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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classes, Mind

Do you Dare to Share?

The word ‘dare’ is something that you might have encountered first from the game Truth or Dare. If the bottle points towards you, you are asked “Truth or dare?

If truth, you have to tell something about yourself or about what you feel; if dare, you have to do what the person who spun the bottle or what the group wants you to do.

But in an online challenge I recently joined aptly named #Dare to Share Instagram Challenge by teacher and design thinking advocate Arriane Serafico, it seems that you can both choose truth and dare: truth because we were encouraged to post photos and write captions that were naturally us, and dare because we were pushed outside of our comfort zone and do something brave (like sharing what truly matters to us and commenting on other people’s posts instead of silently tapping the heart icon!).

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books, Mind

I finally met the Austins

It was drizzling.

The afternoon skies, instead of being golden or pink, were gray.

I held my closed umbrella; I did not open it. I wasn’t afraid of rain that time.

I was at Ayala Triangle, Makati, waiting for my old friend in college because we were going to jog together that Friday night. There were large prints of classical art paintings by Spanish artists displayed during that time in the park. This was the Museo del Prado Exhibit.

It was such an uncommon view – an outdoor museum in the middle of an open area with trees, a few passersby, faint yellow lights, and light rain. Nonetheless, it stirred within me a sense of peace.

But the sense of peace was taken over by delight when I spotted The Book Stop Project – a pop-up library here in the Philippines where architecture and love for books meet. It had a different design now: the shelves were underneath a flight of wooden steps where people could sit and read and talk with fellow book-lovers.

In retrospect, it reminds me of Harry Potter’s cupboard underneath the staircase – only the space of the shelves was bigger and perhaps more well lit.

This was my second encounter with The Book Stop Project; the first was with my friend Denise when we participated in a Blind Date with a Book.

After gazing at the paintings and reading their descriptions along with the Spanish translations (because I’m not giving up on my plans of learning Spanish!), I walked over to the pop-up library and began browsing familiar titles.

Many were paperbacks, and most books were unfamiliar to me until I found a name I’ve known for a long time written on the spine of a thin paperback: Madeleine L’Engle.

I took it from the shelf and saw that it was Meet the Austins.

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reflections, Soul

Purpose, perseverance, and relationships: May 2017 Lessons

This May, I find that my realizations and lessons revolved around purpose, perseverance, and relationships.

On Purpose

I’ve always deemed ‘purpose’ as something that is singular, grand, and fixed. It would show itself to me like this: Arli, you will work someday in an animation studio you love. If it doesn’t happen, then my purpose is gone in this world.

Sometimes, we relate it to our job or what we do for a living as well, and if our interests do not match our work, we think that our purpose is somewhere else.

Over the years, I’ve read articles and found myself dwelling on those that help you find your purpose.

Upon consulting the dictionary, these are its exact words for the definition: “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.”

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family, Heart, Soul, travel

Landing in Las Vegas IV: Mt. Charleston & Red Rock Canyon

*Featured Photo courtesy of my cousin Jango!

For the first two times we’ve visited Vegas, we were able to go to Mt. Charleston in December 2014 and to Red Rock Canyon in June 2015.

Although we did not climb any trail in Charleston, playing in the snow (my first time!) with my cousins is a memory I will hold dearly in my heart.

Years went by as my cousins from my Mom’s side of the family grew up and made their memories together, while we lived in the Philippines. Any time with them, no matter how short, is not to be taken for granted.

So when we had our first reunion in years (!) with my Mom and I in Vegas, one of my biggest and special dreams (one that is not related to an ideal career or lifestyle) came true.

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