Father’s Day Letter

Dear Pa,

I look up as I type this and saw you watching the usual daily news. If I look closely, I will see wrinkles on your face and your hands. Visible signs of hard work from years of working and providing for our family. There are so many things I’d like to tell you but cannot say in person because for sure I will struggle to get the words out before I even reach the middle of this note. Despite being someone who likes to speak up, I cannot bring myself to tell all these things to you. So today, as the world celebrates fathers’ day, I would like to share this letter I’ve written to tell you and the world how much I love and appreciate you.

Looking at you, I know for sure the kind of man I would like to be with someday. Some people when they look at their fathers they will see the exact person they don’t want to marry or they don’t want to be like. But I look at you with utmost respect and love because you were nothing but an epitome of a great father. Even my friends can attest to that. And I feel blessed to have a father like you. A man who never deprived us of the things that we need and want.

I will always remember you as the strong man who can carry me with one arm. The man who can still dribble like Stephen Curry at 60. I will remember you as the thoughtful man who gave out Dunkin Donuts to the kids in our neighborhood on Christmas Day, which back then I kinda felt envious because you didn’t buy any donuts for me. But later on I realized that we were more privileged than other people so we should learn how to give and share our blessings to others. I will remember you as the hard-working man who had to wake up early in the morning before the day breaks to go to work for years until it’s time for you to retire. The man who provided food and education to us and tried his best to buy us the things that we don’t really need but incessantly asked for. We didn’t know how hard life was, we didn’t know what you had to go through just to give us a comfortable life. I remember you told us that one time you only had 100 pesos left to get home. We never felt that times were hard, because you and mama made it easy for us. And thank you for that Papa and Mama. I will always remember you as a selfless, responsible and loving father. And I wish people can have a dad like you.

And now that we are older, Ate just graduate from Medical School and I can see how proud you are of her. I know I haven’t accomplished much. I am already in my mid-20s and yet I still don’t know what I really want to do in life. And yet you were there to support me and encourage me and never pressure me into anything. I know you would like to have grandkids running around the house, and even that I cannot give you yet. But someday, I hope to make you proud too. Someday, I hope I can make you happy and contented, not that you are not happy and contented now. I want to give you and mama a more comfortable life. And someday, I will give you that. But for now, there’s one thing that I can do and will always do for you, please know that no matter what happens, I will take care of you, both mama and you. I will take care of you when you can’t do things you can normally do. I will take care of you when all your hair turns white. I may not be the perfect daughter, maybe not as successful as other people’s daughter, not as sweet and obedient like others, but I will always love and take care of you everyday.

Today, as the world celebrates fathers’ day, I celebrate not only this day but every day because I have this life and this family. I couldn’t even ask for anything better.

I love you.

Love,

Joy.

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5 Suggested OOTD Spots in Taipei

Alright, I am one of the guilty users of #OOTD. Hahaha! I love seeing photos of my outfits and I enjoy posing for my OOTDs  (I even have my own trademark OOTD pose lol). So far, the place where I have the most number of OOTDs is in Taipei. And I would share below the best places to take your OOTDs when in Taipei. (Jeez, I just used the word OOTD five times.)

DISCLAIMER: You will see my face in almost all the photos. So unless you can take it, you can press the back button NOW. :p

Continue reading “5 Suggested OOTD Spots in Taipei”

Journal: One Saturday in QC

It was a long weekend due to the All Saints Day holiday. My office mates and I took advantage of it and went to Ateneo and UP Town Center to shoot our Big Night video presentation.

Just want to share some shots I took that day.

(Clockwise from top first column)

  • Found Biblio at the 2nd floor of UPTC extension. My heart jumped with joy when I saw shelves full of books! They have a log book where you can write your requested book and they will check if they can find it for you.
  • Long Live Bacon. I found this at Lazy Bastard’s store near the cinema of UPTC. Haven’t tried their food but I heard lots of good feedback.
  • Those cakes belong to The Chocolate Kiss located at UPTC extension. I love how this new wing of UPTC feels like an extension of UP and Maginhawa. I first tried Chocolate Kiss at Bahay ng Alumni inside UP Campus.
  •  The facade of Starr’s. They are famous for their milkshakes, haven’t tried it though. But I love how it looks from outside, it is so enticing that you want to come in and give their milkshake a try.
  • This photo was taken at one of the walkways in Ateneo.
  • We had lunch at Friuli Trattoria! It has been my go-to place for pizza and pasta since I first tried them at their Maginhawa branch. Friuli Trattoria will give you a mouthwatering experience without hurting your wallet.
  • After lunch came the dessert. I tried Carmen’s Best Hazelnut (P100, small). I was contemplating whether to buy a vegan ice cream or Carmen’s Best, the latter won, obv. Hazelnut was good, but my favorite still goes to He’s Not Worth It.
  • Oh, just me posing with some book quotations in the background. It was a test shot for the shoot.
  • Biblio‘s wall! I want something like this in my room!
  • Another thought to ponder on Lazy Bastard’s wall. Bacon is not Pork, it’s Bacon.

#StopTheStigma

I am supporting the initiative of Philippine Psychiatric Association to raise awareness, promote mental health and protect the rights of people with mental disorders by signing the petition to make the country’s first Mental Health Act happen.

If you’re one with us, you can sign the petition here.

Do you know how hard it is to have a psychological disorder here in the Philippines?

  1. HMOs or health cards do not cover consultation to psychiatrists and psychologists.
  2. One consultation with a psychiatrist is worth P 1,500 – P 2,000.
  3. Medicines are costly.
  4. People can’t talk about it openly because not everyone understands.

You know how I know? I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Continue reading “#StopTheStigma”

Quarter Life is just a Hype.

I don’t know what is the big fuss about turning a quarter year old and why people are making it as if it is some kind of mark or checkpoint in life. While it is true that being 25 means that you are halfway in your 20s –you’re not getting any younger and you should be responsible for your actions– 25 is just a number. Life doesn’t tell you that “hey, you are already 25,  you should accomplish these things in order for you to be accepted to the next level”. This isn’t some sort of a Super Mario game. Life goes on after 25, whether I have met the expectations of the society or not.

I was once so obsessed about my own mental checklist. I have all these must-have’s and should-have’s by age 25, and guess what I haven’t ticked off even half of it, and I am perfectly fine. I realized we all have our own pace and timeline; what works for other people, might not work for me. So what if I get married at 40 or if I don’t get married at all. What if I never obtained my Masters degree just like what I hoped for myself by age 25. Does that mean I am not successful in life? Of course not.

I think the reason why we have a “quarter-life crisis” is because we put too much pressure in ourselves (aggravated by society’s expectation and social media) that we must accomplish something at a certain age or else, we will not be considered successful. Which is, if you ask me, such an awful way to measure success.

So take your time and don’t be pressured about timelines and age. You will get there in your own pace, in the right time. Here, let me just share the 25 things I have learned and the mantras that help me get by at 25.
Continue reading “Quarter Life is just a Hype.”

2016 Plans and What-nots

I was going through my drafts and found this. I continued writing it even though it is 4 months late. What do they say, better late than never?

January is actually one of my favorite months. Because it is the beginning of the year, and every beginning comes with hope. Hope that the upcoming year is going to be awesome.

To be honest, I wasn’t as thrilled when New Year came as I was on the previous years. That is because of my health condition (please see previous post).

I’ve been feeling very low for the past few days, but I think today’s going to be different. First, I am blogging again, so I am definitely trying desperately to be back to normal again. Second, I will be enumerating what I am aiming for this upcoming year. (To be honest, the past few days, I can’t even bring myself to think about the next 5 days, and here I am trying to list down my goals for this year)

Continue reading “2016 Plans and What-nots”

I Don’t Want To Be Another Love, Rosie

Missed opportunities. Yeah, who likes that?

I was frustrated most of the time I was reading Love, Rosie.  I was screaming in my mind the entire time, because I wanna tell them that they are meant to be together, so just fucking tell each other how you feel. If they just listened to me, their happy every after, should have come sooner.

But in real life, there are people who just miss each other every time. Like, I don’t know, they are scared of putting their guard down and admitting that ‘hey, I think I’m in love with you’. Instead, they just go on their everyday lives, carrying that feeling in their heart, so strong it could change lives!

I don’t want to be like Rosie. And I don’t want someone like Alex. If you like me, you just f*ckin’ tell me. I am not a mind reader and I don’t play some mind games, because honestly I don’t have that much time to think about your actions. I hate confusing actions! I mean, one day, you’ll be so sweet and all, then the next day, you just don’t f*cking care. Like how can you do that?

Life is so short to pass up opportunities of being with the person you love. One day you’re sixteen, you got life ahead of you.You have a lot of time to make mistakes, to make wrong decisions, then one day you’ll wake up and you’re 40. And you just can’t go back and change things. You just have to move forward with your life.

Would you like to move forward with what-if’s in your head or would you rather move forward knowing that you’ve taken that chance on someone,who may or may not be for you, but who cares at least you had courage to try.

Choose wisely.

Love,

Andrea

Things That I Will Tell These College Students

After a while, I went back to USTe to request for my Transcript of Records. I am an alumna of the University for almost 5 years now. And I will tell you, everytime I go back to USTe, the feels are just so strong. It’s a mixture of nostalgia and envy. Everytime I will walk at the pathwalk, I feel like I am a freshman student again, walking fast, for I may be late to class, and at the same time breathing all of the unfamiliarity of the University, like seeing it and discovering it for the first time. Every time, I see a college student walking or sitting, I have this urge of coming up to her and tell her to enjoy her college life and make the most out of it. Because in one blink of an eye, it is all over. And you can never go back.

So there, while I was feeling nostalgic on the ride home, I thought of blogging my thoughts. What could I probably tell my young, innocent, 16 year old self about college. Now that I am an adult (or feeling adult, haha) I might have some good advice, noh?

Continue reading “Things That I Will Tell These College Students”

Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep.

The last few days of December until the present were hard for me. I thought I had a problem with my heart, when I experienced discomfort in my chest. I consulted a Cardiologist immediately, and tests were conducted (ECG, 2D Echo, Stress Test and Blood Test). Initially, it was found that I have Sinus Arrythmia or in layman’s term: irregular heartbeat. It sounded simple but I did get scared upon knowing it. I had lost my appetite and was very sad (I don’t like to say depressed). But started to miss work and just stay at home. Then one day, I realized that I was just anxious, and I shouldn’t be because irregular heartbeat is a common thing and is totally harmless. So, I regained myself back. And while I was happy and active again, I got the result of the 2D Echo showing that has the diagnosis: Mitral Valve Prolapse, Cardiac Dysrythmia. Man, I was devastated. I lost my appetite again and was scared for my life. It was until I show my test results to my Cardio that she cleared up that all the tests were normal and no, I don’t have Mitral Valve Prolapse nor Cardiac Dysrythmia. Thank God!

I was very very happy with that news. But even after that news, I still don’t want to eat. I lost my appetite and despite being cleared of any heart diseases, I still experience palpitations. Later, I learned that I was anxious. I was having anxiety attacks, where in a certain thought will cross my mind, and then I will start getting nervous that can lead into a chest pain.

It was a scary incident for me. I reached the point where I can’t even sleep, because I don’t know how to. I try to close my eyes, but my mind drifts away and the next thing I know, it’s time for me to get up again. It affected my daily activity and work. I usually call in sick for work and I feel unproductive most days.

I am still trying to figure out how I can battle this. The good thing is I don’t have a heart condition, but I guess my mind hasn’t accepted it yet. I hope everything will turn out well. And I hope I can overcome these fears and anxieties soon! I miss my old self, my jolly, old self. Plus, I don’t want to make my parents worry. Sometimes, I feel great but there are times, when the feeling of panic overpowers me.

I know I am stronger than this and I know God is always there for me and He will guide me all through out this challenge.

So, that is what has been happening to me for the last few days. I wanted to blog again, but I don’t have the energy to do such. But now that I do, I remember how good and relaxing it feels. Though, my mind is absolutely unorganized right now. I am happy, I was able to write this.

Love,

Andrea

Why I Joined PETA Workshop, And Why You Must Chase Your Passion Too.

Few months ago, when I was still contemplating on whether to join the workshop or not, I checked Facebook, Instagram and some blogs for some signs telling me to push through with it. I want to read the experience of a former participant, I want to know what happens in the workshop, I want to know if it is worth it. But I  didn’t get anything, I just had to go with my instincts, and listen to this voice inside my head telling me to “just do it”.

This blog post is for those people who wanted to try acting workshop (or any workshop out there that they’re interested in) but just needed a little push, a little validation that it is worth it.

To you, yes it is worth it.

Continue reading “Why I Joined PETA Workshop, And Why You Must Chase Your Passion Too.”

My first Thought Catalog article!

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One of things in my bucket list, crossed out.

I discovered my love for writing back when I was in high school. It was when I got a taste of my first heartbreak (which was just a puppy love) that I found comfort in writing. I wrote poems and essays about love and life that I know at age 15.

Eventually, my love for writing has grown. I initially wanted to write for a magazine, but it wasn’t achievable because I don’t have the credentials to get in. Luckily, in this generation, you don’t need a degree in writing to start a blog or to share your talent. So, I started a blog to serve as my platform in writing. Though I’m not really sure if there are readers here, I mainly write here because I want to have a place where I can let go of my inhibitions and share what I love to do.

And as a writer, of course you’d want to get better at it and eventually broaden your audience. So as an avid reader of Thought Catalog, I tried my luck and submitted an article to them early this August and in less than a week, I got a response from them saying that they have published my article online already! It was such a happy moment for me. It is like a milestone that I’ve conquered. Though, the topic I have chosen was a little shallow, it was the safest article for me to submit. I mean, I don’t want to submit anything too personal. I want something general that most people can relate to. So I rummaged my old notebooks, posts, doodles and I found this article.

I wrote this article last year (2014). I remember being told that I have a big ego because I never tell or show people that I love them. When I like someone, I don’t treat them nicely, which is weird. But I think that was my defense mechanism because I don’t want to appear easy and vulnerable to them. So to my defense, I wrote this article so that people can understand me better, and for lack of better terms,  I used ‘A Girl With A Big Ego’ to describe myself, so some people can relate to it as well. I would like to think I am not the only one who is like this. Hahaha!

I am aiming to submit more articles, probably, once a month. Now, I am thinking what could be my next topic for September. Hmm. Suggestions?

By the way, you can read the full article here.

♥ Andrea

Words to Live By of a 24-Year Old Kid

National Monument, Kuala Lumpur
National Monument, Kuala Lumpur

24 is all about conquering your fears, following your heart and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Those are the exact words that popped into my thought bubble as I was contemplating about life while taking a shower. I just turned 24. And I really want to make the most out of this year. See, this is the time when you are supposed to live young, wild and free. It dawned on me the endless possibilities in life, as endless as those drops of water touching my skin. It continues to flow until such time I decided to turn it off. Same goes with life, I realized that there are vast range of opportunities around, and the only time that these opportunities will cease, is that time when you stop yourself from getting it.

Really, best life realizations and decisions are made in the shower!

So, this year, the year before I turn into  the infamous age of the so-called quarter-life, I promise to enjoy live life. Travel more, try the things I haven’t done before, especially those in my bucket list (na inugat na sa tagal). I will take risks often, I will talk to strangers (PS not the kaduda-duda strangers, I mean), I will let my guard down and let people in, I will let go of the things that don’t work for me anymore, let go of the anger and forgive, I will let myself fall in love with the person I am not supposed to, just because it feels right. I will step out of the usual, and do things a little different this time.

I am already starting to list the things I would like to try this year. I will take that theatre class that I’ve been wanting to join since 2012, I would dye my hair red or violet or whatever color they said wouldn’t fit me. I would get a tattoo, even if my parents are totally against it. Because it is when you realize that you are in control of your life  that you start living it. So to those like me out there who has been afraid of changes and of leaving the ‘comfortable and usual’ setup, I hope you find within yourself the courage to try and risk and live the life you’ve always wanted, regardless of what people will say.

Because as what the pabebe girls said, “Di nyo kami mapipigilan!

♥,

Andrea

Comfort Zone

For someone who is afraid of changes and of taking risks,  leaving my comfort zone is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You know when you are already accustomed to the people and the environment and all of a sudden it will all change. That’s what I was scared of. To have to start all over again.

But as what they say, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You have to get out of it and explore your opportunities. This does not only apply to work, but in life in general.

If you are young and able, I dare you to go out of your usual routine, be it on a simple matter or not. If you are used to ordering a Frappuccino in Starbucks, why don’t you try a Hot White Chocolate Mocha instead. You may like your decision or not, but at the end of it one thing is guaranteed: You will learn from it.

After I submitted my resignation last month and left the building on my last day of work (from a company I’ve been with for 4 years), I felt nervous and scared but above all, I feel energized. I feel courageous for leaving what doesn’t work for me anymore. I feel bold for leaving the old and starting anew. Somehow, I’ve learned to let go. I never thought I would leave my previous work, the first company I’ve worked for after college. But sometimes, you have to leave things, places and/or people to grow and to learn and to be better.

Whether I stay here in my new company for far longer than I worked with my previous company or if I decided to move to another job or move to a different country, one thing is certain, I have overcame the fear of leaving things behind. And it applies to everything in my life. I left the people who did me wrong. I left a relationship that I know was dysfunctional all along. I left the bitterness in the past and moved on.

In the end, it’ll always be worth it. You may not know exactly where the roads will take you, but a single step is always better than not taking one.

♥ Andrea

 

And I am back (for realzzz)

Hello blog!

I am back after being away for so long. Things got busy at work and there had been some changes that I’m excited to share. So far, 2015 has been a good year for me. I would just make an outline of what I will post for the next coming days.

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Travel

1. I would have to copy first my entries from my other blog: Hongkong and Shenzhen.

2. Nagsasa Cove (last year)

3. Cebu and Sinulog

4. La Union

5. El Nido

6. Sagada

7. Vietnam and Cambodia

8. Bacolod

 

Experiences:

1. Pinto Art Museum

2. Fit Food Manila

3. SubSpace

4. Caffera

 

Grabe, super back log! Hahaha. That’s all I can think for now. Excited to write ’em down. But I am still at work. So I’ll do it some other time! 🙂

 

♥ Andrea

 

two-oh-fifteen

Things to do this 2015:

1. Travel

Got one for January! I am bound to Cebu this 3rd week of January for — you guessed it  — SINULOG! Yay! It will be my first time in Cebu, so I will be staying there for a week! Talk about getting deprived of vacation last year. I have another travel lined up this year which is my Vietnam-Cambodia trip in July which I hope will push through. We were able to book the MNL to Ho Chih Minh only. We are to book the one back to MNL on the next seat sale pa. Then few annual trips, one in summer, and the other one with my college friends.

2. Get fit.

Or fat. Hahaha. Will be back doing yoga this year, or probably at the latter part of the year, will go back to circuit training at Curves. But target date for yoga will be the first quarter of 2015. And probably will join some fun runs here and there.

3. Drive

Now that I got my license, I should drive more often. Especially due to number 4.

4. Graduate Studies

Hopefullyyy, this will push through this year. I have been delaying this since 2012. This should be now or never. Hope to pass in ADMU but will submit requirements in UP as well.

5. Date

Yes, kelangan sinisingit to. Hahaha. Well, time to get to know other human beings.

6. Read.

Thinking of challenging myself to read 20 books this year (is that too much?).

7. Blog

Of course, I should maintain this blog this 2015! Especially my other blog. But to be honest, I enjoy blogging here because it’s more personal.

That’s my list so far. Will try to add some more next time.