My happy place 

Got lost in the woods then found my solace among the trees. I’ve been hiking a lot lately, and it has become my peaceful workout and motivation. Didn’t want to crop or edit the photo, as it captures the precise feeling of gathering my thoughts along the way.

Poignant, don’t you think?

Thanks for making a difference

It’s been a year of grief, confusion, and fear; but it’s also been a year of healing, renewal, and gratitude. It’s often said that “no matter what, there’s always something to be thankful for.” Not always easy to digest, but it’s definitely manifested for me this year.

A great big hug and THANK YOU to those who helped me regain my smiles and laughter;

to those who never judged, but always listened, consoled and even cried with me;

to those who kept in touch despite the ocean, lousy Internet and time difference in between;

to those who went out of their way to sustain my sense of home and belonging;

and especially to those that never doubt and continually give me hope, love, and strength to chase my crazy dreams.

I can’t thank you enough. and I keep thanking God for you. Have a very blessed and wonderful thanksgiving!!! 😘

I miss you, Trader Joe!

I miss your well-stocked shelves filled with delicious treats and healthy snacks.  I miss your meatless meatballs, soyaki glazes, mango salsa, wasabi chips and nuts, healthy frozen dinner options (Japanese fried rice, pad thai, mushroom truffle pizza ftw!) and yes I won’t lie – I definitely miss your “two-buck-chuck” wine.  I was never really a big fan of your cookie butter, but yes, I sure miss that too. I miss the intentionally one item trips that ended up taking an hour longer and $100 more of random purchases.

Now that I finally have the time to experimental cook and bake, it sure isn’t the same without you, Mr.Joe.  Not the same kind of soy or almond milk, not the same kind of nutty mixes, not the same rewards without your mint ice cream cookies or choco-orange slices. NOT.THE.SAME. UGH!

Oh you mecca of everything amazing, you were too good to me.

I miss you and everything about you, Trader Joe’s……even your lousy organic dishwashing soap that couldn’t even clean.


Art Therapy

It got a bit boring at the hospital last week, so I thought I’d try making and coloring a mandala – with crayons no less. Took me sometime but how’s this for art therapy?



I’m second guessing the yellow, but it does make it vibrant.

How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World

Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps

This is an old article, but still one of my favorites. I have it saved in my bookmarks and read it often as a pep talk to myself.  It’s sort of my silver lining through all the changes.

We often tell ourselves, “I’ll be happy when….” (I have a new car, new job, get married etc) or “I’ll feel better about myself when….” (I lose weight, earn more money, have a committed relationship etc). Sure the motivation is great, but what about now?  What about enjoying what life presents to you, right now? It’s easy to question how or why things happen to us, but just as the article emphasizes “because we are alive, everything is possible.”  Easier said than inculcated of course, but still….try to choose to appreciate what life presents instead of being angry or upset about what could be happening.

Difficult as our situation may be right now, these 8 mantras have helped tremendously. I’ve learned not to question, but instead to appreciate how much we have each other (physically and “in spirit”); to put aside the “play it cool ego” and wholeheartedly offer and accept help; and most of all, to practice gratitude because it makes us have enough. Try it, live it, enjoy it.

I hope this article helps you just as much as it helped me.  Consider paying it forward too 🙂

Support lung cancer research

Just read this recent HuffPost article and I can relate to all of it.  It’s all about the statistics and stigma towards lung cancer. It’s so frustrating that even though it is the leading cancer killer, there is very little support, medicine and funding for it.  The stigma and shame associated with it is so unfair.

As soon as lung cancer patients share their diagnosis, the initial reaction is the cancer is a punishment for smoking.  But in reality, most lung cancer patients were never smokers at all. Ugh!  The irony is so frustrating! Why is it that people who chain smoke multiple packs of cigarettes or drugs seldom get sick from it, but people who are very careful about their diet and health end up getting the disease?

Or even medicare, why won’t they help screen for lung cancer?!?

I can sure rant all day, but the reality is the bad cells are already there and it’s all a case of genetics. Still…..I urge you to skim through the links below and do your fair share of research and support on this disease.

Lung Cancer Story article

Lungevity Foundation

Lung Cancer Alliance





Talambuhay is a Filipino word for “depiction of life” or “autobiography”.  Story telling is a necessity in preserving one’s history, culture and life story. My only goal in life is to make sure my life story stays inspiring.  I’m not driven by large incomes or claim to fame. I simply want to tell an inspiring story.




I finally got time to sort out some of the paperwork I brought over, and found this gem from one of Mom’s old letters to me

Rise above the emotionalism and use your innate common sense and faith to clarify your goal and path to go towards it. Discern the precious from the waste. Sharpen your inner strength and discipline. Accept your specialness amongst the ordinary with serenity. Share your blessings and experiences silently. And trust that when the path seems foggy and He doesn’t seem to be there, someone will be sent to guide you

Will definitely keep these words close to heart….