Chasing Flights, Legazpi Edition

June 9th, 2008 § 11

I really should start collecting canceled plane tickets. I’ve managed to accumulate a few in a span of a month, and while it has brought me frustrations along the way, I now laugh at my apparent bad luck (for lack of better term) in flying.

If I may trace my flying misadventures, it all began in Legazpi where I spent a few days with USAP‘s marketing mancomm last month. By the way, I almost forgot how much I enjoyed flying. I mean, seriously, while Mikey looked like he was gona puke the entire 30-minute trip, my only concern was how to get his face off the view so I can get a glimpse of the clouds (the bastard got the window seat, loser). Anyway. Point is, I enjoyed flying, in spite them saying how turbulent the flight was. And I’m really looking forward to the next opportunity I could get to fly.

Okay, wait, pictures first.

Marc, Francis, Rico, Ely, Mikey, Alvin and Mel

..and me, of course.

Sooo TGIS, I know right.

Anyway. Here’s where all the “bad luck” started flooding in.

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By the Way, I Turned 25

May 31st, 2008 § 11

There’s nothing magical about turning 25. At least I’ve proven that myself now. There was no thunder and lightning, no additional white hairs (at least none that I noticed of), no booming voice from above sending specific life instructions your way. Mostly, everything’s just a continuation of the day before, just like any other year. Some say that things are bound to change from here on — but I guess that’s a pretty generic thing to say, after all, everything’s bound to change anyway.

But one of the cool things about being 25 is perhaps, the illusion that you really are a grown-up now. (No, I’m not sure I was ever regarded as a “grown-up” when I was 24. Hah!)

We’re grown-ups now, and it’s our turn to decide what that means.” Yeah! :P

Yep, no one would dare tell you you’re “too young” for something when you’re 25. (Except maybe too young to die? Hmm.) But well, 25 years is a lot of years, I know right. I was thinking of blogging about 25 things I learned on my 25th year, or 25 places I want to go to this year, or 25 items in my shopping list, or 25 gifts I received.. but gaah, 25 is just too many now for this lazy blogger that I am. Sorry naman.

So let me just make kwento about how I spent my 25th birthday. :)

Ironically, while it was my official grand entrance to the world of quarter-life, I ended up celebrating a pink day in the office (which kind of reminds me of Disney princess, lol), and a Mcdonald’s kiddie party with my most favorite kids in the world. Not too grown-up, eh? :)

The first one was a surprise — my team came to work in pink, and because I was overwhelmed by the pinkness that they were, we had boxes of pizza delivered in the afternoon. Thanks guys, I’ve never seen that much pink in my life it’s.. sickening. :))

USAP’s SEO-Internet Marketing Department in Pink

The second one was rather impulsive — (accidentally) passing by Mcdonalds two days before my birthday, I decided to book a kiddie party right there and then. I’ve always wanted one but I didn’t really plan on having it this year. But now I realize that it was definitely the best time to do it. I would have invited my friends too, but I thought it would be more meaningful to share it with kids, specifically those who have not experienced being in one before. So I invited them:

Here are the boys from SBC’s Street Children Ministry

My Dad loved these kids. Some of them are homeless, some have families in the urban poor areas in Manila, some don’t even know who their parents are. The smile on their faces is undoubtedly the best gift I’ve ever received. :)

My bible study group was there too, full support yay :)

..and of course teh whole family. Still missing Daddy, but we know he’s always with us. :)

So yep, that was my 25th birthday. Couldn’t have spent it any other way. I guess if there’s one thing I learned that day, it would be acknowledging that one can’t really live alone and independent from anyone — and still be genuinely happy. Life is simply not worth living if you don’t have people to share it with.

I’ve experienced independence (to some extent), and sometimes I enjoy being in solitude too. But to go through this journey without family and friends backing you up, or without someone holding your hand and giving you everything-is-going-to-be-alright hugs when you need them, or without a God who’s in control of even the littlest details in your life.. ugh, living is simply impossible. Thank God He allowed me to have all these. Thank God that I didn’t have to go through the past 25 years, and that I won’t have to go through the next 25 years, by myself.

Happy Birthday to me. :)

Segue: Interested to have a Mcdonald’s kiddie party in the Philippines? Details after the jump. ;)

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Hillsong Conference 2008 Yay!

May 13th, 2008 § 23

With my new apartment now officially the worst thing that’s ever happened to the history of apartment-hopping (no Globe Visibility signal in my room, landlord’s PLDT connection gone blpht, cable connections not compatible with the TV, not to mention the leak that drown our stuff on the first day but don’t let me rant about that one), I nominate last week as the newest candidate to my worst weeks ever.

But that is, until yesterday, when THIS was delivered to me. Waah. :)

Yup, that’s right. There’s my ticket to one whole week of Hillsong bliss at the Acer Arena, happening on July 7-11 of this year.

But of course, I’m still not even halfway through making it. It’s just that teh boyfriend and I registered for the early-bird promo around November last year, so I’ve been getting all these mails since the start of the year — (1) confirmation letter of my registration and full-payment, (2) support document for my visa application, and (3) just yesterday, the ticket to the Hillsong Nights which comes free to those who registered.

Just the sight of my ticket, and my very own seat (well, at least the seat number), has kept me elated until now. So.. up next, Australian visa application. I just hope my fingerprints starts to cooperate already. Uggh, the fingerprints? That’s another story.

Come to think of it, whatever happens within the next 60 days — I know for sure that in the long run, I can smile and be happy with the fact that I got this far. :)

Dreading March 26

March 11th, 2008 § 7

One of the things my Mom “assigned” me to do following Daddy’s death was to write a short letter of thanks in behalf of our family to everyone who was/is there with us throughout this whole ordeal. Mom would always tell me that I’m the writer in the family, that I’m the best person to do it, or sometimes, in her desperate attempts to make me move, she would make bola and tell me that Daddy would have wanted me to do it more than anyone in the world. It has been my greatest challenge since.

It’s gonna be Dad’s first death anniversary on the 26th, and I still haven’t come up with anything. Mom has been so patient with me, even though I know that she’s starting to get frustrated about not being able to at least give a thank you card to everyone after all these months.

It’s just that.. everytime I try to sit down to work on it, I always end up staring at a blank sheet of paper, or a blank text file, and a few minutes later, I’d start tearing up again. I’ve ran out of excuses to explain to Mom why I still haven’t come up with what she’s asking for. I know I could easily just string together words of appreciation, layout them together with a photo of my Dad, print, and send. But it’s difficult, because no amount of words is enough to thank everyone who was part of my Dad’s life and ministry. *Sigh* I’m not just being lazy. I’ve been stalling, I know right, but only because the mere thought of working on THAT letter relieves the pain of our loss, and it’s as if I have to accept over again that Dad’s already gone.

I’m turning 25 in a few months, but I still haven’t stopped feeling like still being too young to lose a father. I guess I’ll never stop feeling like that. Dad’s early death may have forced me to grow up, but deep inside I will always be that little girl who’d give anything to twirl around her Daddy in circles again. Ugh, it’s just too frustrating sometimes. I mean, why do other twentyfiveyearolds get to share their lives with their Dads and I don’t? *More sighs* Okai, I stop whining now.

So yeah, March 26 is just around the corner, and I’m starting to have more and more thoughts about Daddy again. And I have no more excuse to set aside writing that thank you letter now. I owe it to my Mom. I know how important that is to her.

But mostly, I owe it to Daddy. Since he didn’t get to have that last chance to thank all those people who were part of his life, I want to do it for him with all my heart.

I Was Featured in Manila Bulletin Yay

February 20th, 2008 § 10

This is long overdue already but I’m blogging it anyway. The Blog-o-rama column that featured my two blogs came out last weekend, Feb 18, on the Technews of Manila Bulletin. I didn’t know when it was gona come up, hence I didn’t get myself a copy, grr. I found out about it only the day after, good thing a friend has got a daily subscription of the paper. Yay.

In the interview, I talked about my blogs and how they evolved from a personal venting channel to a tool that has helped me establish my profession. Also, I talked about how it’s like to be a struggling female SEO (I know, this is a pretty old tune already, ha!) in this IT industry that’s been mostly dominated by men. I had fun answering Miss Annalyn’s questions, I guess it pretty much showed in how I blabbered my way throughout the interview.

So yeah. Thanks (once again) to Miss Annalyn Jusay for this wonderful opportunity. :) I took snapshots of the column and uploaded them there. Also, the online version can be found here.

Oh Hai, I'm Stuck in a Moment

January 16th, 2008 § 2

Just to let you in on what’s happening in this wonderful, wonderful life of mine (it IS wonderful, mind you), I’m currently threading another crossroad — one I never thought I’d find myself in at this point in my life.

..and I’m excited and scared and restless. As if I’ve never been more sure and more uncertain at the same time. Seth Godin hit the nail hard in the head when he said, “if it doesn’t cost your life, it isn’t a quest.

I’m thinking it through, weighing things down, waiting for the right signals. But one thing for sure — I’m turning 25 this year, and a quest is just what I need.

Coffee Break

January 9th, 2008 Comments Off on Coffee Break

Today, I took a break and had coffee without sugar. I’ve never had coffee without sugar in my life, until now. And let me just say that I hate it. I hate how it tastes — its bitterness leaving this annoying after-taste in my tongue that I could not get rid off even after gulping mug-fulls of water.

But I drank it still, taking it all in because I thought it was about time to learn to like what’s unlike-able. I had to know how far I’d go without sugar — how I’d live without depending too much on the sugary taste that I’ve gotten so used to.

You see, life is like that. It’s not all sugar and spice and everything nice. Once in a while, you have to learn to live with the bitterness and the un-wanted things that come with life (also, to accept things you can’t change, and not attempt to change things you can’t accept).

I’d like to preserve a memory in this post. Something that will keep thugging at my heart for sure, but one which I’m determined to accept, to leave behind, and eventually, forget, by God’s grace.

After all, I know that a few more mugs of water will wash the bitterness away.

Year 2007, Beautiful Indeed

December 30th, 2007 § 10

A little less than 2 days left before the year ends, would you look at that. In a few hours, together with my extended family, I shall say good bye to 2007. “Will you be in church on Sunday?,” Jovan, a friend, asked me the other day. I answered, “Of course. I want to be there when SBC bids 2007 goodbye.” :)

Year 2007, what can I say. 2007 brought me victories and accomplishments I never thought were possible at this point in my life. There were new (and overwhelming) opportunities, responsibilities, and commitments that were beyond my expectations. Of course there were heartbreaks, sacrifices, and losses as well — which brought about one leap of faith after another, spiritual highs and lows, and answered prayers.

And then there was love — an overflow of it in various forms and ways.

It’s a beautiful year, indeed. And by beautiful, I mean a lot of things — things I may not be able to give justice to because even if I try confining them into words, I would only end up robbing them off their true beauty.

Now just so I have some sort of a format, I’m doing an old blog meme I did two years ago, which I’m modifying now to capture the real highlights of the year that (soon-to-be) was. Here are some of my best posts for year 2007, grouped by month, with copy-pasted excerpts (because I’m too lazy to make summaries hehe). Join me as I wrap the year up. :)

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Year-End Resolutions, It's Never too Late

December 6th, 2007 Comments Off on Year-End Resolutions, It's Never too Late

I can’t believe I’m listing resolutions three weeks too early (or 11 months too late, however you’d want to look at it). It’s just that.. I’m kind of hating myself right now. And I have to stop for a while, reflect, take things down, and refocus, before I start hurting more people around me. If you know what I’m talking about.

Coz you see, during the course of trying so hard to be responsible and trying to protect the people I love, I start to lose myself. And I realize that if I continue being so, I’d eventually lose everything I hold dear to my heart.

And let me just say that it’s tragic, reading pages and pages of blogs and journal entries bearing the same thoughts — the same resolutions — through the years. You thought you were still young at 23, that you’ve become more matured a year after, but actually, you’ve been whining about the same things then and now. It’s as if you’ve never really learned.

I need to grow up, and fast. Hence, this list of year-end resolutions. I know a list is not going to change anything, but here’s to remind myself, with everyone as my witness, that some major overhaul is going to happen in this life of mine. And unlike the elaborate ones I’ve written before, I’ll make this straight and simple this time.

Think positive things. No more “what if“s from here on. Check.

Be more trusting, especially to those people who trust me. Check.

Forget the past. What happened before does not necessarily mean it’s gonna happen now, or anytime in this lifetime. Check.

Stop worrying. Check.

Be still, and let Him be God. Check. Check.


Right now, I’m a lot of things I don’t want to become. I hurt people unconsciously. I’m insensitive. I’m obsessive-compulsive, but I’m OC at unimportant things. I’m workaholic when I’m not supposed to, and I waste away time when I should be working.

But all of these will change, I promise.

To you, most especially.

Watch me.

I Had a Chat with Gio and Aaron Wall

October 11th, 2007 § 7

I have a confession to make (again). During Gio Villanueva-Wall‘s Q&A on Keyword Research Tools and Tactics at the SEMCON, I was the one who SMS-ed the question “How does it feel like to be Aaron Wall‘s wife?” I mean, seriously, that was a valid question to ask, right? I’m sure a lot of us were curious to know! :)

I got myself a competition” and “I am married to the Internet!,” Gio said to a room-full of SEMCON attendees. Didn’t I just say that it’s a good SEO technique (for female SEOs) to marry an SEO guru? Hehe. (Way to go Sharm! LOL) :)

Anyway, I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with Gio when she and Aaron dropped by the Intercon the next day (SEMCON, Day 2). And unexpectedly too, as I just happened to be sitting at the back with some guys from SEO Philippines, near the entrance, when the couple dropped by.

With Gio — yes, that’s my back okaaay.

It was lovely to know that Gio speaks fluent Tagalog, hence it wasn’t that hard for me (LOL) to chitchat about tiangges, and shopping, and boracay, and stuff that are not related to SEO. And it was even more thrilling to know that she happens to be dropping by this blog ( too once in a while. I mean, really now? :)

And really now, it’s not everyday you get to chat with an SEO rockstar in his shorts and slippers. *starstruck*

Chitchatting with Aaron Wall woohoo :)

Inasmuch as I wanted to ask Aaron more about his book and his SEO secrets, I ended up asking more questions about him and Gio, how he likes it here so far, and his interests aside from SEO, and music (music!! man!! I was talking about music with Aaron Wall, haha), etc.

With the Walls :)

I had my ten minutes worth of air time with the Walls, yay ME — perhaps one of the highlights of my SEMCON experience (which I will blog more about later). Very down-to-earth, both of them. :)

I told Aaron Wall that he’s got a pretty good taste, falling in love with a Filipina. And I could say the same for Gio, for marrying The SEO Book. Er, I mean, the author. Hehe.

As for me, I’m still starstruck. (And wondering if someday, people will tell my husband-to-be that he’s got good taste marrying this SEO girl that I am. Blpht.) :p

*Photos courtesy of Jason Torres, who happened to be holding Konks, my camera, when I was having the grand SEMCON time of my life.

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