Just got back.

Three years of hiatus,
kept my silence,
enjoyed my own company,
learned a few.

Saw the world,
in pain and in torment.
We bleed with her.
We died with her.

Without ceasing, we pray.
Another chance,
another day to live,
another sunshine to greet.

To fall off I will not be.
I've got more things to do.

Looking up, I saw
a promise of better days,
coming out of a clear blue sky.
I smile.

I bow my head and say my thank you.


My Travel Plans for 2019

Another new year has come, and I’m making a new set of travel plans, so yes, I’m eyeing this year’s long weekends and vacation breaks while constantly saving for these anticipated travel plans in 2019. Do you and I have the same goals in mind?

Going Japanese.
Cherry blossoms. The bright vermilion torii gates. Soba ramen. All these and more will surely make me scream with happiness. Japan, I’m coming for you this Year of the Pig!

Taking advantage of visa-free travel.
Since hearing the news that Taiwan’s visa-free until July of this year (here in the PH), my sister and I both can’t help but plan to pack up our bags and get ready to see the National Palace Museum, Taroko National Park, Taipei 101 and the other fantastic spots in this country.

For the love of japchae and kimchi.
I’m not a fan of KPop, but Korea is fascinating. Its culture and history are something that entices tourists to go and experience this old yet modern country with underrated natural attractions.

The mere mention of Seoul is enough to tickle our bones! This remarkable city, filled with hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, shopping areas, and mind-blowing attractions, is on every Filipino’s travel bucket list. I’m sure I’ll have countless selfies there, especially when I put on a gatekeeper costume at Gyeongbokgung Palace and when I’m taking a peek at Lotte Mart.

Going local, of course!
With our seven thousand-plus islands, there’s no shortage of beaches, coves, mountains, waterfalls, and other natural formations that will always blow us away. I haven’t tried swimming with whale sharks in Oslob, and this year, I’m seriously considering it. I plan to revisit one of my favorite provinces in Luzon, La Union, and do what I always do: sit on the beach while drinking a bottle of iced cold beer, watch the surfers, and worship the sun.

How about you? I’m sure you already have a list of travel plans for 2019. Better to plan, save and enjoy your chosen destination. Remember, traveling is terrific in so many ways.

Coffee, food and friendship

It’s very common nowadays for friends to meet up in a cafe or pizzeria or restaurant to catch up on each other’s lives.  And my friends and I, belong to this demographic who enjoy an order of pasta, pizza, fruit juices and coffee while chitchatting the hours away.  There must be something about coffee and food that add up to the bond of friendship.  Personally, I favoured  those cozy coffee shops with  wide array of food choices than those mainstream cafes which are always filled with people and with limited menu options.

Living in the province north of Manila, the place doesn’t fall short on good spots to dine and enjoy some eating eureka.  One place we frequent is this cozy cafe/restaurant located along McArthur Highway, Meycauyan called Cafe Nenzo.  Well-lit with nice, welcoming interiors and comfy seating, Cafe Nenzo is me and my friends official “meeting place.”

That Saturday, like those old-usual-catching-up-late-in-the-afternoon bonding, we treated ourselves to our all time favorite –  pizza and pasta.  Always a fan of their trio cheese pizza, this time around, we tried the garlic mushroom pizza and we paired it with creamy seafood pasta.  Such a beautiful combination – the thin crust pizza smoldered with ample amount of mushroom and garlic slices (which you can top with diced tomato or lettuce or alfalfa sprouts before devouring) and the creamy seafood pasta (loaded with shrimps and squid, really!) were really filling, comforting even, if I may say; fruit juices complemented these meals.  Of course, desserts are always a part of a dining engagement.  And Cafe Nenzo offers a wide variety of sinfully good sweets.  We ordered slices of cheesecake and carrot cake and cups of brewed coffee.  What  I like about their pastries is that they are not that sweet like the pastries in other cafes – the cheesecake was so rich with flavours it makes you want to eat it the whole of it right away; and the carrot cake was moist and soft, it perfectly goes with coffee.

Service was very consistent.  The staff are  friendly and warm.  Not to forget that they are really attentive and would always approach you with a smile on their faces.  These things also tote up to the warm, relaxing ambiance of the place.

Cafe Nenzo also serves vegetarian dishes.  And from what I’ve heard from my cousins, these dishes are also something worthy to try.  Well, will sure do the next time!  Actually, I haven’t tried their coloful nachos, California maki salad, beef salpicao and a lot more.  Oh my goodness!  I think we have to schedule another catching-up-bonding very soon! Haha!



My hands, Thank you

Thank you for helping me do my thing.
Calloused, veins showing,
Tired of everyday chores.
Rest happen only in sleep and snores.

Twenty seven bones for writing,
Working, and more so for helping.
Giving a hand. Lending a hand.
Hand in hand we go in wonderland.

Our hands boast of perfect abilities.
Power and precision to accomplish greatness.
The left and the right can be a demonstration,
Of care, hatred, anger and compassion.

Thank you, my hands
Thou to both of you too much I demand,
But then again, you never fail me
And let me very ably.



For quite some time now, I’ve been practicing quiet moments. Just being silent and minding my own thing. No phone calls, no dropping of texts to anyone. Like a machine, I just shut down. And crawl into my own bubble. Sounds crazy and weird, I know. But that’s me. Good friends of mine who knew me so well understand this side of my character. Sometimes, I don’t let myself be “accessible” for a week or two. I’m thinking, maybe there’s something wrong with me. And my good friends will say “yes” in chorus, Hahaha…

As a believer of quiet time alone, I like turning my back for a while from all these social media stuff and texting world and just breathe basics. And it feels very good! Several things I noticed and experienced give me big smiles on my face. And these are, not in a particular order, what makes up my list:
Creativity– being quiet lets my modest imagination comes out. No, I don’t do Picasso or Van Gogh. I finger paint or I write poems or take pictures with my camera phone.
Appreciation– when I am silent, I think I tend to be more sensitive to what I am seeing, feeling, hearing. Thus, appreciating things that come my way, be it life’s bloopers or tiny blessings, is second nature to me.
Knowing myself better– when I quiet myself, I’m able to listen to what’s inside me. For lack of a proper word to use, I “talk” to myself. Sounds ridiculously funny, I know. But it gives me a clear idea of my capacities, inadequacies and everything I need to understand about myself while I am in the process of growing, changing day after day.
Relaxedness– a serene feeling gives me this kind of comfort. I wanted to believe that even in such a tiring and stressful situation I am in, I don’t find it hard to loosen up and calm myself.
Considerate– I am not saying that I am a hundred percent sympathetic all the time. But those quiet moments taught me to work on this virtue every day. I learned to watch my words when talking to somebody, to be polite to those around me and to be conscientious in and out of our tiny home.

There are maybe more things that you can add up to my list… but if there’s one huge thing that makes my quiet time weighty, it is the of opportunity of being alone with the big guy up there: those moments of simple conversation, complaining the when’s and why’s of life, whispering grateful praises… Smiley here.