress relievers should and will definitely be included in my regular routine. more than the vanity benefits, i have indeed realized the ever classic cliché… health is wealth! ✔

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 6th - dream stress relievers


if there’s one thing that i absolutely hate about me, it’s having the poor ability to do time management. this is probably the main reason why i’m anything but sporty, except when it involves water activities. it’s because of this realization that i decided to make some changes and dare myself yet again. it was only towards the end of the year that i drafted an ideal balanced schedule where i made sure to go back to what i used to do years ago, and even try out something new! i’m a certified insomniac so waking up early just to perform them was enough challenge, not to mention that my work schedule is mostly graveyard shift too. thank God i was successful in doing them all over again.

it’s a fact that i love swimming, but after a long time i finally decided to take it a notch higher by actually swimming in a larger pool, where professional swimmers actually practice and compete. i only used to swim in a small indoor lap pool nearby, but this time i decided to challenge my lungs and broaden my capabilities. i was so happy the first time i ever swam in that new pool, and the next thing i knew i was daring myself even more by increasing my round of lapses as days passed by. i was so thrilled, what kept me going was the fact that i was really doing what i loved best - being underwater! :)

then after a few weeks i tried muay thai again, the last time i did was actually in 2004! haha, such a gross amount of time to take a leave. i was a regular then, training under the philippine team in fact, then i just suddenly and i mean s u d d e n l y quit. the reason? wish i could reveal. of course i felt like dying during my first session, simply because my body was so surprised with the new activity. it was sooo far from my daily routine, but after a few sessions i got to adjust pretty well. then i moved on to bikram yoga. i first tried it 2 years ago and all i could remember was a combination of heaven and hell. hell because you feel dizzy due to the heat (duhhh that’s why it’s called heat yoga ü) but heaven because you feel so incredibly powerful afterwards. it was embarrassing to be a newbie since i was surrounded with people who were extremely flexible, but after around 20 mins or so you’ll find yourself actually going with the flow. and i shall repeat myself, the feeling afterwards is just really rewarding.

and to wrap it up, i’ve only done this once but i take full pride in it: i actually completed running around a whole oval track! as shallow as it may seem, that’s something to be so proud of considering i hate running with a passion! no exaggeration here, but i’d rather do cycling or elliptical trainers than jog/run on a treadmill. it simply bores the life out of me. but because i hated it that much, that became a motivation for me to actually train for around two weeks (it was the most free time i had last november) till finally one day, i got to run (not even walk!) the entire sports stadium. i was such in a high that i took a photo of that day once again, using my polaroid. at least for day in my life, i actually felt like winning in the olympics. ding ding ding! ★ ☆ ★

unfortunately december arrived and it was the busiest of all months in terms of my personal and work commitments. i had no choice but to temporarily take a leave again. i’m saying temporary because one of my new goals this year is to definitely work on my time management as soon as i finalize my balanced schedule (which should be done by end january), and these stress relievers should and will definitely be included in my regular routine. more than the vanity benefits, i have indeed realized the ever classic cliché… health is wealth!

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 7th - dream tame down


i was serious when i proclaimed that i was craving for a transformation from my 2010 life as i welcomed 2011. in line with this, part of rebooting myself was to attempt bidding farewell to my old bad habits, and that’s exactly what i have successfully achieved.

to summarize my 2010 self, almost half of my annual income just went straight to never ending gimmicks, nonstop parties, and of course, limitless drinking. i wouldn’t call it alcoholism, but i surely stepped a notch higher in terms of my alcohol intake. 2010 was a colorful year in terms of my social life, but i knew that it came to a point wherein it wasn’t healthy anymore. it would felt weird when a day would go by without drinking cocktails or beer or hard drinks, even as low as drinking alone just to “kill time”. there’s a specific restobar that i got so addicted to, simply because i found myself feeling very comfortable with the place and got to meet a lot of new friends. i would go there even after work, during weekdays, just to drink and mingle with different sets of friends. as expected, i even celebrated my birthday party there and since i was a “regular”, the manager gave me such an incredible deal and even threw surprise free drinks for me on that night. it surely was memorable, but one day i just woke up and decided it’s time to change my ways.

like what i’ve been consistently mentioning in my recent “2011” posts, i never really had nor believed in making a new year’s resolution. and since it’s the first time that i ever dared myself to make one, i decided it was timely to challenge myself in taming down as well. and so, even if it was sort of difficult for me to do, i promised that i will not step foot on that restobar again during the whole year. it was difficult at first, and i would even get sarcastic remarks from friends who were close to me and knew of my lifestyle, yet i did it. i actually stayed away from my home away from home, for almost 1 & a half years. and no i did not result to finding a new bar that i would make as a replacement, i simply took the initiative of really controlling my partying and going out every night, most especially my drinking habit.

then there’s another story about smoking cigarettes. since i’ve been traveling a lot whole 2011, i found it very difficult to adjust in most of the rules of hotels and resorts that involved smoking inside the room. admittedly, i wasn’t a heavy smoker, but when there were alcohol involved, my smoking would double. plus i soon realized, i had already developed an uncontrollable habit of smoking whenever i’m in the bathroom, and that’s the #1 thing that i wanted to stop. i became so dependent on smoking inside the bathroom, so i wanted to quit that by starting with my very own. it started only for 4 days, then weeks passed, the next thing i knew i was hitting the one month mark. don’t get me wrong though, my goal wasn’t to quit smoking at all, in fact i even avoided announcing it to the whole world so not to jinx it, but i was able to reach my goal. it took me more than 3 months of being smoke free, but on my birthday i ended up lighting a stick again due to being carried away with the wonderful celebration i was having. no regrets though, i’m not trying to sound defensive or anything, but if there’s one thing i learned is that it makes it so easy to quit, as long as you’re really determined to do it. in fact i got surprised that i didn’t have a hard time, only because i was focused on the goal of stop smoking inside the bathroom. up to this very day, yes it’s unfortunate that i still smoke, but i’m glad that my real mission (to cut my bathroom-dependence) was a huge success. i know in time, when i am fully ready and wholeheartedly prepared, i will decide to quit and it’s gonna be easy. in time. ;)

at present, i still haven’t gone back to my former favorite bar, but it’s also because a blessing came in last year when my sister acquired a bar that’s located very near my house. it would be hypocritical of me to say that i don’t drink a lot anymore, but i’m proud to say that i don’t drink as much as i used to. in fact, now i drink with friends only to entertain them whenever they try out my sister’s bar, without having the intention of getting drunk as a way of ‘escaping problems’ this time. it’s never too late to make changes in your life, and trust me when i say this… the moment you make a firm decision about something that has good intentions, the world conspires in making things fall into place. i’m glad i was able to tame down from my 2010 life. :-)

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 8th - dream revivals


there are plenty of things that i had missed so much and always craved of repeating them again but time never permitted in allowing me to. and that is why, it is with great happiness that i present the things that i was able to do AGAIN last 2011. these are activities that took me yearsss before being able to perform them again. they’re not even difficult to do, i just never found the time to re-do them again. :)

1. i don’t even remember the last time i rode a bike, not even any memory on who i was with. i’m just positive that i haven’t done it in the past 9 years, since i still have a somehow vivid memory of life in the recent 9 years. :) then finally one day, i just decided i wanted to bike again, if i still even knew how, so my wonderful friend accompanied me to qc circle and we were like children stuck in a playground. that day was hilarious because we were surrounded with kids and there we were, 2 full grown adults, biking the day away. we ended at night and the feeling was so unexplainable. it was sort of a shallow award winning moment that surely brought out the kiddie in me. and of course staying true to my “firsts tradition”, i took a shot again using my polaroid to capture that magical moment. ㋡

2. reading an entire book cover to cover • haha, yes. any close friend of mine would know that i’m anything but a book worm. i can read countless newspapers and magazine articles but my eyes always always and i mean always fail me whenever i read a book. and i’m not exaggerating at all, the one and only book which i have successfully finished from cover to cover, with no cheat whatsoever, was candice bushnell’s sex & the city, last 2003. and of course that’s due to the massive influence of the show, not even a wholeheartedly voluntary calling. even all my book reports during grade school and high school were done by former boyfriends. the only thing i had to do was review them carefully in order to pass all the oral tests that partnered with them. and for the record, i was so blessed enough to have such genius former lovers, for i got the highest grade in all my reports. haha!

going back to my revival, last year i was killing time in national bookstore when i suddenly found myself being mysteriously lured into the books section. i spent half an hour just browsing through the books displayed until my eyes spotted this shining shimmering book on one corner and i just got possessed and decided to purchase right then and there. frankly speaking, i was hypnotized to get it mainly because the title spoke of something that had been lingering my mind for the longest time. it was a double cover of two titles —- “why do bad things happen to good people?”, then the back had “why do good things happen to bad people?”. i was very pleased and satisfied with my impulse purchase because the book enlightened me in so many ways and made me realize a lot of things most especially on how i view life. i was very proud of it that i even shared it to my dad, and my dad in turn shared it to my brother-in-law. that move alone was enough to make me feel happy and contented about my repeated accomplishment. :)

i don’t know anymore…

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: 9th - dream recreational course


my mom is a magical cook. i’m not being biased, i could have written best or greatest. i chose magical simply because it’s the closest term that can describe her cooking skills. even if she was raised with a silver spoon, you’ll be amazed at how excellent she is in cooking and making her own signature dish, even without taking up any formal culinary course. she can come up with the most delicious tasting meals even when pressed for time. unfortunately though, she got into an accident just a couple of years ago so now she can’t cook anymore due to her medical condition. it’s because of her that i was so inspired to learn how to cook, hoping to achieve even half of what she used to do. this is the primary reason why i’m so eager to have a ‘career’ in the kitchen… aside from being the taster. ;)

then there’s my dad, who’s a diabetic. he has an extreme sweet tooth, probably what we, his kids, all got from him. during the holiday season last 2010, it was painful to see how he would try to avoid all the delicacies during parties, and how his face would glow whenever he finds something sugar-free. this is likewise the reason why i got so motivated to finally clear my schedule and just do it - take up culinary! :)

my very first class was a short recreational course that involved baking sugar-free desserts. i wanted to take another course, but i prioritized this mainly to surprise my dad. it was such a happy day, i remember giggling at the start of the class because being in that room alone already felt like a dream come true. sounds shallow, but it’s something i’ve been wanting to do for years… i just never found time to follow my heart. i bake though, but it’s all experimental and very limited to the flavors i want (mostly mango and hazelnut chocolate). this time however, it felt different as it was something formal already so i found myself learning all the “right” fundamentals of baking.

soon after, i graduated from baking to cooking and what makes me more proud is knowing the other more important stuff, like chop, dice, boil, marinate, mince, and other things that once sounded as alien terms. of course i knew what they meant, i just didn’t know how to “formally perform” them while cooking. at present i’m so far from being called a cook, but i have improved a lot from a simple “eater”. best of all, now i can cook my own favorite filipino dish without asking for the maids’ help. =Þ

when i get to have my own place in the future, i will definitely make sure that my kitchen will be anything but ordinary. it’s something that i will absolutely save up for so i can have my own playground right in my own home! ♨

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: polaWall for the very first time in my entire life, i made a new year’s resolution last 2011: “just say yes!”. it wasn’t actually a resolution but more of a goal. it was plain & simple: reboot myself, step out of my comfort zone, be an entirely different person, & most importantly, fall in love with myself all over again.   i spent most of my growing up years being sheltered & pampered by my environment, namely family members, significant others, friends, relatives, colleagues… the very thing that i feared the most was to do things alone. not that i couldn’t bare to be independent, but i grew up always surrounded with a lot of people, so it’s in my nature to really “share” myself almost all the time. & for the first time ever, i dared myself to start exploring my dreams & begin going for my ‘desires’ alone. no family member to comfort me, no lover to accompany me, & no friend to join me. as much as possible, just me. :)  for 2011 i bought a polaroid & made sure to capture special moments in my life that i did for the first time. here is my photo wall in my room that shows some of the highlights of my year. that’s far from complete, as some of my “first” adventures were taken from my mobile phone. i’ll be sharing the 11 memorable moments as individual posts. stay tuned!
thank you so much, 2011. most especially to february, may, july, september and december, i will always cherish the blissful memories that took place on those months. ✌

✈ 11 memorable firsts in 2011: polaWall


for the very first time in my entire life, i made a new year’s resolution last 2011: “just say yes!”. it wasn’t actually a resolution but more of a goal. it was plain & simple: reboot myself, step out of my comfort zone, be an entirely different person, & most importantly, fall in love with myself all over again.

i spent most of my growing up years being sheltered & pampered by my environment, namely family members, significant others, friends, relatives, colleagues… the very thing that i feared the most was to do things alone. not that i couldn’t bare to be independent, but i grew up always surrounded with a lot of people, so it’s in my nature to really “share” myself almost all the time. & for the first time ever, i dared myself to start exploring my dreams & begin going for my ‘desires’ alone. no family member to comfort me, no lover to accompany me, & no friend to join me. as much as possible, just me. :)

for 2011 i bought a polaroid & made sure to capture special moments in my life that i did for the first time. here is my photo wall in my room that shows some of the highlights of my year. that’s far from complete, as some of my “first” adventures were taken from my mobile phone. i’ll be sharing the 11 memorable moments as individual posts. stay tuned!

thank you so much, 2011. most especially to february, may, july, september and december, i will always cherish the blissful memories that took place on those months. ✌

in line with my last entry about “saying yes” to my 2011 life, here lies another trivia about my previous year.

ever since 2011 started, i made sure to have just one status in my blackberry messenger to make sure that i never break my goal all year 24/7. 

how quick time flies… now it’s time to set a new goal status that shall guide me throughout the whole 2012! ;)

in line with my last entry about “saying yes” to my 2011 life, here lies another trivia about my previous year.

ever since 2011 started, i made sure to have just one status in my blackberry messenger to make sure that i never break my goal all year 24/7.

how quick time flies… now it’s time to set a new goal status that shall guide me throughout the whole 2012! ;)

YES MAN {2009}

A guy challenges himself to say “yes” to everything for an entire year.


last january 2009, i watched this in the cinema when it was launched & it immediately created an impact on me because it involved 3 things that are very dear to me: photography, adventures, plus stars that included the one & only jim carrey, the ever so hot bradley cooper, & of course my female crush, zooey deschanel. it surely entertained me, but my fascination ended the same time that the movie ended. in other words, it wasn’t enough to be included in my “all time favorite films”.

then came october 2010. i was going through a difficult stage in my personal life when one night i randomly caught this showing on hbo. i laid there & watched it again for the second time, however something unexplainable hit me right after the movie finished. it was as if a divine intervention had occurred, i actually cried during & after watching the entire film. it suddenly drew realizations & most of the actors’ lines really stabbed me. in the end, i realized, it may sound insane, but i had this new found urge to be a yes woman.

2010 was such a colorful year. though having to face a lot of trials back then, it wasn’t exactly rebelling but it was a period when i would be out most of the time, including weeknights, doing nothing except drinking & partying with friends. i had my share of problems, and admittedly i was “running away” from a lot of things. in other words, i was a leading a life that was so safe, so predictable, nothing but routinary.

after watching, i suddenly had this crazy idea of daring myself to be a yes woman only for a week. it was such a miracle that i lasted it & the “dares” that came my way ranged from shallow to totally something that’s beyond my usual self, even included doing errands i’d usually refuse to do & saying yes to a date from a guy who has asked me out a couple of times but i’d always end up declining. trust me, it was fun in a way, but it was one of those moments that i wished that self dare didn’t exist. not that he was awful, i was really the one who had issues that time.

fast forward to december 2010, i had this deep craving to reboot myself anew in the coming year. i missed that week-dare i did a few months back, and it was then when i decided that come 2011, i will be a yes woman the entire year. it was a new found goal, a resolution that i never exactly had and believed in. of course there were certain limitations, especially if it involved monetary matters, but as a whole it was a goal to start saying yes to life. my ideal life. it was time to step out of my comfort zone and start living the life that i have dreamed of, and doing things that i’ve always desired to explore & revive.

now it’s january 2012, a year after i promised myself to say yes to my new life, & through God’s ways i am very proud & happy to say that 2011 was the best year for me in terms of self fulfillment & self growth. i found myself doing things i’ve been wanting to do, going to places that i’ve dreamed of visiting, & best of all, maturing in a way that i have never thought of achieving. it was nothing but a crazy decision, but i sure don’t regret doing it at all, not even a tiny ounce.

one day i hope to meet jim carrey or zooey deschanel in person, & simply thank them for making this film that happened to be the root of my life’s turn around in 2011. (of course i can only dream, but i tweeted them though ت) it’s never too late to live your life. if you find yourself having that "urge" of starting all over, i leave you 3 simple yet powerful words: just say yes!

ideal target for the whole year.

let's run away and don't ever look back, don't ever look back! =j