Monthly Archives: August 2013

Here’s to the Crazy Ones

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

– Steve Jobs


My Happy Place

Everyone has a “Happy Place”.  Somewhere they can go to when the heart is stricken with sadness, loneliness, and fear.  A place full of possibilities and promises… where acceptance is never a foreign word.  A place of nurturing, of genuine care, love, respect, and great faith in you as an individual plying along the busy streets of life.

When I hear people say “I’m going to my happy place now” I always pictured them transported into a large meadow of the greenest grass… of birds flying along the horizon, flowers blown by the breeze as they dance to the rhythm of the wind, and dream lighting illuminating the scenery.  Then cue an orchestra of sweet music of course.

So… “cartoony” right?  Well, even I couldn’t visualize a more concrete place in my mind’s eye except for that very elementary and surreal picture.   Sure, I consider my home a sanctuary while growing up.  I’ve also made my workplace cubicles, rooms, and office spaces as personalized as I can to give me a sense of comfort during life’s rollercoaster ride.  It gives a momentary respite, yes, but I still end up searching for that place when the little stresses build up into something more.

During one ride home, as I was slowly rehashing another eventful day of the social kind, I was drawn to checking old chat messages from my friends when an epiphany struck me.  Like the sound of echoes reverberating in the deepest caverns of my brain saying “happy place… happy place” – my little crate of worms that I turn to when I need a good laugh, a place to vent, and just be myself.  A small corner in this technologically advanced world that a couple of my friends (some who are very far away) and I made to be able to keep in touch.  And since then, it has become my sanctum – my source of smiles and comfort  when life brings me down.

To clear up the risk of sounding crazy, let me just say that it’s not just that little niche that makes it meaningful but what it symbolizes.  The long-lasting friendships, the endless meaningful conversations, the teasing and bantering, and surprising paths to self-discovery… things that can never be measured.   It is a reminder that no matter how I may feel and regardless where life may take me, there is always, ALWAYS that one place that I can go to for comfort and clarity and set me back on my course.

My happy place.  A segue between reality and realization.

Thank you (you know who you are!) for being a part of my happy place!!!

Quick Question:  What/Where’s your happy place?

Somehere in My Youth… or Childhood

I’m still on a high from all the festivities and celebration with my closest friends over the weekend.  Definitely my most memorable and most surprising birthday ever!  I feel lucky and blessed to have the greatest set of friends anyone could ever have!!!

Nothing comes from nothing… Nothing ever could.  So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.

– Something Good, The Sound of Music

Early Celebration

It’s been more than an hour since the clock struck 12 signaling the start of a new year in my life. It’s been more than an hour since I parted ways with my girls. I initially planned a “Birthday Eve” post but somehow… what I planned to post last night wouldn’t apply anymore.

I still can’t label the exact emotion that I am feeling. Bittersweet… maybe. Happy on one end since the day brings joy as a present itself, and nostalgic on the other end knowing that I won’t be greeted in the morning as I was used to. Nevertheless, someone… somewhere… somehow… makes it right. With just a smile.

    Reasons to Smile

I rarely receive surprises (especially during my birthdays). Mom would always let herself slip in telling me about her “surprises”. My friends… well… I end up pointing out my suspicions and poof! Busted. I didn’t hear the silent hustling of feet this time nor paid too much attention to the nonverbal cues of my bffs. I wasn’t treated to the sound of a band loudly playing their natal tunes (not that I normally would) nor the charismatic greetings at home but instead, I was treated to an early surprise serenade by Baba. A much appreciated birthday gift from a friend a thousand miles away. Aside from that, a scribbled genuine and heartfelt greet gave me more reasons to smile. A reminder of how lucky I am to be me.


Now, 2 of my friends (Kimi and Toffee) working in Manila flew in for the weekend. Toffee flew in especially for my birthday. It felt good again to just spend time with them and TALK. A memorable afternoon spent for gown-fitting (for Kimi’s wedding), dinner dates and hunting for materials for Toffee’s gown. Had coffee and tea at Toptea then stayed out until 12MN at YohFroz to celebrate the eve of my birthday. Thank you for sitting in with me as I welcomed a new year in my life. I feel so lucky and blessed to have the greatest set of friends anyone could have! Thanks Rai for sacrificing sleep to stay up much later than you should have. Most of all, THANK YOU for your surprise! A wonderful and amazing treat indeed!


Right now my heart seems to palpitate heavily. This overload to the senses has left me wide awake. There’s still a void in me somewhere… questions still unanswered… But just by basking in the sunshine of the authenticity and goodness of true friends – whose presence warms my heart – I know everything will be alright.



Since it was a holiday today, I had my day planned out this morning.   Work on my assignments in some of my post-graduate subjects (three backlog assignments to be exact)… finalize my teambuilding module for the Math department… accomplish my bridesmaid duties… catch some sleep.

As I went down for breakfast, Mom and Jeany (my cousin who’s living with us) were talking at the table.  Still shaking off the lethargy in my body, I just quietly sat there eating a piece of bibingka while listening to their talk and contemplating which homework I should finish off first.  Suddenly Mom asked me if I could accompany my cousin in visiting her father along with my other cousin – Pie – who was coming over for a visit.  Seeing that my mom really wanted me to go, I couldn’t say no.  Family would take precedence over my homework especially during holidays.  (Actually… partly procrastination, and partly the call of having reasons in going out).  Jeany had to run some errands and Pie was still on her way so I had enough time though for a head start in finishing off 2 of my homework.

We had lunch by noon and were discussing how to get to my uncle.  You see, he’s currently detained at the City Jail.  Not something major though… domestic disputes that spiraled out of control and the law high on its heels.  Jeany hasn’t gone to visit her father, and it felt like my responsibility to be with her.  Thankfully Pie came along too.  I haven’t been to the city jail…EVER.  So I don’t know where it was to be exact and what their rules and regulations are.  I remembered having met someone – a co-volunteer during typhoon Pablo – whom I befriended who works there.

She gave me these information:

1. Bring valid ID. 2. DO NOT wear: YELLOW or BLACK top, Sando/sleeveless tops, shorts, and tight-fit pants. 3. Foil wraps, knife, and metal spoons and forks are not allowed inside the facility. 4. All visitors are subject for SEARCHING. 5. Visiting hours: 01:00PM – 04:00PM (Tuesday – Friday) 09:00AM – 04:00PM (Saturday and Sunday) No Visits (Monday)

Good thing that I asked.  My other cousin and I wore yellow shirts so we had to change.  We bought food for my uncle then went off to BJMP.

I admit being at a loss when we got there.  Although I expected the jailers/officers to be terse in their interaction, what transpired before we got inside was something you’d only get to see in old Pilipino movies of people who were visiting inmates.  i can accept that everything they do was just Standard Operating Procedures.  I get that.  I have no problems with that.  But it doesn’t change how I felt when they did their “SEARCHING”.  It wasn’t something I had expected really.  And they did it TWICE!!! Pie was lucky enough not to get in (according to the officer’s standards, her pants were capri and therefore not allowed passage inside).  She had to wait outside for us and look after our bags while Jeany and I went ahead.  After a couple more setbacks (and the second “SEARCHING”), we finally got to sat down with my uncle.

Now I’m not particularly close to any of my relatives (on both sides) but I guess time and age allows you to be more observant and sensitive to your environment.  The father-daughter moment unfolding in front of me was… heart-wrenching.  The type you see in movies.  Regret.  Shame.  Uncertainty.  Out of duty.  I felt like a spectator.  I wasn’t sure if they would talk to each other at all if I left them on their own.  I guess, now I know why my cousin brought me along.  To be the icebreaker.

it feels weird to talk about grown-up stuff with uncles.  Even weirder to be placed in their collection of pedestals.  He was pouring out his frustrations and disappointments… and in that moment, I saw a glimpse of my mom’s little brother still peeking through the guise of a golden-aged man.  It was a cry for sympathy, for care, for love.  A cry of regret, deprivation, and self-doubt.  But then again, that’s the unconditional positive regard influence.  I never knew my uncle very well.  Just from the stories and one particular event when I was young.  That’s another story to tell though.

We talked some more about what happened (the WHY it happened), his plans after this adversity, and what to do for the moment.  I asked my cousin to jump at every opportunity during our conversations and was lucky enough to see them reach out, albeit adroitly.  When the signal for 4:00PM sounded, we bid our goodbyes and went on our way.  Thank God they didn’t do their “SEARCHING” anymore in going out.  (Twice the experience is more than enough for trauma to set in!)

Pie was waiting by the roadside eatery.  With so much adrenaline still pumping throughout our bodies, the three of us decided to walk off the energy first until we reached the end of the block.

It was a new experience going out with my cousins as who we are right now.  Sure we hung out when we were much younger, but this was different.  Being able to talk about family without having to describe each and everyone and finding out a little bit more about yourself is just surprising… to say the least.  But that’s another story to tell.

Something I [re]learned today, sometimes things don’t go as you planned for initially.  You fall down… make mistakes… face trials… lose sight of yourself at some point… make up for lost time.  But no matter what happens along the way, it’s the process… the learning you gain along the way… and discovering more about yourself – about who you are and what you’re made of.

Gestalt Prayer

Been running into Gestalt theories lately.  Thought I’d share this:

I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
If not, it can’t be helped.

(Fritz Perls, “Gestalt Therapy Verbatim”, 1969)


Food Trip: Toptea

There’s a new tea shop in town and I was lucky enough to have passed by this evening to check it out before heading home.


Toptea has just opened its doors to all Davaoeños today (August 4, 2013) situated at F. Torres St., Davao City.  It offers a variety of drinks for tea and coffee lovers – and even juice lovers – alike.  Their drinks come in different sizes ranging from small, medium, to large.  Prices were quite affordable too.  So whether you just want to give it a try or you want to have your fill of your preferred drink, there’s a size that fits you anytime of the day.


One of the store representative (not sure what post he held) was chatty enough to give a brief background of Toptea.  According to him, what sets Toptea apart is that they use authentic brewed tea as base for their tea drinks, and fruit nectar for their fruit drinks instead of powdered mixtures.  Currently, they have two branches nationwide.  One in Quezon City, and the other is here in Davao.  Toptea is also a sister company of Bioessence (one well-known spas here in Davao).

As part of their promo, drinks were on a “Buy 1 Take 1” deal.  So aside from ordering my milk tea, I was able to choose another drink for free.  Another store representative said that I could choose another beverage not just another milk tea.  So I got a fruit juice for my cousin as well.  While waiting for my drinks to-go,  said store representative gave me a special treat: a Toptea keychain (yey!).  I’m guessing it’s for a limited time offer only.  So if you’re into milk teas, fruit juices, and trying out new places – as well as freebies and limited edition collectibles – then better head out for Toptea!


I’m no connoisseur of beverages, but here’s my two cents worth on the drinks I ordered.  For the milk tea, I could distinctly taste the brewed tea which mixed well together with the milk and the flavor I chose.  The taste was strong and yet it provided the right tinge of oomph that you’ll savor while drinking.  As for the fruit tea, the tangy taste that the representative disclosed was evident with just the initial sip of the drink.


On a personal note, I am quite happy that the staff was able to spell my name correctly (without me having to spell it out for them).  Plus points!!!  Looking forward to hanging out with my friends there next week!


So if you’re eager to try something out with your friends, head on down to TOPtea – where every tea is a different brew.  They’re open daily until 11:00PM.



Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting


Contact Details:
Door #5, F. Torres St., Davao City just in front of Fairlanes Bowling Alley.
Telephone No. 282-4503

Check their Facebook page here.

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