Happy wife, Happy life

….musings of a happy wife & more….

one year & grateful….

ONE YEAR. Wooohooo! I started blogging at WordPress about a year ago ( and 2 days, to be exact…) and there’s no turning back. Ahhhh!😊 Flashback to that pretty fateful day as I completed my very 1st blog on a cafe in a hospital while waiting for my doctor’s appointment ( which incidentally is where I also completed the final draft of this post — the only difference is I was at a waiting area for a medical procedure…). Armed with my laptop, a small notebook, a pen and yes, a cup of coffee (~wink~) – I finished the draft in just one sitting. I had 5 more blog posts after that…all in the SAME month. What a 1st month….yeah?!? Can you believe it? 🙄 I know, I know…I’ve regressed so much during the past year (~sigh~)….but hey, no regrets for now. Hopefully, THIS YEAR is a better one! Hello, REGULAR posts??? More frequent, no matter how short they may be. 🙂 After all, writing should not be forced. Or treated as a “push-button-let-those-ideas-flow” kind of thing. I believe it just hits you in a perfect way at a perfect time. So, WRITING is like LOVE. ♡♡♡ Hmmmm. 😄 You have to really love it to be able to MAKE those ideas come to life….to connect, to feel, to give it ALL and to share and bring your purpose to your readers.

Photo credit: Pinterest

My 1st year was nothing sort of overwhelming and outstanding but I’m content and very pleased that each piece was written just the way I’ve wanted to DO it. Some posts were left in “Drafts” for sooooo long, but somehow I managed to have them published in the end. Ha! There were hits and misses, surely…..but the good thing is that while learning the nuances and getting the “feel” of this thing called “blogging” – I just embraced everything that went with it. As in EVERYTHING! I gained a few followers, met and connected with people from different places on this entirely NEW platform. I also began following & reading a number of blogs. I admit I have favored a few over others. Some of them with their blogs existing for so many years. I can ONLY imagine how they’ve kept up with their “followers-slash-readers” faithfully and eagerly anticipating their NEXT posts, so much like when you’re waiting for THAT serving of your FAVORITE food on the table! I hope to be like THEM as I go along this journey ( yes, trying to be positive and optimistic though half-heartedly at that ‘coz i have some doubts, TBH…). They’ve been doing THIS for YEARRRSSS yet I wonder how they’ve managed on WHAT to write next and yes, how to write so beautifully at that consistently ( as having MY own bubble thought: How can I do that as ‘easily’ as them? Seems “second nature” eh? HOW???😶).

Well, on the same period last year – I also went into “freelance content writing” so that explains why I was not as “focused” and maybe, I was not as determined because I have another platform to look at. Blogs have no DEADLINES, unlike the writings you do with clients which have assigned contracts and milestones within them. With freelancing, you sell your skills to your clients and they get you if they find you to be a good fit. I had mostly ups and downs on this platform but I know that this is what I would rather DO for now than anything else. I’m enjoying the spontaneity and freedom of work hours. I am up to the varied writing challenges which somehow keep me constantly on my toes (with googling or giggling in between… 😉 ), LEARNING new things everyday and getting THERE….in time, perhaps! When I usually get bored or stuck, I do a LOT of other things to perk me up, keep me sane and a little more creative — whichever way I fancy at the MOMENT : read a book, watch TV, get to my social media or word games, listen to Spotify music, tend to the plants in the garden ( be it the dried leaves or the wilting flowers), walk around the house a few rounds, or maybe play with the dogs on very rare instances ( yep- not so much of a dog lover). Or take a 30-minute nap. SIMPLE AS THAT.👌

So, there are TWO “1-YEAR” milestones to be grateful for :


Photo credit: Pinterest

Thank you for following and reading my blogs for the past year. Thank you to my freelancing clients as well. SPECIAL MENTION to the one who mentored me on my very 1st writing assignment, Mr. C. I had to make 2 revisions before it was finally approved. I didn’t know better then but I’d like to believe that I’ve taken all those HARD lessons well enough to be able to last for a year. Ha! So much hope for BETTER things to come as I continue. But for NOW...






  "If you surrender to your passions, you will always shine bright."

clean slate….

I am so BACK,  it must really be the New Year! 😊  The last quarter of 2017 had been pretty “crazy-busy” with life matters  taking priority over writing in the blog. I swear I had the pure intentions of doing it with 1 to 3  topics that have been initially thought of, outlined and composed but the drafts were left as they ARE until….it’s Christmas! ⛄🌲

Time to “smell the flowers!” ( location: EDEN NATURE Park, Davao City, Philippines)

And so it has been a slow, easy and pretty awesome few days into 2018. I’ve been in the thick of writing the articles I was supposed to finish before the year ended but because it’s the season, I had to slack a little (you know what I mean🙄). For the start of this brand new  year, there were more lumps of  languid time just trying to focus on what needs to be DONE at the moment.  My goal is really to slowly get back on track (albeit quite reluctantly at first…) and trying to make each day BETTER. After 5  days, writings have been completed. It was a triumph of sorts admittedly  over some struggles. Now, what’s NEXT? 😊

First, I vow to spend time for books AS MUCH as gadgets. Or MORE THAN is what my real OBJECTIVE is. 😊 I have books still unwrapped for years  that I might finally, FINALLY read this year. Fingers crossed. I still have an unfinished book I was reading from last year, some half of it still. And so I guess it will be a READING year for me. Aside from a little lingering here & there…. plus more WRITING, of course!

photo credit: IG via @redbookmag

The 1st few days had me spending time in a bit of everything I like to do (and not) as I know embracing the year ahead means I have to take care of that gift called “TIME.” After all, New Year means TIME and being READY for a lot of things. Time to learn. Time to upgrade. Time to heal. Time to forgive, time to start anew. Ready to grow. Ready to improve. And really get better. And I’m so ready for NEW energies, new passions and maybe some creative pursuits, too. We’ll never know. Let’s see. Anything that will excite me to shove, push, jump, kick, shake, run, bend, twitch, snap, and move forward on this YEAR.OF.THE.DOG.  Nope, it IS  the YEAR of the LORD. ALWAYS. 🙏

How is my year going, so far?  The 1st day of the year was nothing short of being happy when surprisingly,  we had a bowl of fruits harvested from a 30-plus year old tree in our backyard. Totally unexpected but we were so elated and thankful at the fruitful blessing, literally & figuratively.🤗The day after I spent doing a bit of gardening – the usual pruning, weeding, clearing and re-planting. Just like in LIFE – maybe we all need to make a clearing out of all our worries, struggles, anxieties, disappointments, regrets, insecurities  and fears from the past year. Had to be purged  from our minds and hearts. IMMEDIATELY. Letting go of what’s negative, bad, wrong, harsh, false, sad, loudhard, difficult and all the stuff that hinder us so we can make a way for all things NEW, positive, true, good, gentle, peaceful, kind, beautiful, encouraging, uplifting and promising.✔ A kind of stepping-up! Replace your mental closet with thoughts that would enable a mindset on growth, learning, success, excellence and a POSITIVE difference to make this world a much better place to live in. How TRUE is that? I know I’ve learned a lot of these from the perpetually inspiring words of Francis J. Kong, one of our country’s best inspirational speakers, a personal favorite.

I had to declutter a portion of my closet ( among the many to come, haha..😄 ). There were a lot of trash filtered and discarded – old bills, receipts, flyers, travel guides, tickets, travel notes, mundane writings from slips of paper.  There were some gifts from recent years that were left untouched  but found a way to be used now, maybe not ALL for me but I know there’ll be people who will be only too glad to have them.  I had to do this more frequently to create a BIGGER space for the “more useful” things or those constantly being used. That new SPACE certainly becomes beautiful and attractive to the eyes! How refreshing!

Aside from the mental closet, we also need to ponder at  the kind of relationships we share and build with OTHERS  – the friends and the people we usually have as company. If their values continually lead you to unhealthy or “difficult-slash-toxic” lifestyles and if their core compromise on both issues of integrity and trust, then it is time to LET GO. Stay clear of them or else, you might suffer the consequences. As Albert Einstein advises, “Stay away from the negative people. They will always have a problem for every solution.”  Enough said.

As the NEW YEAR unfolds, resolutions are coming in. As resolutions fold, CHANGES  are in. But it takes TIME  and we go back again at IT.  Isn’t this the MOST predictable thing to do at the start of every year?  But life moves quite fast now, that if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could MISS IT!  

There will ALWAYS be a deadline to meet. A  train to catch. Errands to tick off in the list. Chores to finish. There’s a project to fulfill. Another meeting to attend. Writings to complete and research on. A nostalgic reunion of family and friends to catch-up.  Another top, pair of shoes, a bag or accessory to order ONLINE.  Oh yes – a LOT!!!! 😊

But for now, I will release whatever is not needed, what is cluttered. I will MAKE room for small, BEAUTIFUL things, MOMENTS and yes, PEOPLE. Maybe explore more places (again!), meet new friends, be more of ONE seeking  risks and also courageously taking them well.  A few random thoughts to check or ignore. I will continue to create “pauses” in my life’s routines, but ALWAYS turning to music (Hello, Spotify!🎵🔊🎶)  when everything seems to be in a haste and will just be soaking it all in! I will be  incessantly grateful for life’s wonders and surprises — the perfect and not-so-perfect layers of life which find me then and now, putting a VALUE to who and what matters to ME, most of all.

And amidst all this,  I will take MOREEEEEE time to smell the flowers!!!!! 😊🌷🌺👌

Happy New Year everyone! Excited to what’s in store for ME for the rest of the year. I hope you are, too! 😊

♡◇☆GOD is forever faithful! ♡◇☆




"...But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against
such things there is no law..."
                                                     GALATIANS 5:22


of science, selfies and memories…..


How often can you attend your secondary school’s 50th year? Secondary? Or…simply  HIGH SCHOOL.  Not often, I guess. It sure is a “ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME” event! So, I did went to ours 2 Saturdays ago. 🤗🤓👓📝📚 As early as the start of this year, I knew it was something worthy to attend but being based now in  the far South part of the country – in the islands of MINDANAO, I admit I was a bit reluctant at first to GO for it. I had my second thoughts, 3rd or 4th thoughts even.🙄😔 Hey, but at the back of  my mind were these ‘bubble thoughts’  – “I’m out of work, just retired,  with some “manageable” freelance work ( ‘small writings’) and has NO definite scheduled activities nor visitors yet for mid-September – why could I not go? Then, out of the blue – a very good friend, a “barkada” ( or ‘squad member’ of today’s millennial language, hehe…) sent me a Private Message at FB. It was J. Being an anesthesiologist, this lady is a busy doctor, balancing work and career and yes, a rather reluctant FB user and for her to message me asking me to join the school’s 50th is quite a “tall order.” Frankly, I am REALLY surprised!  Peace, Dra! 🙂 I didn’t give  a commitment that time  as I was not yet sure of my schedule or the hubby’s. Things might come up! But deep in my heart – it’s telling me: GO…by all means!!!! Soooo….BOOMMMM! 💥 Early JUNE – there were PROMO fares from a favorite airline. It seems the stars are aligning to my universe….so why not?!?!

I immediately booked a DAVAO-MANILA roundtrip…as I was early and I really waited for the 1st day of the promo period – I had a very easy time.  It was a fare I couldn’t resist – P3,150 when the regular fare would usually be close to 10K- 14K depending on how early you get your tickets. It’s almost 78% OFF – okay, do the math ( thanks to my HS science education…I can still do it…but I hate Math, haha!). NEXT AGENDA: accommodation. Of course, I can always stay at my Mom’s house in Quezon City but I figured if I can get a good price, why not stay at the venue (in a 4-star hotel…) so it will be more convenient with me. You know how it is in MANILA now – going from one place to another. Got it?!? Not used to it anymore. OK – don’t even get me started  on that…please!!!!! 🙂 It was a good decision after all! In fact, I stayed at the hotel for 2 nights!  It was  on PROMO, too! Talk about BLESSINGS IN TIME!  I also requested my nieces, K and B to join me on my 2nd night. Both of them are from the same school I attended so there was some  sort of “synergy” among the three of us! 🙂


The EVENT – what happened:

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Although the program was supposed to start 5PM, it didn’t…. till 8PM. But we were not mindful at all!  It was a rather “short” catch-up with the doctor-friend as she had to go to a family commitment – watching a daughter act in a play! But I was happy we shared some moments, hehe.  Short and sweet. 🙂  I could only hope we will have a  longer talk next time. Either here in Davao or in Manila, whichever. Another friend, C,  was coming from the far South of the metro and also had to do some ‘mother-errands’ that day….but the good thing is that we’ve reconnected already (albeit, unexpectedly) late last month so we just moved on from where we left off the last time. 

Well, I guess the HIGHLIGHT of the evening was the awarding for some alumni of the school (different Batches at random) who’ve made an impact to the community and the country. Our Batch is no exception.  Our awardee, Dr. R,  is a distinguished geologist who has both  Masteral  and  Post-doctoral fellowships in his line of expertise from the University of Tokyo. A multi-awarded geologist and a recognized authority in nickel laterite ( what, yes…aaahhh ok….nickel something…whatever it really means, hehe…). He has also done pioneering researches on Philippine rocks and soils and has been a guest speaker/lecturer in many international undertakings, to say the least. WOW…just wow! 🙂  But to us, he will always be the quiet guy in our Batch – ‘Puge’ as we call him   –  unassuming, witty, funny and serious at the same time.  Happy to know he loves to study and research. 🙂 So really proud of him….WE all are!!!!! 🌟🏆🎖🌏

But do you know the the “real” highlights? They’re the small, random moments which are left to memories that one day we would want to relive and share with the rest of our  batchmates in perhaps our  NEXT homecomings: 

  • Shrieks of “surprise” and “happiness” upon seeing classmates for the 1st time after HS ( well,  some are really like that – no sightings ever until this event –  although we’ve had regular meet-ups in the past when a classmate out of the country comes home and we also had our 25th year about 12 years ago…) ;💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼
  • The shrieks will turn to laughs when suddenly one realizes she blurted out the “WRONG” name, haha ( and this actually happened…);
  • Lots of  stories about what’s present and what have been – mind you, some are in the “second wind” of their careers proving that we always remain competitive and productive; 🤓
  • Some of us went to our teachers’ table and went guessing who they are, the  subjects they taught and what year we were when they taught  their subjects….ahem (with all humility) — I got it quite perfectly; ✔️💯🙌🏻😝
  • Taking selfies or groufies were the most in-demand (or enjoyed) activities during the event ( but mine was updating my IG stories, haha – *wink*) as expected since we weren’t born with this ‘thing’ and so we’re keeping up with the times…. but most will say – “Where do we look?Hahaha! 👯👭👬

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  • When time came for the BATCH cheer – ours of about 24 people didn’t feel too “small” compared to other Batches with a lot  – maybe about 3-4x more from us. We agreed to stand up and shouted at the top of our voices “BATCH ’80!” It made quite an impact and every Batch thereafter followed suit – they also stood up! But we were the FIRST to do it. Yay!!!!! 👏🏻👏🏻✔️🤗😅😜🙌🏻🙌🏻
  • Had “goosebumps” while everyone was singing our “Alma Mater” song! This is really  an “iconic song!”  The melody and lyrics stuck to my MIND up to this very day! I’m pretty sure I will never forget this song till I’m 84! 🙂
  • We planned to have a quick “after-event” catch-up of  maybe more chats (and “harmless” drinks…) but sorry we didn’t know of any good place near the venue. Hehe. Had I known  that  there’s a McDonalds nearby – we could have done with burgers, sundaes and french fries that midnight! So the plan went pppffft! Everyone was too-tired and some  had to wake up early for some appointments for early Sunday morning so maybe next time…..we can plan ahead for that! 😁

All in all, it was really worth the time….nothing compares seeing people from your past  – people who have shared the same struggles (keeping up with the “QC GOVERNMENT SCHOLAR” tags…), hardships, joys, triumphs, milestones, defeats, crushes, Science Fairs, CAT trainings, most favorite teachers and most feared ones ( yes, there was – ahhh, Practical Arts, hehehe…), class  anecdotes, extra-curriculars, organizations and our sprawling school grounds where grasses grew TALLER than us (Aren’t we lucky SM NORTH EDSA was not built yet (which is literally a few steps away from school…)  – or else, most of us would always cut classes, hihihi 🙂 ). Ahhhh, memories. Too bad – “no Facebook-slash-Instagram” yet to snap and post  those pics of priceless moments! 🙂 

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Photo source: Pinterest

We were honed to be “analytical-creative-imaginative-logical-inquisitive-systematic-critical”  yet we were also “studious-cynical-adventurous-rebellious-carefree-persistent-responsible”  AT THE SAME TIME – these were   traits formed when we (the girls) were in our memorable white tops and blue-plaid skirts and the  boys in their  white polos and blue pants. The DISTANCE and YEARS apart were never issues when we get together AGAIN and AGAIN – it’s as if we’ve never left our dear Alma Mater. Forever SCIENTIANSYES we are!!!!! ♥

Have a happy life!



"...To distant lands we may go, searching for truth and the unknown,
    To thee we pledge our loyal hearts and souls..."

                 -excerpts from our QCSHS Alma Mater Song by A.Sison- 



my happy place…..

1) Genuinely warm, friendly & helpful Davaoenos (translation You will always feel “at home” here).

During my first few weeks here, I rode a jeepney  ( hubby usually would drop me off at a mall in downtown as our offices are quite far apart and getting around the city in a public transport was not that difficult either…). I was seated to a young lady who very graciously pointed out to me each  one  of the names of the streets we passed by as we did. So vivid in my memory was when we were at Cabaguio Avenue and I saw the old Assumption School building.  Then we realized….alas, I rode the wrong jeepney. It was a different route from what was I supposed to take. The same lady, without any hesitations, directed me to where am I supposed to ride again. So, my famous statement as I was about to get off- Manong, ‘gar lang!” only to find out when I reached home that it should be “lugar lang… ” or “sa tabi lang…” as the usual  phrase to say in the vernacular ( English translation: “Please stop by the side, I am getting off…”) . You see, the regional dialect mostly spoken here in Davao is Cebuano which I knew nothing then.  What I did was just repeat what I heard from the other passengers. Darn! 🙂 At least it sounded pretty much the same and the driver understood. Ha! Okaaay,  I was able to reach the office in one-whole  piece  after that quite long, roundabout  trip!!!!! 🙄


2-3) FAVORITE Fruits : Mangosteen and Durian ( in that order )

One night going home from the office, the husband stopped by McArthur Hi-way, got off  the car,  bought something from the side of the road and guess what?!? He made me taste THAT durian straight from the shell. Oh my!!!! It was heavenly despite the pungent smell! Haha! 🙂 I know some locals are still averse to it even now,  but not ME! It was really sweet, fleshy and has a kinda’ tangy taste  to it but this is what makes DURIAN what it is! 🙂  Ohhh, MANGOSTEENS?  I would always crave mangosteens and eat a whole bunch in one sitting, too. It seems I will never get tired of it. I love its “sour-sweet” taste. Imagine buying them at 20-30 pesos per kilo at a time  when the supply was in abundance years ago…..and how I would buy them by number of bags till  they filled-up  the back compartment of the car. No kidding! 😱😱😱


4)  Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort –

Paradise in Davao – yes, it IS! Imagine going to the beach in the morning, eat your breakfast along the beach, swim, explore the mini-zoo, walk along the shore and you’re back home by lunch. You can always go here in the “spur-of-the-moment,” too, and enjoy as much! So very near, accessible and convenient (as comparing it when I used to live in Manila and I had to wake up really early then travel long to our destination for a dose of beach and nature… ). I love that this place is also clean, has nice & polite staff and has many things to offer other than the beach. Good food from their restaurant, too. Don’t miss PARADISE ISLAND when in Davao for a refreshing dip! 🙂

Truly paradise at Paradise Island….

5) Cafe Demitasse  – My “to-go” breakfast place after my lab exams at the nearby Davao Doctors Hospital. More than the Filipino breakfast meals, I love their coffee – it’s Caramel Macchiato or maybe French Toast or English Toffee flavored Cappuccino for me. Their food presentation is lovely but  it’s their coffee’s  distinct taste and flavor that I enjoy drinking anytime.  Cozy ambiance & nice interiors, too. This place is a “constant” in my life!

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Coffee at Cafe Demitasse is a “CONSTANT!”

6)The Swiss Deli & Restaurant – My love for their “seafood salad” and various sausages started when I was still working in  my former company which is just a stone’s throw away from their original restaurant. Now they’ve branched out down South – much nearer our home, but somehow, I felt much more comfortable and at ease with the one in Lanang. So many memorable meals shared with family, friends, guests  and ex-colleagues there. I’ll let you in a little secret: it’s our usual ‘refuge’ when things get so rough & stressful at the office, but not at ALL times though! 🙂

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Fun times with former colleagues at SWISS DELI in Lanang
7) Picobello Ristorante Italiano 
Remember the “UNLIMITED Pizza” here from 2PM-5PM? Oh, and the ‘open kitchen’ as well where you can see the wood-fired oven?  It was a hit with many and I was no exception. My pizza faves are the  Con Salsiccie and Calzone.  Yay! Although they have a new  place now  – I will always have fond memories of the old resto inside the JS Gaisano Mall in Ilustre St. Our comfort food when we were craving for pizza and pasta and some tummy-filling steaks. By the way, Swiss Deli and Picobello have the same owners –  a Swiss who made Davao his home after marrying a pretty Davaoena.
8) Marco Polo Hotel’s  Cafe Marco
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Breakfast date with the hubby at Cafe Marco…

Nothing beats their buffet breakfast here with a complete spread – one that we always look forward to during special occasions or when we have families and relatives coming over.We particularly like it here during the Kadayawan month which is AUGUST when the lobby has  the usual festive, lovely decors while some hotel frontline staff are dressed in their authentic & colorful tribal outfits.

9) Ellen’s Tuna Queen (Halo-Halo)

A simple, homey and popular resto we just discovered a few years ago along  DBP Village in Maa. We saw this place in their old location  and we just had to follow where they’ve relocated.  Perfect — in their very OWN home! The friendly owner ( yes, Ellen 🙂 )  usually gets into conversations with her customers and we instantly became one of her customer-friends.  The common love for good food and yes, dogs (for the hubby) is the usual topic we never get tired of talking about. We frequent this place not only because of their famous ‘paksiw na tuna’ along with their ‘lutong bahay’ (homecooked) food. It is their HALO-HALO (a Filipino snack/dessert made of crushed ice and various sweet ingredients) which we crave for – whatever the weather is! (ALSO READ: halo-halo : my summer’s ultimate comfort food ) .

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The BEST halo-halo in Davao…simply homegrown!
10) Eden Nature Park Resort 
Another place I can’t get enough of is EDEN – apparently, one that should always be in any Davao  trip itinerary.
As you go up the mountains ( nope, it will not take you hours as it is just about 45 minutes from downtown Davao) – one can already feel, smell and breathe the cool, fresh air. A day tour is  highly recommended but more than that, bask in all the greeneries around –  beautiful and rare flowers (hello, mickey mouse!), the very old fruit trees, the organic veggie gardens. Say hello to the native deers and peacocks roaming freely in the grounds, too! 🙂  Don’t forget to try their SALADS as all the ingredients are taken straight from their gardens. I spent my 1st birthday in Davao with the hubby in this resort and it was indeed memorable since I got sick all-throughout so we didn’t enjoy the stay (we booked overnight). Of course, we had to come back for another special occasion, haha. Later on – we would always come back here as this is one MUST stop for our first-time Davao visitors. 🙂
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Can’t get enough of you, EDEN!!! 🙂
11) Corework Pilates
Been their client  for years already.  Tummy in, round your back, table top, flex & point and many more are the words I’ve come to know, learn & do. Love going to this studio right at the heart of the city – ambiance is light, fun,  warm and very engaging. Never a dull session with the people here – owner, instructors and staff.  Pilates is LOVE...and LIFE! 🙂
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Pilates is love & life! 🙂
12) Tiny Kitchen –  The place to EAT really good food! What I love most here other than their paella :  beef
salpicao! 🙂  Plus their fresh sandwiches  on their very own ciabatta bread. And cucumber juice. Not to forget – frozen brazos! My staples! Would usually take out 2 loaves of the ciabatta bread after every meal.  A MUST dine whenever we have visitors and a positive feedback is always in order. Never fails! What’s NOT to love here? N-O-N-E.
Even the couple-owners are very friendly, warm and accommodating! They never fail to smile or wave  back whenever we are here  and if they’re not too busy   in their “not-so-tiny kitchen” now. (P.S. My FB and IG accounts are flooded with pics from this place which means I eat here too often).

13) Abreeza Mall  This is my favorite mall ( oooppps, sorry to my friends from the other mall). When I was still working, this mall is my temporary hideaway as it’s between office to home.  But coming from home – this mall is quite a distance.

Photo credit: IG @ iloveabreezamall

Anyhow, since  this mall opened, I never have to shop  in Manila or elsewhere – they have all what I need here. I have a few favorite “stores-slash-brands” and when the retail therapy in me strikes – I make an effort to visit, more so  during SALE season. Who doesn’t love to shop anyway? 🙂  I appreciate that they have open restaurants, too,  and art exhibits or bazaar activities occasionally that are  great for checking out!

14) NCCC Supermarket Definitely, our place  to go for grocery-shopping. Wide, clear aisles and mostly complete items on their shelves. Plus when you compare prices with the other supermarkets – they will turn out to have the lowest prices. Why – it’s a wholesaler’s favorite! “A penny saved is a penny earned,” as they say.

15) Ahfat Seafoods Plaza Whether we dine or buy take-out food – we usually order : Eight Treasures,  Bamboo Pith with dried scallops – both clear soups, or maybe Green Seafoods thick soup ; Deep-fried spare ribs, sauteed  “chaysim”  veggies with garlic sauce,  steamed pampano (or the seasonal sergeant fish) with tausu and yes, pomelo shake. Oopps – don’t forget the crabs, too! In any way it is cooked doesn’t really matter.

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When ALL else fails, try AHFAT! Yum! 🙂

Ahfat has 3 branches – all within a compound. We usually go to AHFAT 1 or 2. ( Couldn’t help but remember sharing a dinner here with a visitor coming in from a delayed flight in Manila – AHFAT was there to satisfy our unsatiated hunger  and boy,  being “full” that night is clearly an understatement!).

16) Aldevinco Shopping Center – Every Davao visitor surely has visited this “shopping haven of batik items and other local crafts” one way or the other. You can’t miss it especially if you’re booked at Marco Polo Hotel which is just in front of it. I have a few “suki” sellers here where I go for pasalubongs (souveniurs), for my own house dresses & shorts, beach essentials and the like.  Did I say if you want  $$$ in exchange for your pesos or any popular currency – this is the place, too? 🙂

17) Lachi’s –  This very popular ( read: ALWAYS FULL ) restaurant in a subdivision at the city center is always a “welcome treat!”  Their unforgettable pork ribs – clearly their most requested meal is worth a try and addicting! Our “to-go” for lunch when it ‘s usually late  ( as we will not stand a chance during peak hours…) My favorite dessert : sans-rival. Enough said. 🙂

18) Sugar Munch Cakes & Pastries 

We usually get our cakes here for family and friends for special occasions, usually at their Quimpo Blvd. branch – the nearest to our place. I love that they have  a number of branches all over the city. When I was still at work, it was the Lanang Branch where we usually drop by. My favorite – Butter Caramel Cake ( which is also not too-pricey ). Life is sweeeeeet! 🙂

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My fave at SUGAR MUNCH
 19) Jack’s Ridge Restaurant  
My reason to go here: Have the BEST views of part of the city at NIGHT – they look like stars! 🙂 Aside from that – this place has an interesting history behind its location. You will know that when you’re here. Don’t forget to pass by here if you are in the city!

IT.IS.QUITE.A.LIST. Let’s wait till the 25th year and surely I will update it. 🙂 How about you? Where’s your happy place? What makes it so? Let me know your thoughts, too.

But for now, let me ENJOY my happy, happy place!
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The BEST views of the city at night  at Jack’s Ridge

Have a happy life!

 "You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. the 
soul in you. the love in you."  ~ R.M. Drake 

It’s this time…..

It’s THE middle of the year and we are CATCHING UP…..what?!?! 🙂 We are ending the month of JULY today. Uggghhh. So tomorrow we begin AUGUST, the so-called “ghost month” for some. Oh well.  AUGUST in our city pretty means a LOT – it signals the start of an almost month-long celebration of a very popular local festival – the KADAYAWAN Festival where flowers and fruits abound and locals show their gratefulness and appreciation for all the many blessings and bounty of the year. Why — it’s also been “one-of-a-kind” tourist attraction here. This time is really fun, vibrant and very colorful! Just like when we are embracing fully the month ahead with BIGGER, BETTER opportunities. Hopefully. And soon afterwards – we might probably hear the first Christmas carol for the year.  Awwww. I know we are getting there….and BOOM, 2018!!!!!

Time indeed flies and how…..surely the next few months after AUGUST are getting to be as exciting, too! Was it just the beginning of 2017 when I was looking forward to what GOD would have in store for ME – thinking really hard, pencil pushing, mind planning, checking, reading….AND searching — in a quite deep “retrospect” first and looking forward ( with a lot of questions on my mind…)  on how I will be able to spend the year 2017 in a different light… different perspective….in quite a different WORLD. So, I started to WRITE and have my own BLOG….and tried some freelance content writing on the side.  Still doing it though. 🙂 And the rest is slowly making a little bit of history. Yeah. And don’t forget the gardening – it was a pleasant discovery of the joys and inspirations of gardening this year, but that was not really planned! 🙂

Indeed – it’s that time of the year : MIDDLE of the YEAR  or simply MID YEAR.

What does MID YEAR mean to YOU? Some would easily think of “MID YEAR BONUS!” 🙂 Understandably so. For those who are gainfully employed ( well, I hope that 100% of them get it anyway….) — this is something that is eagerly anticipated. Sadly, for ME – it is just a thing of the past. Haha. 🙂 More often than not, this “midyear windfall” is rewarded to the eligible employees way before the middle of the year and now I begin to think WHY.

Honed by years of corporate experience – I am wont to doing my MidYear Performance Appraisal now.  Geeezzz! With a lot LESS of STRESS though. 🙂 Just for “personal consumption.” I believe this is a pretty good exercise. ANYONE could do it – even if you’re a student in school, engage in your own business or just coasting through retirement. This appraisal may or may not achieve want you want…but hey – it’s a damn good exercise for a start. It provides one with 2 OPTIONS : to go through what you plan and do everything to hit your goals, even surpass it and do some learnings on the side to help you out (Performance Development Planning). These learnings are not necessarily to be paid for – you can learn from others’ experiences, read a lot or do some self-study. That’s what most people do and that includes ME! 🙂 Maybe some goals didn’t do well as planned or for lack of a better term – FAILED! 😦 That’s what you have the 2nd option for : Performance Improvement Planning. What went wrong? Review, analyze, improve and innovate. Think of breakthroughs!?!? 🙂 CHANGE of plans? Maybe….maybe NOT. All up to you. Just think that FAILURE should NOT be an option again. Go and move forward!

First question to ASK:  Did we achieve the goals or KPIs ( Key Performance Indicators ) we set at the start of the year – the same way we do in the corporate world. Once the evaluation & simple analysis have been completed & we know what the results are (either positive or not — doesn’t really matter….)  —> then we can start again with a “clean slate” as it sort of psyches us up. That everything is going darn well and if we need to correct or improve somehow, we still have 5 months to MAKE it happen. Talk about changing plans or adjusting to tailor-fit what you know will MOST likely hit your personal targets! Or maybe, scrap all those goals altogether. But ALWAYS for a reason and for the better!

Alongside with this MID YEAR thing – there are 2 “constants” which I never FAIL to do when this time comes,  year in and year out :>

  • HEALTH CHECKs √ – Midyear signals my appointments to my opthalmologist and dentist (yes, along with my more regular (i.e., quarterly)  routine medical check-ups with my “cardio-slash-endocrinologist”….)
    Photo credit: Pinterest

    The good news is that my eyes remain well and I get to maintain my reading eyeglasses (see, no “corrective lenses” for almost 3 years in a row… 🙂 ) and my retina is in perfect condition. For this year – I also had minor dental fillings (for grinding too much of those M & S mint & toffee candies…) and other than that, the dental check-up went smoothly, too. Heaving a  sigh of relief plus thankfulness (especially that I am not with my company-issued healthcard now). All is good! 🙂

  • DOWNSIZING SPREEs  – I know –  quite late for “spring cleaning” but I was able to clear up my cabinet again this mid year and gave out tops, pants, shoes and bags to my sisters, my Mom (even) and “millennial” nieces. You know how fashion goes – definitely in a continuous cycle! 🙂 These are the stuff which are not that old really – some in fact were unused or slightly used. How truly liberating it is! 🙂
    Photo credit: Pinterest

    I’m pretty sure my love ones will find USE for them. But nope – I’m not making way for “spaces” for NEW stuff. If there’s something – like  maybe a top, shoes  or an accessory that will be brought in – it’s considered NOW  a “special purchase” for me. 🙂 My retirement for nearly a year and a half made trips to these retail shops along with their frequent promo (always with matching SMS to remind and entice me…) such a rarity nowadays. The Husband is VERY pleased. Ha!


Aside from the 2 constants — what am I also reminded of at this TIME of the YEAR : 

  • SALE everywhere  ⇐At the retail front – this month is also their time for “MID YEAR SALE.” Who doesn’t want a SALE? For the retailers – I guess this is more of a “Logistics-slash-Inventory” strategy to let go of their stocks accumulated through the 1st 6 months.

    Time for NEW styles, new stocks or even changing of brands or suppliers. For the customers – what they’ve been eyeing all along, a certain product or item – may come at half the price now or maybe even better such as in a “BUY 1, TAKE 1” PROMO. Lucky you!:) Who wouldn’t take ANY of these offers? I would ANYTIME…..but ONLY if I need to.  Oh, those midyear sales are just about anywhere which we couldn’t escape our eyes & pockets from.  My strategy: “persist-to-resist!” 🙂

  • TRIM, PRUNE, repeat  – Time to trim those leaves and prune those branches and check which plants  may need uprooting and re-planting. Check your garden and do some cutting-up to OPEN up new spaces! This is what I just did a few days ago and it was so timely! Gave me a “refreshing” feeling afterwards. The sight of the old, dried leaves and branches all stacked up in one BIG pile gave me a different kind of “contentment.” Simple joys! Maybe just like when we clean up our room or house and dispose  the “unwanted” stuff. Gives one a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment afterwards.  De-cluttering —  is that it?!?!
    …the stack of “UNWANTED” from the garden…

    Time to check ourselves, too. Do we need to be “trimmed” and “pruned” as well? What is it that you want OUT or cut off from your lives? Let go of all the bitterness, anxiety, anger,  worries, resentment and frustrations.  God’s Word is the PERFECT TOOL for pruning  and trimming our lives. Without meaning to – God’s Word sometimes is so sharp it can actually remove all  the “unwanted stuff” — the “dried-up leaves” and “criss-crossed branches” we have that hinder us from fluorishing and GROWING.   Once you’ve done this – you’d feel more ALIVE! Ready to BLOOM! YES, blooming with confidence and determination to bravely FACE the next 5 months of the year…..until that mid year comes again next!  🙂

         Have a HAPPY LIFE! 


    "Believe you can and you're halfway there..." ~Theodore Roosevelt 


to be still and quiet…..

One of the few simple joys of retirement is obviously being free from the daily grind. Well, maybe isn’t that the MOST that gives us (retirees) the joy!  🙂 That said – it just means that we have more TIME to spare. True???  No more morning rush, no hurried prepping up, and YES – no more 2nd, 3rd or 4th sleep episodes after the 1st snooze of the alarm clock beside you (…oh well, now there’s really no need for an alarm clock  to speak of, unless you have  a very early morning errand  to do and besides, waking up early NOW is not much of a problem….).

Morning rush aside – one of the BEST things I really enjoy these days  is basking in silence….in quietness. I guess those who know me as much would not believe it – ME?  QUIET?!!? Haha! Very rarely do I keep quiet. But it’s a fact that I enjoy this language of silence  any TIME of the day, more so now as I am free from the 8-5 job  (of course,  NOT  having so much of a specific daily agenda as  it is makes it a possibility…)  so such is the MODE when you practically have no  urgent matter that you are obliged to attend or do. It’s usually a “sit-in-space-slash-do nothing” peg for me and what is there not to love? 🙂

A few days ago,  I’ve had this episode where I kept still and quiet for maybe 2 hours straight – just   sitting on my favorite spot at our porch overlooking our front garden and the street outside and  I found out that:

…….” two birds kept hovering our “makopa” tree (or “tambis” as the locals call it) and they have built a nest somewhere in the upper portion of the big tree”;

…….”one of the many  tricycles passing by our street kept that blaring music playing  which can break any ones’ eardrums and boy, that music was really looooouuddddd ( I could   just imagine the agony of the passengers)” ;

……..”the 3 pots of our  citronella plants already need trimming as their leaves are now  long  & overlapping,” and so forth…..

Photo source : Pinterest

The time of being silent and quiet, being able to see, hear and feel a lot of things is probably one of the favorite past times I do anytime of the  day. Each episode is DIFFERENT.  It can stimulate all my senses yet it “quiets” my inner being.  Soothes my  soul as I hear myself and then think of  beautiful thoughts. Mostly.  Maybe related to what I see, maybe NOT.  It really doesn’t MATTER.

Some people have the notion that we can have a time of “stillness” only during the early part of the day – as the dawn breaks or just as the sun is beginning to rise. Of course, NOT! You can always enjoy the language of SILENCE and have it at your OWN time. Own PACE. Own SPACE.  Anytime.

How to enjoy the SILENCE and QUIETNESS  in your life ( I’m sure these are ALL very-familiar to you – really some of the simple and basic ways to do it) :

  • MORNING & NIGHT ROUTINES ~  For early-risers, MORNINGS are the best time. Suffice it to say that when you have a FULL schedule ahead of you during the day – it is best to adjust your sleeping time, say an HOUR earlier for you to wake up a little earlier, too. You can then squeeze some minutes for your “quiet time.”  For me, early mornings are the BEST. It’s that time to say our prayers, too – grateful for another day and asking for wisdom and strength from our Lord to go through calmly with all our activities for the day (week). Starting the day with a PRAYER certainly does wonders and puts me  in the RIGHT perspective to face the day’s challenges. Believe me – it will change your mood from  being a ‘grouchy’ to an ‘inspired’  and ‘energized’ one and who wouldn’t want that?  You tend to be more forgiving of the morning’s annoyances — the DAY simply is  just wonderful! 🙂 For  TIPS on waking up to brighter mornings, you may also read this previous post: waking up to my sweet & bright mornings.   For the night owls who can hold late nights very well, their  TIME at night is just as peaceful as in the early mornings. Turn away from any stuff that will hinder you from having the quiet time – gadgets, TV, books, caffeine and just bask in the  “silence” in your room (could be totally dark or not ) and enjoy!  🙂 But be sure that as you do this – you’re nowhere from   dozing off  to dreamland!  Falling asleep while keeping in silence! Hehe! 🙂 It’s so likely that you’ll have a good night’s rest  after  no matter what  – as you review how the day went – the highlights, the surprises and even the hindrances you’ve conquered  and  then you realize that there’s another day worth looking forward to AGAIN.  Life goes on. Tomorrow will be a lot bettteeerrrr!

  • NATURE TRIPS  ~ This is certainly one of my “favorites!” Communing with Mother Nature. ♥♥♥

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    “…..enjoying the stillness of mornings at our little garden….”

    Oh well, it doesn’t have to be that far – could be in your own garden, in the park, along some trails in the woods or  some open, green spaces in your community. We need to escape once in a while from our house, school  or office – to get away from it all and looking to nature is certainly a good CHOICE. Some will go as far as climbing a mountain or going to  a lake, river or an island. How do you find the peace in nature?  Just stare at it. Period. But of course, you appreciate it and embrace all of its grandeur and beauty and thank the Giver. As you do this, let all positive and inspiring thoughts flow – enjoy the MOMENT – even the rustling of leaves from the trees  or the gushing of the water from the lakes or rivers around will lull one to lovely thoughts. Best feelings in the world – believe me! 🙂  ( Living in a city – aside from nature trips – you might as well check on other OPTIONS like national parks, public or private gardens, museums, art or any creative work galleries and even public libraries to also spend your time and enjoy the solitude – some of them are really  just FREE so you need not spend much – right?). 

  • READ, READ, READ ~ Who doesn’t want to read? Probably, each one has his own favorite book  that when you start to read it – you are lost in your ‘own’ world! 🙂   I love reading, especially when the weather is a little gloomy (or raining) as I sip down a cup of coffee. This can be anywhere else, too. Can be in the comforts of your own home ( your fave reading nook) or  a quirky coffee shop nearby. Or you may be up there in the hills, among the gardens or along the beach shores.  Or do it while on queue- waiting in a doctor’s clinic, in the airport or maybe in the mall when you’re already dead-tired from all the walking and shopping. Reading is a perfect way to keep silent that’s enjoyable at the same time.  Much to learn, too. Don’t you agree? 🙂
  • Have your own JOURNAL ~  Here’s another one that I always wish doing but can not keep religiously.  Writing a JOURNAL on a daily basis is a habit that’s worth keeping. I know that as you DO it day in and day out  – it becomes ‘therapeutic’  isn’t it? 🙂 One of the BEST things you can do is this  journaling thing – whether at the end of the day or maybe the start of each morning! As you continue to reflect on your daily activities – it teaches you lessons from the experiences, brings a smile or smirk as you recall some moments and gives you a perspective on how you can improve or be BETTER later on. Maybe after a few months or so, or even after a year or years – when you look back at this journal – it can reveal a lot of things that you may have taken for granted…. but will make you reflect on the WHYs and HOWs. Why did you do it? How did you do it?  Was it ALL worth it? Journaling provides you the details and somehow brings  clarity to what you were thinking  at that point in time. You could not have remembered EVERY detail  if you have not written down all your thoughts on that “something!” They say that blogging is one way of  putting into journal your ideas, your  thoughts and opinions, even maybe your  desires, frustrations and  just anything you want to say by writing them down.   Blogging is perhaps  a good reason for doing a journal.
  • WALKING is LIFE  ~ Put it simply, WALKING is my favorite  thing to do while clearing my thoughts or putting on a LOT of thoughts. Whichever or BOTH 🙂  I prefer to do it first thing in the morning as I stretch and find my way around our neighborhood. I like the simple feeling of walking plus isn’t  it a very uncomplicated and uncostly way to start your day! Walking gets our blood flowing. Gets our mind thinking. Gets us GOING!!!!! As you stride in and get that feel of the “morning sun” in your face or that “breath of fresh air” in your body – that’s heaven!  Add to it the different people you meet along the way, or the greeneries and blooms you see, and even those rare “slice-of-life” moments you can capture and snap while you walk. Walking is indeed one of the BEST pleasures  that I do now that I have stress-free mornings.  Walking gives me a different high and as I continue to walk , I think of various ways to inject some fun, variety and excitement to it! 🙂  ( Aside from walking – any other form of EXERCISE you engage in can help you also enjoy silence and quietness  – be it running, biking, swimming or maybe Pilates or Yoga. I  do PILATES 2x/week and it’s one of those things I can’t give up – definitely,  another happy pill for me,  a mind and mood-booster that keeps me strong, aligned and flexible. Plus of course, keeps me still for a while….much to my core’s advantage. 🙂 ).

Photo source: Pinterest

Enough said.  SILENCE is not an absence of ANYTHING but a presence of SOMETHING. It’s not an emptying of  ONE THING  but a filling-up of  MORE than that – it’s FULL of EVERYTHING!

Silence gives us the ANSWERS, if we ONLY listen. Do not merely hear but LISTEN well. Understand your thoughts. Keep quiet….be still. Have a good, humble silence.  It leads to RIGHT hearing, RIGHT thinking and  RIGHT understanding.

Enjoy the SILENCE as it lasts. Keep the LESSONS and get it from your soul  & heart! ♥♥♥

Have a happy life!


Proverbs 17-28....."Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." 


friendship goals….

About 3 months ago, I met my friend from way back. We met here in the  city where I live now. This is a “special friend.” Why? Aside from her being much younger than me 🙂  – there’s one thing I couldn’t forget about her. Guess what??? She actually went out of her way and sneaked to my wedding day very, very early in the morning of February almost 19 years ago, as she just wanted to see me on my special day. Geeezzz. Our wedding was an intimate one shared ONLY among family and a few close relatives. No friends have been invited on both sides to avoid missing out on ANYONE (but we made it up for them right after the wedding, ~wink~). I remember that time this friend showed up in my hotel room – my hair was being done and my face was being made-up. I was with my Mom. She stayed for a while and we talked a bit. Quite awkward, yes…. but I felt the love and support of this girl. Of course, it warmed my heart, too. ❤ Priceless moment indeed! One for the books!!!!! 🙂

Friends are like precious jewels. You care for them in a tender way yet you do not “hide” them forever in your jewel box or case. You “wear them lovingly” and “show them off” as you feel proud. You feel good wearing them –‘right? 🙂  I hope your friends are like that. They make you feel good. They make you feel proud. I believe it cannot be just ONE of you either – you need to share this feeling BOTH at the same time. For how can one be a “true” friend when it is just a ONE-WAY thing? Aaahhhh…true friends are indeed hard to find. And friendships are nurtured, taken care of, and most of all, treasured. It takes time for it to GROW! Just like plants, I guess.

Friends usually share a few things in common. Or MORE maybe. We build friendships first in our own community or neighborhood. Starting them small – even as early as toddlers, as our parents or nannies would attest. Our playmates in the park around our village. Our neighbors. Our parents’ friends’ kids. Our cousins. That’s why we have “childhood friends.” My childhood friends are our neighbors where summers were spent only by playing and lounging around – both outdoors or indoors, but more of the former. Did I say we practically spent the whole days outside the house doing all sorts of things? See, no gadgets to tinker with. All we have was NATURE then. Ooohh, those dayssss! 🙂 As we started going to school – we develop friendships with our classmates. From the early years in Nursery, Kindergarten or Prep School to Grade School up until our adolescent years in HS or High School. I guess that’s why the term BFFs or “Best Friends Forever” was coined. Or you may prefer calling them  TFFs or FFs“True Friends Forever” or plainly “Friends Forever.” Whichever way you like to call it –these terms of endearment aptly pertain to these people who’ve been with us the longest – like our childhood chums or buddies. We count here our classmates, seatmates and school bus mates. Or maybe our summer classmates in swimming, ballet, taekwondo or maybe some other sports we learned and trained for in our childhood years. Or perhaps, our choir batchmates in church.

What do we usually FEEL and DO when we come in contact again with OLD friends?

  • We HUG and FEEL the warmth of each other. Oh yeah,  it really feels SO GOOD to be in touch again! We always have that “special connection “with them that when we see each other again- it is as if it was just like yesterday. Notwithstanding the long years (or maybe just months or days….), it really, really DOESN’T MATTER.
  • We CHECK ourselves and say something about how we look NOW – maybe not as differently or a LOT more differently. But who cares? 🙂  Friends would tell us the nastiest things. But as they say – words are piercingly sincere  if they only come from the heart and spoken out of LOVE.  We all don’t mind as we have all matured and grown personally and professionally!

    Photo credit: Pinterest

Sounds familiar? Yes, typical of old friends —aside from questions like how “big” you’ve grown and how “pretty” you’ve become(ahem, haha..), a lot more demanding follow-up questions will surely crop-up.  Just about everything “different” from the way you looked before can be a “conversation piece!”  This is so true only if you’ve been away from each other for a loooongggg  time. School reunion? Alumni Homecoming? Annual Christmas Party?   Oh, these “small talks”  will be so familiar like:

…. “Your hair was kind of curly before?”     

.You were the shortest among us in class but you’re so tall now?”

.…”How come you look fairer now?!?”

And the LIST goes on….

( I remember in one of our HS reunions, a classmate quipped, “Hey Carina – you hair before was like golden corn in color  – what happened?” 🙂 Well, I responded – “Nope, it was chestnut brown actually!” Haha! 🙂  That answer also came from another classmate who I vividly remembered telling me that specific color back then, almost 35++ years ago – would you believe? ).

But in this social media generation now that we are in —  the way you look TODAY would seem not a “SURPRISE” anymore from those who have known you from way back and have not seen you at least ONCE  – unless you’re just an FB or IG lurker who doesn’t do any feeds or posts. But alas – your “selfie” posts or otherwise will give them an idea on how you are in no way similar or so much similar from your “younger” years…as long as you’re all friends on FB or you follow each other at IG. 🙂

  • We FEEL nostalgic – YES, about ANYTHING!!!!! We joyfully reminisce. We suddenly remember our crushes, the class bullies, the kind guys, the top students, the kinda’ different & the nerds and a few other interesting people who are really “talking points” for us!  But we always talk about them lovingly and in a good way….promise! 🙂
  • We feel that we are YOUNG again – Oh, yes – talking with your old pals  and giggling and laughing out loud for jokes and anecdotes you can ONLY share and understand among yourselves. There are quite a few stories worth sharing again and again! Even if you know what these stories are all about – you ALL still laugh! 🙂  We usually go back in time and start remembering DETAILS of unforgettable events, no matter how trivial they may seem….as long as these memories make our hearts skip a beat. ♥ ♥ ♥ There’s no better way than reliving all those experiences that we now treasure in our lives. Isn’t it  great to feel young all-over again? 🙂
  • We take PRIDE in what we’ve become — be it having climbed up the corporate ladder or having our own successful business or  worthy endeavors that have pre-occupied us through the years! Time comes when there will be talks not just of children but more passionately about grandchildren. Retirement comes in second also if you are at that period of your lives  and  you share on what keeps you all  busy and sane after the corporate years. Giving back to the community & church or volunteering and making yourselves available doing what you’ve wanted to do or pursue are expected topics of conversations, too. New-found passions. Travels. Investments.  Health concerns, medicines, longevity  – are such topics that won’t escape  you and your friend  in those  catch-ups as well.

I’m pretty sure there are a LOT more feelings or sentiments that we experience if we are with our good, old friends. We may even do a lot more crazy things than reminiscing! We may not see them for a long while but when we do, it is such a BEAUTIFUL moment! A piece of wisdom to ponder is that good friends are one of life’s greatest treasures. Sounding like an oft-repeated cliché but it is so true! With good friends, you feel secure. They’re there at your side and this means not just literally– you feel it even while time and distance set you apart. They’re attentive, they’re curious, they’re concerned and  interested on what have you been up to. You gladly share life’s joys, triumphs, milestones, inspirations and achievements. At the other end, you take part in each other’s burdens, sadness, moments of grief, disappointments or frustration. They will cheer you up no matter what.

Photo credit: Pinterest

So, seeing your friends after a while makes us feel truly EXCITED – which brings me to this fact: we will be having our HS reunion in 2 ½ months celebrating our school’s golden year! It has been a well-planned activity with Batch ’92 leading the way. How will  these millennials going to slay it? I am extremely curious and very eager. Their teaser alone is impressive, sort of  nicely conceptualized and highly-digitized   – it looks like it’s going to be one memorable year in our school which used to hold this activity in the school grounds itself ( now, it will be in a more special place – in a “hotel venue”). It will definitely be something to look forward to as I will be seeing old, good friends ( “barkada” as our generation’s term was to the milleanialish term now of “squad” 🙂 ) and classmates & schoolmates again. Old friends are like GOLD, as some would say.  A golden year plus golden friends!  Such a “subtle” message  – no need to elaborate, hahaha!  Can’t wait for  this day!!!!! ❤


Have a happy life! 


      Proverbs 27:9..."Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the  
        sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel...."


through mountains & life….

“The MOUNTAINS are calling, and so I MUST GO!!!!!” 🙂

This is certainly one of my favorite mountain quotes of all time. Who doesn’t want to see mountains? Some people prefer a lake, a river or maybe a sea or ocean over mountains. The soft ripples of the waters and the “blue-slash-green” hues calms them. Some would take the mountains or valleys, including terrains or rolling hills anytime. A matter of CHOICE, actually. I love BOTH. But I have to admit though that I am  awestruck with the MOUNTAINS a bit MORE than the bodies of water. I just love to see mountains – even glance at them from a distance. There’s just “something” about mountains that keeps me ALL glued to it every time! Kind of enthralled. Gives me peace, calm, tranquility. Oh, and it relaxes me…. it soothes my soul in a way that my heart flutters and my mind wanders.

So, the description of what a MOUNTAIN is to ME is actually TRUE. Geeeezzzz. 🙂

source: Pinterest

Some of the daring and thrill-seeking ones will not be content with just the “glimpse” or perhaps, the “shadows” or “shades” of the mountains. They would rather CLIMB and CONQUER the mountains. Always in pursuit to reach the SUMMIT. They want to reach the TOP. For what?

But many like myself will just be pleased and happy by looking at them. I know some are like me, too!  🙂

As one of my favorite song goes:

“…There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb….”

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Location: Te Anau, New Zealand

In LIFE – mountains are merely anything that we have to face day in and day out. Could be our families, our job, our marriage, our children, our church, sickness, our friendships and relationships, our fears or worries, our loneliness, and yes, aptly even our dreams and aspirations.

Do you have your OWN mountains – and how do you deal with them? I guess we ALL HAVE. But the thing is – if you want to climb your mountains – better be prepared for it! To be able to climb – we need a mindset that says “I CAN DO IT!” Scaling the mountains isn’t easy, dear. Who doesn’t want to FALL…and FAIL?  We all like to be winners or heroes somehow. Always.

We have our OPTIONS though. What do you want in LIFE? Do you want to climb with the summit in mind since they say the view from the TOP is the most beautiful thing? Gives you a certain indescribable HIGH. But of course, this takes the most “planning” and “preparation.” If you want to have a tough climb and be successful, then, be READY for it. Be FIT (as you would if you will literally climb a mountain). At times, preparation takes longer than the ACTUAL run, climb or goal. But if you want to succeed, you will do it.  Be armed with life’s experiences and lessons. Be skilled. Find strength in prayers. And FAITH. Yes, much of it. For how can you go on and on without your belief, be it in yourself, the people around you and more importantly, with GOD who reigns supreme ABOVE anyone and anything else?  If ever you encounter things that will block you off or get you out of focus, fight them off.  PRAY.  You are determined to reach the top, no matter what. A “never-say-die” attitude is a MUST. Patience is crucial. Oh, and it’s true that nothing, yes nothing, is  IMPOSSIBLE.  

Or do you want to just take it EASY?  Make the climb gradually while appreciating the views along the way – sort of scaling through life’s mountains in your “OWN” pace – no pressures. But hey, you are just going with the flow and whatever the outcome is, you are not to be disheartened, agitated or down. You know that life’s like that. REALLY like that. The important thing is you are doing your BEST. Same with LIFE – sometimes our “bests” are not enough. Sometimes we fall down, but every time we fall SEVEN times, we get up EIGHT times. A quip from a Japanese proverb. So much WISDOM there!

Or maybe, you would just rather stay in the sidelines – more of like waiting in the base camp where you just give your support and watch at how the others are being bold, fearless and awesome. These people fulfill their conquests with sweet victories. You are happy for them. Their winning is like your own. Some people are like that. They forego their own dreams or goals. Just happy to see others’ pursuits without even thinking of their own. They may not be as courageous. Or they do not want to take risks. They know they can do as well and maybe even better, but they rather not. Maybe there are limitations. Or they’re lacking somehow in love or support or maybe resources. Or there’s NO deeper self-motivation.  Or maybe they are just as delighted to have a GOOD rather than VERY GOOD or EXCELLENT.  Whatever it is, there’s nothing wrong as long as you feel it is not worth to sulk about. And you’re satisfied, happy and OK. That’s the MOST IMPORTANT. 🙂  

A MOUNTAIN will not be a mountain if it will not take your breath away. 🙂

They say that you need to FIND things that take your breath away – ‘right?

source: Pinterest

A MOUNTAIN will give you the PUSH so that you will ascend towards it no matter what. You will wonder and wander. You walk, hike, run, cross rivers, climb and do more climbing until you find what you’re looking for. You drive and drain yourself out. Well, a view there atop with all those lovely clouds is certainly inviting and haunting. One MOMENT to cherish. One for the #bucketlist. 🙂  If you have a DREAM and you’ve worked hard to achieve it, the rewards surely outweigh all the sacrifices and efforts you went through.

Location: Saddleback Haven @ Davao City, Philippines

If you think a MOUNTAIN is not worth climbing, then this is perfectly fine. Just like in LIFE – you choose your own battles. And be at PEACE with it.

But if you know and feel that this CLIMB will be worth it, then, by all means – GO. FOR. IT.

You climb the MOUNTAINS so that you can SEE the world, not that the world can see YOU. Makes a LOT of difference.

Want to see the world?  MOVE mountains, perhaps! 🙂

 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard  seed, you can say to this 
mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will 
be impossible for you."   ~ MATTHEW 17:20

loving summer weddings…

I just love weddings….and I love attending weddings! Who among us doesn’t? 🙂  Been there, done that!?!  Each wedding is unique in each own. A matter of taste and wishes. But we can’t deny  – something about weddings inspires our hearts. Being “overwhelmed with emotions” is truly an understatement! 🙂

In a span of 2 weeks recently, I was able to witness 2 weddings, quite alike  but different in many ways – one that has been tested through time, that is, 25 years! A SILVER celebration as many will call it. The renewal of vows came  at the most PERFECT time (as wife already reached the summit of her career and about to retire from the corporate world…) as she said, “Thank you (to the hubby) for letting me fly for 25 years, in the next 25 – it’s my turn to serve, love and care for you.” How heartwarming can that be! ♥♥♥  The other one – is where both the groom and bride will just be starting on an entirely NEW journey, a NEW life together –  as the couple promised to  have and  to hold, in sickness and in health…for better or for worse….and you all know what’s next. 😉

Source: Pinterest

I must admit feeling the same level of excitement as I think of the days approaching before the 2 weddings. Hubby was saying it is as if  I am ACTING that I am the would-be bride”!!! Haha! 😀  I guess it is because it was my very 1st time to attend a SILVER wedding and I looked forward to it. Hey, 6 years to go before ours but maybe we will just have a “simple” celebration by that time (hint…*wink*).  The only time I attended one  was the 50th or GOLDEN celebration for my grandparents on father’s side. I was just 12 or 13 then, many, many moons ago! 🙂

For the 2nd wedding – I am doubly excited as I’m seeing a friend fulfill her dreams of marrying a man whom she loves & loves her back even MORE, putting into LIFE finally her most cherished dream wedding. It was the PERFECT TIME, too for them. It has been planned earlier and Summer of 2017 was meant for it to happen. It was such a beautiful culmination of a LDR ( or Long-Distance Relationship ) and the GRAND prize that they received from all the sacrifices going through a “so near, yet so far” relationship. 🙂 I certainly know how it felt. I, myself is a product of LDR and I guess when you get to the point of marrying your THE ONE – the more it becomes a joyous, pretty ecstatic and a much heartfelt MOMENT for you both having spent many previous milestones and occasions  in a highly-digital mode, or most of them online ( oh well, in my time – long distance calls over landlines is the way ( no facial expressions though, haha…) and snail mail is the thing. Until e-mail came in….BUT no social media yet to speak of, hoowww really SADDD, huhuhu…). 😀

Since we are on the subject of celebrating weddings – let me give you some BASIC tips on how to help you plan out  for the MOST SPECIAL day of your lives – not only for the ladies, but more so for men. Yup – men should also be prepared and geared up for THE BIG DAY!  After all, ALL eyes will be focused on BOTH the groom and the bride. It is really a “couple” celebration and admittedly, maybe the SPOTLIGHT is often ( if not always) on the BRIDE! That’s why they say “walking down the aisle” is one of the highlights in any girl’s life. She is at her “most beautiful and everything” in her wedding day! Oh yeah! 🙂

Source: Pinterest

With the social media lording it over us nowadays, you can’t help but make your WEDDING one that is worthy to be shared, appreciated and awed with much love and inspiration (and other gamut of emotions in-between). Something that will be remembered for a long, long time. Hey – it’s not something that is perfect but the LOVE that goes with it will be evident all the way.  The 2 weddings Hubby and I were able to attend would you believe have the SAME  videographers & photographers! What a coincidence, a pleasant one at that! Both had very creative and beautiful  “SDE” (Same-Day Edit) videos shown during the wedding programs….as well as pre-nup/pre-wedding and of course, the actual wedding still shots. In both occasions, the results were really awesome! BRAVO!!!!! 😀 What a great choice as I noticed that the people behind them were really very young guys. Awww. Must be a MILLENIAL thing-y! They’re really good, so creative and produced outstanding work. Top-of-the-line, to say the least! 🙂

So, let me just have a run through of a list on the most usual and general requirements for a wedding. Oh well, attending two weddings in a row doesn’t make me an EXPERT yet. Haha!  🙂

  • Hire a WEDDING PLANNER or EVENTS ORGANIZER. This is the way to go NOW. Of course, a part of your wedding budget will go here but usually the cost will outweigh the results. Bride and groom can relax a little bit and may do other important details as the BIG day approaches. Or if both are working, they may  just focus on their jobs first and attend to wedding matters when they’re off at work. Usually, the wedding planners  have the network of other major wedding vendors and/or suppliers. They have relationships and can probably give their insights and experiences on how they’ve dealt with them before. This is IMPORTANT as who wouldn’t want their wedding foolproof? The works of the wedding? These should be taken cared of and hiring someone to do it for the couple is one of the best decisions. Go for those who are professionals in this field and who have the best reputation and feedback from previous clients. You can never go wrong once you’ve shortlisted and chose the BEST of the BEST.
  • Have a THEME. At this time in our country, SUMMER is the theme that is apt – and both weddings lived up to it. The SILVER wedding has the pastel-floral theme with only the bride and groom in whites. The male entourage wore beige summer polos & khakis while the female counterparts were in their flowing, sheer floral gowns and donned summer flowers in their hair. The other wedding has the same “summery-slash-floral” theme with colors of green, white, teal, silver,  gray and “nature-ish” ambiance all over! The flowing tresses of green & white long stems & leaves hanging from the ceilings, the all-GREEN grasslike backdrop for the stage and photo booth with the wedding’s logo, ornate crystal chairs  and  lovely enormous  floral centerpieces made the venue a feast for the eyes, indeed! 🙂 How refreshing the sights and I love the vibe that go with it in both occasions! ♥
  • Decide based on the COUPLE’s PREFERENCES. – True. The couple have to decide on their BUDGET, first of all. From there, work on these 3 items first – DATE, VENUE and GUEST LIST, including  the ones who will most likely participate in the wedding rites  like the  Principal Sponsors or Witnesses and the Wedding Entourage. Of course, based on our Filipino tradition – family and relatives are TOP PRIORITY in this aspect of planning. Couples should have a “mutual” agreement and both sides of the families should be well-represented.

Other details to work on for the couple are as follows :

  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Wedding Venue & Reception Bookings – whatever is the choice ( be it in a garden, a beach or a hotel, restaurant or clubhouse…)
  • Wedding Officiator – Priest or Pastor
  • Marriage License requirements
  • Wedding Outfits
  • Hair & Make-up Artist
  • Wedding Invitations
  • Wedding Vows & Special Messages to Parents ( if couple wants to have their own, personal vows to share with each other as well as their special messages to honor  their parents )
  • Wedding Rings
  • Florists
  • Caterers ( as the case may be )
  • Wedding Giveaways/Souvenirs
  • Wedding Program – band/musical instruments/flow of program/host/entertainment
  • Honeymoon plans & bookings

* These details can be shared with the planner/organizer who may suggest and recommend but of course, FINAL decision always will be based on the couple’s preferences or wishes. Some very good and useful  inputs are expected from the hired event planner/organizer based on their first-hand experiences. Oh, and don’t forget your wedding’s #HASHTAGS! This is a MUST for this generation’s weddings! 🙂

Source: Pinterest

Having said all of these, I guess the real work begins right AFTER the wedding. WORK on making the marriage WORK. 🙂 Needless to say, GOD should be at the CENTER of one’s marriage. Their ANCHOR as well. Always. PRAY, PRAY and just PRAY! As for the SILVER or GOLDEN celebrators, this is already something that they hopefully have within them. If not, 25 or 50 years may be too long – ‘right?  But marriage is always  a continuing journey of ADJUSTMENTS  whether you are just starting NEW or ANEW – it is both a GIFT and a CHALLENGE. Consider it a gift if making adjustments is just like breathing into air.  Once the challenges are overcome, marriage becomes a BLESSING! Heaven on earth, actually! 🙂

Planning to get married? Don’t think twice if you found the one TRUE love! ♥ ♥♥ There is no other way  but pursue it! √√√ GO for it and have a really cool,  fun and touching wedding ( did I mention also “social media-worthy”?!?! 🙂 ). Lest we forget, you MUST enjoy  a well-planned and unforgettable honeymoon afterwards, too! 🙂

Don’t you just LOVE weddings, time and time AGAIN?  I DO, I really DO!!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

"Love bears all things,believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things...." 1 Cor 13:7

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