2015 – The year that was…

2015 – THE YEAR THAT WAS…

my year ender
Photo courtesy of: http://www.happygoluckyblog.com/2014/11/thankful-people-happiest.html
16115-live-the-life-you-love-love-the-life-you-live
Courtesy of: http://inspirably.com/quotes/by-chloe-jade-gardner-otto/live-the-life-you-love-love-the-life-you-live

2015 was a year full of choices. Good and bad. Of writing from the heart. Of discovering new realms. And knowing where it’ll lead me.

hello 2015
In full anticipation…

It was a year of ecstasy, and disappointments. And just like everyone else’s, it was a year of laughter and tears.

It was a year of stalwart friendships, of realizing whom and what to keep, and what and whom to let go.

It was a year of reuniting with old souls which reminded me of who I was. And working out hard not to forget that part of me.

It was a year of violet crumble, tassels, peacocks and fairies and walkers and figure out what weapons to use and shabby chics and bohos too.

tassles
This is God speaking to me..

It was a year of acquiring new friends and being grateful having them despite of distance and race. It was cool to discover new people having the same beliefs, aspirations, just to know they have a lot of common with me. Even if I haven’t met with them upfront.

It was a year of reuniting with true friends long gone. And family bonding. Of creating memories instead of fabricating fears.

fam
Where’s Ash?! =)

It was a year of figuring out what Oscar Wilde wanted to express in De Profundis because one way or another, I had the same anguish for regretting something I did which time could never erase. And papa making me see it in my dreams several times. Of remorse and making – up for it at every chance.

God
Let go and let God…

It was a year of knowing about Padre Pio, and making simple dreams came true, while dreaming again to fulfill new and bigger ones soon.

airport
I am what I love…

That in every dream, is an ounce of patience for me.

It was a year of loving anyone, in any form.

kitties
My babies..

It was a year of discovering beauty in the most odd places. And of dancing spirits.

It was a year of rejections, yet, of acknowledgements from the most unexpected souls.

And for that, it was a year of maturity that is supposed to be there years ago.

For most of us, this year were full of surprises, challenges, griefs and bliss, unexpected moments that will either make or break us. And just a reminder to myself and to all my loved ones, to let those make a better person out of you as it did on me.

jen
See the beauty in everyone..

More so, it was a year of several “letting go”… because I wanted to go back to the basic of a simplified life. No more or less drama perhaps. Because I firmly believe, this very amazing life is supposed to be light and happy and grateful. And so I learned to forgive. I let go. And hope. Because it is eternal.

let go
Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/groups/555717891138891/permalink/1005236392853703/

And so this 2016, I’m striving for it. It is my duty and in every aspect, I need to be.

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Sweet victory for Pia – Miss Philippines bagged the Miss Universe’2015 title! =)

Miss Philippines as Miss Universe 2015 – Finally!!! 

I could not contain being ecstatic when Ms. Pia Wurtzbach won the title. Despite of that famous, huge blunder by Steve Harvey. In fairness to him, I admire him for correcting his mistake immediately, if they will retract it at a later time, they would have spelled trouble and the integrity of this award giving body will be at stake.

My overwhelming happiness for the ever-confident Pia Wurtzbach’s bagging this year’s Miss Universe title, it’s been years, almost my age, through the years, these are the countless reasons for such joy:

1. I am a Filipina

me
I am by face and by color…(–,)

2. I am personally hoping for every representative to get it since Filipinas are known for their beauty, uniqueness and intelligence

3. I was a fan of Ms. Miriam Quiambao – Miss Universe – 1st runner up 1999

Miriam Quiambao.. Courtesy of: http://missosology.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=597298
Miriam Quiambao..
Courtesy of:
http://missosology.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=597298

4. Back in my teenage life, I was motivated by my relatives to join pageants. And had I grown taller, I could have tried my luck. This is because an elder cousin of mine then won the Ms. Maja Philippines and she was a runner-up of Ms. Student canteen too. They wanted our batch to achieve the same, they asked me to have my teeth on braces, they taught me to exercise a lot, they made me practice to smile all the time, chin-up on pictures taken, to get used to wearing stilettos, etc. Unfortunately, my height at 5’2″ stopped at that, I honestly felt disappointed with myself for not living up to my clans’ expectations, that’s why for every win, and for every contestant whose color is like mine – copper skinned or mulato or in our native language is “morena”. I had this pride inside too. I felt such happiness for that woman and for the country itself. Perhaps, all Filipinos are looking forward to competitions joined by our fellow countrymen.

5. I could not forget Charlene Gonzalez’ wit (she landed top 6 – Miss Universe 1994) of answering a question thrown at her with another question. Very witty. It taught me to think in depth. The question went like this: “How many islands are there in the Philippines?” Her answer: “High-tide or low-tide?” And the crowds were cheering after that! She was also able to answer the numbers. Such a display of intelligence.

charlene
Charlene Bonin.. Courtesy of: http://missosology.info/~missyorg/forum/index.php?sid=04f113c798b041d3db2ab7b7cc293ea0

6. Wearing a crown is naturally every woman’s dream right? Giving pride and honor to your loved ones and to your country. Such happiness knowing that you’ve got people or fans who believed in you.

And since the Miss Universe crown have been quite elusive for the country, the last one it was won by a Filipina was in 1973, I was only a year old then.

margie
Margarita Moran.. Courtesy of: http://3stoogiez.com/2015/08/top-3-most-successful-countries-in-the-big-4/

The first we had it was by Ms. Gloria Diaz in 1969.

gloria
Gloria Diaz. Courtesy of: https://airwindzone.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/gloria-diaz/

When through the years, there were times that we were almost there.

ruffa
Ruffa was a sure win then. We were still in college and we wished that she join pageants as she got it all to win. Courtesy of: http://www.pep.ph/celeb/photos/5027/filipina-celebs-turned-beauty-queens

Year 2010, Venus Raj, set the parameter. She landed on the top 5.

venus
I think Venus set the parameter. Or sparked the passion sleeping for years. Courtesy of: http://www.zimbio.com

After a year, I thought it’s time for Shamcey.

Shamcey-Evening-Gown-2
Shamcey Supsup- 2011 Courtesy of: http://www.starmometer.com/2011/09/10/shamcey-supsupup-miss-universe-2011-preliminaries/

And Janine’s.

janine
Janine Tugonon took my breath away. She landed first runner up – 2012. Courtesy of: http://www.vnbeauties.com/t35749-topic

Then, Ariella made it to the top 3 – Miss Universe 2013.

Ariella Arida show stealer
I also thought it is her time. However, that yellow gown got a very low score. Courtesy of: bidakapamilya.blogspot.com

While I loved the Sarimanok theme (or is it a peacock) of her national costume.

ariella

Mj made it to the top 10. I looked up at that time to the delegate come 2015.

mj
Mary jean Lastimosa made it to the top 10 – Miss Universe 2014. Courtesy of: http://salestore808directsupplier.blogspot.com/2014/04/mary-jean-lastimosa-miss-universe.html

There was even an issue that a group were banning Filipinas to join Beauty pageants. When they thought it ruined us per se, the more that the world or perhaps the universe took notice of how beautiful Filipinas can be.

meg
Megan Young won the title – Miss World 2013. Courtesy of: http://www.missosology.org

And finally, Pia’s victory is the sweetest. And the most controversial too due to an unanticipated blunder.

pia
Finally! Photo courtesy of: http://www.missuniverse.com

 

For 5 straight years, we landed on the top 10, top 5 or even top 3.

I was personally hoping for them each year. Regardless of what was lacking. Maybe a stroke of luck will do. And prayers. Since they ended up as runners-up, I just thought it is not yet time. Every year, every Filipino was full of hope.

And what makes Pia’s win more memorable is her attitude and grace while that huge blunder occurred. She was concern with Miss Colombia, very careful and yet, the winning spirit and grace had always been there. For the 2 girls – it was definitely grace under pressure.

I remember her telling Manny Pacquiao (when he lost a fight to Floyd Mayweather ) that she will recover the loss or retract said loss and wait for the Miss Universe pageant where she will represent our country.

It occurred to me that she visualize this as I watched her previous interviews prior to her winning, she is literallyconfidently beautiful”! And for what it’s worth. She did her bestest best for this fight. What is meant to be, is meant to be. Her winning is meant to be. Congratulations Ms. Pia! you made us so proud! God bless you! =)

Planning for the year I’m dreaming of!

Planning for the year I’m dreaming of! <Part 2 of: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail>

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” ~Twyla Tharp~

For more than a decade of keeping two planners for my personal use and for my job. It was easy then to accomplish it. As I have been an avid fan of the Starbucks planner. You guess, for more than 10 years. I have secured one. I even recall that years ago, I combed their branches at SLEX, so as to get the color that I wanted on that particular year. I was driving for hours, hopping from one gasoline station to another, just to get the exact color that I wanted. And luckily, I found one. Planner/ Journal junkie!

planners.jpg
https://beautsantua.wordpress.com/category/girl-power/journals-galore-girl-power/

However, two years ago, I discovered that their sister company’s planner is as good as well. Besides, their company color is my favorite color (violet), which lured me to collect stamps and stickers from both.

That is on top of gifts I have been receiving from friends and relatives, so I must say that my planners are intact only those that I am about to write on them is yet to be known. Though you’d be very delighted to know, that they’re enlisted in my mind. Each event every month, laid intricately and clearly in my mind.

As for 2016, I have encountered a lot of enticing (and useful) planners, not just 2, not just 3, but more than a dozen choices to choose from. Check them out:

Starbucks-Christmas-Campaign-2015-8
Starbucks Courtesy of: http://www.starbucks.com.sg/coffeehouse/merchandise/the-starbucks-planner-2016-by-moleskine

 

bdj
BDJ Source: https://www.facebook.com/BelledeJourPlanner/?fref=photo

 

BlogberryBeYourBestYouPlanner11
Blogberry by Stradmore Source: http://therollercoasterride.com/2015/07/blogberry-bethebestyouplanner-meet-and-greet-with-laureen-uy/
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Bos Coffee Source: http://boscoffee.com/origins/
lv
Can I afford this? Source: http://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/products/2016-temporal-agenda-refill-complete-gm-011301
cbtl planner
CBTL Source: https://www.facebook.com/coffeebeanphilippines/?fref=ts
day keeper
The Day keeper Source: https://www.facebook.com/thedaykeeperdatebook/?fref=photo

And then I saw this from Amazon.

paolo
Courage. It comes in several languages. Source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/28356185/PAULO-COELHO-COURAGE-2016-DAY-PLANNER

I saw this from fully-booked last year. But in violet.

left
It was violet last year. Source: http://www.amazon.com/Left-Handers-2016-Weekly-Planner-Calendar/dp/1449465390

I heard there’s a distributor of Erin Condren’s planners in the Philippines.

erin
Erin Condren Source: http://www.erincondren.com/lifeplannerlookbook

Now, isn’t this so me!?

alunsina 1
Alunsina. Proudly Philippine made. Source: https://www.facebook.com/Alunsina.Handbound.Books/timeline

I can never ever exclude Papemelroti from my list. I have been loving them since highschool! ❤

papemel
A smaller one from Papemelroti Source: http://www.papemelroti.com/planners.htm
laurel burch
Spirit of Womankind by: Laurel Burch. From Paperblanks. Source: http://paperblanks.com/uk/en
seattles best
SBC Source: https://www.facebook.com/seattlesbestcoffeephilippines/?fref=photo

Honestly, right this very moment? I can’t make up my mind. Oh I did, as of November, I started collecting stamps from CBTL, I am actually close to finish line.

But then, I found out about Bos. I found it to be very vintage which is definitely very attractive to me. #blameitonmygypsysoul

And the Petite version from BDJ. And the rest I am forced to enumerate for my file so as to help me decide.

It would be obscure If I get all three, as I have been choosing now from these three.

And If I asked for my friends’ opinion. It’d indeed start us bickering. Especially, at times, I can be very petulant. They would mock me for my OC-ness (Obsessive/ Compulsive personality), setting strict rules on myself that I must get this one, or that one and declare that I really want it badly and enumerate tons of reasons to justify. And when they’re gone, I might find myself sitting on a corner sheepishly.

Okay, I’ll stick to two. Like a tradition. One for my job. And one for my 2016 scrapbook cum planner cum diary all in one.

So, “maybe”, as of this very hour, I am going to get the one from Bos only after I completed my stamps from CBTL.

Errr… the one from Alunsina is distracting me. (–,) If only I can get them all.

Until then, I am “Happy Me”. =)

How about you? What would you get for 2016?

Happy New year everyone! Cheers!

Life is always BEAUTIFUL!

Life is always beautiful…

Inspired by Pinay’s “Will of hope”…

Message for my friend: Pinay – I have written this wishing that I am as strong as you. God bless you…

p1
A concert was dedicated to help Pinay with her medications.

My life… I normally run out of words if I speak of life. Moreso, my life. My beautiful life. How I was created by our Creator, how I am mould by my parents, how I became a better person because of those people I’ve loved and loved me in return, even for a while. How I became stronger because of the people who have inflicted me pains emotionally, mentally, spiritually, intentionally or not, it doesn’t matter, as it didn’t make me a lesser person, perhaps, it brought me wisdom. And learned things no one can steal away from me.

My love for life is like the flowers in my garden, there will come a time, I see them dried up, they wilt and fall on the ground. But then again, before I knew it, another one will bloom, and another. Bringing a scent to my garden which makes my day a whole lot sweeter. It resembles a cycle. Like hibernating and waking up again. During quiet moments, like a prelude of what’s to come. There is anger, then there is guilt. A kind of remorse as to why I felt angry when there is so much more positive emotions to feel and grasp than anger. I could not remain angry. Because each time I wake up. Looking around, are endless reasons to be happy.

To be grateful. The capacity of loving, of forgiving, of remembering, of forgetting, of appreciating. Whatever life has to offer. It’s wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Places. Beautiful places which maps are etched in my heart. Which makes me a better person. Which makes me yearn for more. To reach far away places and make coming home more exciting. A safe realm. Being one with nature that nurtures the soul. Allowing you to recognize that they’ve always been a masterpiece. The stories we hear. Those that we’ve watched. The cuisines we’ve tasted.

The people we encounter along the way. Memories, good and bad. Faithful friends. Friends I can trust. Even my deepest secrets. People who cares a lot. People who inspires. People who make me laugh. People who will not judge and accept me without excluding the odds.

p6
I was able to bring along two friends of mine. =)
p2
Ana and I used to work with Pinay years ago..
p3
It was good to see her.
p4
Us beside Pinay’s poster! We rock! =)
p7
Hang-out with friends some times.. is a good way to cope too..=)

My dog and my cats, little creations who are capable of showing you that you are the most important thing for them. By just the adoring look in their eyes. They’re like an extension of my family. And yes, family. That every aftermath of a hideous fight, love is still there.

After exchanging words that we regretted saying afterwards. During the silence. All I could feel is love. And I feel God too. And there is no reason good enough to counter that God is love. And love is God. However bickering I can be, and question His whereabouts. He is there. He is here. And I think, always He will be. ~My Lord, let this life that you gifted me is the same gift that I will present to you. Each day of my life.~

Choose your battles…

Choose your battles…

“Choose your battles wisely, life is not always about winning fights, it is about being happy.”

 

I’ve often looked at life as a battle. Fighting for something that you believe, one way or another. Not to mention that it is important to decide on what kind of battle we are supposed to fight for and engaged yourself in. Often times, we get extremely wounded. We get crippled. And sometimes, we almost die. We are temporary disabled while simultaneously giving us the chance learn the lessons it imparts during recuperation. Healing can even take months or years.

There are also times when we don’t need to win. Because it’s not just about winning. It is more like about courage to be defeated. Like a destination, you enjoy more the travel itself more so of where you are heading to. Or both.

At war, winning is imperative, still if we lose, we do not totally lose, we gained a lot and how we fought and how it made us, as a person at the end of the game. Like in love, sometimes it’s not about ending up with that person, but having the chance to love and be loved in return. Or we thought so. The experience, the moments we dote on all our lives, because at the end of the road, it felt better that we gave it a shot than not trying at all. Better yet, of being able to weigh its’ worth.

One of my previous boss called us soldiers. Having branches nationwide and being sent to each of them. He would always tell us upon returning to home-base “Good job soldier!” And the term seeps within. It felt good. You are there for a fight. And whether you win or lose, with luck on our side, the boss having been in the battlefield all his life, he focused more on how you fought the battle. You don’t go there without a plan. You don’t bring weapons that are empty.

I miss it. I miss fighting. For love. For self-worth. For dignity. For a happy life. At a young age, I fought for my faith. Losing my first love in the name of God because keeping my faith and my personal beliefs was of more significance than finding myself living a life with a man with principles that might not be in sync with mine. I strongly believe that it is not the life that I want. So I let him go, set myself free and prayed and hoped for a life that suits my mind and my heart’s desires.

After more than three generations. I figured out that on a daily basis. We are soldiers. We fought for our jobs. For our right of way. For our pets. We fought for friendships. We fought for our own place in the family, we fought for a chance to live the life we so much wanted. We fought for the truth.

We are all a fighter. Let the cowards hide under the tables. Wounds might leave scars on our bodies or even on our faces. It cuts through and even our soul sensed it. And ironically they soon become so beautiful they symbolizes strength, wisdom and true beauty in and out.

I'm a soldier..=)
I’m a soldier..=)