Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Review (Part I)

2009 was a year of transition, like the start of a vibrant new life where it almost feels like I relearned how to do everything. Sometimes I still do feel like I'm groping my way about, but having so much more fun doing it this time around.

Before letting myself loose into the new decade, thought it best to review the year that just past.

I realized I got to do a whole lot of traveling this year. And not just physical trips mind you! But let me being with that...

There were a lot of TRIPS, both local and abroad...

(Tokyo, Japan in January for THREE; first time here!)

(Tali, Batanagas in February)

(Cagayan de Oro for a quick 24 hours with the ACS; photo c/o J.Galindo)

(Cruise of Palawan in May, a first for me! Both on a cruise and to the places we visited)

(Pandan Island in Mindoro Oriental in May; another first!)

(Taipei, Taiwan in August for a festival)

(San Francisco, California in August to visit friends)

(Chicago, Illinois in August to be a ninang at a confirmation and to visit newly wed friends)

(Boston, Massachusetts in August to visit friends and to sing for a memorial mass)

(NYC & NJ in August to visit friends and be MOH at a friend's wedding!)

(Boracay in November to celebrate a friend's birthday)

I EXPLORED a lot of Manila as well, where I learned to embrace (albeit sometimes a strangled embrace..) commuting and see OLD PLACES WITH NEW EYES...




(Metropolitan Museum of Art)

(Even my own village!)

I EXPLORED MORE by visiting NEW places (well, at least in my eyes) around the metropolis, learning more about the city that has been my home for the last 13 years...


(Salcedo Market)

(Ayala Museum)

(Manila Ocean Park)

And as much as I was able to explore the external world around me, I spent a lot of time this year doing a lot of searching and growing within as well.

Wow my corniness is starting to make me gag..

Lol, but seriously, I kid you not! What would a year of experiences be without some more insight into yourself right? But more about that in the next installment.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back On The Band Wagon

Of all the resolutions swimming around in my head, I know a priority for 2010 is to get back on the freaking health wagon and STAY ON IT.

So I bid farewell to the gorging of chocolates for my never-ending appetite for sweets and welcome constant and regular exercise back into my life.

Day 2 so far and I'm loving it already. Yehaw.

what the: holy sea creatures

Maybe I've just been spoiled by the masses I regularly attend but seriously, I think mass in the Greenbelt is not only crazy packed but super long. Perhaps more so because of the holidays? Plus each time the response to the responsorial psalm was sung after each verse, it came complete with a full instrumental intro plus the singing of the psalm TWICE per response! I almost strangled myself by the time parish announcements came along, but even THAT was two millions years long. Lol, feeling bratty today are we?!

Anyway, as captivating as Monsignor's homily was, I think I spent a great portion of the hour staring with bewilderment at the Christmas decor that hung from the Greenbelt chapel's inner dome.

Ok, so it's an ugly picture. But even in this fuzzy picture you can kinda sorta see what I mean. They look like atoms, or sea anemones, or holy aliens. Unless they were trying to achieve ugly, whatever they were trying to achieve didn't really didn't work out.

Sorry greenbelt chapel! Time to usher in a new decorator for 2010 perhaps?

Sunday, December 27, 2009


My room as it is is the favorite go to place for family members wanting to shut themselves out of the world for an hour or two. It's quiet and cool when the rest of the house is stifling. And thanks to a wonderful bed, my room is comfortable and cocoon-like. It also has teeny tiny windows making it rather dark; nice when you're seeking refuge, but recently, has been feeling more like a cave. I, perpetually in my pj's this holiday season, have been feeling like a modern day cave woman.

When we got wifi at home last week, the family joked that us laptop users would probably never ever leave our room. My family had just unknowingly willed me into a week of hiding out in my bedroom.

I miraculously stepped out of my room today and decided to work in the living room, in front of the screen door that opens up to our garden. Loveliness! I forgot how pleasant and refreshingly windy afternoons at home can be.

I think I'll move my virtual office to this location for morning and afternoon work sessions, then transfer over to the dining room for late evening work sessions. Cup of coffee in the morning and mug of tea in the evening and I'm all set. No work from my bedroom for 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A New Year

I like the idea of a new year. Its kind of a like a grown up version of the feeling I would have when faced with a new school year.

While I realize that there is actually is no such thing as a "do-over" in life, a new year always feels like a chance to start over again with a clean slate regardless. An opportunity to FINALLY put away the past year's hits and misses and store it in that ever growing file called "older and wiser". Its the same excitement I feel when I open to the first page of a fresh new journal and I feel that urge to want to just fill it up with all my doodles and ramblings.

I also love that the new year sets in place for me a pre-determined time line to accomplish all my goals.

New Year's coming up so I've been slowly reviewing 2009 and thinking about what I'd like 2010 to be like.

I'm excited.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Mom's homemade lasagna and Caesar salad dressing are my ULTIMATE comfort food.

I've been eating the lasagna for as long as I can remember. Nothing really compares. It's incredibly rich so mom makes it for special occasions (ie: my birthday or for Christmas).

It's good before it's layered into a lasagna, so while Mom creates it, my sisters and I, steal spoonfuls of meat & cheese sauce and eat it in a bowl. It's good when it's actually a lasagna, so right out of the oven or even microwaved. And as strange as this sounds, it's even good as leftovers! Meaning, eating it as a midnight snack and straight from the refrigerator :D

So looking very much forward to Noche Buena tonight because yes, you've guessed, lasagna's on the menu! Yum.

Happy holidays :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Random Love

In a time where everyone is so busy running around and stressing and being productive, sometimes one of the best things in the world is to sleep in and wake up to a whole day of nothingness ahead.

Bliss I tell you, bliss.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Family Time

Growing up, we used to love decorating the Christmas Tree as a family. A few years ago, my siblings and I had a big fight the day we were supposed to festoon our home with yuletide cheer. While our relationship is stronger than ever, we haven't decorated the tree since.

Regardless, I enjoy doing mundane things with my family and small, random activities together are always a wonderful welcome. See, our home becomes a huge pastry production house during the holidays and mom, more often than not, always needs an extra hand. So over the last few weeks, one of my sisters and I spend a few hours in the evening helping out. Cutting up pastries, folding up boxes, ribboning them up, etc. The cool December air, smell of baking chocolate or melting butter, the Christmas carols blasting from the radio and a hot cup of tea, sets the stage for a few hours of pure familial bliss :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Acknowledging Acknowledgement

We hear a lot of talk about the importance of gratitude. We were taught as kids that saying thank you is important and we learn as we get older the significance of expressing your appreciation for an act of kindness or generosity.

So personally, I make it a point to say thank you for all the little things I appreciate. From the policeman who stops traffic as I cross the street, to the friends who are unselfishly and wholeheartedly there for you even when you don't think you need them.

But this post isn't about saying thanks, it's about going beyond gratitude.

I've realized that at times, saying "thank you" is a little bit more difficult than originally anticipated. That's why I've come to realize that saying "you're welcome", reciprocating or acknowledging the acknowledgment is important too.

The genuine expression of appreciation and gratitude isn't so easy to come by now a day. While saying "thank you", should come with no expectations, it's always nice to let the person who is thanking you know that you appreciate the effort they made to appreciate you, even by simply acknowledging it.

Ok.. musing aside, I think I just drove myself nuts by trying to quickly express and thus consistently repeating words like.. gratitude, appreciation, acknowledgment. Gah.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Walking Companion

My little sister a's dog has grown to love me. They say spitz's are incredibly territorial and loyal to their owners. Kippy is this and then some. In fact, my family's convinced he's crazy bipolar. I do think age is mellowing him out.

The mutual affection has grown because I'm around so often. My own dog has passed (and Kippy hates seeing the family coddling the other dogs) and my sister has moved nearer to her school, so he and I spend lots of times together. He follows me around when I'm working at home, allows me to pick him up with being too much of a grump and sleeps with me even when his master is around.

The biggest reason I feel is because he has been my companion ever since I took to walking as my form of exercise. As much of jerk as Kippy can be, he's a really smart dog. Even when I'm not in my sweats or sneakers, he seems to sense when I'm about to go out for a walk. He starts going crazy, jumping and twisting around until his leash is on him and he makes that mad dash for the gate towards the world outside that he loves to explore.

I wish I could be that excited about exercising.