INSTABITS : September 2015

October is here, which means it’s time for my monthly Instagram dump. This is my first Instabits entry after Instagram started allowing non-square photos to be uploaded. I was wondering how they would show up here on my blog. I thought they would just keep the original dimensions but it turned out all Instagram did was add a white border around it to make it square. I suppose it saves me the extra step of having to do it myself in Photogrid, though I usually prefer black borders instead of white. It’s a good thing I use a white background on my blog now, so you can’t really tell, except it looks like there’s a lot of unnecessary spaces between some of the photos.

First post of the month was a selfie I took after I had my hair trimmed. The last time I got a haircut was July last year, which was a long time ago.

For my birthday, Dustin gave me a carnation and Sir Marvs gave me these “homemade” cookies. He said he stayed up all night baking them for me, lol.

For my birthday lunch, Amie, Dustin, Ma’am Chrys and I went to Dalcielo where I ate way too much. I could barely move by the time we were done

I passed by the Physika tambayan on my way back to the office and saw that they made this sweet greeting for me. Thanks brods and sisses!

For my birthday dinner, my family and I ate with some friends at 88 Resort.

The manager is a friend of ours and she gave me this huge complimentary halo halo for dessert.

To wrap up my birthday celebration, Brinks, Camille and I had a quick shoot around campus that weekend.(You can read more about my birthday thoughts and celebration HERE)

Continue reading

Week 28/52 : Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely

I’m still 9 weeks behind on this project, gah! I have about 5 picture lined up for posting (I’ve even finished editing them), but I still keep forgetting to upload them. In fact, this photo was taken on the same day as my 27th self portrait, which was almost a month ago, and yet I only remembered to post it today.

Again this was shot using my 50mm lens. It’s been so long since I last played around with it that I forgot how much I loved bokeh. I’m definitely going to have to start using it again in the future.

The quote I chose is by Auguste Rodin. I know that everyone has experiences in their lives that they would rather forget – I do too. But I believe that every experience comes with a lesson or a nugget of wisdom, and those are the things we should remember. We shouldn’t dwell on negative experiences, but we should hold on to the things that we learned. The same goes for the people that come and go into our lives. I believe that people enter our lives for a specific purpose. Sometimes when they leave us we complain that we should never have wasted our time on them, but I believe that the reason they left is because they have fulfilled their role in our lives. I recently had to say goodbye to someone who was a very big part of my life, and although it makes me sad, I appreciate all the lessons this person taught me. I know that I would be a very different person now if I hadn’t met them, and because of that I’m thankful that I got to know them.


It’s finally here – the big 3-0! I can now proudly say that I made it out of my 20’s alive (well … mostly). Turning 30 is considered to be this huge milestone in everyone’s lives, and I can sort of understand why. I suppose this is the age where a lot of us start to seriously evaluate our lives and we begin to list down our past accomplishments. Either we smile and think “I’m proud of myself” or we ask ourselves “what have I been doing these past three decades?”. I feel like I belong to the latter group, but there are also several aspects of my life where I am proud of myself for what I have done and what I have accomplished. I may not be as successful and as far along in life as some of my friends (thank you Facebook for the constant reminder), but I can honestly say that I’m happy with where I am, and that’s good enough for me.


(Amie trying to do “3” and “0”)

I always imagined myself celebrating my 30th birthday in a fancy way – with a huge party, surrounded by lots of people (just like when I turned 18). But I think growing up made me realize that it’s not about the amount of people in your life, it’s about the quality and the connections. I think most adults would rather celebrate life events surrounded by a handful of special people than a room full of acquaintances.

I was a little bummed when I woke up on my birthday because I had a 7am class, and I hate having to wake up early. Fortunately, my class went smoothly so I had a stress-free morning. I also had a 3pm lecture that afternoon, but Dustin volunteered to cover that for me so I could just relax the rest of the day. Thanks Dustin! Hooray for wonderful friends! :D And speaking of friends, I had a nice birthday lunch at Dalcielo with Amie, Dustin and Ma’am Chrys.


 We had a delicious meal. I ate so much that I could barely move by the time we were finished.

When we returned to the office after lunch, I found a pleasant surprise for me at the Physika tambayan:



Aww thanks brods and sisses.

That evening, I had a nice Korean dinner at the 88 Resort and Spa with my parents and some friends. I’ve been celebrating my birthday here for three years now, lol.


Continue reading

Hello perfect vision! (Getting my first contact lenses)

IMG_6952 copys

After years of harboring a fear of touching my eyeballs, I finally decided that it was time for me to try wearing contacts.  I’ve had glasses for almost 20 years now and I’ve always been curious about contacts, but the thought of placing a piece of glass directly on my cornea made me shudder. I’ve been told that it was painless and once you get used to it, you won’t even realize that it’s there – but there’s still the issue of having to touch my eyeball to put it on and take it out. I’ve always imagined myself trying out contacts and having to go to the hospital to get them removed because I’d be too scared to pinch them out myself. The thought of anything touching my eyes bothers me so much that I can’t even put eye drops on properly. I need to use at least 3 drops in each eye because 80% of it runs down my face. And although I’ve conquered my fear of applying eyeliner and mascara on myself (who knew vanity could be such a great motivator) I still can’t handle other people putting eye makeup on me. I would flinch and turn away whenever a hand (that’s not mine) comes close to my eyeball. I’ve been scolded several times by makeup artists at events because it’s so hard for me to keep my eyes open while they line my waterline or do anything with my lashes.

Continue reading

Congratulations Ezra and Kurt!

I haven’t mentioned it here on my blog yet, but my baby sister got married last week :) I’m extremely happy for the both of them, and I can’t ask for a better brother-in-law. I’ve witnessed their relationship blossom and grow stronger over the past 14 years and I’ve never seen two people more perfect for each other.

If you read my blog, you would know how close Ezra and I are. We share clothes, interests, ideas, friends and secrets. We’ve always been each other’s outlets whenever we needed someone to talk to. The most we’ve been apart was when I lived in Katipunan for my graduate studies, but even then I would always come home during the weekend. We shared a room up until I was 15 and I remember how we used to love staying up, talking to each other. Even when we finally got our own rooms, they were right next to each other, separated only by a thin piece of plywood, and we could just yell through the wall whenever we needed to talk. If it was any other guy I probably would have a hard time letting go and giving her up, but I know that Kurt would take care of her and make sure that she remains close to our family. He’s not only my sister’s husband, but he’s also one of my closest friends, and that makes things a lot easier. The three of us went to the same high-school, and he was even part of my entourage during my debut. I love how they never make me feel left out when we’re together, and how they remember to include me in their plans.

They haven’t shared that many pictures of their wedding on social media yet and I don’t want to spoil it for them by posting photos before they get the chance, so I will leave you with this (which I grabbed from Ezra’s FB page).


It was a court wedding and it only lasted about 15 minutes. Fortunately, the couple that was supposed to get married after them never showed up so we were able to stay inside the chapel for a few extra minutes and take some photos/videos.

Congratulations to the happy couple! Wishing you the best on this new chapter in your life :D

My Diamond Princess Experience

Our family went on a cruise around Japan and Korea last month, and it was so amazing that I had to make an entry about it right away. I’ll be posting detailed entries about each day we spent there, but this is just a quick summary of our experience on the ship.  I did something similar for when we went on the Golden Princess last year (read blog entry HERE).  We had such a magical time back then that my parents immediately booked another cruise with them again last October.  Unfortunately, Ezra and I couldn’t come with them because of classes, so they booked another one this May for the entire family.  Both the Golden Princess and Diamond Princess are owned by Princess Cruises, so there were a lot of similarities between the two.

Our cruise started in Yokohama, at the Osanbashi Pier


IMG_3855a (2)


Ezra and I were so excited to be going on another Princess Cruise.  This year, Princess is celebrating its 50th anniversary, yay!

IMG_3855a (1)

Since we already had our luggage tags prepared, we just headed over to the luggage drop off counter and left our bags there.  After this we sat down and waited for the ship to start boarding.


Bags at the pier waiting to be delivered to the guests’ rooms


Ezra and I were assigned to stateroom C724, which was the room my parents had when we went on our Alaskan Cruise – though that was a different ship of course.  But still, we thought it was a funny coincidence.

IMG_3860a (4)

Our room looked pretty much identical to the one we had last year.

Since this was our second cruise with them, Princess upgraded us to gold card status :)

IMG_5908 copy

(The blue card at the bottom is from last year’s cruise)

IMG_3860b (1)

We also found this “Welcome Back” card in our room

IMG_3860a (3)

Aren’t they sweet?  Since we are now repeat passengers, we were invited to the Captain’s Circle Membership Event

IMG_3860b (2)


It’s a simple event with cocktails and a raffle draw.  The ship’s captain thanked everyone for choosing Princess Cruises again.  They also gave recognition to people on board that have spent the most days with them.  The winning couple spent over 1000 days at sea already!  I can’t imagine how they did that.  That’s over 3 years of cruising!  So far Ezra and I have a total of 15 days with Princess.  We’ve got a looooong way to go.

This year, my parents got a room with a balcony, so we hung out there a few times during our stay

IMG_3860a (5)

This trip was meant to celebrate my parent’s 31st wedding anniversary, as well as Ezra’s birthday.  When you book your cruise, they ask you if there are any special events they should be aware of, so they can prepare a special gift for you.  You can specify the date you want that event celebrated, in case you are celebrating late or early.  In our case, my parents chose to celebrate their anniversary 4 days late, and Ezra celebrated her birthday exactly 1 month later.


The wonderful crew at the Sta. Fe dining hall presented my parents with a cake on their “anniversary”


And gave them this card

Ezra also received a card in our room on the morning of her “birthday”



As well as a cake and birthday song during dinner (again from the Sta. Fe crew)

The staff also decorates your stateroom door with balloons on your special day.  This is what ours looked like since my parents’s room and our room were facing each other:

(Ezra and I decided to wear matching dresses for her “birthday”)

Our cruise consisted of 4 shore excursions and 2 sea days.  We maximized our sea days (as well as our nights on the ship) by participating in various events and watching shows at the Atrium or Princess Theater.

IMG_3860a (1)

On our first sea day, the ship organized a $1000 treasure hunt.  To participate, you had to go to different areas of the ship and have your card stamped before dropping it off at the Atrium for a chance to win.

Continue reading

INSTABITS : May 2015

May was an extremely busy and eventful month for me.  Besides having loads of things to do at work because of the end of the semester, I also struggled through some very personal issues.  This month made me realize how important it is to have people who will be there for you to support you and believe in you.

During the past years, May would be the time when we would go on vacation because of the summer break, but due to the shift in academic calendar, classes and exams are still ongoing.  However, we didn’t let that stop us from going out occasionally and enjoying the sun.

I kicked the month off with a trip to Laiya with Ma’am Chrys, Sir Marvs and Dustin. (Blog entry HERE, and you can watch the video I made HERE.)

We didn’t have resort reservations so we hopped around until we found one that could accommodate us.  We ended up at the Virgin Beach Resort (which was also where my friends and I went to back in 2013)

Needless to say we took lots of pictures during our outing

We learned that overnight guests can use the resort’s kayaks for free, yay!

Back at the office, Sir Taps, Dustin and I somehow found ourselves all wearing blue on the same day

This month my mom received an award for being an Outstanding San Pableño.  Yay!  We’re proud of you Mama!

The Physics Fair was also held this month.  Here’s a class picture with my C5L and EF6L students during the event.  It was extremely hot that day, but our students seemed to enjoy the games.

My EF6L class rented this pedicab for their game

(Grabbed this from Dustin’s IG.) After the students were briefed and the field was set up, I spent the rest of the time hiding in the shade with Dustin and Sir Taps.

Here’s an old photo of my mom and me which I posted for Mother’s Day.

My parents celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary this month, so I shared this old photo of them in their first apartment.

An LBC delivery man walked in my office one day with this huge box from Proctor and Gamble. It contained a flat iron, an epilator, an ionic brush and about a year’s supply of razors and razor heads.  I haven’t talked about it here on my blog, but earlier this year I was informed that someone stole a photo I took and entered it into a contest. The person who submitted it ended up winning first place with an amazing prize of a vacation worth 5000 Euros. I alerted the organizers (Gillette Venus UK) of the fraud and they eventually sorted it out. They sent me this for my troubles. (You can see the Facebook thread HERE)

To celebrate my parents’ 31st wedding anniversary, our family went on a cruise around Japan and Korea.  We arrived in Japan two days before our cruise started because we wanted time to explore Tokyo by ourselves.

We took a train from our hotel to Akihabara, where I found Summoners War, yay! (Since I wasn’t sure if I would have internet in Japan, I asked Raffy to babysit my account for me while I was gone XD  Thanks Wapeh!)

We also stopped by Shibuya to say hello to Hachiko :)

Continue reading