Soul, travel

A walk in a garden, a journey in the soul

My Mom has a green thumb. She has her own magic of making sure that the ground is fertile and healthy, helping plants grow to bear fruit and flowers. Although I do not have a thumb as magical as hers, I do share her love for nature and gardens. I thought of her when my Dad, our relatives, and I went to Hakone Gardens in Saratoga Hills in California last July 4, 2017.

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family, Heart, life, love, reflections, Soul

Thank You for 2017: A Yearly Examen

Saint Ignatius of Loyola taught me to be in awe of the best things like stars in the heavens. For this year, I will continue doing the Examen – another thing he left for us – only in the yearly perspective. I learned of doing a Yearly Examen through an article published in Aleteia last year, and I plan to do it again this year.

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reflections, Soul

Sitting by the manger

“Behold this wonder: a living, moving, startling likeness of who we are, who God is; what God awakens, when God sleeps on the crossing wood of our manger. We have lost the wonder of it all, lost the gratitude, lost the likeness of who we are, who we are meant to love, how life again could matter. No wonder, God came to us as a child in a manger.”Startle, Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ

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art, Hands, reflections, Soul

The first time I wasn’t happy with drawing

On January 2017, I decided to become a freelance artist; I was able to work with good clients during the first quarter of the year.

By the half of the year, I decided to start writing a book I’ve planned in my head.

In September 2017, I published my first ever e-book called Seedlings: A Short Story Collection. I am thankful to those who bought and said good things about it.

Being consistent in posting drawings and stories in Instagram too helped me in practicing my skill and getting my work out there.

Earlier this week, a kind and talented person I met over at Instagram and Arriane Serafico’s #daretoshareIGChallenge, Ms. Cindy Wong Dela Cruz of Filipino book curator 8letters, offered to publish and distribute Seedlings as hard copies! What a dream!

I am very thankful for all of these blessings and opportunities.

But last night, I felt anxious. I felt scared. I felt sad.

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Soul, travel, Uncategorized

A red car through red sandstone outcrops

A red car drives through the freeway towards the red sandstone outcrops of Valley of Fire.

The Lumineers’ Cleopatra album is on for the whole trip. My friend said that she had the playlist for over a year; I said I did not mind, because I liked the band too. I find traveling more fun when there is music.

No matter how many hours a trip takes, we both liked traveling except for being caught in slow traffic.

On our way, however, to Valley of Fire one summer’s day in Las Vegas, Nevada, there was not much traffic thankfully.

Yet, when the car finally arrived at the entrance to the state park, we spotted a sign which said that there was extreme temperatures today.

When my friend checked in the morning though, it was less than a hundred degrees.

But we were already there, and it’s not every day one gets to hike in the Valley of Fire on noon-time during summer, so we rode on.

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reflections, Soul, travel

Waiting for an eclipse on a mountain park

It was the 21st of August, 2017.

It was overcast the moment I opened my eyes and gazed at the window. The sky and possibility of rain in the Las Vegas Valley tempted me to stay longer in bed and sleep, but I decided to get up instead.

My cousin Jango stood there in the bathroom, fully clothed as if for a hiking adventure. I did not know that the eclipse would take place at 9:00 AM in our area.

“We’ll be going to Exploration Peak for the eclipse,” he said.

I hurriedly ran back to the room and changed.

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Soul, travel

Silence that can be heard

Our car fled up the mountain roads with the front windows and one back window open. My cousin did say that it would be cooler up in Spring Mountains (Mt. Charleston) – around 70 degrees. Truly, it was colder compared to the temperature in the flat lands.

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When one is out in the sun in Vegas during summer, the sensation is that of opening an oven door to take a peak at a baking dish.

It was in December 2014 that I first visited Mt. Charleston but not for a hike. I had three or four layers of clothing then, while my cousins probably just had two, because winter is nothing to them. The sides of the roads and the peaks were covered in snow.

When we continued our drive up to the area we were going, I found familiarity in the scenery – only it was summer this time.

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life, Soul

The Mystery Blogger Award

Thank you, Ms Mikee Federizo of Organicaholic, for nominating me for this award! Check out her blog for all things organic, healthy, and informative!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. –  Okoto Enigma Thank you for creating this award! – https://www.okotoenigmasblog.com/my-greatest-creation-yet/

Here are the rules:

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

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family, Heart, life, Soul, travel

Walking with two Fathers

A few days after my Dad arrived in the US for a short vacation, I lingered on the thought of going as well – not for a vacation but for two reasons: 1) spending time with my Dad and family, and 2) stepping out of my comfort zone again.

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The Ferry Building along The Embarcadero in San Francisco

Before the flight which we only booked four days before the scheduled departure from the Philippines, I felt so anxious, because I did not want to leave home.

I told my Mom, “I love you, so I should stay.”

But she assured me that just because I will leave for a short while does not mean I did not love her.

Going out of my comfort zone, taking on another international trip by myself for a second time, talking with other people, practicing speaking in English, and standing on my own two feet on this once-in-a-blue-moon chance from God – these are all for love for her and my Dad and the Lord.

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Ever since I’ve been working at home since January 2017, I rarely get to do what I used to do when I was still working: reports, submissions, presentations, pitches, and weekly team meetings.

I was worried that I did not know how to converse with others anymore, let alone be street smart, because there was no need to be street smart anymore for I was home.

Likewise, I was afraid that I did not know how to travel by myself anymore, as compared to a few trips I had on our last visit in the US on May 2015. If you knew shy anxious me, you’d know it would take a lot of self-encouragement, prayers, and moments of saying ‘Yes, I’m going,’ and ‘No, I’ll just stay.’

But finally on a Saturday, I decided I will be going again on a flight over the Pacific.

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