Yesterday I was able to finish one of the books in my to-be-read pile (which seems to be getting higher each year), it was shelved for two years before I finally got around to reading it. I remember how long it has been because I bought it right after graduation, courtesy of the toga rental fee that mother allowed me to have. I won’t also forget how I squealed with delight when I saw it in the shelf of Booksale; it has been on my list for months and on that day I finally got to take home The Help.

I have a rule that I should read the book first before watching its film adaptation, but this one was an exception. The movie was so good that I just had to buy and read the book. It’s a proof that a movie and a book can co-exist without one being great than the other (because we always tend to say that the one on paper is much better than the one on screen).


It all began on a mindless summer afternoon. I was a 9-year-old girl who’s starting to die out of boredom. I’ve scanned the bookshelf for the second time around hoping to catch an interesting title to read, but instead, my eyes landed on the strings of a queer looking book with Dragon Ball Z as the cover. I anticipated to find interesting drawings inside, only to be faced with blank pages. It was my first encounter with a sketch book. Though we may have melted crayons or blew watercolor droplets across pages during our elementary days, I can say that the seed of art was planted during the time that I held this sketchbook in my hands and discovered the joy of drawing.

The next minutes were spent copying young Goku from a poster. While the next days were spent convincing my brother and mother that I did not traced it, but copied it (hahaha there’s a huge difference you know). They wouldn’t believe me! They actually thought that I was lying. But when I repeated drawing another comic book character, they finally did. It was the height of afternoon anime, so the rest of the pages were filled with characters that I have grown to love. When you’re a 9 year-old, there’s a certain feeling that anything you draw can be considered as an art. It gave me the confidence I need to start joining poster making contests in school, eventually winning first and second place most of the time. It gave me hope that I have a future in pursuing this thing called art.


Two weeks has already passed since I ended my longest hiatus (40 days) from social media. Now that I’m back on the regular rounds of status, 3 x 3 grid, and more or less 140 characters to express my thoughts, I found myself thinking back to the time when I shut it off.

During the first week of my absence, people and fried were wondering, Why did you disconnect? Are you deactivated? Why the need? Well, because I was fed up. I was overwhelmed with all these things that a screen can present for hours without an end. The internet became a labyrinth that I didn’t know how to get out off. It was eating me up, and I was already beginning to feel lost. On the deeper side of things, I found myself questioning my own posts; do the things I post online still reflect a real version of me? Is there still authenticity? I might just be a bad case of being an over thinker, but still it bothered me.


The last time I read a Nicholas Sparks novel was during my freshman year in college. The university’s library has always been refuge for me, but when I discovered that it also housed a variety of fiction books it became a little bit of heaven. I borrowed books every week and most of it were Sparks’ novels.

It was a two-week marathon of love stories with heartbreaking tragedies; eventually this plot grew familiar that I can already guess who would die or be involved in an accident. The love scenes got too descriptive for me, so after a month I stopped reading his novels. It turned around last week because of much-needed break from all the deep and serious stuff that I’ve been reading. When a colleague/friend offered me to lend her copy of The Longest Ride, I accepted with the thought that giddy or kilig novels can be a good break.


It's a millenial's battle - to keep on doing what you need or to leave it all behind and to pursue the things that you love. One of my high school friends once said that pursuing your passion is an entitlement -- something that only the privileged ones can do (those who have unlimited funds to supply their dreams or those people who don't need to worry about grinding a 9-5 job). There are moments of frustration when I am thisclose to believing that his statement is true, but there's a huge part in me that won't give in to this idea. It seems that saying yes to the fact dream jobs are achieved only by the privileged is like killing my own dreams. So, at this season of my life I beg to disagree.

Day Job vs. Dream Job, is one better than the other? The Great Discontent's newsletter came right on time in my inbox as I was pondering these thoughts. I could babble on this for so long, but I know that I belong to the category of people who hustles in order to figure out the right balance of things. Read instead the round up of the online content shared by TGD on their weekend newsletter and other related podcast and blog posts found along the way:


It's one of life's comfort; there are times when I find myself sitting there, looking around, and feeling that sometimes this is a better refuge than our own home.

My last year in high school taught me how to drink coffee, but it was four years spent in college that made me love this drink. It became a need for a sleepy head like me to the point that I can now classify 3-in-1 coffees based on its caffeine effect. It might be such a nerdy claim but my body was able to memorize the kind of coffee it needs to pull out an all-nighter, or last until my twelve noon classes, or even survive for another 24 hours.  It even became a substitute for water during the last stretch of our thesis (yes, coffee dependent at its best). It became a constant companion until now that I am working.

With the rise of third wave coffee, there's just a lot of places to drink, to visit, and to hang out in every corner. Back then we had to wait to be seated on a jam packed place. Can I just say that student nowadays have more choices when it comes to coffee shops? It's everywhere in the metro and my list of must-go places keeps on getting longer. For a coffee lover, this is such a treat.

I try to tick one coffee shop each month, whether it be with friends or for some quiet time alone. Sometimes I come for the coffee, sometimes I come in because of the place. No matter, the warmth it offers me never changes. It's a place to be -- somewhere you'll need not an excuse to be alone.



I can't pinpoint when I started to become drawn to them, but I know that these things we call nouns, verbs, adjectives and more -- I've truly learn to love them. Maybe it's because of my exposure to poems, or reading posts from newly discovered bloggers, or the simple act of practicing the old art of calligraphy and lettering has made them more special.

I've been on a reading spree lately; from blogs, newspapers, magazine, and books. I must say that if we are what we eat, we also become what we read. So I devoured each page, as if eating every word can make me good in letting the ink rush through paper. I can't help but admire people whose words seamlessly form into something wonderful. The gift of expressing myself through the written language can be quite evasive.

I stalled writing this entry because facing the blank page has become a bit more difficult for me. I am overcome with this thinking that everything will come sounding like a news report or a research paper. But I still want to improve. To break free from my mold. Not out of insecurity, but out of the desire to write something worth reading. And with that thought sprout another desire -- to find my own voice. To not be a mere echo of someone else. To have my own words instead of borrowed ones.

It might seem like a blabber for now, but I am hoping that in time these words of mine will solidify itself on these blank pages.


“A hundred days! I can recall the questions that raced through my mind before I decided to jump in: can I handle it? Will I push through when my schedule is jammed? Will I show up everyday, even when it hurts? – especially when it hurts?” -Elle Luna


These exact thoughts were running in my mind as I joined the challenge. It was a last minute decision mixed with excitement, fear, doubt, and a whole lot of mixed emotions. Knowing myself, I am aware that I tend to lose my sense of excitement in doing creative things or maybe anything in particular that requires my attention everyday. It makes me think if it will make me a slacker artist in the future. But this weakness was actually the reason why I jumped into the challenge – to develop discipline in handling my creativity. Art takes time and practice and patience. Excitement may die but I hope that my desire to improve in this craft won’t.


I finally got around the task of cleaning my first Tumblr blog and was successfully able to move in another address. It was an exhausting thing to do, even if there were only 500+ posts, hiding them one by one took its toll in my eyes. I was thisclose to deleting them all just so I can make the process quicker, but of course some of them are precious memories of my college life that I can't bear to part with. Blame it on my sentimentality, but I just had to keep them even if they are now for my eyes only.

Looking back, I realized how much I struggled back then. It was only a personal blog filled with day to day events of a normal college girl, but at the back of my mind I wanted so much more. Most of the people I followed were cool "It" girls (if you've been in Tumblr for so long you know what I mean, and you know who they are), and some dashing dudes who seem to have it all; Name it: followers, sponsors, free passes to events, and free travel! Wow, who wouldn't want that? Because I must admit that I really did.  So I tried to achieve this same kind of status that they have and made sure that every post is well thought-of, a quote that every one can relate to, artistically curated photoset, and everything else in between. I wanted traffic, I wanted followers, I wanted to be recognized for whatever I put out there.

Only now did I realize that I wanted my blog to click so much, for that little space in the world wide web to matter, without knowing that I wasn't creating the sound that I want, but I have become a mere noise. Seriously, I didn't know that I was so frustrated for that kind of blogging career. It was like that moment when Ariel exchanged her voice for a pair of feet. Apologies for going on sappy Disney mode here, but there's no denying that I wanted to be a part of that "cool" blogging world. But three paragraphs after, and more than four years of staying in Tumblr that didn't happen.

So what's the point? Haha! I guess being inactive from that platform for almost a year did me good. I was truly reminded this time of why I started to blog, why I want to put my thoughts out there, why I want to post pictures or create typography, why I want to improve my writing skills -- and that is to share stories. To not desire too much superficial things but to actually connect with people, to read their blogs, to find a common ground, and eventually make one less stranger out of them. For years I've been trying so hard without knowing that the only thing I need is to share my story, to go down deeper in my heart and have the guts to actually put it out for other people to see.

After testing the waters for so long, this is the first time that I've felt excited that I have little space for my thoughts once again. I finally understood what take it slowly and be yourself truly means. I don't know how long I will continue blogging or how long I can keep this active; new questions will present itself as the days progress, but for now all we have are stories for the time being.


Tree months running and most of my blog posts seem to be stacked in the drafts corner. Going back to the groove of blogging after a long time of not being able to write can be quite a challenge. I'm measuring up the capacity of my schedule, the tone and the voice of this little space. For now, let me share to you the 15 things that can lighten up my mood (thanks for tagging me Arli!). After all, lists can never go wrong.

1. Reading books, blogs, and magazines (nowadays, I prefer the not so glossy ones though).
2. Drinking coffee - a great companion from college days until the daily hustle at work.
3. Doing artsy fartsy stuff; drawing, sketching, calligraphy, and D.I.Y. decors are my favorite.
4. Watching movies.
5. Spending quality time with family and friends.
6. Discovering hole-in-the-wall cafes and restaurants.
7. Eating breakfast food.
8. Watching the sunrise (which is actually quite ironic because I'm not a morning person).
9. Receiving and sending snail mail or handwritten letters.
10. Taking long walks when I'm stressed out.
11. Flowers -- especially the sunny kind.
12. Poetry (but then sometimes it can be heartbreaking too). #somuchfeels
13. Being able to put my thoughts in paper.
14. Traveling and adventures in different places.
15. Encouraging and connecting with other people.


What if this hashtag is applied in my life and the way I portray myself in social media? I wonder how my posts would look like without any filter at all; These thoughts played in my mind a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure that the answers to those questions wouldn’t look anywhere near like a perfectly set meal, or an artistically designed coffee, nor a colorful typography.

Life without filter is somewhere between the good, the bad, and the messy parts of our day to day lives. It’s a picture of struggling with the snooze button every morning, or trying to get a good spot on the jeepney to and from work (commuters know that this scene looks straight out from the World War Z movie at times), or even eating at the nearby carinderia to save some money. In this day of Instagram worthy pictures the challenge to be authentic is real.

Maybe this is just the over thinker in me writing and typing these words, more or less to serve as a reminder that my petty problems are nowhere near what other people are experiencing outside the world wide web. Something to make me realize that I should not be obsessed in getting the perfect angle but to appreciate every waking moment of this life, even if things aren’t always brought to perfection. That the photos I post, the words that I write, the art that I create, or the review of the books and things I have seen be of use to create a connection to other people. Not out of vain to gain the much coveted attention, but out of the sincerity of the heart to share something worthwhile.

The photo above is my everyday view from the office. It’s not a grand skyline nor a pleasing patch of green grass, yet it did not fail to show me that life is made of this – the good and bad times. There may be struggles when buildings are still under construction, but this is how we lay down our foundations: by going through different processes, and accepting the fact that we are a continuous work in progress. Situations may seem as messy as the flow of thoughts in this blog post, still understanding is gained when the time is right. In the end, everything will finally makes sense.