What advice would you give to your teenage self?

There is more to life than what it is, tomorrow is always another day. At least for me.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Move on and do it quick.

As a teenager, I usually overthink stuff, and get so attached to every feeling and emotion, most especially to the ones that pain me–without even realizing then that emotions are fleeting and challenges are always at bay no matter how much you aren’t in favor of it.

Whether it is about a relationship problem, a failed examination, or a family matter, I always think it through assessing what went wrong and put rather huge blame on myself–taking accountability for whatever had happened. When I entered my early 20s, I may have gotten it all wrong, still; but I slowly rebuilt everything that I felt needed to change, it wasn’t perfect and it still isn’t, and it will never be, I’m sure of that, but whenever there’s a break point, I know what I can do and cannot do now–I move on and I do it quick. There is more to life than what it is, tomorrow is always another day. At least for me.


It was between 2004 and 2008, Jango Radio was on; was it Paramore that was playing or Keane’s new single? I remember Grey’s Anatomy on Studio 23 and the smell of Starbucks along SLEX and my unsureness of a college degree program to take because I’m painfully shy of some sort.

I cannot describe the feeling as it can also be felt. I wish it is transferable, then maybe we can further understand each other better. Today brought me back to how it was when I came across a post by Barbie Almalbis still rocking the tunes that made me learn how to play the guitar and for once, made me want to be in a band. At her 45th, she still has it, it was like nothing has changed when everything has, really.

I remember that dial-up connection in a Windows 95 then later on upgraded to Windows XP. That 5mbps internet wireless connection I raved about because of how efficient it was during that time in my old Lenovo laptop that I used to tape because its ribbons were already loose and even destroyed. Those days when I felt lucky I have a 2GB flash drive for my college papers, diskettes, and CDs for other files and installers. That Php50 CD burning service I used to save money on.

As I recall, at 16, I have high hopes for myself albeit clueless of what was going to happen to me. I am still quite clueless now, I don’t have it all figured out, at least not yet, I hope. But, sometimes, I wish I could dream and revive the journals I kept before. What was it like in 2004? How about in 2007? or those days in 2002? Was 2008 a life-changing year for me? Or was it 2005? What about when I was blasting my earphones on Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eifeel 65 in 1999? We cannot go back, that is for sure, but sometimes it is just good to remember that things that have forgotten.

Something New this 2023!

Me and my lifestyle blogging career like a true sociable person that I’m not really am (but trying!)

Hello, you!

Just to share, like many of you, I’m thankful for another year. I’m grateful for life even if it is hard on us, sometimes. What we go through each day is not even a joke and must not be taken lightly, as we have our own battles — whether known and sometimes, more importantly, when in silence.

In my previous post, I said that I wanted to renew blogging. It’s therapeutic even though it seems it is so 2thousand-and-late. It wasn’t the early 2000s anymore; in fact, as you think about it, it was over two decades ago, and there, life and time flew by so fast.

With this predicament, I’d like to not overshare, but to document my experiences and how I live my life albeit boring hehe, my homecooked meals and recipes (so I have something to look back to because I always lost the papers I wrote the recipes in). I’d like to document it now because 1. I already have the time (quite! hopefully), and 2. and my main reason: ultimately help (in any way) one or two people through the things I post.

I am very excited to begin like it was in 2010! Hehe. See you around!

To Resolute

Blogging.. again.

I started blogging in 2010 or probably maybe even before that when ‘blogging’ and posting it on the internet wasn’t a thing yet. I used to write notes and I kept a diary for most part of my grade school and high school years. It was an outlet really. I often jot down the books I’ve read about the stories or plots I can relate to. I originally intended the ‘reads’ part of my website to be the same case but I wasn’t following through due to all this life that is happening.

Anyhoo, I rekindled and halt this slump because I came across Bianca Gonzalez’s blog albeit it’s not updated now but still gold. It made me realize why this space is here, not that you all want to know things going on in my life and not that it’s interesting either, but it’s more documenting the life I’m privileged to have and maybe spread good vibes or something relatable even in just one reader, but I’d be more than glad if there’ll be two.

At 18 or 19 years old, I was a big blog reader of several bloggers (our generation’s influencers back then). Patty Laurel was one of those bloggers I always look forward to reading. Her contents were anything under the sun and those gave me the sense of freedom to actually be myself because that was what she does, be herself.

No smartphones yet during those times so keeping a blog was really ‘work’ for a college student like me, but seeing my entries now compare to before, there was the only thing I noticed that had changed — my time. I didn’t have that much time today that I had before because of the many other things that kept me busy — motherhood for one, my enterprise, doctorate, work, and life as it is. My hands are quite full but typing this or actually blogging for quite a long time feels good, really. It’s nostalgic.

In fact, I started some doodling and mini-journaling in September and early October of this year when I lost my voice. I was so down with a flu (COVID negative, TYL!) I went from paos to a total zero and it was so heartbreaking because I can’t communicate in the manner I was supposed to. There were so many things happening but I just can’t speak, literally. It started September first week – the whole week, and while I wasn’t 100% I came back to work like usual, then two weeks later it was flu all over again, even worse. I didn’t recover quickly because I felt I was okay and I ignored everything to actually rest. When the October flu came, I didn’t bother to contest anymore and I stopped feeling guilty about not answering calls (because I really don’t have the voice to shell out unlike the September season when I was at least just paos). I rested and rested well, I worked, but more on the pending desk work that I needed to submit and accomplish. Anyway, I’m thinking if I should share those journals I wrote, it was a good take on giving yourself the needed rest and it was also an opportunity for me to read more and start writing my book (which led me to the fact that I need to finish it).

Well, this entry is probably my resolution to blog more and give myself a little life and a little documentation of it. While I like things hidden, I don’t mind sharing some of my discoveries and thoughts. You will not find so much in the ‘Places’ section of this website, truth be told, I’m a hermit, and I don’t like going out. I think I should try to share some of my travel photos and experiences in the past to compensate hehe well, I’ve traveled well enough to know that I don’t like traveling that much — but I always like to try something new here and there.


I have been writing professionally since 2010. My writing gigs have paid some college fees, textbook needs, and conference fees. When I was already in corporate, professional writing paid the bills and helped me build my funds on the side and uplift my savings. There was also a time, before Happy Shift, when writing was all I did and it even led me to different places. I was lucky and blessed to have clients who value my work and prioritized flexibility above anything else to preserve creativity and help it flourish further.

I have been writing since grade school, albeit non-professionally, and only in my own tiny journal. It continued until high school when I kept a thicker journal and convert it to a blog at the time of the internet. Writing has been a part of me and something that I am absolutely proud of. I sometimes think that I am better in print than public speaking–by which the latter I tried (still tries) to be good just the same.

My 20s were the highlight of my many heartbreaks in writing. I always felt I wasn’t good enough, but as I grow old, I learned that we always get better–we CAN always get better at what we do especially if we love doing it. Like I’ve always said, nothing is ever easy even with the things we love doing. It will always be a challenge but also an opportunity to grow.

Now in my 30s, it has just gotten better. It is the perfect timing albeit fearful. This is the start of a new chapter. I always get conscious about my writing/manuscript. There are always second thoughts about pursuing this side of the fence, but definitely, it is something to look forward to no matter how I think it scares me.

I just want to get a hold of feelings of excitement and cluelessness, the same feelings I had in 2010 when I was first starting. I know this will lead to something better, something fruitful, and something that I will cherish forever. We never stop dreaming, are we? We don’t lose hope. It is never too late to start the things we were just daydreaming about when we were a child. We don’t always have it together and that’s fine. What is important is if we believe that, in times of uncertainty, there will always be an opportunity whether we have it together or not really. We will always come through no matter how it feels otherwise.

Blog it is

I will continue blogging like it’s the early 2000s.

I know blogs aren’t that “in” anymore unlike in our “day.” Haha hindi naman masyadong matanda diba but when you were a tween, a teen, or in your 20s during the 90s and the early 2000s, blogs are usually a go-to where you can know the latest chika about people’s lives and more or less you’ll also know how poetic someone is–yes, even the people you already know personally. That side they reveal through blog and that was a nice thing and I hope it is still nice to today. It is something to look something back to. Me, I do, I usually scroll all the way down to the very beginning to see how I transformed and to see how I lived my life before compared to how it is now.

This website or the portion of this that says “journal,”—I have been disappointed in myself too because I haven’t duly updated it and I usually don’t do journaling that much anymore. Adulthood and motherhood all combined are some of the daily doses I take every day. I am not as open in my blog like before, because I don’t like to bring satisfaction to my former boyfriends’ exes who look me up from time-to-time to know more about me. Hahaha! Stop na. We’ve been past that, don’t look me up na. Focus nalang on your lives. I will do you no good din naman unless you want to be an acquaintance or want to have a workaround of friendship with me diba, don’t do it like a creepy person, approach me nalang if you need to know something.

With all that aside, I wanted to be more open–not to the point that I’ll tell you everything there is to tell–more like I share things that I think significant or substantial, if hindi siya substantial, you may free naman to exit. Wala naman pilitan. Hahaha I just want to document a portion of my life.

I tell nga my son maybe mommy will start a vlog on YouTube or a mini vlog on TikTok. He just laughed at me and tell me NO. He knows these things, maybe he thinks it’s not bagay kay mom. (If you are with me at home with my kid, you’ll recognize this is how I talk. I’m not proud of it. I just mix and match English and Filipino words because I start to transition my son into speaking Filipino fluently too. We are getting there!) And going back, having a vlog I think is too much work? And I’m camera shy so I guess that’ll be challenging, but maybe I should try? Maybe keep this one nalang din since I’m paying for hosting and domain hehe

Almost -ber months update no one asked for:

  • I’ve read a total of 44 books already and I’m currently reading my 45th book. I planned to read 40 books for 2022 and the reading challenge is already done by July 28, 2022. Woohoo! I felt especially proud about this achievement because I also got perfect grades last semester despite all the doctoral readings–glad that I was able to squeeze in pa to read books that many. Bravo!

Counting isn’t really required but it somehow helps to keep track of life and I do enjoy it. Reading also lessened my time on social media and it felt good, really. At least we get by without our smartphones holding us up. I usually do reviews of what I have read here, but someway somehow life requires more of me, so I halt and just transfer it on my Instagram account. Short and sweet. But not all I post, I don’t like to make it like a chore.

  • Happy Shift is doing good, though more work needs to be done, we’ll get there. We are under a lot of R&D lately and I want to jumpstart it before I begin a new semester which will be packed, I am sure. We get invited to different events so there is always something to look forward to.
  • I’m re-calibrating my life as I see fit. It is always a work in progress. You also have to reflect and see how it will get you to a new destination. It is something to always work on because you also have to transform and innovate.

Nothing really is new. More on improved other half of the year. There is just so much to tell though but maybe in another post. I like to load this space with more words and experiences with the sole goal of documenting things and probably ~inspire~ some. So, we’ll stick to the blog. Reading and writing are good things to practice, by the way. 😉

A light that never goes out

The end is not the end, but only the beginning.

As I go through some of my files today, I purposefully look at my doctorate plan of study and see how far I have come on this journey. Today will also be my last synchronous class for this semester and I could not help but wonder, worry, and get excited about what’s to come.

It was never an all-rainbow-kind journey for me. There were and still are challenges, but as I try to keep my head above water, there are more lessons than heartbreaks, more wisdom than doubts, and more knowledge than fears. It is worth it.

I always ask myself, especially when I could not fathom why something I want is not given. Looking back through that sentence, I have learned that sometimes what we want is not always what we need. There may be plans out there we just yet to unfold, see, and embrace even if those weren’t our plans in the first place.

The end is not the end, but only the beginning. I am thrilled about what I can do with the wisdom I occurred. I am excited to share all the knowledge I have acquired. No matter how dark it may be, there is a light that never goes out.

What I told my psychologist

That’s how it was, how it always been.

I know I should not be proud of these things, but I’d like to think that I’m not alone contrary to how I feel. Probably one or two more people felt something like this even just a moment in their lives and I’m sorry if you ever did, because that’s how I feel/felt, too—sorry. I know some way, somehow, you feel that it is just one of those pity parties you throw for yourself to soothe you because no one will. Maybe you feel that it’s a way to show love for yourself or look out for yourself, for your own good, because like I’ve said, no one will, except you. I’m so sorry for you, for all of us, and I wish things can change for you permanently. Because that is what I wish for myself, too. But in this world where there is no guarantee, know that hope can go a long way and there are good things that can accompany you, save you even, even though they’re just things and not people, and it will be okay. I do hope that, eventually.

You know, there is an obvious pattern in my life that somehow, I take the blame about for. Like, I totally blame myself for it, but then I stopped because I don’t have anyone, so I better try to forgive myself and be kinder to her.

I don’t know if you have experienced the same and I don’t know someone who can comprehend mine, but to cut the chase short I show resolute of feeling abandoned, left out, or outcast. Not that I craved to be part of someone, a group, or anything more else, but I’d rather think there is really no constant for me, but how come there are for others? It is not envy nor jealousy, I’m just simply asking a question.

I can easily befriend anyone, I’d rather think I’m congenial. Maybe a machine flaw of mine is that I can best-friend someone, but I cannot be a best friend for them—they can be my best friend, but I’m not theirs, as simple as that thought. They have their reasons for sure, but since this is a monologue because I’m attending this session and I was told I can be myself unfiltered, solely focusing on what I just feel, I will put theirs aside for now, and feel sorry about those later. Maybe that’s another machine flaw of mine, I feel sorry for people so easily than I do for myself.

This is a pattern of my course of life since time immemorial, since I become aware of my environment, and started accumulating memories at about the age of 3. When I was in grade school, I had a close friend, her name was probably Yuki, I couldn’t remember exactly anymore. Perhaps I was in first grade, we used to have recess together and I always tell my grandmother (mama) about her how I have a friend in school who share the same interests as I was and who always went with me to have our recess together, share our food, even our drinks, and exchange stories about our favorite cartoons, it went on for half of the school year. But there were also one to two kids who bullied me—hiding my lunch box, taking my pencil which my grandfather (papa) sharpened religiously every night, taking sheets from my pad of paper without my consent, playing with my hair, you know literally make fun of me. These things my mama knew, so she talked to my class teacher to provide help. It helped though, for a few weeks, maybe a month, but there it was all over again. I didn’t tell my mama because she wanted to transfer me to another school in the middle of the school year and since Yuki stuck with me, I didn’t let my mama know because Yuki was my best friend and that’s what you do for a friend, your best friend at that, you don’t leave them. But like I’ve said, the bullying continued, and Yuki probably feared for her own good, she stopped hanging out with me. Probably, she was scared that her lunch box will be hidden too because she was with me. She’d probably thought that she’d be bullied too because she was my friend. In grade 1, I was just 6, I learned how to eat alone, do supposedly partnered works and activities alone, play alone, read alone, go to the restroom alone, everything in school, I did alone. She was my best friend until she wasn’t.

When I was in grade 3, the same thing happened to me. I had a best friend; her name was probably Hershey (I cannot even remember now). I was new. We just moved from Valenzuela City to Calamba, Laguna, so my mama was hopeful I’ll be okay because of the new environment and I will get to meet new friends. I did, eventually. Hershey and I used to scribble at the back of our notebooks, our notes for each other, the lyrics to the new NSYNC song, how Backstreet Boys are better than NSYNC and vice versa, our classroom chikahan because we did not want to be caught by the teacher speaking with each other during class, so we just exchange notes and drawings. Then she was my best friend and for a while I was hers. But, as a conservative as I was then, I don’t like wearing backless tops and tube tops, and she liked those things. She wanted us to wear the same tops because we were best friends. And I did. I tried. But I wasn’t really comfortable wearing those kinds. So, like a hot potato, she dropped me and chose a new ‘best friend’ instead. And it was grade 1 all over again.

When I was in grade 4, we went back to Valenzuela City where I spent the rest of my grade school and high school. So, my classmates in grade 4 have been classmates when they were still in Kinder to Grade 3. So goes to show that they are very well bonded, and I was the new kid, a transferee, who does not have any friends inside and outside of school. When I was in grade 4, I categorized myself as not friendly and my titos and titas tell me I am a snubbed kid. I was not, but I did not counter. I just accepted it, that maybe I really am. So, I stood by being snubbed because I felt that I won’t have a friend or like it will make a difference. And the many times I was wrong, this time I was right. I really did not have a friend. To help me, my mama got me to a school service – every morning going to school to every afternoon going back home. She did that because there will be other kids there too that maybe I will have a friend. Mama wasn’t wrong. I had. I was happy. It was okay. They were kids I went to and from school with, but they were not my friends, but we all played together, laughed together, I gave them candies as my mama told me, give them shirts that couldn’t fit me. They accept. They thank me. They are happy. We sort of found one another whenever class dismissal arrives, but they were not my friends. They don’t invite me to their birthday parties, but they invite the rest of the kids in the school service. They don’t give handwritten cards to me during Christmas parties, but they give them to their friends. So there, evidently, they were really not my friends.

When I was in high school, I also had a best friend. Our birthdays are two days apart. We were okay and I felt, that maybe that phase in grade school was just that, a phase— and it will not happen to me anymore, that I got past that. When we were in 3rd-year of high school, I liked a guy, he was our classmate, and he liked me, too, until he didn’t. I confided with my best friend about how brokenhearted I am, I was so hurt, I cried my heart out, my eyes out, I couldn’t eat nor sleep. It was probably my first heartbreak. Time passed, they started going out. They became a couple. Three of us were in the same class. I didn’t know how I was able to survive that. And the falling out with my friend, the one I considered my best friend, was way more painful than the breakup I had with that guy. They dated for years. I moved on. My then best friend and I weren’t talking anymore for the years that they were together. College came and they were still together until they were not. She and I have been in communication since they have broken up. She’d probably apologized to me. I remember I comforted her. I wanted it to be the same for the both of us again, but as time healed all wounds, it changed a lot, too. And sometimes, we can never go back, we can only move forward. Until now I love her still. She is still my friend and I pray for her happiness always. I wish her good luck with her endeavors, and I am truly happy about everything she’s doing now. Maybe I did not tell her this, but she is still a friend to me, I will still be there when she needs me. She was there for me majority of my years in high school where there were mean girls everywhere, too, who did not like me for the sole reason I’m me. Until now, I haven’t figured out why. But I was thankful I had a group of friends who saved me from my loneliness, my alienation, from myself even. I’ve changed too, through the course of the years, we all were.

When I was in college, it was a different element all in all. I did enjoy my college years and I’ve gained a lot of friends. Twice or maybe thrice the number of what I’ve lost in the past, I didn’t have a solid barkada, I believe I was the one who can be friends with any group—higher years, irregular students, from other programs, from other schools even. But, I had my second group of friends who welcomed me with open arms. I had a college best friend, who is still my best friend, and you know what’s funny? I am not hers. See the pattern? I can consider them my best friend and it can be not mutual. She was always there for me, you know? She’s the one I told all my secrets to, all of the craziness about me, I think, she’s the first to know. But I wasn’t the first to know whatever she’s up to and whenever it comes to that, I just say to myself that it’s not about me and they can be free to choose who their best friends are. And then we came to this day, where I found out that she’s suffering from a disease, and I found out through her social media post, her Facebook Story, and concerned as I was and still deeply, I asked her, and she did let me know about it. Everybody in our small circle of friends, our group of 3, I was the last to know. And still, I told myself, it wasn’t about me. Why make it about me when I was the one who’s healthy, who’s okay, who looks happy, who’s unbothered, than her who thinks and feels like she’s running out of time? I should not be hurt because that’s not fair, but I was hurt, and probably I was being unfair. Like a best friend, I wish I could share her pain, I wish I could do something for her, but I cannot, I can only do so much, I just wish I could. I wish my prayers for her to reach the gates of heaven above so she’d be freed from her pain, so she could be healed; she’s my best friend, even though I’m not hers. That, in my head over and over, the. it’s grade 1 all over again.

To strongly agree with the pattern, I also have a best friend, another one, or so I thought, who I met in an org. She’s a confidante. She’s a sister. She’s a go-to person. She’s everything I thank the heavens above for. She’s constant. But I am not her best friend, probably I’m not her constant, I felt, because in the sea of the crowd of people we know, she’ll not stick with me, she’ll try, of course, because she’s a good friend, but it won’t be with me. In a crowd, I’ll be alone. Maybe I’m not the type that is chooseable? Is that even a word? Maybe I’m too stiff, too toxic even? You put everyone out there and then you’ll see, they will not stick with you, even though you were constant, because someone in their lives is constant, too, and maybe they are better.

What’s this called? What is this kind of disorder? Is there something wrong with me? Can therapy be an answer? Because I just feel that I’m not cut for it, I’m not enough. Even though I say things right, I match what I say with the right actions, it really won’t cut it. And I’m tired. I’m in my 30s now and it’s first grade over and over. I swear, sometimes I tell myself that it’s not a big deal, that it’s okay, but sometimes, too, it is not. I know that it is okay to give than to receive and you should not ask for something in return. I wasn’t. I just have questions. What would I do? Should I shut myself to the world because it’s tiring and draining all at the same time? Giving that energy, effort, and attention to people who treat me last on their list; was it worth it? Is this just how it is? Is this how it will be? They can tell you all the right things and act otherwise, you know. They are not to be blamed I guess, sometimes I feel I’m giving away myself far too much, but that’s how it should be, right? To give and be happy about giving. To give and not ask for anything in return. But why is it draining? Why do I feel like I’m not on the right track? Does this define me?

A new year that is

I am forever grateful for a new year that is.

Turning a year old and probably growing old are privileges of our time today. I couldn’t be any more thankful for my family, friends, and colleagues who remember my special day and took time in their busy schedules to send their messages. I feel loved and special. I will be forever grateful.

Looking back to the years that were, I felt that I have grown–a bit, if that appeases some hehe like I care, but I think that it was for the better, and at some point, turning a year older has been exciting like I was a teenager again who couldn’t wait to be a lady and be her own. But I wish I was, sometimes, I have a lot of things I want to say to my younger self– lose the carbs for once because when you are in your thirties, your metabolism ghosts you like some guys you dated earlier in your time which weren’t worth it at all, if I may say, looking back.

Indeed, there is more to life than what we have imagined. Most of it we did not expect but as you grow older, you tend to be more accepting of the things that are in front of you. You tend to be more understanding of the things you don’t and don’t want to understand but have to, because this is the present and we have to deal with everything that is served and customized for us.

I tend to bend but not be broken. I push through with both my head and my heart like a totally responsible adult I couldn’t believe so myself. This birthday this year was a little different and I was okay with it. Two years in the midst of a pandemic, I couldn’t be any more grateful for another year, another life, and another chance to be anyone I wanted to be, to be a mother, to be a contributing force in the society, to be a friend, and to be someone who has a lot to share given the chance.

My birthday is how I wanted it to be. Peaceful and full of sleep with my favorite people, my favorite food, and at no cost.

Thank you to all who took the time to greet me and express their love. My life is better when you are all in it and I hope the succeeding years will be a blast and you will still be part of it, of me. I am forever grateful for a new year that is.

Life lately

What a busy life we have here, but I rather enjoy it than loathe it. I have to be honest, nothing is ever more satisfying to me than finishing a good book and updating my reading list–enjoying a peaceful life at home away from all the noise, probably some light rain here and there, a new good book in my hand, and a cup of coffee in another. Me reading novels is one way of resting from textbooks and research. Both I love thee.

I am glad I get to talk to people who have broader perspectives and insights than I am. It makes me think that perhaps, all along, I am on the right track. Or a little more comforting than the usual discomfort I have to deal with every day–you know the usual: unbelievable people, their pinch of characters, their faces even, their convictions, and most of the time, all together-infused in one body.

I couldn’t thank the universe enough for giving me good confidants through this life of difficulty–people I can still trust despite the outside adversity and people to love and love me even. I’m blessed beyond measure.

If there are more wishes for me in this life (aside from having more money, of course, haha), maybe I’ll wish for more time and more books! Those two combined.

How about you? How’s your life lately?