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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books, life, Mind, Soul

What is your Best Yes?

It was November 2015. A gentle warm light poured in through the large windows behind us. Worship started and ended with bright hopes and serene tunes, lunch was delicious, and the day was only starting.

I listened intently to our speaker, Ms Rhiza Oyos, the founder of Pursuit Manila under Pursuit Community. It was my first time to attend one of their events upon the kind invitation of a dear friend, Denise.

She was sharing about a wise woman from the Bible, and she knew of her story through Lysa TerKeurst‘s The Best Yes book. This was how I was first introduced to this work that would eventually help me get my decision-making better.

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life, Soul

The Sunday Currently II

 Today is a good day to reflect. The weather is cold, unlike the other weeks that passed when it had been humid and hot. There was a light shower earlier, and the sky has been gray up to this afternoon.
reading still The Best Yes, but I’m nearing the end already. I’ve also started reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Meet the Austins, the first book in her Austin Family chronicles. I’m truly thankful to the person who left it at The Book Stop in Ayala Triangle. I came back for it with an old book from my shelf, so I could read it.
writing deeply. For some reason, I want to continue writing more. It has always been a love of mine ever since I was young. Though reading was the first, it invited writing afterwards.

listening to the calming pieces of the Wolf Children soundtrack. There are days like this when I just listen to the songs over and over… I truly loved this movie so much.

thinking about relationships. For us to have God-honoring friendships, relationships, and marriages, we must first have a personal relationship with God that we continuously nurture through prayer, reading His Word, and quiet time. Then we must seek and build a positive connection with ourselves internally too, so we will not pass on to others the frustration in ourselves.
smelling the rain on the ground.

wishing that I could use blogging more as a way to glorify God and to share lessons with others.

hoping for a little bit of courage, faith, and clarity.
wearing house-clothes!

loving people who are so generous in showing how God has been so good to them and who use their gifts as a way of praising Him and helping others.

wanting to be serious in jogging/running lately because of a friend’s discipline and determination in this area. Not that I wasn’t serious during my past jogs, I just wasn’t consistent. But on this recent Friday night jog/run with my friend, I felt happy and free again while running. Truly, this has always been a favorite thing to do ever since… And it will always will be.
needing patience. All things grow in time.
feeling hopeful.

clicking through blogs I love to read.


The Sunday Currently was started by siddathornton.

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Body, fitness

What have I learned after 90 days?

Finish strong. 

This was what I wanted to accomplish as the weeks neared to May 14, Mother’s Day celebration this year, which also happened to be the 90th and final day of my weight management program.

When the night came, I said thanksgiving to God, for my Mom and Dad, for the 90-day journey. It felt like a marathon just ended, but I know deep inside that this is only the beginning. So finishing strong may be the same as beginning strong.

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