Tuesday, March 31, 2015


What better way to come back from a flu than to Party! After being 'bedridden' and groggy back this month was a pain in the head, I just wanted to bring my butt out of bed and go get moving! A dear friend of ours, who's also become an Ate to me here in Dubai, planned a grand birthday party for her daughter - in secrecy. She was hands-on in creating a fun-filled programme, pulling out props and gowns, inviting guests (but being hush about it) to celebrate her one and only daughter's 14th Birthday. Truly a one woman team. The outcome was a debutant's party four years ahead of it's time! Haha! It was unexpected as the celebrant herself was slipped into her ball gown only after entering the room with a big SURPRISE right then and there complete with her Prince Charming! It was thaaat top secret! It poked fun but also pinched our hearts when Ate Arlene burst into tears instead of Keziah! That night, I witnessed how great a Mother's love is (again).
Speaking of love... It was timely that I unintentionally bought myself a dress during the Flea Market (ukay ukay!) at Za'abeel Park. I saw this beautiful lacework on a very feminine cut, soft rosewood-coloured dress being sold at 15 Dirhams (150 Pesos!) The tag was intact which meant it's still unused and what a gorgeous dress it was! I was so happy to add it to my clothing, but skeptical because I didn't want it to be left hung up and buried in my closet. It was too beautiful to be hidden there. Come the secret invitation, I knew this is what I was going to wear. A surprise buy for a surprise birthday! It was love! #LIPSYLOVE


Sunday, March 29, 2015

For Yuppies

At this age of internet and modern media, it's been a habit or routine of mine to read Rappler daily. I scour what's on the news and click my way through one headline to another. And this time, I have yet again stumbled upon this article that move and touch me like no other. Maybe because it came from the words of a father's heart to her daughter, maybe because I am still in search of my purpose and in pursuit of my dreams, maybe because I too know how it feels wanting to quit? Or perhaps, I'm on this phase as a young professional that I can relate myself completely and heed to every single word of wisdom. I've read this article a few times long ago, but the effect remains the same. As it is the season for Graduations and Commencement Exercises, allow me to reblog this blog from Aika Robredo - daughter of former Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Thank you for sharing with us this heartfelt letter (email)!

For yuppies who want to quit, a word from Jesse Robredo

This graduation season, Aika Robredo shares a touching email sent by her father, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, when she wanted to give up in 2008

Aika Robredo

Published 11:57 AM,  Mar 29, 2014
Updated 8:59 PM, Dec 16, 2014
GRADUATION DAY. Aika Robredo poses with her father, Jesse, and her mother, Leni, during her graduation in 2008. Photo courtesy of Aika Robredo
GRADUATION DAY. Aika Robredo poses with her father, Jesse, and her mother, Leni, during her graduation in 2008.
Photo courtesy of Aika Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – This graduation season, the daughter of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo blogged about a touching – and timely – email from her father. In this letter, Mr Robredo advised his eldest child, Aika, not "to quit early" even if she feels "unhappy and stressed" in her career. Rappler is republishing Aika's blog entry with her permission. Except for details that Aika omitted, the letter appears in unedited form.
This is probably the longest email I received from Pa, in response to an email sent to him by my clueless, whiny, too idealistic, feeling entitled fresh grad self back in 2008. Reading this again made me realize that my perspective on work has significantly changed since then. Work is both humbling and, for lack of a better word, dignifying (uplifting?). 
This is for fresh grads and not-so-fresh grads, and people who think that the grass is always greener on the other side (occasionally guilty of this).
From:  Jesse Robredo <j.......@yahoo.com>
Date: XX/XX/XXXX 9:26 PM    
Subject: Re: :(
To: Aika Robredo <a.....@gmail.com>
dear aiks,

do not worry. i also felt like that when i was working. kaya palipat lipat ako ng office sa san miguel corporation. give it a little time. meanwhile, actively look for other options. (you might want to help me muna. ha.ha.ha.)

it is too early to tell what you are meant to do. but quitting this early will not be good for you. while you may be unhappy and stressed, there is a better way of coping with it. the more unhappy and discontented you are, the more you will dread every day you work. as i have said, you are not in the worst place at this stage in your career. sometimes, having too many choices is not that healthy. i think sticking on to your job for a significant amount of time is a good idea. it will test your ability to cope with something you are not too happy doing. the sad reality is that we have to bear it because it is part of the learning process. If i encourage you to quit early, the next time you feel the same discomfort, you will not learn to cope but quit again.

I know of quite a number of people who were as good as you – or who were even better than you, but did not achieve their full potential because they always wanted to be happy with what they were doing. we need not go very far. Person A and Person B had to struggle with Company X because they did not have much choice. It is only now that they can do as they please because they have established themselves already.

I do not think you should lose sight of what you want to do. If you do decide to quit, be responsible enough to find another job before quitting. It will not look good if you quit without any definite job waiting.

i do not suggest that you immediately take the NGO route unless it is the CSR of a prominent company. while it is true that you will study later on, remember that your studying will require you to return back to the real world that you are in right now. burn out ka na, bok. you might want to take a vacation muna. madali naman maghanap ng rason at this point in time. while i am not against you doing social development work, i must say that those who succeeded in this field went through the regular careers that we have gone through. Tony Meloto worked in the private sector for a long time. Manny Pangilinan, etc.

i will always support you in any way you want me to. while the job might not be for you, you might have to grin and bear it while you are looking for a new one (whether corporate or NGO). i have taken less fulfilling jobs in my career but i have looked at them as the dots that connected me to where i am now. the more you despair, the more you will be unhappy. many people would love to take your place, given the opportunity. just look at this stage as the difficult stepping stones in testing your character and patience. probably, later on, with the benefit of hindsight, you will conclude that it was all for the better that you were not too hasty in making the decisions on this matter.

having said what i think, do not be afraid to make the decisions you think that best suit you. lagi lang naman kaming nandito. but as they say, do not make decisions when you are unhappy (or emotional). they tend to be the less logical ones.
labs always, 


– Rappler.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Golden Girl

I've been quite on a blogging hiatus this month and seeing a backlog of 1,000+ photos buried in my camera roll makes me feel like procrastinating on a deadline! Here's why. Aside from marking our First Year Anniversary here, we also celebrated our Tita May's 50th Birthday in my favourite Downtown  Dubai. It was such a beautiful day spent with closest family and friends, under cloudless blue skies and the cool winter breeze still lurking by sun down - only to come down with a flu after! For the last few weeks, I didn't feel 100% of myself and my job has never been good to me. I decided, I can't let myself go through this and took off. One day I phoned my Mom and broke into sobs on her. I was looking over SZR skyline and realizing how far away I am to just see and hug her again. I've been missing her, my sister, my friends and my home. And to the least of my expectations is when my Pop called me. Hearing them was an instant recharge to my inner battery. Sometimes you just need Mama or Papa. We're always on a hurry, wanting to jump from the next phase to the other that we unknowingly lose what our soul is missing. (And close to losing yourself. Kidding!)
Living away from family and friends has a tendency for you to become emotional (I have a right to be, it's been a year away from them!) You wake up and it's just another day (just. another. day.) but you've got to make a decision for yourself, to hold up and stay golden.  


Monday, March 23, 2015

One Year

March is a significant month in my young life. I still recall my first entry coming here to Dubai, and I'd have to repeat myself: How time flies! It's been a year (A YEAR!!?) since I moved in this glitz and glam of a city, soaking myself in all it's rich and vast deserts, embracing it's Islamic cultures and diverse peoples with the hopes of establishing myself in a professional career while pursuing my many dreams... I can't even look back as the whirlwind of events feel as fresh as only yesterday. Coming to the Arab World wasn't all a magic carpet ride, you know?
I've met different people, some Kabayans, making their way in this foreign deserted land. A place far away to leave their homes, for their homes. There were days (weeks!) I'd spent in front of the computer updating my CV, applying online as a Millenial on the hunt for a job; walking long stretches of walk along Sheikh Zayed Road, taking the Metro, going aimlessly into various office buildings to drop our CVs and felt lucky enough to be called for an interview. If there were interviews, I'd consult the trusty Google maps for my location and upon reaching - I'd scramble from the train or taxi or look for the nearest washroom to slip into my heels! I'd present myself in a PAL Professional way backed up with my small victories and young experiences.

There were also days when there was nothing. No calls. No interviews. It felt devastating! (I wouldn't wish it on anyone) I was ready to go home. Many times I thought of going back instead but never really considered it. All I held on was God, constant prayers, and the support and soothing words from family. That made it, at least, bearable. I felt rejected many times but still stubborn and hard-headed to following my dreams... I realized, that's all I have.
A year down the road, after surpassing all those challenges and tough times make me proud of where and what I am now. Proud how far my cousin and I have come. A year later, here we are living our lives independently - paying our own rent, doing our own groceries and knowing we can now better stand on our own two feet. I learned (and am still learning) things the hard way. It's what I'm made of. Those rejections have brought me to unknown horizons. Don't despise them. Many times I've been shrouded with self-doubt, but that doubt made me assess myself and learn who I am and what I want. Because only through doubt will you have a stronghold on faith. Well, that itching travel bug and Miss Wanderlust is always in me as I chase life and adventure! And I'm still that stubborn and hard-headed pursuer of dreams ;) (Don't lose sight of 'em, they're there for a reason and a guiding light somehow.)


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

From Instagram

Posting a mini compilation from my Instagram account. We're still at the first quarter of 2015 but a lot has already happened and is happening during the in-betweens. Choose to see the beauty. Well, I've been feeling a little blue, but looking back over the past few weeks alone gives me a guilt feeling not to be utterly grateful! Which made me count my blessings in all forms while I'm laid in bed. We started off the Month of March happily and successfully moving in to a new place :) We not only found a wholesome flat in the City Centre, but one that's filled with warmth I'm always excited to come home to. This month is also of significance to me (us - me & Ate Julie), which I will surely be putting down in my diary. I think I'm getting too addicted to this app that I deliberately delete it from my mobile to help save myself for a little while! Writing this post already brings back flashes of memory to be truly thankful for. That and Instagram slowly fades away my blues.