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Local Edition Cafe

Since I saw this cafe on Instagram, I’ve been wanting to check it out. What’s unique to this coffee shop is that they feature local artists and exhibit their works. Their ceiling has steel “grids” (don’t have a picture :( ) where they can hang their works or any additional ornaments. They have a large chalkboard and plain walls which await the next artist. This month features lettering extraordinaire Abbey Sy and Arriane Serafico, both a part of the team behind Design Her Story project.

I was in a thrill to visit this place since the exhibit changes every month/every few months, and I admire their works a lot; so I dragged my trusty friend and partner in “artsy/cultured” stuff, Camille, to accompany me.

Apologies for the blur photos, I used a rusty old model of DSLR for this (whose both auto focus and manual focus is damaged). I did my best trying to sharpen them haha

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Manila, Manila

It’s no wonder why Escolta was deemed as the “Most Beautiful City in Asia” from 1950s to the mis-1970s. It was a sight to behold – with clean streets lined with Chevy Bel-airs and VW Beetles and people looking sophisticated as they weave through the sidewalk, instead of the road. Streets were spotless, not a piece of paper on the ground; while the buildings lined the roads – polished.

But look at it now – a heaping mess of dilapidated houses and the buildings that were once pleasant to the sight are now an eyesore, with cracks lining the edges, paint fading to scorch-like marks, and stores once filled with shoppers now turned into unwanted stock rooms.

Presently, a number of concerned citizens, architects, and officials are teaming up to revive this once the-place-to-be city. There are Saturday Markets held once a month, where you can buy vintage books, clothes, and other neat things.

Last June, my friend and I went to another event, a Revive Escolta concert/bazaar. There were a few booths than expected but we were able to buy vintage vinyls and postcards. We didn’t stay for the concert and went to Divisoria instead.

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Project Pie

 

For Mother’s Day, we decided to try out the Project Pie craze. I’ve heard positive reviews about it. A whole pizza for P300+ is worth it, they say.

What makes this pizza place unique is that you get to “build your own” pizza. They have a list of staple pizza types for your referenece, but you can also mix it up to what suits your mood. We ordered three pizzas and a Cranberry Chicken Salad, which was so delicious! I sometimes get weird-ed out by sweet dressings for salads but this one’s a right combination.

I also admired the industrial interior of the restaurant. They have these light bare light bulbs for lighting and exposed vents/tubes instead of a ceiling. The chairs are also in different colors, mostly warm; which are fitting since the walls and accent colors are warm, too.

 

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Abundant Place

Whenever we go to Tagaytay, we make sure to stop by this little garden cafe in Silang, Cavite. One might miss it if not aware of the signs. It has a big sign on top, with few houses and buildings beside it.

It’s named Abundant Place for its garden and a souvenir shop inside. I really like their hot chocolate! It has the right amount of consistency and richness to it – definitely perfect for the upcoming rainy days! We usually eat the turon and palitaw (not in the pictures). They serve light meals, or meriendas, and have a limited menu, with 5 to 6 dishes in all.

 

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Working Girl

Having been on vacation, I did not expect that I would get “tired” of the bum life. Yes, I have enjoyed (and still enjoying) it for the most part but I am a restless person – I have to do something in my idle time (hey, sleeping and eating count). And when I do have something to do at the moment, I still feel the need to do another thing (a self-proclaimed multi-tasker). Like, right now, while I am typing away – I am watching (or half-watching/half-listening) to an episode of HIMYM.

Because of that inevitable and innate quality of mine, I looked for a non-Arki related job (because I think I can’t handle working in a firm yet). Luckily, I knew a friend of mine whose parents own a Kumon branch. The work was relatively easy and the pay fair – enough for the day’s job. The best part of it was having to be surrounded my kids!

There’s a preschool area for toddlers ages 3-6. Some are really noisy but most of them are bearable because of their cuteness and that “little, pre-puberty voice” wherein whatever they say sounds innocent and charming. I met this girl named Rhian, a comely Filipino-Korean girl. Whenever you ask her name, she always says her entire name, with a voice so cute that I couldn’t help myself asking for her name over and over again.

There’s also this boy, Aecon, (whom I think has ADHD), who puts off answering his classwork until the last minute and roams around, trying to be a ninja. When he’s sitting down, he jerks off his head in different directions and says inaudible stuff like he’s from outer spaces (I think it’s almost Klingon), disturbing his seatmates. Any attempt of hushing him to perfect stillness is known to be an utter failure, so the teachers and the checkers let him be. He usually does what he needs to do for the day, anyway, he just exceeds his allotted time. He’s not by far my favorite, but he’s the one I remember most. So I guess when I leave, I’ll (sort of) miss him and his weirdness.

I have been working for almost a month now, and how much of a rout my work has been, I still enjoy it. So far, my co-workers and I get along well, especially the two college freshmen. They constantly ask me for advice on subjects, particularly how challenging Math is (well, we all know what’s that like for me).

There are two things I learned from this experience:

First: Earning money is hard work.

Of course, I knew this from my parents and adults who rave about having a long, tiring day at work, cranky bosses or having no overtime pay. But hearing and knowing of it is far different from learning it yourself, that I tell you. But despite enduring the extensive hours behind the desk while waiting for lunch break or dismissal time (yes, just like school), it feels alright once you get used to it.

What I like about working is the strong feeling of independence you feel after a long day, and when you receive your pay at the end of it all. It is really fulfilling to have money handed to you knowing that you spent hours, sweat and effort earning it. Indeed, your own hard-earned money, no matter how small, is better than any check worth a million you didn’t work for.

Second: Do what you love and love what you do.

Those are wise words to live by, my friend. Since my work is not related to my field at all, a week in it and I felt like I wasn’t going to enjoy it. Not that I’m complaining, but if you really don’t like what you do, and you merely do it for the money, then it is just another day at the office for you. Having known that, I am thankful that my love for architecture has not diminished and is still growing in expectation and appreciation every day. Now I can say that I am sure of the course I chose and I am happy I stuck by it.

One Nostalgic Afternoon

Last night, I found myself watching How I Met Your Mother for the jillionth time.

Watching it felt so nostalgic, like (not exactly but somewhat and yet nothing compared to) watching Harry Potter movies. I distinctly remember when I was in grade school, while flipping through channels and finding something worth watching, I’d always go back to HIMYM, always feeling curious to what was it about. Of course, little ‘ol me didn’t have much interest to sitcoms just yet and I’d always think that I was too young for those witty, American side jokes and references that I might not get them at all.

I skimmed through it a couple of times, waiting for it to air. I learned the basic flow and knew the characters. I was not just intrigued at how this show will play out, but upon learning that the protagonist (and may be sometimes the antagonist of his own self), is an architect, I was hooked! But I still didn’t watch it like a die-hard fan. Whenever I caught of it while browsing the TV, I’d watch it.

Then I was there I was in my sophomore year of college when I decided – point-blank, that I’ll watch the entire series for once and for all. I finished it even before midterms. I ran through it for the whole semestral break, pausing only to eat and when the family had to go out. Otherwise, I was in the dining room table or the bedroom, watching like a zombie because I was so engaged. It was a pretty good idea of watching it ’til I was in college. I eventually picked up its wit and humor.

Just this morning, I saw a video of the one of my favorite scenes in the series where the mother, Christin Milioti, sings a ukulele version of La Vie en Rose which Ted happens to hear from the adjacent room. It was beautiful and magical because in the end, they were soul mates – they just didn’t know it yet.

 

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Personally, what’s great about sitcoms like this one is that they have a certain quality they maintain. The writers don’t just put up jokes about race, sexuality or love out there for the sake of it (yet sometimes they do but the approach and timing is brilliant, it was already a good compensation). The show gave me a few life lessons, too. Although most of it revolved around dating, relationships and marriage, I also learned things about decision-making, chasing your dreams, risk-taking, and letting go.

Like most of the fans out there, I was disappointed with the ending, but I thought of it and realized that the show remained true to what it upheld: how life is not a matter of getting to your destination, but what really counts is the journey.

 

Three-fourths Down

I was filling out an application form for an internship I’m applying to (more of that on another post) and I was writing the date then I realized it was the 20th already! In a matter of a week we’ll be bidding June good bye and welcoming July! And I here I was praying that summer be over because I miss my friends and yes, I miss school.

After summer classes ended, I kept thinking of things to tick off my to-do list while I’m at home slouching on the couch with free time and not behind a drafting table drawing plan after plan. I really have to admit it, this four-month summer has been turning out better for me than I’d expected. To reiterate,  the first two months were full of hard work: hermit-ing my way into my Physics book, which by the way, I have made quite a lot of reviewers on; brainstorming with orgmates to plan the year ahead; reconnecting with friends and [trying] mending old ones; and going through separation anxiety (I refuse to use sepanx because it sounds weird) with my boyfriend. It didn’t look like it but I was deeply emotional that time. There were a few puddles of tears here and there – wet pillowcases, damp and crumpled tissue papers and what I hate the most: swollen red eyes along with dark circles and heavy eye bags.

I was breaking down constantly, trying to battle the urge to cry or get mad at someone for my situation. The littlest things bothered me – losing my earphones or breaking my iTouch (I actually cried after that). I was very sensitive and unknowingly picked fights with my boyfriend because I was always on the edge. I tried to think of happy thoughts from time to time but most of the time, I’m haunted by the saddest things. Sometimes, I remember them in the middle of something. Like, when I’m reviewing, when I’m talking to people, or often when I walk home alone after class. I had so many regrets back then and I let them consume me to the point that I think of nothing else but by them. I keep repeating to myself that I should find a silver lining but I act otherwise. I had a lot of time to myself so I spent most of it thinking and reevaluating myself.

Now, I still have my doubts and little ‘relapses’ of those moments. But I guess they were right, time does heal or better yet, the things you do with that time. Since then (wow, it seemed so long ago!) I’ve crawled my way into passing the notorious Physics 72, gotten a part-time job, applied for internship (crossing my fingers!), somehow got into good terms with people, reconnected with old friends, and did the little things I missed most while in school like reading (I’ve finished two by now, and I’m in the middle of a new one!), painting, and developing my Photoshop skills. I am actually thinking of new projects to do now which I hope to finish by the end of the break :)

As cliche as it sounds,  I am proud to say I have become stronger and better. Looking back, I still thank God that He let me go through all of those. It may have been my hardest one yet but the future holds many things, this is just a tap in the back.

I now look at my little achievements after those two months and I feel a sense of accomplishment that I got to do a lot for this month alone! I feel more independent and certainly happier because I was able to recover from those in my own way. This just proves that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark and long it may be.

 

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