LOL for a quality life.

“To have the life that you’re wishing for, you should improve yourself to be deserving of it. To have an upgraded partner, you should upgrade yourself first. Please make sure that you’ll learn one important thing every day so you’ll improve step by step.”

When I had my heart entirely broken for the second time during the hardest year for me and to everybody I know and the time of financial crisis, 2009, my mom didn’t know what to tell me but the words above. Parts fell into pieces that I didn’t have any idea on how I was going to get by every minute but that particular time proved to me again that everything might fail and everyone might leave, but the family will always stay. I am not saying this just because I am a Filipino (and known to be family-oriented country) but because no matter what you call it—clan, tribe, network, family–definitely, you need one.

For the first time last week, my tough and strict dad was admitted to the hospital. He volunteered to visit the doctor so I knew that it was a bit serious and it was. As cry baby as I am, tears fell down as I read my mom’s sms about him and the fact that even my mom was admitted to the hospital. Then my sister and I rushed home and endured the 6–hour bus ride for our peace of mind. What I learned from it was the same with what I’ve learned on the hardest moments of 2009: live each moment and continue improving because you’ll only see the quality of life if you slow down and enjoy. Sounds cliché, but living each moment has been on top my goals whenever I write my daily to dos and it’s the hardest task to check as “done” daily. But this weekend, when I decided to see my parents and we laughed together, it was a moment that I can put on a big check: I have lived.

In the fast changing world that we’re living, we tend to overlook the things that we’re experiencing at the moment because we’re too busy thinking what we’re going to have without noticing that by not living at the moment, we’ll not be able to figure out precisely what we need to improve to avoid having regrets. Simple things like saying “sorry” to someone you unintentionally stepped on while rushing to the train, saying “thank you” for a free ride or a cracker when you were too hungry from a co-worker and asking “how are you?” from parents away from you. These moments may not matter to you, but might matter to them because they’re not walking as fast as you walk.

I stumbled upon this video of one of the pranks of Improv Everywhere, and I think that it would be nice to have this podium somewhere that I’ll pass by every morning for a beautiful and inspired day. J
I like Improv Everywhere so I think it would be nice to listen to the guy (Charlie Todd) who has been transforming these playful ideas to unexpected joys that reminded us to stop, play, laugh louder and try each day to improve you and some stranger’s quality of life.
Laughing more won’t hurt, it’s a worthy hobby.
(Filipinos know this for sure) 

When I grow up…

“…I want to be a doctor”– the usual answer of kids in my time, I used to say the same. Haha.

I used to think about how my 25th birthday is going to be, thinking that it’s quite like a “moment of truth” for each individual. I was born and grew up in a countryside, so growing up, I found myself daydreaming on how I want to live my life. I’ve been writing so many things to accomplish before I turn 25 and I even have this 5-year goal listed in a small index card after my college graduation that made me realize today that I’ve quite did a great job in sticking to my goals (except for being financially literate. Haha) for the past years and how some things really change. But yes, what’s important is how you live every day of your life.

When I was in preschool, I wanted to be a teacher.
When I was in Kinder, I wanted to be a doctor.
When I was in Grade 1, I wanted to be an Accountant (My mom even got mad of the student teacher that told me that I couldn’t be an accountant because I was bad in Math. Haha)

Then I started to think about short-term goals like being top in class, best orator, best in Reading and Comprehension competition or the winner in provincial quiz bee, just because with so many influences and so many options, I couldn’t figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. On my third year in high school, I figured out, I wanted to be a Broadcast Journalist, I simply wanted to be in media because of the observation that Filipinos has been influenced by media a lot (every house has a television regardless of their status in life) and I wanted to contribute to the growth of every Filipino. I’ve wanted to understand each side of the story, I’ve wanted to be part of the history and lastly, I want to influence even a single mind.

In 25 years, I lived by my mom’s advice: “every scar, pimple and wrinkles in your body, is a sign of a life well-lived” (you can imagine what my legs look like because of outdoor activities).

My first life lesson: determine what you want at the moment, trust your instinct and follow your heart. It’s a bit tough to try to convince and prove to everybody that “it will make you happy” especially with Filipino closed familywhich everyone has something to say about you and what you do, that’s why you have to trust your instinct because it’s your life and it’s definitely what defines you. Just like what the great Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” Everything happens for a reason. Five years from now, you’ll know why things happened that way because no matter how hard the rock hit you in the head, you surely learned something good from it. 

Second lesson: determine what you deserve and life will give it to you. If I hadn’t written my life goals in 5 years, I would never know where I was going and what will definitely satisfy me. In life, you need to have a benchmark, to evaluate and define your life. I will now renew my 5-year life goals and maybe make it 10 years since things are getting clearer in my view as time goes by! But one definite example is that, in 25 years, I’ve been in a few relationships, was hurt, cause hurt, didn’t get satisfaction but learned, that forced me to list down the things that I deserve and in a few months of aiming it and living with it, I got the relationship that fits… just crazily beautiful.

Third lesson: no matter what you achieve in life, you’re never greater than others because the moment that you think that you’re better and greater, that’s when you start to be envious, judgemental and greedy. This is related to what Steve Job’s said “stay hungry, stay foolish.” There’s always something to learn so always keep an open mind and heart because life never fails to give us surprises.

Hearing about the great Steve Jobs death recently and reading his speech is a devastating moment, knowing that in the era that I belong, this great man contributed a lot in every progress of my time and of my life. I am fascinated by Apple and used iPhone for a couple of years. I know Pixar and love their movies. Job’s stories happened in my time that’s why they feel so near and real. He is a great man whose contribution will always be in our hearts and inspire us to choose, now.

It’s still 4 days to go before my 25th birthday, all I know is that I promised myself that I’ll explore the Philippines and make sure to go out of the country before I turn 25, and surprisingly, I did, twice. Now, I need to make another list and I still have 4 days.

A Healing Journey.

Seeing the photos of last year’s visit at The Farm at San Benito made my Saturday so serene and hopeful. Known for its Detoxification Retreats and Wellness Programs, The Farm at San Benito, in Lipa, Batangas, Philippines is an award-winning health resort located an easy 90-minute drive south of Manila.

the serene area where they hold yoga classes

It was a wonderful Saturday when I went there. As a yoga-lover, I felt the sense of belongingness in the place. The peace seemed to be from within; I breathed carelessly feeling that no polluted air will ever enter in my system.

this is the only thing I was seeing during the spa very relaxing treatment.
Spa and massage is part of my month! I’m having it twice a month and experiencing the spa treatment at The Farm was a very overwhelming experience. Everything that they used in my body was “edible” because they believe that we should be fair to our skin, being the biggest organ of our body, and give what it deserves with the same vitamins and minerals that we give to the rest of our body!
kids will definitely learn the art of flower arrangement and decoration!

Am I just pasted? or just completely wasted?

I had their Alive! Vegetarian 5-course Lunch.
I wasn’t able to talk the whole time I was eating. I was the best Zucchini with Basil Soup ever!
Everything was so lip-smacking and thinking about how they grew every ingredient of what I was eating and what they used in my body for massage was so astonishing and admirable.

All of us should realize The Farm at San Benito’s Philosophy:

“We believe in the body’s inherent ability to heal and maintain a healthy functioning state.
We believe disease is preventable and curable, naturally. We provide the environment, guidance and support you need to realize your maximum human potential. We believe detoxification regiments are highly effective tools in restoring health. We believe good nutrition is enhanced by increasing the intake of raw or “living” food, and may or may not include cooked foods and animal protein. We believe an investment in health will be one of your wisest decisions.”

Having won 18 international spa industry awards since 2004, The Farm has served as an inspiration to the Philippine tourism industry and benchmark for local spas in the country. It was awarded with the prestigious Asia Spa Award for Best Cuisine of the Year 2010. In 2009, CNN Traveller showcased the resort as one of the world’s best green places to stay in CNN Traveller’s list of Six Best Environmentally Friendly Hotels in the world. Its experienced team of integrated medical doctors, nurturing spa therapists, body-mind-spirit activity consultants, and “living food” chefs together with holistic approach to health has made The Farm one of the leading wellness destinations in the region.

Don’t forget to visit The Farm at San Benito when you visit The Philippines and have a healing journey!

At any time, you may request assistance for transportation or any other by calling the following numbers: 02-884-8074 (as to be dialed within the Philippines) +63-2-884-8074 (as to be dialed from outside the Philippines).

   You can also ask for assistance from iMarketing Japan, Inc & Philippine Primer Magazine at 7th Flr. Maripola Bldg. 109 Perea St. Legaspi Village, Makati City, or call +63.2.836.8381/ +63.2.808.2163.

The Farm at San Benito

119 Barangay Tipakan
4217 Lipa City, Batangas
Reservations: +63 2 884 8074
Cell (6am – 10pm):+63 918 884 8078
Fax: +63 2 889 1150 

Skype: reservations.thefarm/ medical.thefarm


She’s the person who has the most influence in my life, literally, not just because she’s my mom but because she’s very good in her craft…motherhood. She’s very shy whenever someone praises her on how she managed to raise her children well (well, I guess we’re good kids kahit papano. Haha), she’ll lightly hit the person while joking that “90% of how a child thinks and behaves comes from the mother’s genes so every guy should marry a beautiful and smart woman to have beautiful and smart children.” Haha.

I hope to be a good mom too someday, just like her.

Whenever we go home, we’re thinking of how simple our lives were when we were kids and how she and dad managed to push us to go after what we were aiming for. She used to say, “Nothing’s impossible.” No one can beat her record. She has the loudest voice whenever she wakes us up in the morning and reminds us on the good and right things. She cooks and bakes foods that are so mouth-watering, had the longest patience in listening during our after-school-storytelling, and has the undying fashion sense and sweetest laugh. She’s also a good sales person, convincing me that “balut” will make my brain slow, that lack of water is the cause of my pimples (when I was a high school sophomore), that I should be nice to everybody for fate to be nice to me as well, and that “every pimple, blemish and wrinkle in my body is a sign of a life well-lived.” She’s a perpetual teacher and friend, I’ll always be grateful to have her as my mom.

To the most patient and loving woman for us, happy birthday & Happy Mother’s Day!

We love you.