Firsts

              As the year end approaches, I’d like to make a list of my many surprising firsts this year. I wanted to insert pictures but they are too  many plus I haven’t totally explored this site yet and I am so excited to write and share so, I’ll just put everything in words. I’ll make sure that in the future, I’ll put pictures na. 🙂 They are surprising because most of it were unplanned. Beautiful accident or fortune in misfortune.. if you can call it that way. I love discovering places. From churches to dining places to new adventures. It’s amazing that they were just in your mind and unknowingly and subconsciously, I realize them one by one.

Here’s a rundown of what I explored this year. Enjoy 🙂

JANUARY

Giligan’s              —                   I know this is but an ordinary gimik resto bar place to go to, but to me, it was special because that’s where we had our first lunch of the year after hearing mass. Father has a skeptic mind when it comes to Filipino restaurants(well, except Max’s of course) because he thinks everything is just the same. (Plus, he is a good cook and I can attest to that :)) But surprisingly, he liked it there. He even wanted to return. (In fact, we already returned. more to come) We are happy. Nice!

AMF Puyat Sports Recreation Center (Bowling)       —              It was my aunt’s birthday. After dinner, we still had enough time to waste and enjoy so everyone decided to go and play. Technically, it wasn’t my first time to go there but the experience of playing bowling with the family was a first. Bowling has always been in my list. I’ve always wanted to learn it because father is good at it. I always convince him to teach us but we always end up playing billiards. Besides, he always discourages us to play because he thought that it will just be  a waste of money and time. He might be right but learning something new is a lot of better and more important,isn’t it? So, why not play instead? Finally, I had the chance to play. My score was terrible but that’s fine. It was a great time to be with them. Thank you, aunt!

FEBRUARY

Eric Kayser Boulangerie         —          Well, I just found this new bakeshop unexpectedly in one of the malls. Since I read some articles because it has been the talk of the town, I got curious. The place was quite homey and to me, nothing special. It is the same as other places that needs to have unique interiors to entice the customers. But, I’m happy to finally see  and have  a taste of it.

City of Dreams              —                This was definitely unplanned. When I arrived home, brother told me that Ne-yo is the main act at the grand opening launch which will happen in a few hours. My brother, being a Ne-yo fan, definitely got excited and wanted to fly there. Me, being a supportive sister, went with him. We bounced as fast as we could however, we were stuck in traffic. When we arrived, the event was already finished. What to do anyway? Maximize. We ended up roaming around inside, took pictures and had fun, of course. It was still a great experience. We will surely return especially now that I’ve discovered the free shuttle service. (By now, I’ve already went there a couple of times. More in the future.) Yeah!

DRAFT               —                    A nice and cozy place to dine. Craving for schnitzel and pasta satisfied! Good dining with quality time with a good friend made it more special.

Lucky Chinatown Mall               —                 Who would’ve thought that they would build a high end mall at the heart of the busy place of Divisoria? Amazing, huh? From the time it became the talk of the town, of course, I wanted to see it for myself. There was nothing special really but the location made it interesting. It was a great time.

MARCH

Taytay Falls, Majayjay, Laguna            —         Another check in the list. It was a long journey to reach, we even lost our way going there but everything was all worth it. Also, it was a nice experience spent with new set of equally nice people.

Banapple          —       Another cool place to simply chill in heart of a busy mall.

Cafe Adriatico          —            I often pass by this restaurant every time I go to this mall  and always wondered what it feels like to dine there. Finally, I had the chance and it was pretty good.

APRIL

Rembrandt Hotel, Dinner Buffet         —         This one is totally a blessing in disguise. My sister’s friends already had a reservation unfortunately, one of her friends couldn’t make it since they didn’t want the slot to be put to waste, they had to think of a replacement. Good thing, I had no plans at that time so I immediately bounced there. Lucky em, huh? 🙂

MAY

Holy Redeemer Parish, Adoration Chapel        —         It is a surprise that this place is at its simplest yet gives a very comforting feeling. Helping my sister with her wedding requirements was also considered a blessing. I was actually baptized here but I’ve never been here ever since. (Well, I was there a year ago for a wedding event but didn’t have enough time to have my me time. Plus, I sang there with choir friends so, it was a busy time.) Anyway, I was glad to be of help to my sister even though it’s really tiring at times still, I get to experience things to nurture me. Thank you!

Bolinao, Pangasinan          —            This beach is one of the gateways to the Pacific Ocean. Sister and her fiancee decided to have a beach themed prenup pictorial so, there, the whole family of both sides went there and supported their plan. It was a quick getaway but sure, fun! We’ll definitely return soon.

Quirino Grounds, MTV Asia Music Evo Concert      —        One day,   my brother told me about this event and since I have an IG account, he encouraged me to join their promo just for fun. No expectations. They said that they will not announce the winners online but will just send the bands instead. Which means, whoever receives it are the winners. Few weeks has passed and we totally forgot about it until one day, I received a parcel from MTV Asia. We were still figuring out what was inside since we already forgot but to our surprise! We got the bands! Weeee!!! We are going to the concert. Definitely one of the many highlight firsts this year. Also, it was a day before my birthday which made it more special. It was a great experiences with sibs!

Our Lady of Fatima Church         —          It was one of the churches nearest to my place but obviously, I never had the chance to visit there until one day that I had to help sister for some errands. (wedding requirements  it is.)

JUNE

Cafe Juanita               —                  This has been the talk of the town and I’ve always been curious to go here. Finally, this was the right time to visit and dine with the fam. They had positive fee backs from the food to the ambience and assured of returning. (We already did and would want to return more in the future. :))

Cathedral Shrine of the Good Shepherd                 —              It was the celebration of the nuns’ congregation anniversary. My cousin’s choir sang in the mass and I felt lucky and blessed to be part of the celebration. Thank you!

Salon de The                       —                     Another surprising restaurant I discovered. This is a fine dining place and actually, just an extension of The French Baker. I found it funny and nostalgic at the same time because I only saw this kind of restaurant in Belgium. Now, it’s here in the Philippines. It was more special because I had a quality time with a good friend. Yey!

 

……to be continued 🙂

Destiny

Does destiny really exist? I’ve always wondered. Does it only work for some people and not for others? What is the real meaning of this word? Why is it so mysterious and magical? Do you have to work hard to find it or the heavens will just lead you to that person? Does it mean that whatever you are doing now or even if you are  actually not doing anything, it will just come to you right before you knew it? Is it only about finding or leading you to the right one?

I still have a lot of questions but, I’d like to believe that everything really happens for a reason. We might not find the answers to all the questions now but sure there are. For all the joys, pain, challenges, heartaches, betrayals and everything in between, are all part of a beautiful journey that is yet to be discovered. It will lead us to where we are supposed to be or who we are bound to meet. Everything plays a role in everything. Be it small or big. We just have to learn patiently for everything to slowly unfold by itself.

I still don’t know who, where is that ‘one’ or when will I see or maybe, we already met or I don’t know but thinking about it, excites me. I am hopeful. I believe in it. My mind has a lot of questions, doubts, worries, insecurities and all those nega thoughts but the power to look forward to a beautiful and happy future negates all these.

I cannot attest to the word since I haven’t experienced it yet but I would want to believe in it. Remember that everything is possible under heaven and for HIM who believes. Patience and faith my child. Also remember that there is something MORE to life than love. If you are in a good disposition with your loved ones, you’re more blessed to have found your destiny. We just have to learn to open our eyes to  appreciate everything that we have and everyone who’s been with us through thick and thicker. Pero wait lang, saan na ba kasi yun? Baka nalate, traffic eh. 🙂

Just one of my many random thoughts. Maulan kase. Tapos may good music pa. Solb!

Anyway, have a great weekend still, kahit maulan. Party with the fam later! Enjoy! Cheers! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proud and Pressured

Even up to present, I’ve always had that dilemma — Other people being proud of me, always makes me feel pressured. Maybe that’s why, I always end up keeping my achievements in closet. I realized that I still had this fear since last week. I thought I learned to loosen up over time but, I was wrong. I am confident but that’s how I was, growing up and that’s how I am. Still. I know it’s not right, I actually have all the right to brag about everything regardless of how big or small my achievements are but that’s not how I was raised.  I was always reminded to be grounded. Maybe, that’s where pressure came in. With being proud, cheering and rooting for me always come with pressure to always be at my best. I know it’s not healthy but I cannot even say it is bad at all, because it helped me to focus on my objectives but sometimes, I forget to loosen up. Growing up, I always felt like I’m in competition with everyone. Be it with family,in school or any aspects. I always felt like people expected too much of me, especially my parents. And if I don’t meet such, I always feel like I am less of a person. I should be good, do good with almost everything.  I cannot blame them. In fact, I am very thankful to them for instilling a lot of wisdom to me. It’s just that there were times that you really find it hard to keep up. I continuously try to do my best, anyway.

When I was in the choir, which was really rigid at that time, we had regular quartet exams. It was always nerve wracking. From the moment I got the top rank in my section, I had this pressure to maintain that post. Ever since. People expected me to always be there– no.1. I was consistent to be there but can you imagine how pressured I was? It was not easy.  Of course, there were times that I wasn’t the top,but who cares? Me. I seriously care.  When I was extremely pressured to keep my position, one friend told me that the only way to go is down. I was already there. A lot of times, in fact. Where else will I go? Is there a number higher than 1? If there was, sure, I’d be there, he said. I was awaken. He was right. He even reminded that I don’t have to prove anything anymore for I have already proven enough. He was right again. I kept quiet and did my best still. There were a lot of times that while people look up to me and idolize me,  I doubted myself. As far as I can remember, I never heard myself congratulate me for actually doing a good job. While other people tell me the performance was great, my solo was great, I did great, I still doubted myself.  Even if my family are extremely proud of me, I was scared to accept it. For I know that pressure would later appear. Crazy, huh?

The achievement of being able to travel and discover different places and cultures because of singing was also kept. It was a secret I kept with few friends because of several reasons. If my friends accidentally spilled the beans, I remind them to keep quiet. They are the ones who are actually proud of my achievements. I understand them. I am actually confident and proud of it. It’s just that, I don’t want people to talk about it/me in general  but I realized, a little bragging is also exciting and beautiful. It’s my achievement, anyway. Just stay humble.

Maybe, I was the problem here. I am in competition with no one but with myself. I was being too hard on myself. Or should I say, I AM always being too hard on myself. I am the one putting too much pressure on myself. I forgot to be proud and celebrate even the slightest achievement I had —  that was before. I’ve learned a lot over time. I had to change. I am still learning the ropes. It is not easy to change this mindset I created. I am not forgetting what I’ve learned over time, it will always be here. But, I have decided to make a conscious effort to loosen up a bit. No or less pressure but I will still try my best every time I do something, of course. I have to constantly remind myself to just ENJOY and live light.

For once, I am proud to tell myself that, I am proud of you, Em! You’ve been doing a great job all along and you still are so, Keep it up! Cheers!

 

 

 

Am I strange?

Am I strange?

For loving someone I don’t see

Am I strange?

For believing that in due time
that person will also see 

Am I strange?

For accepting everything in all ways possible
and still believe in it

Am I strange?
For hoping that one day
you can be with that person

Am I strange?

For believing that everything will be all right

Am I strange?

For hoping a better future with that someone

Am I strange?

For seeing myself holding hands and
laughing together even with no reason

Am I strange?

For thinking about all these things

Is it all strange?

A little bit of everything

I am officially starting my blog. Yey again! I told myself that I would start last week but I didn’t know how and what to write. Or where to specifically begin. All I know is that lots of thoughts are running in my busy mind. Maybe, I don’t have the confidence yet to let people know these thoughts but here I am now, taking the leap.

December is usually the busiest season for chorale singers. Singing engagements are just around the corner. We fondly call it ‘raket’ The more raket of course, the happier we are. 🙂 The last two weeks had been the busiest I had, so far. I am mostly busy in the afternoon since I work in the morning. I taught a college choir in one of the universities around Ubelt also, I had to perform elsewhere.

The busy week started with teaching the choir. This university has a yearly Christmas event including interdepartment choral competition. I have taught this choir for the past years but last year, I wasn’t able t teach them since I was working full time. I actually missed a lot last year but I’m thankful that this year, they asked me to teach them again. I was hesitant to accept it at first because I was not totally sure if I was ready but anyway, I took the chance. All conversations were done thru text. There was a time I thought it wouldn’t push thru anymore because I hadn’t heard any updates from them but fortunately, after that week, everything became clear. I met them finally. I had no idea what to expect especially that we barely had less than two weeks left to prepare for everything. The competition requires them to sing two pieces — the contest piece and a choice piece of medley songs. In less than two weeks, they hadn’t started anything with the choice piece. As in zero. As their teacher, I also had no idea what to give them. I still don’t know their capacity to sing as a group, to understand and memorize everything with a limited time. A huge thanks to my cousin who gave the piece to me and gave insights about it. Atleast, we can start something from there. I told them that we will just try to do our best and maximize everything that we have. I am quite satisfied that they were really cooperative and I felt that they really listened and followed me so, I really appreciate it. Rehearsals were fun but of course, I still had to impose a certain discipline that is needed to the group. I wanted to impart to them everything that I know. I also tried my best.. There was one time that after the rehearsal, I had to fly to Alabang for a raket. I wasn’t prepared for the required outfit so, I had to squeeze my time to buy clothes. I was successful. Good job to me! I was excited to sing but I almost lost hope of not being able to perform because I was seriously stuck in traffic. It was super slooowly moving. Plus, it was a Friday. But, I was lucky still because I was able to join them. We consider rakets as blessings that’s why we really try our best to be part of it.  Besides, it’s totally fun!

Moving on to the week of the competition proper, rehearsals became more serious. I gave them the piece and the recording so that they will have an idea how it is sung and how it is supposed to sound. They cooperated well. I guess they are ready. ( Of course, constant guidance is still necessary since most of the singers have no idea in choral singing) But the fact they are willing to learn and listen to me is a big thing already. I am proud of them. I just hoped I had longer time to be with them. It’s nice and challenging to mold them. Unfortunately, there was one time that I could not teach them because I had to attend a wedding event. I will sing again with my peers. I am excited again! But of course, I told to rehearse still and memorize everything.

Come Friday, the day of the competition, I was nervous but I guess we are ready. I didn’t know that I will be faced with another conflict. I received a text message early morning that we have a performance later in the afternoon. I had mixed emotions.  Confused. Excited. Nervous. I suddenly had a lot of questions. What will I do with the choir? How can I get to the venue the fastest way possible? Who can possibly replace me? How can I do it without causing conflicts? Well, it was me who decided on doing these things so, I should take responsibility to everything. The whole morning, my dear mind was busy forming solutions to this challenging situation. I am slowly coming up with answers. Little by little. The first thing I did was inform the group that I can’t conduct on the actual competition but I can still teach them for final reminders. While waiting for the reply, I had two people in mind who can probably help me–my cousin and buddy. I immediately texted my cousin unfortunately, he can’t since he’s at work. Next best option is my buddy. He was rattled and surprised when he I told him my situation. Good thing, he is also going in the same direction so, he agreed to do it. Thank you so much buddy! On my way to the rehearsal, my mind is still busy thinking how to get to Ayala the fastest way possible. Anyway, I need to focus few hours first to the choir for final touches of the songs. While I was teaching them, he was experiencing a lot of hassles reaching the university. Finally, he arrived and it’s also about time for me to go. I just gave him a shorts heads up of what he needs to do with the pieces (he’s in fact, way better than me :))so, there’s not much to worry. I wished them good luck then, I left. My travel to Ayala ended up taking LRT2 and MRT. Can you imagine how long I had to walk? Well, everytime I had to do long walks, I always realize how blessed I am for being physically able to do such. We are lucky to accomplish such things with ease. Thank you Lord! Going back, it was not a walk in the park type. I had to do brisk walking because time is of serious essence. Finally, I reached Ayala station. They told me to take the motor instead of taking the bus. It’s a Friday so, horrible traffic condition is expected. I had no idea what they were talking about but when I got down, I saw long lines of people waiting for motorcycles. It will be another first for me. I had hesitations whether to take it or not but since I was running out of time, I took it. It was actually fun. Maybe, in the future, I will write more of that ‘habal habal in the metro’ experience. I arrived safe to the venue. Thank you kuya driver. it was cool! I was few minutes late but I was proud to tell myself that I made it!*Dora sing and dance* tanenenenenten.yeah! I did it! yeah!

Now the event.  Definitely, it was fun. We just had to sing few Christmas songs in ten lobbies so, it was decided to divide the group into two. How cool is that! It always feels good to jam with people you’ve known the longest. We rarely see each other but it always feels like yesterday. Just like the old times, they say.

The previous weeks was rather colorful yet challenging. There are times I realize that there are many things to be thankful for. But oftentimes, I wonder, why do we always have to have conflicts? Can we not just grab every opportunity and be happy? I know, lessons are best learned along the way. I also know for sure, there will be a lot more in the future. I guess I’m ready. Bring it on!

There. I finally wrote it. How’d it go? I hope you had fun reading it. Until next time. Stay happy. Cheers!