The Year I Tell Myself to Choose Yourself

Towards the end of a year, I always set aside time to think of my mantra for the upcoming one. Well, it could be a “battle cry”, or a manifesto, or literally anything in prose or poem that would motivate me for the coming year. The previous years the themes were about filling myself with immense fire to be driven to reach my goals. Or to never allow the fear of walking alone stop me from pursuing my dreams. And while those got the job done, and allow me to march forward in my life, something didn’t feel just quite right.

This year, I did it differently in many ways. First, I didn’t just write it on the first page of my Moleskine, or on the January 1 entry of my journal. I knew I wanted to engrave it on the cover of my diary, and fortunately, National Bookstore offered that service this year (and to be honest, I wish they do it every year. I would hoard like crazy).


Continue reading “The Year I Tell Myself to Choose Yourself”

The Year I Tell Myself to Choose Yourself

My Personal Retreat

I remember my friends urging me to go to the Silent Retreat arranged by the Campus Ministry Office. Whether it be a 3-day, 5-day or even the 8-day retreat, my friends were trying their best to convince me because it would really help me clear my mind. Sad to say, I didn’t go for it…but there are no regrets.

Honestly, there are times when I feel that I feel God more when I least expect Him to be around. Just the other day I went to Starbucks and stayed there for around 5 hours drinking an iced asian dolce latte and I was writing on my journal as well. For some reason, I felt God there. I felt like He was just by my side and he was helping me clear my mind. Perhaps, there would be more drama if I went up a hill or went to a retreat, but my personal everyday retreats help a lot. Sometimes I feel like I have already perfected finding peace amidst all the craziness of the life in the city. I always devote time to pray before I sleep and also when I wake up in the morning. It’s my way of beginning and ending my day thanking God and to just listen to Him and feel Him. This might sound weird for some of my friends who normally see me as someone loud and just crazy. But yes, I cherish my alone moments and the moments when I pray.

When I was in High School I was able to get two books which I use from time to time to help me pray. I received a copy of The Spiritual Exercises from a Student Council Silent Retreat in 2008 and the Wood for the Fire was a book given to me by my former Student Council moderator as a graduation gift. The white parts of the cover of the Spiritual Exercises book is actually now quite yellow. Not really sure how to best maintain it considering it’s just neatly placed along with other books.

DSC_0039 copyDSC_0038 copyTo this day, I really hold dear these two books. I get to pray and I get to do my own “personal retreat”. I honestly and firmly believe that prayer is something that should be done on a regular basis and not just once a week, or if there’s only a special occasion. Always take time to thank Him for all the blessings.

I have also been able to keep track of my life on a daily basis through my journal which I have been faithfully writing on ever since I started. For now, I don’t want to share what I have written but don’t worry, not bad stuff written there; just my raw thoughts.

DSC_0037 copyAs you can see, there are some stuff written on the back of this page. Hopefully none of you will be able to decipher what I have written….hopefully. Haha!

I can say that having a journal I get to write on everyday helps me see what has been happening in my life for the past days. It allows me to be thankful for the blessings I have received and at the same time, it has been helping me analyze where I am at this point in my life and how I want to move towards my dreams and goals. In a way I guess I get to write my own examen and keep track of it.

By the way, I have used my instax already! As some of you might remember, I recently bought a polaroid, you can check the entry here!

The print is small and it’s quite cute! It’s almost the same size as that of a graduation picture!

DSC_0040 copyDSC_0041 copy

I can’t wait to bring Athena on Monday for the ASLA dinner!

My Personal Retreat

Life of A (F)unemployed Person

While people have been saying that after college, a new chapter begins or a new chapter unfolds, I honestly believe that it’s not just a new chapter. I really think that it’s a new book altogether, although part of the same series. I think that life after college is a huge leap. There would be less breaks, us graduates will be more independent, at least, that’s what I think. It’s the time that we show what we have learned from the past 16 or so years we’ve had. It’s not just the application of what we have learned in our courses be it Finance or Computer Science. No. I think it’s more than that. What we do after college is perhaps—ideally—the sum of everything we have learned from our teachers, our interactions with different people, exposure to different realities around us. I think what I just said is a bit flawed but it makes sense most of the time. The decisions have made and the decisions some of us are yet to make, ultimately are rooted in our formation from school…and the compromise we make with our parents.

Anyway, two days ago I decided to buy a Moleskine plain notebook that would act as my journal post-college. I plan to chronicle everyday of my life as much as I can. I have so much time in my hands right now as I am currently (f)unemployed—my way of being in denial that I am unemployed. I have already done one entry, and it feels good to be back writing. For some reason, it feels better to write what I think and what I feel more than typing it. I guess it’s more raw that way? Take for example the fact that it takes me much time to make an entry because I would review the whole entry and move some parts up or delete parts. When I write, it is what it is. The way that pen glides through the pages also feels so nice. It’s like I’m back in the Grade School days. Haha.

DSC_0011 copyAs much as I would want to blog everyday, I don’t think my life is blog-worthy, on a daily basis that is. I really feel though that everyday, every feeling, every thought is worth journaling; everything is worth cherishing. Maybe I’ll be done writing on this journal by the end of the year and I’ll look back and see how amazing the year has been after graduation—with the assumption I’d be able to start working this year. Exciting times. Much as I was scared of life after college, I’m actually excited…I’m ready to take on a new set of challenges. I’m ready to meet new people and make new friends. I’m ready to learn, grow, and be a better person. I’m ready to change the world in my own way. And I’m pretty much thrilled to fill up these blank pages in the new book of my life.DSC_0014 copy

Life of A (F)unemployed Person

Simple Joys in Life

This is the start of my weekly blog entry which I promise to faithfully follow even if nothing eventful happens in my life…which is quite impossible because if you know me I’m practically a party on my own. I promise to at least have 53 blog entries by the end of the year but I will try my best to have more. It kinda sucks that my memory here is limited and so once I have started working, I will be upgrading my account to be able store more images and finally do some video embedding and the like. Yay me!


Christmas of 2012 my brother gave me a Moleskine planner which I really love. If you know me I am an avid planner user and I have actually started using planners back in 2005—the first one being a Starbucks planner where every month there’s some postcard and envelope themed to that month. Come 2008 I made the big shift of using a Moleskine planner and I’m amazed that I am on my 6th planner this 2013. I am proud of myself. Haha!

But I consider this as a “simple joy in life”. I am a semi-obsessive compulsive person sans the orderly chaos of my room. Add to that I always have something to do, always something to attend to and having a planner organizes my life and without a planner, I will not be able to keep track of everything going on. The only time when my planners aren’t needed would be when it’s near finals and because profs keep on saying the deadline(s), then I have already memorized what has to be done, when it should be done and other details.

Moving back to my planner. The color is different this year. I always opt to get a black one even though red is my favorite color because black just looks so classic and it doesn’t really catches people’s attention that much. This year it’s…I’m not exactly sure what it is..exactly. It’s like blue/blue-violet-ish/indigo…something. And I originally wanted the Star Wars “Do Or Do Not There Is No Try” but (1) I’m not a Star Wars fan and (2) ran out of stock. I opted to go for the Le Petit Prince one because (1) It’s French, (2) I like the story of The Little Prince and (3) The inside looks just adorable!

DSC_0044It was really difficult to capture the real color of the planner! But you can just check it out in the site of Moleskine!

What made me even happier about it is that it came along with a calendar which I can just put in my desk when my laptop nor my phone aren’t with me! Apologizing in advance if it looks “Instagram-like”.hehe

What also made me happy is when my brother gave me two MUJI no-rules notebooks which I can’t find here in Manila!

DSC_0040You see, I love MUJI notebooks…only if they don’t have rules. I hate it when they have those dots or when they have those lines. I have often used MUJI notebooks for sketching my thoughts or just freely writing down things and having dots or lines prevent me from having a good look at what I have written or drawn. And one thing about me is that I couldn’t care less about the brand of notebooks I buy when it comes to my “creative thoughts”, but the pages are supposed to have a certain texture and color and smell that would make me feel comfortable using them….and MUJI is just a “go to” for that.

DSC_0042I guess beyond sharing what my brother got me for Christmas, this post is also about how I’m, in a way, preparing for a new book in my life. As some of you may know I will be graduating this March and  I will be joining the workforce soon. More importantly, life happens after I receive my diploma. And the thought of it is quite scary. But how fitting that this should be at the inside of the back cover of my planner and perhaps it shall encapsulate what will happen to many of us graduating seniors and superseniors this 2013.

DSC_0050Antoine de Saint-Exupéry writes, “Pour les uns, qui voyagent, les étoiles sont des guides.” (“For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides”) and, “J’ai des amis à découvrir et beaucoup de choses à connaître.” (“I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand”).

Simple Joys in Life

5 Days to Go. 5 Things That are Making Me Happy

I really can’t believe that I only have 5 days to go before I leave for France! I have started packing last week but it seems that my luggage is always overweight and that I constantly need to repack and try to understand what’s making my luggage overweight! But oh well, I do not want to dwell on the negatives, I’d rather dwell on the top 5 things that are making me happy right now!

Finally after around 4 years I get an ATM again! Last time I had was back in 3rd Year High and after maxing it out, and being scolded by mom because of it, she decided maybe it’s best I don’t own one. Now that I am going to France, I would definitely need one as means to sustain myself there. Why not have a credit card as well? Simple, my mom thinks I’ll just max it out. HAHA!

My bag. I don’t know why but it’s making me happy. I don’t want to show you how I fixed it because it looks like a mess! Haha! Quite notable that for the the first time I ever, I rolled my shirts instead of folding them. I am really still praying I get to stuff everything needed and wanted inside the bag 😦

My moleskine! Looks familiar? I featured this one in another post back in April! This is the one I got all the way from Milan, because the one I’m currently using had a factory defect. Really excited to fill it up with memories and colors and whatever I can stuff it with!

My eurail everything! I got these yesterday and I am so excited to just travel around Europe on days that I don’t have class! Unlike my other schoolmates in Rennes, I opted not to get Austria and instead have a France-Germany-Switzerland ticket worth for 8 trips in 2 months. I am hoping I won’t regret the decision to deviate from them. I don’t know what’s in Austria anyway and I actually want to have a weekend for myself. Soul searching? Maybe. 🙂

 And the one that’s making me happy the most and until I’m so giddy about is my new laptop! After waiting for practically around 71 days (I think…), I finally got my macbook pro! TBH, reflecting now, I really would’ve wanted a macbook white but it’s no longer sold. I am still waiting for an orange speck to come out and I’m still looking for a decent sleeve for my lappy. Hoping I get to find one before I leave! 😦 Still clueless what to name it, my brother suggested the French for Apple which would be “Pommes” but it sounds weird. So confused what to call her! 😦

Thank you mom for buying me my lappy! I love you despite the many times I got so impatient 🙂

Other things making me happy includeThe weigh thinger which I’ll be bringing to France.

This First Aid Manual I started studying back in 3rd Year because I never had the time to enroll myself under Red Cross. Stopped reading since college so I’m quite clueless. Really thinking of bringing this to France if I still have enough weight for my luggage/hand carry. If not, will probably download an ebook version if available.

WHHHHEEEE!!! 5 days to go and I’m getting 100% ready! Will update this more often(I’ll try to daily even!) when I’m there, promise! 🙂

5 Days to Go. 5 Things That are Making Me Happy