Crystal Beach, Zambales

One fine Saturday morning, we piled into the car and headed north to Zambales for some much needed sun exposure. It was my first time driving that far and my first time that far North. Crystal beach is actually just 4 hours from Manila (more or less); I just never got around to exploring (Luzon in general) so this was a real treat. Mini-adventure with Kate and Timmy, my best friends from those DLSU days.

We arrived at the town of San Narciso around 12pm. After checking into our room and resting for a few minutes, we went straight to the beach.

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Inner monologue

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It’s been so long since I’ve “written” anything with my magnets. So many times, I would sit there staring at all the words and come up with nothing. There was nothing that inspired me and there was nothing to be said. But finally, FINALLY, something came to me.

I woke up at 3AM this morning. I tossed and turned for a good hour before deciding to just give up and get up and eat. I decided to plan my week and catch up on some writing. This year, I decided that I was going to start writing in a journal again but the catch is I wouldn’t just write whenever I had something to say. This year, I will write about every single day of 2017 and haven’t missed a single day so far.

It was while writing that it came to me. I pulled up a chair and stared at all the words once more. I slowly weaved them together until they made sense. I felt triumphant and relieved that I finally got it off my chest.

March, like every month that came before it, was tough on me but it gave me something the others did not: laughter. I laughed and cried so much in March. It started off difficult but redeemed itself in its last days. I met old and new friends. I experienced and learned new things. I finally got back on the mat and my practice is slowly steadying itself like before. Life is good and I’m hopeful for the months to come.

The first month of being single

It took me a while to publish this post. I spent a lot of time staring at the earlier drafts and with time, it was slowly forgotten. It has actually been 4 months since the break up. I am still single but have gone through many realizations.

What you are about to read is my last draft of my reflections on the first month. I left it as is so the emotions are quite fresh with a sprinkle of bitterness.

The most important thing I learned from these four months of being single is this: In order to move on, I needed to forgive (him) to forget (and move on with my life).

Everyone has their own way of coping with heartache. For some, it’s engaging in intimacy with the first male in sight. For others, it’s crying and eating uncontrollably or maybe shopping ’til you’re so broke there are new scratch marks on your credit card (ahem). All these, I’ve sadly either done or contemplated on doing these past few weeks.

So imagine my surprise on New Year’s Eve, after scrolling through what felt like an eternity’s worth of New Year’s greetings on Facebook, that it finally hit me what I needed to do to pick myself up. If I had to describe it, it was like finally realizing that your grade went up and you’ve been wearing glasses with the wrong prescription this whole time. You take them off and think, “So this is why I’ve been getting all those headaches.”

The answer was always there with me, from the very beginning. I was feeling helpless, trying everything to move on as quickly as possible but lo and behold, I subconsciously already knew what the answer was.

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Redecorating the condo

Here’s a quick post that’s basically me showing off a new(ish) rug.

After years of living in Manila, I felt that it was time to revamp my place. This condo has seen several people come and go. I first moved in here with my older sister and her family (husband, baby and the yaya) back in 2010. When she graduated, she moved to the province of her husband which led to me and Annie living alone for a while. Annie eventually moved out after graduation because her new job was situated in Quezon City and commuting in Manila is a bitch. In between all this, we’ve had several furry visitors (4 cats and 5 dogs) come and go as well.

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When I decided to redecorate the place, I didn’t have the capacity to do everything in one go. The floor was my biggest problem because they’re in the shade of a dirty peach marbling. But since I’m poor and retiling is not only laborious but expensive, that’ll have to wait.

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What I did instead was I removed around the furniture and added small but new elements to the space. I’m not formally trained in interior decorating but I did have the power or the internet. Let’s just say Pinterest was my most used app during all this.

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Bought this rug/banig last Christmas at Greenbelt 5. I knew early on that I wanted to infuse a lot of natural textures and color to the space so I kept an eye out for local crafts in bazaars and online. I brought in some greenery (bought from Cubao) to add color and to see if I can actually take care of something that wasn’t a dog.

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After going through several websites, OLX ads and Facebook groups, I’ve come to realize something that Manila has been missing: eclectic-border-bohemian inspired home pieces. I have been obsessing over these maximalist-themed interior decorators on Instagram and every time I click on tags to the brands they get their stuff at, it’s always way too expensive or they don’t ship to the Philippines. It’s frustrating since I’m on a budget and I don’t want to settle for buying all my things at the SM Department store.

I’ve actually been toying around with the idea of starting my own online shop wherein I sell the kinds of items I’ve been looking for at affordable prices. You’ll be able to find incense holders, tapestries made in India, wooden boxes, etc. Thinking of also selling my bayong with the pompoms.

What do you think? What are things you’ve been wanting to get for your space but aren’t accessible atm?

*Photos taken by me using the Samsung S4 camera.

Tagaytay Photo Diary

Let’s paint the scene. It was the end of 2016, I was single, grieving, working at a job I really wasn’t happy with and wallowing in self pity. I had spent the last two months of the year on an emotional roller coaster. Things weren’t exactly ideal. So when Annie said that she was game to go on a short getaway trip with me to recharge and clear my head, I began my search for the perfect Airbnb in Tagaytay.

Tagaytay City, the place everybody runs away too when they want to escape the noise and pollution of Manila. Because I wanted to get away as soon as possible, I chose to go to Tagaytay on the first weekend of the year. Never mind the fact that I had never actually explored Tagaytay (past trips were done with Ralf and we only ever went to one place and for work) before, I just wanted to find a cozy spot, far far away from all the places that reminded me of 2016.

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After searching high and low on Airbnb for an affordable and quiet stay, we decided to spend out one-night stay at Moon Garden Bed and Breakfast. I was intrigued by their photos (of course) and the description written by Ian (the owner). I messaged him about our plan and interest to stay at Moon Garden and he happily obliged. Communicating with him was very easy, something that you should always look for when you’re choosing accommodations via Airbnb. You can check out their listing here.

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