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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Letter to Myself

Dear Katherine,

This is the first time I'm writing a letter to you. Most of the time, you just make a mental note of the things I want to tell your active self, but this time, I'm writing them down and publishing them on your blog. You'll be welcoming 2014 in a matter of hours, and while other people make New Year's resolutions that they would probably break come May or June, I'm jotting down reminders for you, hoping that these reminders would help you create a year free of negative vibes.

This 2014...

1. Stop thinking that your friends and Facebook contacts are living a better life than you are. That you are an underachiever compared with your friends who have finished or are pursuing their master's degrees. That you are not saving enough compared with your friends who have gone to Europe, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, and other countries for leisure. That--pardon the shallowness--you are not as pretty as your friends who post their selfies and OOTDs. Facebook is a huge, virtual stage, and everyone wants to be a star (yup, yourself included), that's why everyone puts their best foot forward and show their best selves. You may not be traveling to Europe, but it doesn't mean that your life is boring. It's just as awesome, but in a different way.

2. You may have fewer friends than before, but friendships grow deeper as you grow older. You may doubt if your friends from way back are still your friends, but you don't have to worry about that. Just look at the people who are still there for you, who make an effort to stay in touch with you, who say "hi" on social media because they genuinely want to know how you're doing, and not because they want to discuss a "business opportunity" (a.k.a pyramid scheme!). You may not get invited to dinners or night-outs or drinking sprees (uhm, you don't drink), but at least, you get to stay home while everyone else is braving the Saturday night traffic jam. And your dearest is always there to take you out on a date if all your other friends don't want to meet up.

3. People around you don't have to like you, and you don't have to like them either. It's hard to trust people, because you never know if they really care for you or if they're just waiting for the right time to stab you. Just maintain a civil relationship with them. You don't have to be friends with them, nor do you have to add them up on Facebook.

4. You may have stopped singing, but don't give up music altogether. Remember, you can play the piano. Your last performance may have been a decade ago, but it doesn't mean that you can no longer play. You know the basics (you've never forgotten them). You just have to practice and be confident and most of all, have fun. Give a lot of heart instead of striving to be perfect all the time.

5. You have a lot of things to look forward to in 2014. Look beyond your career. Look beyond money matters. Believe that God has wrapped a huge present for you that it will take you 12 months to fully open it. And as you tear the wrapper piece by piece, blessings unravel one by one. They are for you, so treasure them and make them grow.

That's all for now. Maybe five reminders are all you need to start the year right. You don't have to have a perfect year, but you do have to make it good. So here I am, hoping that with these reminders, you can have an awesome 2014.

Stay cheerful and don't wipe that smile away.

Lots of love,

Your innermost self

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tangled... No More!

Don't you just hate it when your earphone cord gets all tangled in your bag, drawer, or desk? I've seen earphone cord wraps in stores that sell storage and organizing tools, but for me they're pricey for such an item. I know you can simply wrap your earphone cord around anything, like a piece of cardboard, but don't you want something cute to do the job?

While I was sourcing for items to feature in our magazine at furniture store Dimensione, I spotted this:

And I loved it! So I bought Mr. Gingerbread Man and strangled him with my earphone cord. Haha! And of course, I just had to take a photo of him, so I asked my teammate Paula to style him for me before I posted the photo on my Instagram page (@_rainbowfantasy). And now, I'm happily sharing the photo with you. Isn't he cute? 

So there. No more tangled earphone cord in my handbag. And oh, this gingerbread man cord wrap isn't expensive, unlike those that I saw in other stores. It's just P44.75 at Dimensione, so feel free to get one for yourself or even for your friends this Christmas. 

And speaking of Christmas, it's the first of December tomorrow! Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I always look forward to it because of the loads of family time and the spirit of giving in the air. How about you? What are you looking forward to this Christmas? 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Life Update

Borrowing the words of Furree Katt, let me call this post a life update. 

What have I been up to for the past three months? 

Last September 28, my boyfriend and I watched another ballet performance by Ballet Philippines. It's titled "Rock Supremo" and it was all about the life of one our heroes, Andres Bonifacio, the supremo, the founder of the Katipunan, and the Father of Philippine Revolution. I believe he should have been our National Hero instead of Jose Rizal, because he really wanted the Philippines to be independent from Spain (and not merely an annex of Spain). But that begs a lot of debates, discussions, and another post here. 

In the ballet performance, the life of Andres Bonifacio wasn't shown in chronological order, as if we were in a History class. It was full of insights, which was good especially for the students who watched. It's easy to memorize dates and facts, but insights help give depth to what our heroes have done to our Motherland. Even if Andres Bonifacio isn't our National Hero, he is certainly one of our country's greatest heroes. 

Here's my picture with the performers after the show: 

And that was my September. October is my next favorite month (after December), because that's my birthday month. I turned 25 last October 9. I took a leave from work and treated my family to ice cream at Magnolia Flavor House, Robinsons Magnolia. What a sweet celebration! I loved how my four-year-old niece was amazed at her huge glass of ice cream--called "Dare Devil"--complete with two cones protruding like horns. I ordered a strawberry and vanilla concoction (I forgot what it's called), and I loved how subtly sweet it is. 

Here's a photo of me and my family at the Magnolia Ice Cream House:

My sister and I

What was my birthday wish? I'll keep it a secret. Hehe. 

Then, in the evening, I met up with my boyfriend for my customary birthday date. Haha! We had dinner at Pizza Hut, and then we watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. We had seen Cloudy with a Chance 1, and when we found out that Part 2 would be shown in October, we planned to watch it on my birthday. Yey for good, happy vibes on my special day! 

Of October was fun-filled, November was rather grim. Typhoon Haiyan wreaking havoc in Central Philippines was--and continues to be--heartbreaking. And at that time, too, my maternal grandfather passed away. When we were told that his condition wasn't getting any better, my mom and her siblings decided to sign the DNR forms and let him go. We (my cousins and I) did, too. My mom and her siblings were full of grief, but I'm sure they will eventually be okay. Christmas, however, just won't be the same. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

More Than Delighted by Giselle

Last Saturday, my dearest and I watched the ballet Giselle, performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) by Ballet Philippines (BP). This is the third BP performance that I've seen--the first two are Encantanda and Inamorata in 2011. Both are contemporary pieces.

My dearest and I were seated at the front row, and little did I know that I would be seated next to the lead dancer's family. Yep, that's right. I was seated next to the family of Katherine Trofeo, who played Giselle. Beside her father-in-law to be exact. He was recording the whole performance. At first, I thought he was tasked by the CCP to do that. Only during the 15-minute intermission did I learn that the group beside my was Katherine's family.

Her father-in-law might have noticed me clapping enthusiastically (along with the other members of the audience) at jaw-dropping moments during Act I. When the lights were turned on during the break, he asked me:

Father-in-law: How did you find it?
Me: The dancers were all so great and beautiful. And the last part was so.... awwww.... (gesturing to mean "heartbreaking". I was so stunned by the performance that I couldn't find the right words to describe how I felt at that moment!)
Father-in-law: This one is starred by my daughter-in-law.
Me (didn't quite understand at first but then, it dawned on me): Oooohhhh...

In Act II, Giselle was already dead and she was already with the Wilis, the spirits of women who have died with broken hearts. And boy, how they portrayed being the Wilis so well! They were really like spirits floating on stage; they freaked the audience out! My dearest kept whispering to me, "Nakakatakot..." (scary). How they danced on their toes, the graceful movement of their arms, and the flutter of their white dresses all worked to create a ghost-like effect on stage.

Giselle is all about love and forgiveness, and at the end of the show, I was able to see those. I was able to feel those, and I think that's the most important part. I felt every emotion that was felt by the characters, especially because I was seated in front and I could see all their expressions (but perhaps even if I was seated at the back, I would still be as moved as I was sitting in front). Despite the rainy weather last Saturday, Giselle was worth going to the CCP for.

After the show, I congratulated Katherine Trofeo's father-in-law. He and the rest of the family must be so proud of her. When the dancers went out to the lobby, I approached some of them (Katherine included!) and personally congratulated them. And of course, I turned my fangirl mode on, and had my dearest take photos of me together with some of the dancers.

     With Monica, one of those who
     played the Wilis                           

     With Emmanuel, one of those who         With Earl John, who played Hilarion, 
       played the peasants                               the peasant who is in love with Giselle

    And of course, with Katherine Trofeo, 
    who played Giselle, and her son

I just wasn't able to get hold of Jean Marc Cordero, who played Albrecht, the lead male role. Maybe next time, because I'll definitely watch BP's next show in September, and for sure, I'll approach them again to personally congratulate them for a fantastic performance. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Project: Fix My Desk

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon, and I had nothing to do. So I decided to clean my room and fix my messy desk. My room is just small, but there are a lot of surfaces to wipe and dust off because of the open shelves. Plus, I also need to wipe my books clean before putting them back to the shelves.

My desk is probably the area in my room that is most prone to mess. It's right beside the door, so I have the tendency to just dump things on it when I enter. I also tend to just leave bills and other pieces of paper on it, despite the fact that I already assigned storage boxes for them. So what I did was keep all the bills, which have piled up on my desk, inside the storage box (it's actually a tin can from Kamiseta. The tin can is the packaging of the clothes or shoes bought from the store) and put the storage box on the shelf under my desk. I transferred a plastic storage box, which was originally on the shelf, on top of my cabinet (you just have to love that space between the cabinet and the ceiling) to make make way for the Kamiseta tin can. Other little storage boxes (full of letters, notes, and other causes of clutter) also went with the Kamiseta tin can.

I then placed a framed portrait of me, drawn by my dearest, on my desk, together with a few books and magazines, and my little Matryoshka doll collection. My laptop stayed on my desk along with pencils and other writing materials placed on a mug. Here is my desk:

It's still far from "Whoa!" levels, but at least it's orderly. I'll spruce it up soon, but I'll fix the other areas of my room first. Next project: my dresser. 

How about you? How did you spend your Saturday? 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hats Off!

I have a thing for hats. I'm fascinated with them. It started with buying a bonnet when my cousins, my sister, and I were in Baguio five years ago. I don't have a photo of myself wearing that bonnet because the photo is in my Multiply account and as we all know, Multiply is already gone. Anyway, that bonnet is a knitted one and it has alternating rows of yellow green, pink, white, and blue on it. It looks so sweet, and the colors are girly-girl. It's best worn with a smile.

Fast forward a few years later, my fascination for hats has not diminished, yet I don't think it has progressed to the next level called love. Whenever I see hats piled on a shelf in a shop, I try one or two on, but most of the time, I don't end up buying. Maybe I just don't want to spend money, but I think it's because the style isn't something I would fall in love with. So even if I'm fascinated with hats, I own just three: one is the bonnet I talked about, one is a hat with a colorful fabric (a gift), and another one is a red hat with a rolled up brim, which is my favorite as of the moment.

Here it is:

That's an Instagram photo of me having fun at Hong Kong Disneyland with Chip n' Dale. And the red hat I'm wearing? I bought it specifically for this Hong Kong trip last February. I do think that the hat is stylish, and it goes with almost any outfit in my closet. It's quirky and girly without being overly sweet. And the best part? I bought it on sale! I forgot if it was 50% off or what, but I did save around 200 pesos more or less. 

Here's my other hat: 

That hat is a gift from Wilmer and Thor of the furniture store Space Encounters. The gave it to me for Christmas I think three years ago. I love the colors and I think it's good to wear during summer. In fact, in the photo, I was wearing it last May (a summer month) on a trip to Tagaytay with my boyfriend and his family. The sun was so high I had to wear a hat and sunglasses. The only negative thing I can say about this hat is that I should wear plain shirts with it, or those with minimal prints. The hat itself already attracts enough attention, and unless I want myself to become a walking hodgepodge of patterns, it's better to keep things balanced. 

I want to learn how to rock a hat. But before I can do that, I must first find hats that I would fall in love with---stylish hats that are also reasonably priced. Until I can find them, I'll be happy with the hats I have, and when I do find ones that I would add to my little collection, feel free to call me the girl who wears many hats. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Real Living's 10th Anniversary Issue is out!

Words cannot express how joyful I am to share our magazine's July issue with you. It's out 10th Anniversary issue, and with this milestone comes a new look that I hope everyone will love:

I can say it's a packed issue; each section is filled with tips and ideas on how you can spruce up your home, whether you're getting professional help or not. Plus, the photos are to-die-for. Flipping each page will surely be a visual feast. 

So what are you waiting for? Head to the nearest bookstore, newsstand, or supermarket and grab a copy. It's definitely worth reading and keeping. :) 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Planning to Invest

Today's trip to the mall led me to buy these from Fully Booked:

I was originally planning to buy just Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but after getting it from the shelf, I browsed through the other shelves and Kiyosaki's Rich Dad's Guide to Investing caught my eye. I'm familiar with Rich Dad, Poor Dad's success even if I've never read it, and a lot of people say it's a good book to guide you in money matters. I should probably read it, too. Haha. Anyway, Rich Dad's Guide to Investing caught my eye because I've been wanting to have a source of passive income, and investing is one way to do it. Sure, I have savings and I can say I'm saving pretty well, but I know it's not enough to just have savings. Money that's just kept in a bank won't last. 

I don't know a thing about investing. The word alone makes me picture graphs, charts, percentage signs, money, numbers, and everything Math-related in my head, and the universe knows how much I hate Math and how much Math hates me! When I hear people say how it works, I can't understand it, but I know I need to understand it because I need to invest. I'm turning 25 this year, and my dad always tells me that it's best to invest while one is young because once one starts a family, priorities change, and family, especially the kids, will always come first. 

I'm turning 25 this year, yes, but time flies so fast. Before I know it, I'll be 50, and it won't do me good if all I have are a few pesos saved in the bank. I've started reading Rich Dad's Guide to Investing while waiting for my mom, sister, and nieces at the mall, and so far, I like it. I like how the book explains how investing will help. In the next chapters, I'm hoping to learn how to invest regardless of how much money you have, and by the time I finish the book, I hope I know how and what to invest on. 

How about you? Are you keen on investing? Do you have sources of passive income? Would you mind sharing how you're doing it? :)

Monday, May 13, 2013


It's just noon but I think my day has been eventful already. Today is elections, so it's a non-working holiday. My parents and I planned to go to the polling precinct early, but we ended up leaving our house at 10 a.m (well, I woke up at 9.15 am haha!). But despite our being late, there was no queue at our assigned polling precinct, so it only took us about 15 minutes to finish voting. That's good for us, but I can't say the same for the other polling precincts. Others have voters queuing up for hours under the heat of the sun. Not to mention election-related violence, cheating, missing election paraphernalia, and other problems which I hope and pray wouldn't happen (even if that's shooting for the moon).

Some people do not vote because they're already jaded with the system. They say nothing will change anyway, or that the same trapos (traditional politicians) will just end up getting elected. While there is a lot of truth to these, I don't believe these are excuses not to vote and to just set aside this right and civic duty. Yes, nothing might change, but all the more nothing will happen if we will not vote.

My vote has been cast, and I believe along with my accomplished ballot is my contribution to change this nation. And every election day, we are given that power--the power to help make a difference. To overhaul this system and create a new one that would benefit the poor, the marginalized, and everyone, not just the rich and the powerful. We may be miles away from achieving the Philippines we envision as ideal, but with every intelligent vote we cast, we get closer and closer to that.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pixie Cut

Because I've grown fond of my short hair, I decided to go for a shorter hairstyle. Yesterday, I went to the salon to have my layered bob made into a pixie cut.

My New Hair

I love it. I never knew I could rock short hair, and ever since I had my hair cut short, I don't think I'll ever go back to having long locks. Short hair is easier to maintain. All I need to do is to have it dried in front of the electric fan (using the hairdryer is fine too, but the heat makes my head ache) before going out and apply some hair product (Vitress works for me!) to control the frizz. On a bad hair day, I just have to put on a headband and I'm good to go. Plus, Manila's heat and humidity aren't hair-friendly, and I neither have the time nor the money to have regular hair treatments. I only go to the salon for a haircut. 

As I've said earlier, I love my pixie cut, and I plan to keep this for quite a long time. Or if I get tired of it, I'll probably go back to my layered bob. But definitely not the long hair that I used to have. How about you? Have you found the right hairstyle for you?  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Long and Short of It: My Hair

Today, I'm going to blog about something trivial:

My hair.

Hehe. I've been sporting a short hair since late December last year. I had my hair cut last December 30 so I could welcome the new year with a new hairdo. How profound, isn't it? Haha! I've been wanting to cut my hair short for a long time, but I was hesitant because my hair is wavy and it has a sponge-y texture. I was afraid that it would mushroom if I cut it short since there would be nothing to weigh it down. So I would just tell my stylist (not my personal one, but the salon's. Haha. I'm just one of his regular clients) to just give me a haircut that would suit my hair condition, something that wouldn't make my hair mushroom. And he would give me a layered hairstyle, which looked great.

But I really was longing for short hair. So one day, I decided to tell him to cut it short, but not too short that I would have a "big hair". So he gave me a shoulder-length bob.

It's great. I loved it. After a couple of times of having my trimmed to that length, I decided to really go for a short hair. So I asked my stylist if it would be possible for me to have shorter hair without it going big. And because my stylist could work miracles (haha!), he gave me a short hair sans the mushroom-like look:

How my hair looked like right after having it cut

When I saw myself at the mirror, I was like, "Wow!" I loved it! Even my officemates, friends, and relatives said it looked good on me when they saw it. And so I've been sporting this hairstyle since December. My hair grows fast though, that's why I now regularly go to the salon for a trim (I used to be a salon-slacker. My hair trims were months apart haha!). I don't mind doing that though. Having regular trims are cheaper than having my hair undergo treatments like hair spa and others for maintenance. I've never had a hair spa, even if my hair used to be long. Hence the frizz and dry ends. 

So let me just recap my, ehem, transformation:


The last photo is a picture of me at the launch of furniture store Space Encounters's new collection. I was wearing contact lenses (yeah, since December I've been wearing contact lenses during events and whenever I feel like it.).

I'm happy with my hair, and I'll probably keep this style until I decide to get a new one. A pixie cut maybe? We'll see. :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I missed blogging. I've been away for sooooooo long that even I thought my blog was already dead. As usual, I'm always busy that perhaps everyone is tired of hearing this "excuse". Work and other commitments have left me with little time to spare for reading, blogging, hanging out with my family, and other things. And because I thought I could juggle everything, I held on because I knew I was pursuing two of my passions--I'm a writer and that's what I do for a living, and I get to sing in a choir thanks to my love of music.

However, I'm not a superhuman. My energy has its limits, and I don't have 26 hours a day to finish all the things that I have to do. Increasing demands both at work and at my choir led me to choose. Even if I'm saddened by it, I had to let go of singing in the choir so I could focus on my job. But choosing is part of life; sometimes, we just have to make tough decisions and we have to let go of something, even if it's our passion.

Since leaving my choir, I got to focus more on my writing. I got to spend more time planning my articles and writing them. If I needed to spend more time working, which means having to catch the last trip of the train going home, I could do so without worrying about rehearsals I would miss. And I wouldn't want to burden my choir, too, with the uncertainty of my attendance because of my unpredictable schedule at the office.

Maybe my life as a choir member is over for now. I don't know when I would have the chance to sing again, or IF I would ever have the chance to sing again. Whatever lies ahead in my musical life, only God knows that, and I'll always be thankful to Him for giving me an opportunity to sing for Him, even if, I'm not sure, that opportunity was handed to me just once in my lifetime.