When I turned 18, my Papa made sure to bless me with an unforgettable affair. Like a kid in a candy store, he asked me to choose anything that would make up for an “extraordinary” birthday. I enjoyed the ball and cherished the words spoken that night but something was amiss.  I told myself that it would be the last time that I’d fritter away a fortune for my birthday.

Upon turning 20, my birthdays became celebrations for other people – children in particular. I am not sharing this to sound holier-than-thou because this is definitely nothing compared to the deeds of full-fledged volunteers. I am also a fan of people who do good things without chasing the spotlight.

Still, I want to acknowledge people who have been patient and nice enough to join this year. I initially wanted a Disney Princesses theme but to avoid frowning boys, we opted for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gang. The creative Dreams Come True team did our wonderful setup. They specialize in making parties appear magical through their imaginative (and cost-friendly!) standees and backdrops.

Life Lately

Ever since Aujen’s MBA classes started, dates became a rarity. Balancing an eight-to-five job with nightly classes is easier said than done. The heavy traffic in Manila doesn’t help at all. The least I can do is to continuously encourage and make sure he remains sane.

The nice thing about having limited date days is that you never take them for granted. They become extra special because it’s your chance to pay attention to his stories and boost his morale before he comes back to his grueling academic load.

Birthday Wishlist

Another Set of Wings

"Walk away from something the minute you stopped loving it." When I watched last night’s episode of New Girl, I was merely expecting chuckles but what I got was an affirmation that I have chosen the right path.

Singapore Diaries: Singapore Zoo and Its Unshackled Creatures

I have a love and hate relationship with zoos. I detest how they imprison animals but at the same time, I wouldn’t develop such fascination with animals if not for zoos. Those rare times that I open my television? If not series, it’ll probably be tuned in to Animal Planet

Singapore earned my respect because its progressive state did not hinder it from protecting its mute inhabitants. Singapore Zoo certainly lived up to its “World Best Rainforest Zoo” title. The “no-cage” policy amazed me! Plants and rocks were mostly the barriers between the visitors and animals. The animals seem comfortable in their clean enclosures. I wish more countries will emulate the zoo’s handling of its animals instead of treating them as mere displays.

Singapore in Boxes

I’m in heels most of the time but scoring this pair of Keds espadrilles changed that. This pair was my ally during our five-day trip. John Green’s “Papertowns,” on the other hand, kept me awake while waiting for our early-morning flight.

Singapore Diaries: Universal Studios Singapore Souvenirs

If you tend to go overboard when shopping, these photos can help you decide which to buy before your actual USS trip. Memento shops are everywhere although the main one can be found on Hollywood Avenue.

Singapore Diaries: Universal Studios and My Top Five Attractions

Prior to my resignation, my request for a six-day vacation has been granted which prompted me to book this trip. It was a gift for my mom and Tita but instead of coming with us to Universal Studios Singapore, they went to see Singapore Chinese Orchestra's concert.

Hillsong United Manila 2014

A coliseum filled with people shouting no other name but His. Thousands of hands being lifted as an act of surrender to His grace. That night was dreamlike. It reminded me of His astounding love – something that never runs out regardless of how flawed we might be.

Rekindling the Fifties at Stacy's

With its wicker chairs and candy-colored furnishings, Stacy’s at Bonifacio Global City is truly a visual delight! I was supposed to bring some of my officemates to a surfing trip in San Juan but we weren’t able to push through.

Reminds me of Hilary Duff's Cinderella Story

Macau Diaries: Where the Streetlights Glow

Instead of Ocean Park, we opted to spend our third day in Macau. Since we arrived a little over noon through Turbojet’s ferry, we went straight to Venetian Hotel for lunch.

Hong Kong Diaries: Madame Tussauds, Sky Terrace, and Peak Tram

What amazes me about Madame Tussauds is the painstaking process each wax figure undergoes to make sure that it’s as realistic as possible. Attaching hair strands to each lifelike figure, for example, takes up to 56 hours of work.

Hong Kong Diaries: Delightful Disneyland

You really cannot blame me if Disneyland still makes me feel giddy even if I’m 22. While Disneyland Hong Kong is not as big as its sisters in Paris, Tokyo, and Orlando, my boyfriend and I still decided to allocate 2 days knowing that queues for the attractions could reach crazy levels. Also, since this trip is a post-birthday gift for our brothers, I'm sure they'd rather spend time here than scour shopping malls.

Disneyland Flights of Fantasy Parade: Won't You Fly with Me?

As if the park itself isn't enough, wait until you experience the contagious feeling that comes with watching the Flights of Fantasy parade. I wish I was able to take much photos but I was too absorbed with how blithesome the performers are.

A Love Devoid of Complication?

Love is unfair. More often than not, someone in a relationship is always on top of the other – more dominant for that matter. The stronger one always gets to be the dictator; the weak and passive, on the other hand, is nothing more than just an obedient follower. Compromise is a word that’s not in their dictionary apparently. 

Love is also demanding that’s why it’s unfair. It asks too much time and effort from a person. If ever a man fails to spend hours with his significant other, he can be already accused of taking his girlfriend for granted. 

Love is selfish. And it’s gonna be that way for the longest time possible for so long as it’s unfair and selfish. The guy would forever want his girlfriend’s time or if, the girl’s unlucky, the guy would always choose his friends over her and yet still expects her to understand because she loves him.

Such is an excerpt from my girl friend Aimee’s "Watching from the Sidelines". Aren’t these situations familiar?

In a society wherein a cinema line-up will never be complete without a romantic flick, we have this tendency to measure the grandness of a love story with how dramatic its plot is. What we sometimes forget is that the world’s formula of love is different from the love story God has penned for us.

While we know that God wants the best for us, is there a way for love to not be complicated?

I’m neither Dr. Phil nor a love guru though at 22, I’ve been in a relationship for more than five years now. Prior to that, I’ve had my share of moments when Zedd’s “If our love is tragedy, then why are you my remedy?” was my mantra.

Love will never be devoid of challenges but aren’t we blessed that He has given us the ability to see warning signs?

1. Never be too absorbed with the idea of a poster couple.
Sure, Noah and Allie’s passion in The Notebook is striking and how Mr. Darcy treats Elizabeth is impressive but at the end of the day, their story is different from ours. We shouldn’t settle for mediocre love but we likewise have to check if our standards are still realistic.

Ballet Beautiful Workout Videos Review: Why Natalie Portman And The Victoria's Secret Angels Love Them

As someone who encounters difficulty in gaining weight and who doesn't find pumping iron appealing, searching for a workout can be difficult. I love to swim and surf but sadly, I cannot do these things everyday.

The dance goddesses truly blessed me for I came across with Ballet Beautiful, a workout method that is designed to give someone a ballerina’s graceful yet strong physique. Mary Helen Bowers, a former member of the New York City Ballet, handles the class.

The Mind Museum Taguig Review: Where Science Comes Alive!

Science, though it sometimes stirred my curiosity as a child, bore me with its complexity. While I definitely appreciated that my father bought me stacks of encyclopedia, the young me couldn't help but wish for Science to be presented in a highly-engaging manner. Kids these days are blessed for this is exactly what the Mind Museum in Taguig has in mind!

The Mind Museum in Taguig is the country’s first world-class science museum which aspires to remove the impression that science is “cold, boring, and unapproachable.” Upon receiving complimentary tickets for a museum tour, I immediately thought of Aujen and his younger brother Ayu who are both die-hard fans of anything scientific and mathematical.

You’ll be greeted by Aedi which basically stands for “idea” when reversed. 

Summer Haul: Espadrilles, Day Dresses, Jack Johnson

While a summer haul should typically have bikinis and Daisy Dukes, I’ll be refraining from a beach trip for the next two months. It dampens my heart but I have to save my work vacation credits for a bigger travel plan this coming May. 

Beige espadrille peep toes from Mango

Chasing the Ocean's Song: La Union Surfing

I'm starting to love surfing not just for the exhilaration that it gives but for the lifestyle behind the sport. It feels nice to just play around barefooted while listening to Jack Johnson’s tunes.

It's the uncertainty which likewise makes surfing irresistible. Regardless of your skills, you'll never know how you'll fare because each wave is different.

This trip is closer to my heart than the first one (though it was memorable too!) because my high school classmates as well as two of my officemates came with me

La Union Surfing Travelogue: Craving for Waves

Despite my penchant for swimming and diving, surfing is something foreign to me. This is why even if my skin’s still painful and blotchy from our recent Palawan trip, I seized the opportunity to return to La Union and embrace its tunneling waves. After all, who says “no” to the idea of having the ocean as your playground?

Palawan Travelogue: Puerto Princesa City, Underground River, and Honda Bay ♥

Knowing that each one of us is only here temporarily pretty much explains my restlessness. Swaying from one task to another is how I thrive which apparently prompted one of my girlfriends to write this

Still, I don't pretend to be Superwoman. As a fickle-minded girl who refuses to channel her energy on just one thing, I sometimes find myself wanting to have an escape. 

While I still have pending travel entries, my recent trip to Palawan is perhaps the simplest yet most captivating. Since I'm this type of traveler who packs too much researches a lot, please bear with my so-called tips. It's my way as well to give back to all the thoughtful travel blogs I've used!