Live like all the birds in the skies

Care-free and steadfast to the Almighty's promise of wonderful life..

Love with all your heart

Loving keeps us young and glowing. To love and be loved- It's the best feeling!

Dream like a child

Imagine beautiful things in life and never give up in reaching those dreams..

Share selflessly

Blessed are those with big heart to extend a hand; share not only the tangibles, but also those with greater value- your smile, warm hug, hopes, aspirations..

Inspire them with your story

The greatest testimonial is your life; never hesitate to tell your downs and how you rise above all life’s challenges. You never know, you can touch lives.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Secrets and Tips to a Long Lasting Relationship


I have learned somewhere from my readings that falling in love is easy but staying in love is not. Indeed, I can attest to that. My relationship with my fiancé, Bryan, is already in its 6th year. On our 3rd year, I needed to leave Negros and pursue a career in Manila. From then on, every day seems an ordeal. The experience makes me realize that long distance relationship is not for the faint-hearted. Loving someone from a distance takes so much courage, faith and dedication. 

So, you may ask the question: ‘What are our secrets in keeping a long lasting relationship?’ Let me tell you our story while I present to you some points that you may consider in keeping your relationship alive.


1. Open Communication
I learned to be expressive to my partner. I believe that I should let him know how I feel because if I would not, I will feel alone in the relationship. I share with him the challenges and triumphs at work.  I discuss our plans and how to go about them even if we are miles away. It is our habit to ask how each other’s day went. Having an open communication helped us to understand and become closer to each other.

2. Consistency
We will not last a day without a text or a call. Bryan has been so consistent in dealing with our relationship. During my first three years in Manila, I worked night shift. He served as my alarm clock. He used to call me an hour and a half before my shift to wake me up and chitchat even for a while. In the morning when I arrive in my boarding house, we talked during lunch time before he takes his nap. We have developed this routine. Though it has become a habit, we see to it that we are having fun and spending quality time even if  it is just over the phone. Even if he is very busy at work, he sees to it that he checks on me. I do the same too. There is not a day in our relationship that we have not communicated. I believe consistent communication is a key.

3. Thoughtfulness despite the distance.  
I am living alone, away from home for three years now. My parents as well as Bryan are in the Negros Province. Bryan is two hours away from my parents. One night, I was startled from my sleep when my mom sent a message informing me that Bryan visited them bringing ice cream, roasted chicken and fruits. At first I thought she was just kidding but it was true. It was the first of the many counts when Bryan visited my family even if I am not home. His thoughtfulness makes me love him even more each day.
  
4. Loving and kind words. Complimenting your partner with kind and loving words will foster a harmonious relationship. Fortunately, Bryan and I have not experienced intense quarrel with exchange of hurtful words as a result of emotional outburst. Yes, we inform each other if one has committed a mistake and discuss how it affects each one’s mood. We see to it that if we are in middle of an argument (over the phone, or face to face), we do not throw bad words or insulting words for we may regret it after the tension settles. We believe that any misunderstanding can be sorted out by mellow and peaceful discussion. 


5. Planning for the future together
On our 5th year, Bryan proposed. Months after I said YES, we decided to avail of a house and lot package in a subdivision. Our engagement has been running for more than one year now. Last August 2017, majority of the house construction has been completed. It is surreal observing a structure in front of us – the house (we call LN: Love Nest) is a concrete testimony that love can withstand despite the distance, differences or conflicts in schedule.


If you decide to spend your lifetime with someone you love, plan for it together. Planning is an essential factor of  successful relationship and from there, you can take the next actions one step at a time.

6. Keeping God in the center.  
Surviving each day of a long distance relationship is not a-walk-in-a-park. It is our faith in the Almighty that fuels our perseverance and dedication to continue loving each other despite all our flaws, trusting in our promises and working towards achieving a future together. Hold fast to His faithfulness, give your best to stay loyal and pray to overcome temptation. If a relationship has strong center, it will not fall.

While contemplating on all of these points, I suddenly smell something really good and soothing. I knew it! It is the scent of Del Forever Joy and Love Fabric Conditioner – long lasting soothing fragrance. I eventually heard a knock on my door. Ate Lina dropped by to deliver my fresh laundered clothes conditioned by Del Forever Joy and Love. Wow! No wonder why my inner goddess feels like walking in the middle of a paradise when I sniff on my newly laundered linens. Smells really good! This is because Del Forever Joy and Love now has 15x longer lasting bangooooo vs a regular detergent brand based on consumer test in Metro Manila. (I got this info when I visited their facebook page: facebook.com/delfabcon) 

Like Cheska and Doug Kramer, I will continue to make use of Del Forever Joy and Del Forever Love when we finally live in our house in Bacolod City. This power couple is my inspiration to have a happy, healthy family. My future kids’ clothes/garments will surely be so bango and make them more nakakagigil. Ooohh. I can’t wait!

Indeed, loving is not only a wonderful feeling but also a difficult decision to make. I always have the option to just walk away, free myself from loneliness of a long distance relationship BUT I chose to stay. I will stay.

We all have unique love stories and different circumstances. At the end of the day, we all need to love and feel loved. No matter what happens, do not give up on love.
No matter where you are in the world, continue to believe in the power of love. Keep Loving! 

Til next time,
Antonia

P.S. You might want to read the story of how we started our relationship:
Start of our Love Story (Part 1) 

Seeing our future Together (Part 2)
Reasons why I left my comfort zone  

Monday, October 16, 2017

How to buy prepaid mobile e-load via BDO online banking

In my previous post, I shared with you our squad’s weekend search for Korean Buffet. Since we were not able to call for reservation, we needed to wait in line to be seated. Can you guess how many minutes? No, not minutes! More an hour! But don’t worry, it was worth the wait.

While waiting, I suggested to one of my friends to play Mobile Legend! Do you know that game? It’s like DOTA but in a mobile phone. Let me show you a screenshot of my winning streak at the end of this post. Haha!

However, I do not have mobile internet/data so I needed to buy electronic load for my globe number and avail of unlimited mobile internet promo for 3 days. I find it very hard to find an electronic loading station nowadays. I think because majority in the area is on postpaid or depending on where I am located. Good thing I remember that I can buy e-load via BDO (Banco De Oro) online banking. How convenient, right?

Buying a load in BDO online is so easy and free of charge. Yes! You’ve read it right. No charge at all. Let me share here the steps.


1. Log in to your BDO online banking account: https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal. If you have not registered yet, you can visit the website and browse through the FAQs for guide or click here




2. Enroll your mobile number in the account via Enrollment > Prepaid Mobile Number > Enroll.  



3. Enter the needed values. You have 4 mobile networks available: GLOBE, SMART / TALK N TEXT, SUN, TOUCH MOBILE. 
(I do not have mobile banking account so I marked Online Banking instead.)

4. Click Submit. The following message will be prompted. Hit OK. 


5. Once successful, Enrollment Details will be provided. An email will be sent to your registered account notifying you of the successful enrollment.  




 6. You are now ready to buy electronic load for your mobile. Go to Pay Bills and Reload > Prepaid Mobile Reload > Buy a Load.

7. Enter Load Details. Apparently, only regular e-loads are available. In my case, I made use of the regular load to avail of the Unlimited Surfing promo of Globe. Note: The Remarks field does not allow special characters. 


8. Another message will be shown requesting your confirmation. Click Continue.



9. The action will also prompt One-Time Password will be sent to your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP and click Submit.

10. Success! Wait for the e-load to be added on your mobile.

 In just 10 easy steps, you can enjoy your e-load. Hassle-free! Next time you need the load, you will not be having a hard time looking for loading stations.

Here’s a screenshot of my mobile legend game! So much fun!


All troops deployed! :)

'Til next time.
Antonia

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekend Getaway: Search for Korean Buffet near Makati

It has been 3 years since I landed a job here in Makati. As a new comer, I find the place huge and full of strangers. For me, Makati is a place to start anew - build friendship and connections. In no time, I found myself spending time with beautiful, cool and talented bunch in the office. We share laughter, story of our lives, challenges in the office and a lot more! We have so much fun especially when we bond over food.


Like other stories, there is a time in our lives that we need to part ways. One moved to a different team, the other relocated to another office building and I applied for a day shift post. It is quite sad but it is part of growing - personally and professionally.

While writing this post, this song played on my mind:

'I spent half my life
Looking for the reasons things must change.
And half my life trying to make them stay the same.
But love would fade like summer into fall;
All that I could see was a mystery,
It made no sense at all.'

I am missing their company (lunch buddies, chika minutes, etc). But, life goes on! No matter where we are in the world, I hope our friendship will stay forever. We just have to make time to meet and get-together! And yes, last weekend we arranged to have lunch in a Korean Buffet!

Marc (aka Prof) will be our guide (shall I say, our driver - Thanks Prof!). First choice: Hanayo Grill, Tomas Morato, Quezon City. The place has high ratings online. We drove to Quezon City where we will meet Liz. We were driving around Tomas Morato but we could not find the place. We decided to call their reception and to our surprise, we were informed by the owner that they are no longer operating!




Lesson Learned: Call first to request for reservation. We overlooked to do that because we were so excited- checking each other's life updates. In short, we thought it will be a road trip! Anyway, we had so much fun in the car.

We searched for another resto with Korean Buffet and we found Day DonDonDon! They are also located in Tomas Morato, Quezon City (inside Sunshine Boulevard). We inquired inside and checked their food. It has also high ratings online but we opted look for another place. It was around 11:30 am and we were starting to feel hungry and exhausted since we took off straight from the office.



This is the facade of Day Dondondon Korean Buffet


We met Liz near the area and brainstormed on where to take lunch. We were craving for Korean Buffet. We then decided to check out Samgyupsalamat in Banaue (Quezon City) amidst the traffic. We arrived in the place around 12:00 noon. Again, we did not call their office to inquire. So, we were not that surprise that there is a long queue. We decided to enlist and we grabbed the 7th spot in the queue. Wow! We were really famished (exaggerating here!) but we opted to wait for almost an hour before we were seated.

It was worth the wait. Take a look at this video. I have included here our food trip last month (All4u Korean Buffet in Century City Mall). Watch 'til the end to meet some members of the squad.

 

'Til next weekend,
Antonia

Friday, October 6, 2017

If you are given a chance to undergo plastic surgery, will you take it?

I was exposed to colorful beauty pageants in my teens. In fact, I joined a number of pageants in school and in the city/province (Would you believe that!? - Well well well, *hairflip*) When I prepared for the pageant, my trainers will hand me sets of questions that I need to be familiar with. These questions are normally hand-written in a spring notebook. One of the most popular questions is:

'If you are given a chance to change a part of your body, what would that be?'

The popular answer to this question way back 2006 is (let me state it in a ShowTime Q&A way):
'Thank you so much for that wonderful question. Ladies and gentlemen, if I am given a chance to change a part of my body, I will not change any of it. I believe that I am perfect in the eyes of our creator. I am contented with what I have now and confident that if I love and accept myself, I can achieve my aspirations and goals in life no matter where life takes me. I may not be physically perfect but I am who I am and I will carry on with confidence and a loving heart. I, THANK YOU!' (*hairflips one more time). 

It will be more fun if you listen to this audio recording of how I will say the answer. CLICK PLAY

Well, that is somehow a popular answer in the early 2000 when plastic surgery is not that common compared today. If this question will be asked today, I would be more sensitive in how I will answer the question.

For months, an internet sensative has been making a buzz in facebook and trending in twitter for undergoing plastic surgery. My newsfeeds have been flooded with updates regarding the new face of Marlou Arizala, now known as Xander Ford. His new face was even 'launched' in a popular program in ABS CBN - Rated K. I have read different reactions from Netizens - some were happy for him, others are not so impressed.

Take a look at Before and After comparison.

The surgery was not that easy-breezy. I grabbed an illustration of how much it costs:
Photo and information grabbed from Facebook/ PeP

Well, for me, what matters most is how Xander Ford feels about himself. If the outcome makes him even happier, then that's good for him. We all have our own freewill and every one should make the most out of it. What's important is that we are not stepping on the rights of our fellowmen.

I also dreamed of being sponsored by the popular Dr. Vicki Belo. I always tell my friends that if I will be taking some beauty fixes, I will rely on Dr Belo. If you'll ask if I am open to plastic surgery, I will answer: 'No for now'. But, who knows maybe in the next 5 or 10 years? We'll never know.

If you think the surgery will make you feel more confident at work or life in general, then go for it. For sure, you will be contemplating on that matter for thousand times before deciding. I believe that this matter is life-changing and would not be taken without extensive counseling, discussion and professional consultation. I think one must be prepared physically, financially and emotionally. Be ready with the outcome and how you will embrace the change. Be open to any criticism or not so good opinions from others that will come along the way. When you are already there, be firm. Stand by your decision and do not forget to savor the moment and enjoy.

'Life is what you make it!' Do what you have to do but always be ready with whatever the consequences are. Make the most out of life. You only live once.

Enjoy the weekend!

Feeling Imperfectly Perfect,
Antonia


Monday, October 2, 2017

Tips to get Google Adsense approval

A dear friend once told me that it would be very fulfilling to earn with your talent/passion. I agree! I know some friends who fell in love with photography and they are earning well from their hobbies. Others love to dance and they have set Zumba, hiphop, dance tutorials. Isn't it awesome? You will always look forward to waking up each day (even Mondays) and go to work!


How about me? I surely love my current job now, no doubt. However, I also love writing. I have been writing since Grade 6.  I joined School Press Conferences held in Cebu, Bohol. I met several student journalists along the way. Memories of those times are colorful and full of life. I thank all those people I met for teaching me a lesson or two and for introducing to me the art of writing. I still got some grammar mistakes, run on and all that but I keep on writing because it is my way of sharing a story. I just hope that I can inspire others with my life story. You'll never know, right?


Yes! Sharing your stories (hopefully to inspire) and earning on the side is not that bad. You bet! I heard of Google AdSense from college batch mates and wanted to give it a try. My college friends had pretty websites and they were very good in writing and editing sites with HTML and other tools. They were also very generous in sharing their ideas in setting up a website.

I started in 2008 but I lost access to the site. At that time, my site has been approved for Google AdSense. I think it was not that strict during that time. Unfortunately, I failed to re-gain access to the site and decided to start over.

I applied for AdSense with more than 10 articles on my site in 2013. I have been disapproved for years. Every time I re-submit, I anxiously wait for the Gmail notification to pop-up. I held my breath every time I open my mail only to find out that it is another not-so-good news. Nonetheless, I did not stop. I continued writing and I see to it that I pour my heart in every article. I am doing my best stick to the goal of my site which is to live, share and inspire.It took me 4 years to get approval. What did I do to finally deserve the most coveted AdSense's YES? How did it happen? Let me share here some tips:

1. I learned that you will have higher chances to get approved when you buy custom domain name. I tried once but I could not afford. Besides, I am not sure if I am dealing with a legit site. So, I stick with Blogger. However, if you know something about this and familiar with the process, you can go ahead, research further and buy one!

2. Introduce yourself. I think readers are more interested if your approach is more personal and if they can relate. Even myself, I would not stay in a site if I can sense that it is possible that its ads may lead to unsafe pages. Stay legit!

3. I am not well-versed in customizing the design in my site so I stick with Blogger templates. There are thousands of templates available that exude professionalism and great sense of artistry. Go for a simple yet captivating designs.

4. Build up with contents. I have read that for you to be approved, you need to have at least 15-20 well-written blog posts. I am not sure if this is entirely true because when I applied for approval last October 2016, I already have more than 20 blog posts. All original. You need to have sufficient texts on your site for AdSense specialists to review. So, keep on writing and posting!

I have been disapproved for insufficient content, here is one of the responses I received:


 

5. Stay away from copyrighted pictures/images. I got one post with Warren Buffet on it. I wanted to share some fun facts I read from a magazine about the businessman. It is possible that I got the 'ding' from AdSense and a big NO NO because of the picture I grabbed from Google. Thus, get rid of copyrighted pictures or videos. You can surely find sites for free images. Leverage Google now!

Here is how it looks like when AdSense review team spotted copyrighted materials on your site.




 6. Write in complete sentences and not just titles. Avoid posting just videos and animations. For sure there are backstories in all those stuff. Go ahead, tell a story or two!

7. Be brave enough to apply. The rejection letter only hurts most at first. It took me 14 re-submissions to be approved. Never ever stop working to get the approval and earn with your talent and passion. What are you waiting for? Set up your blog and apply!

There are several resources in the net for guidance in starting with your site and applying for AdSense. If all fails, you can visit their Forum Community to raise some questions and gather more information from pool of FAQs or visit the AdSense site.

Drop your questions, comments and other tips below. I will be glad to answer, read your stories about 'struggles' to be approved and take note of your tips.







Happy earning!
Antonia

Monday, September 25, 2017

3 Years today || Reminders why I left my comfort zone

(See previous post to read about how I started in Makati)

For the first 6 months, I rented a room near a river bank. The building where I stay looks so unusual to me because the structure looks so 'thin' compared to other gigantic buildings in the city. The structure has significantly narrow foundation. It is just so hard to describe. Anyhow, the place was a witness to some of my tearful experiences.

I normally find it not easy to remember directions so I really had a hard time commuting. This amplifies my anxiety and sadness aside from all the downside of living alone. During my first few months, I tried my best to keep in mind the landmark and signboards near my boarding house.

I opted to take tricycle and jeep when going to the office. One time, I was walking around the area and noted the 'Under Construction' sign board. I made use of the sign board as my guide where to get off from the jeep.



For a week, it did not fail me. I was still working during day time as I was still in training. It was Thursday, around 8:00 pm. Evening darkness started to engulf the place exuding a gloomy aura as it was drizzling whole afternoon. I hailed a Jeep from RCBC (Ibabaw route or I thought so). I was traversing along N. Garcia Street when I could not spot the 'Under Construction' signboard. My eyes were busy looking for the sign. Panic crept in as the jeep passed the BDO area and turned right. I asked one of the passengers,
'Lumagpas na po ba tayo sa Antipolo Street'?
'Ay. Dinaanan natin',
the lady said.


I immediately requested the driver to stop. The passenger pointed the area and I continued to walk. It was indeed a stupid idea to rely on the 'signboard' for I know that any time soon the road repair will be completed. Did I (subconsciously) expect that the project will extend throughout the year? Funny, possibly because I knew some areas that are still under construction for years.

I kept vigilant while I was walking along the sidewalk. I was in my jeans and polo shirt with heavy backpack. I held an umbrella on my right hand. I could not stop to get my cellphone inside my bag. I did not want to stop, scared that if I stop even for a while someone may grab my bag. (Paranoid!)

I continued to walk in the main road without any idea about the directions. I don't know but I think I lost common sense that time or perhaps I just want to prove to myself that I can reach my destination without GPS. I opted not to ask a stranger for directions. I looked around and spotted a guard standing in front of a building.

'Saan po papuntang Sultana? O yung sa Honradez?'
Mister guard processed for a while and finally told me he is not familiar with the place. I expressed my thanks and continued on my way. (Shaking My Head)

I started to feel uneasy and a bit worried since my watch was telling me it's almost 9:00 pm. I have been walking for about an hour and still could not find the right way. I continued to follow my instincts and avoided dark streets. I stayed in the main road saying my prayers for guidance. There were tricycles passing by but I did not ask one to drive me home. I continued to walk.



This is one of the first pics I have taken during my first week in the office.
Finally, after more than an hour - I spotted the facade of a familiar pharmacy. I used to buy groceries in their store. It seems that my spirit leaped and my subconscious performed the wiggle dance! The pharmacy is at the end of the road that will lead me to my boarding house. Eureka! I felt so relieved and proud of myself.

I arrived around 9:45 pm. I opened the door and let the light fill my room. I placed my take-out dinner in the table and sat slowly on the side of my bed with my backpack still on. I suddenly felt the urge to cry. I could not help it. I wanted to pour out all the emotions. I cried hard. I should have not put myself in a very risky position. I was nuts! I learned my lesson and it will never happen again.


I fished out my cellphone from the safety pouch in my backpack. I talked to Bryan, sobbing. He scolded me for what happened. As always, he made me smile and giggle after. I felt better. I resolve to reminiscing our plans and I was back on track. I reminded myself of the reasons why I left Negros. I wiped my tears and prepped for bed. Tomorrow is another day. Carpe diem!



------------
Today, September 25, marks my third year anniversary here in Makati. Three years ago, I hailed a plane from Negros alone but I have been accompanied by my dreams and aspirations all through out my journey.  Most of them are starting to come true. I will continue to share to you how things turn out via this blog.

P.S. Writing this while on the plane from Bacolod. Haaay. Time flies so fast.

Antonia

Do you see your future together? It is never too late to plan. (Part 2)

July 2014 - We were in the third year of our relationship when an opportunity presented itself. I was offered to work in Makati with a very generous company and awesome workplace. Taking a leap from my comfort zone took so much courage. I had so much questions in mind. If I leave -


What will happen to our relationship?
Will his love for me stay and endure even if I am away?
How about our plans? Can we still turn them to reality when we are miles away?
Will he wait for me?

Uncertainty enveloped me for weeks while I process the thoughts. I had sleepless nights - staring at the ceiling, hoping I have a way to know the answers and wishing everything will turn out okay. Bryan has been so positive with my plans to step up. He has been so supportive for whatever actions I take that will make me improve for the better. 


August 2014 - I decided to go. I needed to leave the company to pursue my dreams. This meant I will be living on my own in an unfamiliar place, full of strangers. I will leave not only my workplace (that I have learned to love) but also the friendship and camaraderie that I have nurtured for more than 3 years.

As days unfolded, I was filled with anxiety not knowing what the future holds. I knew Bryan will also be sad and lonely but he was so excited for me to take on my new job. He is ever supportive. He is not insecure. He has a very positive outlook, very uplifting and infectious.

September 2014 - I relocated to Makati and started to work in an American company. My dream of working in an environment like that in the movie: 'The Internship' came true. The office's pantry was one of my favorite spots. We have unlimited bread (Gardenia) and spreads (special mention, Nutella)! Free cold/hot drinks from vendo and discounted goodies/chips in the 'Grab Scan n Go'. The entire place is a breath of fresh air and the environment is indeed friendly.

I had few worries in the workplace. I love being in the office as it temporarily let me forget that I am alone in a big city. When I arrive in my boarding house, Bryan's soothing voice makes me feel home. Our communication has been constant and consistent.
- When I am working at night, he serves as my alarm clock. He wakes me up so I can start to prepare for work. When I arrive from office, he calls me during lunch time. We talk a lot. Any thing under the sun. I wonder how he keeps things interesting.

- Starting July 2017 when I landed a day shift, our 'call times' also changed. We continued to inform each other regarding our schedules. We talk during my dinner time when I arrive from office. Two weeks ago, I convinced him to download Mobile Legends so we can play together. He was hesitant at first but then, he enjoyed the game after trying. (Did I make a wrong move this time? Kidding!)
-- Aside from calls, we have been spending quality time as we team up for battles in the mobile game. It was indeed fun.
Being in a long distance relationship is not easy. There is a need for mutual caring and nurturing of the relationship. Bryan and I are still celebrating monthsaries. This October 9 marks our 6 years and 6 months of being together. After all these years, I still believe that staying in love is a choice and I will always choose to be steadfast with our love. (Chezzzyy)

Of course, we miss each other's company every day. For 3 years, we see to it that we do our best to be flexible in order to squeeze in quality time of togetherness in our schedules. Our longest time of not seeing each other is approximately 3 months.

Bryan is someone who sets up a plan in his mind on what he wants to achieve and works hard to meet those plans. You see, I am so proud of him. Let me share here our milestones in the relationship hoping that we can inspire others too.

February 2016 - Bryan's marriage proposal. We were celebrating my birthday.

March 2016 - We decided to start paying for a house and lot for our future family. This is part of a low cost housing which can be financed thru bank or HDMF

April 2017
- Completed payment of the house and lot equity.

September 2017 - House and Lot takeout. I will be posting updates about our haven in the next posts.

We are filled with so much joy and excitement as we plan for our wedding, purchase of furniture, etc. We are working hard to turn our plans to concrete output. Still, things are still uncertain because we are still apart but we continue to have faith that God will be our guide.

The next chapters of our lives are still forming. I love to impart our story to inspire others to plan for the future. If you can plan for it, then why not? I understand that not all our plans in life may be realized but at least you have your guide in embracing the future together. If possible, do not act in haste when it comes to love. True love can wait. It is never too late to plan. If you think you have skipped some stages in a relationship and you are in a position that you have to deal with it, then for sure you can make things work out fine! Give the present situation your best shot. However, you still have a lot of things to plan for. The future is still so bright and full of colors.
- Yeah, you can live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself but you can still do something today to make tomorrow an easier, more fulfilled experience.

We can do this! Love will help us make it through.

I'll talk to you in my next blog (One of the most unforgettable experiences in the first 6 months of my stay in Makati)! Here's the story.

Antonia :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sharing with you the start of our Love Story (written 6 years ago) - Part 1

In 2012, I joined a contest in which we will be sharing our Love Story in writing. It was a tradition in my previous workplace that every February of the year the HR department will hold activities/programs for the Valentine's day celebration. We won second place.

WARNING: This write-up was sooo long time ago and upon re-reading it, I just realized this is so 'Corny' and 'Cheesy'. I shared our story without filter and it is 'not so' wholesome. I just added some side-notes on the article. Please continue reading on your own risk. LOL. Forgive me. You know, when a person is 'in-love', one tends to share more than what should be shared.

This story started it all. Now, Bryan and I are already in our way to our 7th year in the relationship. We were engaged last February 2016. We are still planning for our wedding. We are in a long distance relationship now for almost 3 years. We opted to build our dream
house first before our wedding. I will be sharing with you our journey.


So, here's our story. (*wink)

(Update 9/25/17: I am re-reading the story and realized how immature I was when I wrote the story. Eeeehhh! Shocks! Side effects of love, really?! Adding side comments)

____________________________________________________________________________________



Dec 15, 2010- I traveled all the way from Bais City to Kabankalan City for my final interview. It was Wednesday and my first time to lay my eyes on him in the HR Office. We were introduced to each other and he made me smile with his sense of humor. In the evening, I joined SONEDCO’s Christmas Party. I was surprised when he appeared in front of me requesting me to dance with him. Until now, I can still vividly recall how his dark brown eyes twinkle when he smile, how intently he looked at me. It was our first dance and I did not expect that it would be the start of something sweet.
(Side Note: Guess what we danced to? Sumayaw  Sumunod! By VST & Co. Not so apt but for me it was so romantic)


He occasionally text me after that time and I did not mind him that much. He kept on giving me his attention. When he passes by my work station, he turned my monitor off or placed the mouse farther from me. He kept on teasing me.
I don’t know but he’s not pissing me off. I even find him cute.
(SN: If you do this to me when I am concentrating on my work, I will be pissed. Hahaha!)



He started to make me feel he cared. He was sending me morning greetings through e-mail with images of roses, teddy bears. Also, he’s bringing me noodles coupled with biscuits for breakfast.  He’s offering me coffee. He even graciously offered me to use one of their office’s PC since I don’t have one yet that time. I can feel that he has something for me but I don’t want to exaggerate things or expect something. Worse, I’ve learned that he’s courting someone else that time. So, I was sort of disappointed, just a bit.
(SN: Shocks! Why would you include this petty info! If only I was there, I will pinch that 22 year-old Antonia in the groin! Cringe worthy experience LOL)

March 22, 2011—his birthday celebration and he invited me to join his group for the celebration. It was our first time together, closer to each other
. We were talking throughout the night together with his friends. When it’s time to go, a friend asked me to kiss him for his birthday. I was hesitant. I can’t explain, but the idea that he’ll lay his lips on my cheeks makes my knees shiver. I was never that tense in my life. I can feel butterflies in my stomach. I was so conscious, he was so calm. He kept his cool, I was trembling inside. How can this happen to me? The feeling was so unusual.
Days after, I tried to keep him out of my head. I kept on thinking that I am not his type; that he likes someone else. I’ve instilled in my stubborn head that everything was just casual friendship, no more, no less.
 
(Ooh nnooo! What happened to me here :'( Shame shame shame! You were all out! No wonder why some of his friends were so nosy!)

However, he continued to make me feel special. He started to call me and we talked until dawn. The long talks continued. I’ve shared to him the story of my life, my struggles in my previous CPA board exams, my traumatic heartbreak. He also shared his and I learned a lot about him- his family, previous relationship and his principles in life.  

April 9, 2011—after days of convincing me to come with him in Bacolod, suddenly I found myself finding my way to the Panaad 2011 entrance. He was holding my hand, so I won’t get lost. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen. We were still in the entrance together with (I think) thousands of attendees.


It was almost 11PM and we’re going our way one step at a time (literally). The crowd was so tight, people were pushing each other. I thought I’ll be suffocated but when I felt his arms around me, I felt relieved. He made me feel secured and at ease in his arms. He was actually hugging me from the back, ‘protecting’ me from the crowd. At that very moment, no words were spoken but it seems I can hear his heartbeats saying something. We were amidst thousands but it seems we were alone- only him and myself. I can really feel the moment. It feels so good. Right there and then, underneath billions of stars in that Panaad sky, I can feel that he’s the right one for me. I told myself I would not let the feeling pass. The indescribable feeling is one of a kind.

(Haaay! No wonder why he is so proud! He feels that you are so much head to foot in love with him! Eeeerrrr)

 
12AM— as the sparks and fascinating lights of Panaad fireworks lightened up the sky, he spelled in my back with his finger the words “I L-O-V-E Y-O-U”. I was stunned; I can feel my hands turning cold and my lips quiver. He drew a hesitant smile in his face. I can feel that he was nervous too. He was staring at me. His eyes full of emotions. He held my hands, kissed them and said the words. My heart beats faster and as if the world stood still. I loved him. I loved him even before he told me he feels the same. And would not let him wait, I couldn’t. I know life is so short to waste any minute. I hugged him. He was so happy, I was happier.
Everything changed after that night. I wake up every morning with a smile. I was so inspired to go to work knowing we will eat lunch together. I mingled with his friends. We were happy and so much in love. We started to make memories together and cherish every minute that we shared in Sonedco.
J
ust like any other love story, ours was not exempted from the trials and problems. For several nights, I cried over the phone while we’re discussing about an issue. I’ve heard from a friend that there is a rumor against me. I’ve learned that some people, who cared for him, questioned the purity of my love. From then on, I can feel that something is going wrong. Perhaps they thought ours was just out of whirlwind romance and my intentions are not good. I stayed calm though my heart is breaking inside. I was so hurt; the pain crushing me badly. In the office, I acted as if everything is alright even though deep inside I want to cry my heart out. I was about to lose self-confidence. I felt so small. He never failed to make me feel better. He explained everything to me and I promised to myself that sooner, I will prove them wrong. I understand them. I could not blame them for thinking that way. They’re not that bad; they are just protecting their friend. We survived that crisis. He fought for me and I fought with him. The issues faded like bubbles in air and our life continued. (After 6 years, I know why they acted that way! LOL You (22 year old Antonia) were over the top! So immature! LOL)

We won 2nd prize. HR requested that we take a pose. They had this picture framed.
October 8, 2011—I was about to face another life-changing challenge in my life. He was there when I struggled to take the review classes while I work. He arranged everything for me- turning things easier for me though he is sacrificing a lot. He has given me inspiration. He has given me strength to stand up after my failure and fearlessly re-take the CPA board exams. He taught me to be strong. He taught me that it’s not the responsibility of the world to protect me from all this life’s pain. I have to fight with a strong heart in order to survive the competition and win over this ‘cruel’ world. He taught me everything that I need to know. (Everything talaga? Hahaha) And when I felt tired in computing for the solution in the actual board exams, his face popped up in my mind telling me not to stop. Failing is not an option. With him, I studied hard and prayed harder. I passed. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Embrace the light and let your eyes feast on the kaleidoscopic colors of life

I was startled by my phone's alarm. I squinted my eyes as I check on its screen. It said 8:30pm and my shift starts at 11:00pm. I placed it again on the white, plastic bed-side table. Its light was still beaming, filling my dark room. I lazily crawled towards the end of my bed and sat down feeling the floor below to let my feet search for my slippers.

I ceremoniously stood and walked towards the door. It was unusually quite in the apartment. I opened the door and peeked outside. It was so dark and I started to feel uneasy. I stood outside my room and steadied my eyesight looking through the lobby. I suddenly felt gloomy and alone.

There are times in our lives when we find ourselves in the midst of darkness - feeling cold and alone. We tend to dwell in that place which is making us feel tormented and taken for granted. In those moments, we self-pity and we succumb to that feeling. We let that situation impair our vision and judgment to realize that we always have the power to let light shine through our lives. All we need to do is find the courage to walk a little further, take couple of steps towards the light.

After minutes of staring at the lobby, I found the strength to walk two steps towards the corner and switched on the lights. Yes! The colors are back to life! It was as EASY as THAT. However, I do recognize the fact that this is opposite when it comes to the reality of staying in the 'dark'. There are people around us who need understanding ears and helping hands so they can get themselves out of the dark. We'll never know. One of them can be our sibling, an officemate or a friend. Those people who are afraid to tell anyone that they are going through hardships and depression from abusive relationship, addiction, unhealthy habits or problems in married life.

For a moment, I stood still as I stare at the lobby lined with shoe racks, wooden cabinets, linens fresh from laundry shops and colorful slippers outside each door, among others. I took deep breaths as I recall the times when I was struggling in the dark. 2009 - when I discovered the truth behind my then almost 4-year relationship. 2010- when I experienced the first 'devastating' heartbreak then followed by failure in the board exam. 2011 - Our family lost my only brother. Yes, those experiences were just part of the prelude to more challenges in life. 2016 is about to end and 2017 is oozing with wonderful promises and realization of dreams.

Out of nowhere, a lizard fell in front of me and I hopped in circle with suppressed shout while it hastily crawl towards the wall. Whhhoooaa! That was mind blowing! I giggled after realizing what happened. I hurried to prepare for work.

After the realization that night, I decided to visit a colorful restaurant near the office. My eyes will feast on its artistic interiors, well-crafted chairs and tables, pastel-colored decorations hanging from its ceiling and the inspiring thoughts scribbled and framed on its walls.
Vanilla Cupcake Bakery - a cupcake wonderland!
Its façade will  immediately tell you that the cafe will tickle your imagination with its arts display and cutesy paintings on the wall. Mouth-watering cupcakes lined up in a pastry stand and pedestal. I was excited to savor another hearty meal from their kitchen. I chose their fried garlic bangus  (milkfish) served with special Vanilla Cupcake Bakery rice and sunny-side up egg (or a fluffy egg, your choice). The plate was enticing with a couple of tomatoes topped with pesto and fresh, thinly sliced cucumber.  I was so refreshed with their Oreo-milk shake. Such a wonderful meal!
I know my words will fall short in describing how wonderful the place is so I have these photos for you.
Their walls say: A balanced diet is having a cupcake in each hand!
Choose Happiness.
It's the possibility of having dream come true that makes life interesting. - Paulo Coelho
Their pastry stand is filled with enticing cupcakes! You can never say no. Indulge!
More of the inside interiors
 Whatever life may bring, let us choose to let light shines through our lives and serve as our guide. Stay in the light and be reminded that life is full of colors. Every tick of the clock springs forth radiance of yellow and sunshine; every second is a chance to paint the town with overwhelming red and love. Enjoy life's colors. No matter what your life's color is at the moment, remember to spin life's color wheel and let every color you choose stand for friendship, laughter, peace and love!
Sharing colorful moments with you,
Antonia
PS:
The Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is located at Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City. It is on the left side of Wendy's; it's front area is a taxi lane.
 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Our family's first synthetic Christmas tree

It's the second day of my vacation in the hometown. I could not contain my happiness when I arrived home yesterday for my Tatay's birthday. He was waiting on the sala when I entered the house. He hugged me tight and I tip-toed so I can kiss his cheek. It will be a happy and fun 5-day stay.

I looked around the house and I smiled seeing the changes. It was last June when they started renovating. I have been away for 5 months while saving for the construction. My Tatay saw the grin on my face and asked me to enter the newly furnished room. I can see how proud he is knowing that he closely supervised the construction. He has been keeping a sketch of his dream house since I was a child and it is our aspiration to have it realized.
Completion is still at 40%. Excited as he is, Tatay asked me to check their room. I pulled the door sideways. He chose to have a glass door for the room. I have seen the structures in pictures but I am still all smiles when I see a couch on the left side and their bed on the right side near the aircon. A small ceiling fan is also installed and in between the couch and bed, a stand fan is in place. I am so pleased with the floor tiles they have selected and the paint color (soft green) of the walls and ceiling is eye-friendly. The glass doors are not tinted so Nanay placed a pretty yellow green curtain with wild grass/flower designs on it.
I stood on the sala area and from there I can see the second floor above the room. The space is envisioned to be a rooftop terrace and the leftmost side area will have one room to be constructed. 60% more to go and so much more saving to do. I strongly believe we will achieve our dream house.
Christmas is fast approaching and I do not see any holiday decors around the house. My childhood was fun especially during the holiday season because my Nanay is so artistic when creating our Christmas tree. She would rather create it from used papers, Bakhawan branches, yarns and other art materials. One time, she used a bamboo pole then made holes on it and inserted sticks from coconut leaves to serve as branches.  I recall that she will mix water with food coloring and pour the colored water on an ice candy bag. Those little plastic bags will hang on the from the makeshift Christmas tree branches - yellow, orange, green and others. They will reflect the lights from the christmas lights.  

We have not installed a Christmas tree for a very long time. This year, we decided to buy our first synthetic Christmas tree from store. I want my Nanay to relax rather than going to the nearest pond and look for Bakhawan tree or ask/buy for newspapers from sari sari stores. We bought glittery stars, artsy christmas balls, santa claus stuffed toys, little drums, colorful garlands and golden bells as well as Christmas lights.
For the new room, I placed a Merry Christmas sign hanging from the roof top. I attached silver balls and angel figures on it with strings made of small silver balls. I can't explain how I feel when I am putting up the pieces of the Christmas tree with my sister and a little girl from the neigborhood. Childhood memories were flashing back and it felt really heart-warming.
To complete the Christmas tree, I hoopped around it the colorful lights with small-size bulbs. My Nanay helped in switching it on. We heard a motorcycle coming so we hustle. When my Tatay finally entered the house, we light up the Christmas tree. He smiled sweetly and his eyes sparkle. I am really home. So happy!
Love,
Antonia 
(My big brother died last November 2011 and we are still grieving until this time. I am not sure when the pain will disappear - I think it will stay forever. This is the reason why we could not put up Christmas decors or celebrate all out during the yuletide season.)