Sunday, January 31, 2016

Which Way do You Want to Go?

It is the first month of the year. A new beginning towards our journey through 2016, and the last thing I would want to write about is death.

This post was originally composed last November 2015, meant for All Souls’ Day. Apart from commemorating and praying for our dearly departed, it is also a time to reflect on life. But I believe that the topic of death remains relevant regardless of time, since it is one reality that we all have to face at any point in our lives. Whether it happens to a friend, family member, or eventually, to ourselves.

As a positive, blessed-with-sunny-disposition-always-optimistic person, I have the natural aversion to negative, sad, depressing topics and pessimistic point of views. It is precisely why I don’t like watching the news, for obvious reasons, or watching movies that do more emotional turmoil than provide a blissful escape from the real world.

Life is naturally seasoned with events that bring us sorrow and pain. No matter how we shield ourselves from all the negativity and sadness in the world, the fact remains that we coexist with it to provide a sense of balance in the emotional ecosystem. After all, how can we appreciate the sweetness of happiness if we do not know the bitterness of sorrow and pain?

I do not want to entertain the idea of death at this point in my life, because I know I am not yet ready for it. In fact, I don’t think I will ever be. I still have a lot to do and accomplish--so many dreams to fulfill and plans eagerly waiting to be realized, especially for my Little Lady. But I know that no matter how much we want to live longer more than we are supposed to, only God knows when we will truly go. Regardless if we are ready or not, I believe we can only bargain for an extension or the preferred circumstance of our grand exit, from the Giver of Life.

People die every minute, every day, in many different ways. But if you will be given a chance to choose how you will go, which way would it be?

As for me, I prefer a painless demise while in deep slumber, dreaming the most beautiful dream. Take note that this can only happen any time after I turn 101 years old. Yes, I declare that I plan to live a very long life.

How about you?

Have a blessed and meaningful Sunday, everyone!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sayonara 2015!

New Year 2015

As 2015 finally comes to an end, it suddenly hit me-- can I bear the thought of having a single post recorded for this year? I only realized that I had been most MIA this year that the previous ones, and I desperately NEED to snap out of this year-long stupor already. That is why, at past 5:00 am today I started typing this, or else things will get in the way again before I can publish. Sleep, for most part, some cleaning after, and making lasagna for our New Year's Eve dinner.

I know it feels like visiting a home while the owner is on vacation, but I hope my previous posts kept you company while I fulfilled real world responsibilities. The year 2015 has been a good year for me, but as much as I wish I was able to share my moments with you, time already slipped away and I can only look forward to a better 2016, where I can hopefully learn to have improved time management skills.

Yes, seriously.

My goal for next year is to maximize my time and do more. My head is overflowing with ideas that need realization. So much creativity and potential, but lack of planning, strategy and implementation. I know for years that the way I manage my daily activities need to change if I want to see improvement in all areas of my life, including this blog. Let us wait and see how it will turn out this time around (fingers crossed).  

In the meantime, let me greet you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed Happy New Year 2016 to you and your families. May God bless us all!

Sayonara 2015!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lessons in Music

If only Northampton Massachusetts piano lessons are available here in the country, I am positive that it would be one of my top choices for my daughter’s activity this summer. Although piano lessons abound almost anywhere in the world nowadays, whether offered by an institution or on a personalized level, these are not created alike. Suffice it to say, not everything provides high quality and standard training. As a staunch supporter of honing my little lady’s talents, I always choose providers that prioritize excellence to fully maximize the value of time and money invested. 

When my musically-inclined daughter was much younger, she enjoyed classical and piano music during play time; while the same served as her lullabies that provided comfort to attain a good night’s sleep. I can still vividly remember when she hummed her first song, Canon in D by Pachelbel, when she was barely one year old. Since then, I could not help but wish and dream a bright future for her in the music industry, like any normal parent would. 

While growing up, she took an interest in playing the piano and guitar on her own. With no one to teach her at home, she made learning possible through watching tutorials online that taught her the basics. I was amazed at how much knowledge she has absorbed out of sheer interest, patience, and determination. She can even play a piece by just getting a feel of the keyboard without reading notes at all. Given the right education and professional guidance, I trust that she will reach her full potential and excel in this field. 

There are many self-taught artists that relied purely on talent and perseverance to achieve their dreams, but I believe that if one has the capability to afford to take formal lessons from a reputable educator in the industry, it will equip him/her with the proficiency and expertise through tried and tested methods and techniques that will direct the path to becoming a full-fledged artist.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Letter to My Daughter

Originally a handwritten letter I made for my little girl on January 2010, but never had the chance to publish.   

Dearest Chestene,

I thought about writing you today because I’m missing you this very minute. I am here at work, and while doing the usual things that I do, my thoughts turned to you. I don’t know if it’s because you lost something again in school. I called the “Lost and Found” section and they already informed your teacher about it, in case they find your eyeglasses. Yes, Mamita told me about it.

I’m not mad, really. It’s just that I want you to be RESPONSIBLE in all aspects, at all times. I know it’s a very big word, but I want you to learn it early in life. When you grow up, you will realize how important it is.

But apart from that, today, I just want you to know that I love you—very much, more that anyone could love you today, tomorrow or any day in the future, because I will love you forever. Always remember that even when everybody else leaves you, I will stay and remain to be your best friend and number one fan for life.

Every night, when I look at your face while you are sleeping, I feel overwhelmingly blessed. Extremely blessed. I may not have all the riches in the world, but I have YOU— and that makes me far richer than the richest person in the world. I thank God all the time for bringing you into my life. I often ask Him, what  have I done to deserve such a precious and perfect gift? You are everything I wished for, everything I imagined, every single detail I asked Him for you to be, He has molded and beautifully created.

I just forgot to ask Him to give you clear eyesight, but don’t feel bad. Your eyes are brighter than anyone I know, for it serve as the window where the pureness of your heart shines. Like what I always tell you, it is not something that makes you imperfect in my eyes or in His, but just a slight reminder that you are human, and all humans each have a share of weakness in different forms that make us all unique.

You are beautiful, intelligent, funny, loving, kind, thoughtful, creative and all good things rolled into one. You can be whatever you want to be and so much more, so DREAM BIG. I know you will be the best that you can be. Live each day with the strong confidence and belief that you can achieve whatever you set your mind and heart on. You deserve only the best because you are worth it, so never settle for less.

You will always be my little girl, my precious one, my number one. I promise to do my best to give you the brightest future I could provide. You have so much ahead of you, so many beautiful things and blessings God has in store for you. I have always believed that you are destined to do great things. So live each day full of hope and enthusiasm. Just be patient and prayerful and everything that is meant for you will come in God’s perfect time.

I’m not sure if Mom’s adult talk is boring you already. Probably you are already waiting to be done with this so you can draw, read your books, or write stories. But you can keep this and read it again another day—next week, next month or next year, it doesn't really matter when. Because the words here that show what’s inside my heart, will never ever change.

I love you forever,


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Single Valentine's Day!

My Colorful Heart 2013

So it’s almost Valentine’s Day

Do you feel or have succumbed to the pressure of one of the most celebrated events every year? Well, I don’t. You see, one of the perks of being single is the fact that you don’t have to plan your world around the existence of another person you are romantically attached to, everyday—not just on V-Day.

Just a shout out to other fabulous singles: there are things that you can actually do this time of the year, other than cuddling and canoodling or haplessly jumping into a relationship just for the sake of  having someone to spend it with. You can:

(a) stay at home and sleep the day away (saves you money!);

(b) organize 'I Hate Valentine’s Day' party with your single and brokenhearted friends and revel on how being in love sucks;

(c) watch a romantic movie, depress yourself a little, and gorge on the tastiest and 'junkiest' food available;

(d) go out and treat your amazing single self with some head to toe pampering;

(e) write the bucket list of all bucket lists (it’s about time!);

(f) buy yourself flowers and chocolates (read: love yourself!);

(g) list down the qualities of your ideal partner, then envision and practice the Law of Attraction (if you don’t want to spend the next Valentine’s Day alone again, that is); and

(h) a whole lot of possibilities!

You can be bitter or better—whichever you choose, it’s your call. After all, the truth is, it’s just another day and no one can judge you on how you decide to spend it.

Of course, the invisible pressure and the cheesiness of the day will still be squeamishly felt, while ants feast on the sweetness of the syrupy occasion. But there’s more to spending the day as a lovesick couple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE BEING IN LOVE—so much, I hope I feel it again very soon. It's just that I believe, one can also turn this day into an opportunity to appreciate OTHER people they love. You know, the ones who stay along the sidelines when your world is revolving around one person alone, yet stays with you to pick up the pieces of your shattered heart and help you rebuild your life again, long after the love of your life has moved on to another prey.

Spread the love to those who need it too, like family, friends, or even strangers, and make a difference on someone else’s Valentine’s Day. You’ll be surprised how much it will mean to both of you.

As for my plans, sure I’ll spread the cheer around by sending heart-shaped greetings, but I guess I’ll go the usual road of mediocrity with some dose of fun, and end up spending it meaningfully with the people that matter most to me—my family.

Trust me; it will be just as sweet and cheesy, with dozens of assorted heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts to devour coupled with big hugs and small kisses.

Happy Hearts' Day!

P.S. Took this photo of the sky last year and turned it into a colorful heart, somehow. Please feel free to share and link back. :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Under Promise, Under Deliver

I have under promised and under delivered 3 blog posts last 2013. Time breezes so hastily, making it hard hard to catch up and write (Read: Yes, I have been my laziest self). I had so many things going on in my head, words included, that needed to be written and regretfully, just dissipated into oblivion after some time due to memory gap. 

Details to follow on my next hopefully upcoming post soon, but for now, let me greet you a remarkable, fabulous and amazing 2014, loaded with bliss and overflowing blessings! :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers' Day!

To our very own Man of Steel, to the admirable men who carry on the noble mission of fatherhood, and to the great women who lovingly fulfill the duties of both mother and father, may the good Lord bless you with immeasurable joy and happiness always!


P.S. Made this layout for Dad's 75th and Sofia's 5th joint birthday celebration in 2011.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Time to Give

When I was younger, I had all the time in the world to create handmade gifts to my family and friends whenever there’s a special occasion. I love to do crafts and shop for cute and useful things that I would put together, redesign and personalize. Preparing gifts and surprising my loved ones with inexpensive, yet unique creations always give me a different sense of fulfillment. But when I became an adult with real life responsibilities to prioritize, I realized what “so much to do, so little time” meant in its truest sense. 

Fortunately, while the luxury of time has become limited, the creative expression need not be compromised. There are a lot of online gift shops today that cater to this specific kind of need, where you can browse a  lovely range of selections and conveniently order in just a few clicks, without going to a physical store. So whether one is too busy to shop for dog gift baskets for a furry friend, or has ran out of ideas of what to give during the holiday rush, the warmth of Christmas food gift baskets never fail to spread the holiday cheer. 

One of the best things that my parents taught me early in life is how to be a joyful giver. It does not matter how little or how much you give, for the thought of sharing without expecting anything in return, is what’s truly important. Gift-giving does not always require a special occasion. Whenever you feel like sharing, please do. The profound happiness it brings is meaningful both to the giver and the receiver, especially when it comes from the heart.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013: Under Promise, Over Deliver

Unposted artwork from 2011

I started blogging in 2008, over enthusiastic yet clueless. I was nervous working on the first article I’m sharing to the world, for the OC in me had to make sure it’s free from typos and grammatical errors. Just as I mentally edit the words before I speak, I re-read and revised my first blog post so many times before clicking the ‘Publish’ button. The thought of someone reading it and finding mistakes, made me cringe. 

As I journeyed through the blogosphere, I learned by making baby steps on how to make my blog presence felt online; became more comfortable with writing for myself and others, as well; connected and made friends both local and abroad; gained followers who actually read my thoughts and anticipate the next letters that I will type; and ultimately, profit from what I write. 

It has been almost 5 years and I’m fully aware that I have grown laid-back and MIA most of the time, as my blog aged and survived purely through traffic source from search engines (I’m lucky I wrote about things that people look for all the time). But through the years, I've always had the deep yearning to share new insights and experiences regularly and make my existence felt, only that I have yet to find the inspiration to let it happen. 

For what it felt like the longest time, I have postponed writing lengthy posts in exchange of real world activities that consume my days. I have resorted to posting photos instead, that need very little words to spare me from having to say more than what is called for. And testament to that, is a grand total of 3 posts last year that clearly say, it’s time to light up my fire in a major way and keep it burning once again. 

I had two wakeup calls last year when I attended seminar-workshops about Innovating Governance through the Social Web and the Nuffnang Blogopolis. I’m so glad I went to both events for I came to realize the great opportunities I have been missing by putting blogging on hold. One significant thing I learned is to ‘under promise and over deliver’ instead of what I've been doing, which is completely the other way around. I realized that promising to write and going MIA all of a sudden is a clear injustice to my readers. 

So just as resolutions and diet promises begin whenever a brand new year unfolds, I’m jumping in the bandwagon and try to fulfill undelivered promises this time around. I still have a lot of words and ideas kept hostage inside my head that will be put into writing, so please stick around and watch them finally unravel. :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Phantom of the Opera Exclusive Meet and Greet Promo

Get a chance to win an exclusive pass - a pair of orchestra tickets to meet the stellar cast of The Phantom of the Opera on October 9, 2012, Tuesday, right after the 8:00 pm show.

To join, 'like' the Concertus Manila Fan Page on Facebook, post and share a photo or video of your favorite song or character from The Phantom of the Opera, and tell them why. Deadline of entries is on October 8, 2012, 12:00 noon, and winners will be posted on the same date.