Wednesday, June 25, 2014

First Day of School Tips for First Time School Children

The article below is my contribution to our office newsletter ezine for the month of June. I am sharing it with the readers of this blog, especially those with first time school children. 


The month of June in the Philippines signifies the end of summer, and the start of the school year. First day of school for first time school children can either make or break their general impression of school, and can possibly affect their future outlook towards going to school. A child’s anxiety and apprehensions can prevent them from having that good learning atmosphere at school. As parents, we can help ease their anxiety using the tips below:

1. Good night sleep.
On the night before the first day of school, parents should advise their kids to be fully rested by having a good night’s sleep. This would allow the child to be well-rested and not sleepy during his/her first day of classes.

2. Preparing A Day Before.
Since most first time school children are not yet that independent, parents usually still arrange their school stuff like school materials and uniforms. In order to prevent unnecessary rush and panic in the morning, parents should make sure that all the needed school stuff is ready the night before – from books and pens to shoes and uniforms.  This will make the children more excited (than rattled) when they wake up in the morning.

3. Good breakfast.
Nutritionist all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Before sending the kids to school, parents should make sure that children eat a heavy and nutritious breakfast. An empty stomach would cause hunger pangs later in school and may prevent the kids from focusing and enjoying school.

4. Come early.
Being early in school on the first day does not only leave a good impression on the teacher, but it also allows our kid to relax a little longer before the actual classes begin. They can get a feel of their classroom, their teacher, as well as their classmates. It also allows us parents to stay a bit longer and check on how our kids are adjusting. Being early also allows our kids to choose their seats (if they are not seated by the teacher based on a certain scheme like by class number). This would allow them to be seated in a spot wherein they feel comfortable and at ease.

5. Sending something from Home.
For those kids with separation anxiety, try to bring something that reminds them of home – a small family picture, a small toy car or toy that he/she can keep inside his/her bag or pocket.

6. Have a goodbye procedure.
When it’s time to leave our little children, try to set up a goodbye routine or procedure. Like a kiss on the check with a pat on the back. This will allow the kids to be more comfortable when it is bye-bye time for mom/dad. Once we leave, let us also try not to go back. Kids may be upset at the start, but it is a good time for them to adjust to their new environment, especially to their new teachers or nurse aid.

7. Be on time during dismissal time.
Nothing would be scarier for a little child than to be left alone when all of his/her classmates have been picked up by their parents/guardians during dismissal. It is important for us parents to be prompt when picking up our kids during dismissal time, even at least during the 1st few weeks. This will make the child more secured.

8. Check on the child’s feelings.
Upon reaching home, parents should talk to their kids about how school went. We can ask them what activities did they do, and how do they felt towards these activities. We can ask them if he/she have already met new friends, and if the teacher gave them enjoyable activities. This kind of activity not only serves as a bonding opportunity between parents and their small kids. It also allows our little children to be open about discussing the things that they liked or disliked about school. When the things they dislike about school seem serious (a classmate who suddenly pulled their hair or collar), then it could be a red flag of pending trouble, and as such should be reported early to the teacher.

Whenever we think that our kids are just being clingy when they have their first-day-of-school anxiety, it is always nice to remember that we were once in their shoes. Our parents were just patient enough to handle our apprehensions. As such, as parents we should also make sure that our kids have a good start in school. :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surviving Single Parenthood

The article below is my contribution to our office newsletter/ezine for the month of May. I want to share it with the readers of this blog, especially in case I have single parent readers. 


Parenthood is not a simple stroll in the park. Similar to a farmer who nourishes a seed to become a full tree or plant, the mother and father nurtures a child to become a responsible adult someday. However, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances which push an individual to become a single parent. At this stage, the individual takes on the role of both the mother and father in rearing a child. The role is doubled, and so are the challenges.

Below are a few tips on how to live through single parenthood.

1. Have a good support system:
Being a mom or a dad per se is difficult. What more if you have to take up a double-role of being both. Having a good support system of family and friends whom you can trust does not only provide a single parent some moral support, but can also serve as an extended pair of arms and legs whenever the single parent has so much tasks in his/her hand.

2. Make and Find time for Yourself:
Too often single parents are very much occupied with work and raising their kids, that they have less time for themselves. Setting up some personal “me-time” allows the single parent to rest and recharge – thus feeling less burnt out. A single parent can also learn new skills aside from the work he/she has been used to. This would allow him/her to not only have time for him/herself, but also to improve him/herself.

3. Always be Prepared:
A bottle of water, some snacks, an extra pair of clothes, some tissue or napkin, hand sanitizer or alcohol, a small toy or book to keep the little ones busy. With kids around, being prepared is always a must for parents. But by being a single parent, being prepared becomes a sole responsibility. It is important that whenever you and your child leave home, the “essential stuff” (i.e. the items listed in the first statement) is always within reach.

4. Maintain a Positive Attitude:
Having the task to juggle work, paying the bills, taking care of the home, and solely raising a child can become overwhelming and can sometimes stress out any single parent. It is always important to have a positive attitude if you’re a single parent.  When things get out of hand, a single parent can maintain a journal just to have an outlet to vent out all the negative feelings.  Children learn from their parents. And we want our kids to grow up having an optimistic “can-do” mindset.

5. Live Within Your Means:
Part of being a single parent is handling financial matters on your own, whether it is paying the bills at home or shouldering your child’s education. It is an important for any single parent to learn the necessary budgeting skills, spending wisely, as well as making sound financial decisions to save for the future.

6. Spend Quality Time With Your Kid(s):
This is one, if not the most, important part of this list. Spending quality time with your son or daughter does not only meet the child’s need for attention, but it allows the single parent to have some meaningful interaction. This meaningful interaction would allow the single parent to learn more about his/her child and sometimes, even about him/herself. Quality time need not always be expensive and extravagant. A good chitchat over dinner, or some weekend at the movies or arcade, or picnic at the park are good examples.

To summarize, single parenthood is definitely not for the faint of heart or those who fear responsibility. A single parent should be able to have the compassion and tenderness of a mother, and combine it with the steadfastness and the discipline skills of a father. But the rewards have always been great. Being able to see your child grow up successfully and knowing in your heart that you were able to do it on your own, is a reward any single parent can be truly proud of.

Special Note:
The author of this article is a single parent to an 8-year old boy.  The article includes the author’s personal insights and take on surviving (and thriving) as a single parent.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Inked and Loving It

After 3-4 years of planning, researching, and waiting for the proper timing, I have finally crossed out another item from my bucket list. I finally got inked.
Last April 26, 2014, while my parents were enjoying their Marian pilgrimage in Europe, I mustered enough courage to finally get my first tattoo. It was a tattoo of my all-time favorite creature - the mythical phoenix. The tattoo was a colored one. It was about 5-6 inches in length and was placed on my upper back which spread a little along my spine. It was done by Ms. Katz Lorenzana at 55Tinta Tattoo Shop along Maginhawa St. in Quezon City.
Funny, but it really took me 3-4 years to plan for it. The first stage was thinking about the design. This was an easy step as I've always wanted a phoenix. Why? There are several reasons. A phoenix symbolizes resurrection - "to rise up from one's own ashes". I can proudly say that I am a survivor. I have been through several challenges in my life (personal and in my career) and was fortunate to survive it (with God's help of course). Another thing with the phoenix. This mythical creature is the highest form in my astrological hierarchy (i.e. Scorpion - Eagle - Phoenix). At the back of the phoenix was a Celtic sun. I have always been fascinated by Celtic designs, and just as the phoenix rises from its ashes, the sun always shines everyday.
Second stage in my planning was to research about the tattoo artist and a reputable tattoo shop nearby that can execute the style that I want. I was lucky enough to find a female tattoo artist – Katz Lorenzana - who's very good with line works and outlines, and very good in colors as well. I must admit that I was mesmerized when I first saw my tattoo design on the computer. I immediately loved how the colors worked together. And I loved it more after Katz executed it on my skin. There’s a difference between seeing it on screen, and seeing it on your own skin. And I loved both. Katz Lorenzana also has that light touch (i.e. in Filipino, we call it "magaan ang kamay") that made my 1st tattoo experience a non-traumatic one. I cannot say that it was totally painless. The longer strokes which hit the more bony areas (near my shoulder blades) made me cringe a little, but overall the 3-hour session was very bearable (bragging aside, I even dozed off during those times when the tatt was being shaded). To compare, my bikini/brazilian waxing sessions were more painful than my tattoo session. For the tattoo shop, I initially chose 55Tinta because it was near my home. I was a bit hesitant at first, because I had an initial impression that people in tattoo shops were snooty, but I was proven wrong when I went into 55Tinta. The staff was accommodating and friendly – from my initial email inquiry, to my 1st shop visit, and until the day of my tattoo schedule. I had several revisions of my design but they were professional and attentive to my ideas. It was like discussing my ideas with a friend. The vibe inside 55Tinta was also super A-OK. The shop smelled like fresh soap. One would think he/she entered a spa, instead of a tattoo parlor. The airconditioning was a bit cold, but hey, I would rather have it that way than no aircon at all. They also had this wide screen television and a wide array of video selections. My cousin and my friend who accompanied me did not get bored as they enjoyed watching videos during the 3-hour session. Pricing was also reasonable. The price they charged was worth the design, the size and the colors scheme applied to my tattoo. I inquired from another known tattoo shop, and the price they gave me was way higher than 55Tinta.
Now you may have noticed that I have mentioned “waiting for the proper timing” in my first paragraph. This is the toughest part. I have to wait for a couple of things. I have to wait till I have saved enough for the tattoo, as this is an additional cut to my already-constrained budget. And the biggest timing issue – waiting for my parents to leave for their pilgrimage trip in order for me to get inked. Yes I’m in my 30’s, have my own work, and even have a son. But in a conservative family like mine, having my uber conservative Dad around while I’m getting inked will be an added stress factor. I had to wait till they have finalized their travel pilgrimage plans and scheduled my tattoo session on the 1st weekend they are away. There is no other date but that date. Having my tattoo done last April 26 would allow 2.5 weeks for my tattoo to undergo healing, so that by the time my folks arrive (2nd week of May) my tattoo has already passed the critical stage of healing (i.e. 1st 2 weeks). Talk about “Patience is a virtue” and “Timing is everything”. What would I do once they arrive and discovered my tattoo? Perhaps, I’ll just smile. I’ve made more infamous decisions in the past so I think the tattoo would just be a venial sin as compared to the more grave ones I’ve done before. *evil grin*…>:-)
Overall, I can say that my first tattoo experience was an awesome one. I am also thankful to God (and St. Pio my favorite saint) as I also prayed to them to keep me safe during the tattoo session, and to please give me a high threshold for pain on that day. I have no regrets in getting inked. My design was meaningful to me, is well-thought of, not blasphemous nor offensive. The location is decently and discreetly located. And my intention for having one was more of a personal statement bound by commitment than just being a fashion or beauty mark.  :-)

(L) Stencil of the Tattoo (R) Finished product

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Washified Kraft Notebooks

I am a fan of handmade stuff. As much as I can, whenever I try to give something to my friends, I always make it a point to put my personal touch on it.

As most of my high school girl friends enjoy writing on notebooks and journals, I decided to give them washi-fied kraft journals last Christmas. I had to ask each of them about their favorite colors, and from there, I had to select washi tape rolls whose designs complement each other, and at the same time, matched the favorite colors of my friends. It was pretty easy to create the washi-fied journals, and the experience of being able to come up with a gift that's a "labor of love" is something fulfilling. Luckily, my friends liked the journal. I had to remind them that I'm still a novice in the handmade movement so that they'll cut me some slack. I'm just glad that my friends were very appreciative. :)

For the details: the plain kraft journals/notebooks were ordered from Papemelroti; the washi tapes were purchased from PaperblushPh

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Frustrated Typography Artist

Since I was a kid, I've been resigned to the fact that drawing portraits, sceneries, and even still life was not my cup of tea. However, since my childhood days, I have always been fascinated with awesome typography.

Merriam-Webster defines typography as "the style, arrangement, and appearance of printed letters on a page". Typography is more commonly known as "lettering". 

As I've said I have always been a frustrated typography artist. I like the way letters are styled and written on paper. And since I can't find any school which offers a crash course on typography, I just rely on checking sample typography works on the net, and try to practice on my spare time. Practicing typography has also been a good stress-relieving activity for me. I have posted below some of my attempts at typography. Hope I can find to pursue and enhance this interest. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Of Colored Fountains and Fire Prevention Month

Last Monday, I went with my Dad at the Quezon Memorial Circle to try my hand (or feet actually) at brisk walking. I was (finally) convinced by my Dad to get into some form of fitness regimen, for Zion's sake.

Once we got in the park, I noticed there were a lot of fire trucks, and a lot of guys from the Bureau of Fire Protection. From the booming PA system, I realized that they were launching Fire Prevention Month - oo nga pala, March na (i.e. Oh yeah.. It's the month of March). I was a disappointed and lost my interest to jog that day because there were a lot of people and most of them occupied the joggers' path/track. After one and a half rounds, and being disappointed, I stopped by the cemented pavement facing the central park monument and just listened and watched the festivities (i.e. If you can't beat them, just listen and join them).

It was nice watching the fire trucks parading. It was even nicer watching the colored water that came out from the firetrucks. They were like colored fountains that sparkled in the morning sun. I suddenly remembered my son, that he would surely enjoy the sight of parading fire trucks and the colored fountain water, had he been there with me. I suddenly admired the courage of the people doing fire-fighting work. Their job is a very dangerous one but they were brave enough to take on the risks in order for people to be safe. I do hope the people in the park was not only mesmerized with the parade of fire trucks and the colored fountains. I do hope they would remember what was the festivity for - the launch of the Fire Prevention Month - a brief reminder to everyone that as summer is approaching, extra care must be taken to stay away from fire-related accidents.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mouth Melting Burger at The Burger Project

Maginhawa St. in UP Village, Quezon City (Philippines) is a food tripper's paradise. From pasta, to burger, to coffee, and milk tea - one only needs to explore the loooong street to find what would satisfy one's palette.

One of the places my mom tried and liked was The Burger Project. She was particularly craving for burger that time when she remembered me mentioning about The Burger Project. If Wimpy (Popeye's burger-loving friend) were a real human being, I would say that The Burger Project could be his brainchild. Aptly named, this burger joint allows their customers to create their own burgers - from the bread, to the pattie, and down to garnishments and sauces. 

As I was not with my mom when they visited the resto, my mom chose the Western Bacon Melt Burger for me (as a takeout). According to the staff, this is one of their bestselling, non-customized burger. When my mom handed me the takeout bag containing the burger, I noticed that it has some weight. It was not extremely heavy, but for a paperbag containing only a burger, it has some weight. When I opened the bag, I was delightfully surprised and almost drooled. The fully-loaded burger has a thick burger pattie, several bacon strips, mushrooms, cheese slices, tomato strips, and those huge onion rings inside the burger. It also has an accompanying bbq sauce in case the customer wants to pour in the sauce in small doses. It took some time before I was able to start eating. And it took me about an hour and a half before I could finish the entire burger. 

In my opinion, it was one of the best burgers I tasted. The burger pattie was cooked just right (medium done) - still juicy and flavorful to think it was a takeout order. The burger toppings and garnishments complimented each other and complimented the burger itself. For its taste and its size, it was worth the price (PHP 235). :)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Imma Mobile Blogger

Earlier today, I was planning to email some pictures to myself (from my phone to the PC) so that I can post them together with a blog post. Honestly, I found it frustrating as I need to email about 4 or 5 pictures. 

So I decided to check out the Apps store - just maybe Blogger has an app that would allow me to create or update a blog post directly from my phone. To my surprise (and delight), Blogger indeed has an app which would grant my wish. The next thing I checked was how much would the app cost. As a novice blogger, I am not earning anything from this blog - my sole motivation for maintaining this blog is my love for writing. As such, if the app would cost that much, I would rather stick to my old but reliable PC to update my blog. So, imagine the smile on my face upon discovering that the Blogger app is free. Yes it is F-R-E-E!! I am now trying this Blogger app. This post was actually created using the Blogger app. I am hoping that the Blogger app lives up to my expectations. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Papercut and Washified Bookmarks

This is a post-Christmas post. I was just too busy that time with work and with my craft give-aways that I was not able to blog about it. Anyway last Christmas, my former officemates/girl friends and I had sort of a reunion get-together. After several months of not seeing each other (some of us - like me - moved on to another company), we decided to get together last Christmas for a reunion. It was nothing big. We had take-out food, some good old board games (we are an avid fan of these games), as well as reminiscing moments of the times we were still in that old office.

As I love those friends very much, I really had to make something for them for the holidays - it may not be that expensive, but at least something with my personal touch on it, and a simple reminder that I remembered them. So, I prepared the personalized papercut bookmarks decorated with washi tapes.

As I'm an avid fan of papercutting and washi tapes, I took the occasion to share this passion with my friends. I sketched their names on the bookmarks to make it personalized, carved their names and the design using papercutting techniques, and decorated the top part of the bookmarks with washi tapes. To make the bookmarks appear laminated, I bought some cold laminating film from Bee Happy Crafts and carefully pressed the bookmarks in between the laminating film. The washi tapes were bought from different sources (PaperBlushPh, Bee Happy Crafts, Washi Works, and Hey Kessy). The papercutting skills, I learned them by attending a Papercutting + Washi workshop also from Hey Kessy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 10 Relationship Wreckers

I wrote the article below for the February issue of our office newsletter. I was having second thoughts attending that huddle meeting for the February issue, as I already have an inclination that the February issue will be about love and relationships - two topics that I try to stay away from as much as possible. But the good employee side of me took over, and writing has been a good therapy for me, so I still attended the huddle meeting. And true enough, love and relationship was the theme of our February issue. I was again assigned the Top 10 topic - and this time, it was Top 10 relationship wreckers. I've checked and researched on several websites, and came up with the list and article below. I just realized that these are indeed eye-openers. How I wish I knew them before I got into those 3 failed relationships (one of which I consider as somehow the One who got away). Oh well.. useless crying over spilled milk. Perhaps, I'll keep these items in mind if ever I will still be fortunate enough to fall in love again..

February ushers in the spirit of love and relationships as Cupid paints the town red on Valentine’s Day. Indeed love and relationships are splendored things albeit the fact that they are fragile as glass or thin ice. In this top 10 issue, we look into some of the reasons why that fragile glass can get shattered.

1. The Cheating Hearts
This item should indeed be on the #1 slot. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Cheating and dishonesty in the relationship breaks this basic foundation and makes the parties involved feel betrayed. And just like shattered glass, trust cannot be put back together to its original piece or appearance, as there will always be markings and reminders that it has been broken before.

2. My Way or the Highway
The second relationship breaker is when one or both parties become too controlling and or possessive. There is a difference between stating what you prefer, and imposing on your partner what you like to happen.  The latter may lead to limiting and invading the rights, needs, and will of your partner. Consequently, this can lead to feelings of anger and annoyance, and may eventually cause the oppressed partner to either get out of the relationship or to stray.

3. Outside Interference
There is a movie catchphrase that goes “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Same thing holds true for relationships. Any issue or problems encountered by the couple should be known and discussed within the relationship. It should not be broadcasted to friends and even family, without the knowledge of the other person. Instead of ranting to one’s friends and family, the problem or issue should be discussed with your partner.

4. Me, Myself and I
Being selfish in a relationship can be seen in the simplest things – like monopolizing the TV. This can be toxic to a relationship as the other person may feel deprived or unimportant or even resentful. Relationships involve two people. As such, when doing or deciding on something, one should take into consideration his/her partner.

5. The Doormat Complex
This is the opposite of number 4. In as much as you should give consideration to your partner, it is also equally important to factor in one’s own needs and desires to keep the relationship healthy. Relationship martyrs often feel unhappy and burned out. It is important to stand up for oneself, and effectively communicate one’s needs to one’s partner so that it can also be taken care of.

6. Attack and Abuse
Attack and abuse can take many forms – it can be verbal, emotional, physical, and even sexual. But regardless of what form it takes, any kind of hostile behavior against one’s partner is simply unacceptable. If not managed properly, this can cause a permanent separation between the couple. Difficult as it may seem, especially when disagreements arise, it is important to keep calm and avoid aggressive behavior during talks.

7. Scapegoating:
All of us have gone through some irritating and frustrating moments in our lives. It is ok to share and discuss those moments with our partner, but it is not okay to vent out our anger and frustration on them. Instead of using one’s partner as a scapegoat, it would be better to meet and address the real cause of one’s anger and frustration.

8. Great(er) Expectations:
Relationships usually start great but things get sour if there are expectations that are not met. There are times when we expect or demand too much from our partner, even if we knew from the start of the relationship, that these expectations cannot and will not really happen. Expectations should be managed carefully.

9. Failing to Stop, Look, and Listen:
Having a relationship can be compared to raising a plant or a pet. It cannot survive if one or both partners neglect the needs of the other person. It cannot survive without the right amount of attention, affection, and TLC (tender-loving care). Oftentimes, we neglect people because of our busy schedules. Finding quality time with our partners helps nurture the relationship and keep it strong and vibrant.

10. Familiarity breeds contempt:
When a relationship has been ongoing for a span of time, the couple may feel too comfortable with each other, that the relationship and everything that happens within it becomes a routine. The original “spark” that ignited the relationship has died down, which leads to the relationship hitting a plateau and everything becomes predictable and monotonous. Couples should find ways to rekindle that spark and make an effort to somehow incorporate small changes and surprises to their usual routine to make it more interesting and appealing to each other.

To sum it up, in any relationship (be it a romantic one or not), it is always nice to remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love and treat people the same way you want to be loved and treated. Have a love-filled month everyone! :)


Late Post: Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Here's a late post. I wrote this article for the January issue of our office newsletter. I would like to share this to you as I really find the ideas I've researched interesting and inspiring. Besides, it's almost the end of February and the start of March is almost at hand, and it's still the 1st quarter. Not too late yet to get those resolutions going. :)

As the fireworks and merry-making brought about by the New Year settled down, most of us find ourselves listing down things we wish to achieve in the coming year. Indeed, the New Year ushers in a clean slate to start fresh. Below is a list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions:

1.    Let’s Get Physical
Whether it be losing or gaining pounds, hitting the gym to lift weights, or deciding between a Yoga or Zumba class, one of the most common New Year’s resolution has to do with getting in shape and sticking to a fitness plan. A great new year’s resolution as it does not only enhance our physical looks, but also improve our health and can possibly prolong life.

2.    Break a Bad Habit
It can be as mundane as getting off the habit of nail biting or procrastinating. And it can be more serious like quit smoking and alcoholism. Going cold turkey on a bad habit may not be easy and may only result in a relapse. Instead of doing an abrupt stop, try doing small steps that slowly but surely leads to breaking the habit.

3.    Financial Wellness
Money does not grow on trees and only a lucky few win the lotto grand prize. As such, having a resolve to wisely manage one’s hard-earned moolah is good, not only during New Year. Financial wellness can involve increasing one’s savings, being debt-free, starting one’s business for extra income, and cutting down on unnecessary expenses.

4.    Sack Stress and Enjoy Life
Stress is something inevitable. But there are sure ways to lessen it. Different people have different ways to cope with stress. Activities like seeing a movie and pampering oneself in a spa are simple activities, but it allows the mind and body to relax and have some time away from the qualms of everyday living. It is important to find one’s haven to get away from stress, even temporarily.

5.    Spend quality time with Family
They have been with us in our brightest and darkest moments, have seen us in our best and worst fits, and have loved and accepted us for who we are, and yet they are the ones who we often put aside due to our busy schedules. Finding and spending quality time for our families is a very good resolution. Money comes and goes. But lost time and missed memories cannot be bought back even with gazillion amounts of money.

6.    Pay It Forward
No man is an island. At one point in our lives, we may have needed help and it was freely given to us. Helping other people is a good way of repaying that kindness that we received before. Paying it forward does not require huge acts of charity. It can be as simple as helping a senior citizen cross the street or assisting your nursery nephew/niece with his ABC’s. 

7.    Cross something off the bucket list
    Whether it is learning a new skill like swimming or cooking, or the more emotional ones like falling in love again, or even the more extreme and daring ones like getting inked, bungee jumping, and skydiving – Go. The world is your oyster. Of course, having a sense of responsibility should always go hand-in-hand with whatever we desire and decide to do. 

8.    Disconnect from the Internet and Connect More with Friends
There is nothing wrong with being tech-savvy. But there is surely something odd with a group of friends supposedly having dinner with all of them glued to the screens of their smartphones. This New Year it is nice to get in touch again – to physically talk to, laugh with, cry with, and share stories - with friends. The fancy emoticons are no match to your best friend’s sincere smile and tight hug.

9.    Give in to Wanderlust
The desire to travel has its perks. For some it serves as a respite from the daily grind of life. To others it serves as way to broaden one’s understanding of the world. Travelling does necessarily require one to board a plane and visit another country. It can be a simple trip to a nearby rural town or province where one can enjoy the scenery and learn and appreciate the local culture as well.

10.    De-Clutter and Get Organized
As the year progresses, the clutter increases. The New Year is a good time to de-clutter, sort things, and throw away those which are already outdated and no longer needed. Just like an empty glass ready to be filled, a de-cluttered space allows one to acquire stuff that are more valuable and useful that those that were already disposed.

In the end, it does not matter whether you’ve come up with a thousand resolutions or just one. What matters is how well you stick to those resolutions. Strive to make these resolutions come to life. Have a good year everyone!


The Nth Revival

For the nth time, I'm reviving this blog. If I mentioned this to my friends and family, they might say "OWS?" or "Na Naman?" (i.e. Again) or "Pang-ilang revive na ba yan?" (i.e. How many revivals have you done to your blog?".

I must admit, when work schedule creeps in, I tend to neglect my blog. My apologies. My regular work is still my bread and butter, and provides for something on the table. Nonetheless, this year, I'll try (again...) to keep this blog updated. Most especially now that I have joined my office's newsletter club. I think it would be a nice idea to share in my personal blog those articles I contribute to the office newsletter. I don't there will be violation of any proprietary information, as I'm still the author of those articles. And there will be no conflict of interest issues, as I do not earn anything from those articles. :D

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I hope this time, I'll be able to sustain this blog. Wish me luck. ;-)