30 Wishes

I wish you the all the usuals –
The perfect health, many more years
For more loving moments with your man
A stronger bond with your cool kid
And while we’re at it, I wish for another quirky one to come
I wish for more love in your extended family

I wish that you get to all beautiful places you can’t even imagine
For more walks in the forest and lovely strolls by the beach
For you to try more exquisite cuisines and food trips by the street
I wish that you enjoy the wildest adventures and capture the most stunning pics
For you to revel in the most varied cultures and meet the weirdest of this species
I wish that you get to find some as treasured friends for keeps

I wish you more exciting political discussions
For more debates about even the most mundane things
I wish you more meaningful conversations and reflections deep within
I wish for more creations that come as a result of your brilliant mind
What else could I wish for a stellar human being
But for you to fulfill your grandest dreams

I wish you more head-on collisions and more bended knees
I wish for more seemingly impossible choices and decisions that bring you chills
I wish that these bring to an entirely new place
And remind you of the towering strength you’ve always had within
I wish for a faith that continues to deepen
I wish you joy that constantly wins


Modern-day Museums

Gone are the days when museum art was just supposed to be looked at. Some were not even allowed to be touched or photographed. Back then, boredom was almost always a given.

What’s becoming popular nowadays are  3D art museums like Art in Island Museum in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines. Here, you get to interact with art. You get to try your best poses and your acting prowess while you and your friends take pictures in the different areas in the museum. Your photography skills gets polished too as you look for the best angles to make each picture come to life (if you don’t have much, worry not; the floors have guides on where to take the best photos).

For the kids and kids-at-heart, fun is inevitable in modern-day museums like this.


Blessed and Blissful at 30

To me, age has always been irrelevant. And I don’t mind people asking how old I am for two reasons. One is because I act and feel like a kid most of the time people usually think I am younger. And second is because when you ask how old I am, I think about years of being blessed. I think about years’ worth of adventures, years’ worth of learning and improving myself, years’ worth of struggles and challenges that made me try to understand people more, years’ worth of love and kindness from people that have come and gone, years’ worth of love and strength from those who stayed, and years’ worth of the Lord’s love and guidance.

So, every time that clock strikes 12 on the 25th of the 2nd month of the year, I am reminded that every year added to my life means another year’s worth of blessings. And I can’t let the moment pass by without saying thank you to you who remembered and are happy for me, to you who took time to celebrate with me, to you who has been or continues to be a part of this unbelievably beautiful journey, and to You up there Who has been on my side since day 1.

Life Lessons in a Role Playing Game

As more and more people are becoming interested in going out and exploring new things, a lot of fun, exciting, and unique activities are sprouting throughout Metro Manila. And just last Thursday, I got to experience Mystery Manila! As mentioned in its website, Mystery Manila is “the first live role playing game in the Philippines.” It has 3 branches so far and has different “mysteries” for anyone willing to try out their wits and challenge themselves. What you have to do is form a group of 2 to 6 members and choose a challenge. You’ll be given 60 minutes to solve the mystery. If you feel stuck, you could always ask for clues from the gamekeeper. However, every clue means an additional 5 minutes to the time you finished the challenge. There is a leaderboard outside that displays the fastest times each challenge was solved. Special prizes also await you depending on the amount of time you finish. But even without the prize, just being able to solve the mystery automatically gives you bragging rights.

We chose the Reversed Reality challenge in Libis, Quezon City and here’s a few things I learned while doing the challenge:

1. It’s okay to feel lost.
You won’t know where to start. You try to figure things out as much as you can with time pressuring you to do it faster. It’s okay to feel lost and confused. Things won’t always make sense especially if you’re in a new environment.

2. You can always ask for help.
There will be times when no matter what you do, you just remain stuck. Intead of being disappointed at the fact that you can’t figure things out, accept that you need help and ask for it. You’ll be able to move much more purposefully after that.

3. You will look and seem foolish. And it’s perfectly okay.
You are not expected to know everything. Ask questions. Yes, even those that sound stupid in your head. With so many things to consider, there is always something you are bound to miss.

4. Do your part.
When you’re in a group with so many brilliant people,it is easy to lay low and let them do all the work. However, you are forgetting that you have your own unique set of skills. You may even be considered the best in the group in some aspects of the challenge. Never be afraid to step up.

5. Have fun!
People’s expectations of you could sometimes have a crippling effect. “You’re supposed to be intelligent, right? This should be a piece of cake!” This kind of thinking puts too much pressure on you and gets in the way of having fun. Those expectations don’t matter. There are so many dimensions of your abilities that people will never understand. You’re in a game! And games are supposed to be fun.

Given that I have thought about all of these while solving the mystery with my friends, you may been able to conclude as well that my Mystery Manila experience has been a mix of extreme exhilaration and deep introspection.

And if you’re wondering if we solved the mystery:


Never Quite Like This

You will find amazing people to hang out with at work but never quite like this.

You will develop a deeper friendship with colleagues but never quite like this.

You will goof around a lot but never quite like this.

You will hang on as hard as you can to people who are leaving but never quite like this.

You will examine every map , read every blog , and ask everyone around just to find somewhere great to eat but never quite like this.

You will be immensely involved in all company events and celebrations but never quite like this.

You will leave with countless memories that will be difficult to forget and meaningful friendships that will be difficult to break but never quite like this.

Another amazing colleague and dear friend has left the company where we used to work together. Even though I was not there anymore, I created another scrapbook to serve as a simple memento of all the precious memories and crazy experiences she had while working there (see the scrapbook I made previously here).

This time, I decided to try digital scrapbooking. I painstakingly went through years and years of photographs in my collection and in various Facebook accounts of her friends. I designed the layouts in Microsoft PowerPoint. I also included some captions that encapsulate particularly significant memories for each year. I had the slides printed in photo paper and bound them together myself.

Creating this scrapbook was pure ecstasy not only because I love making things using my hands and imagination but also because of the thought of how happy my friend will be when she sees it.