my own

I used to think love was burning desire, fueled by another

I used to think love needed to be pedestals with compromise

and pain and enmity, followed by intense reconcile

I used to think love was other


Maybe it still is, but now

Now love is more


Love is music

Love is art

Love is adventure

Love is freedom

Love is gratitude

Love is healing

Love is home

Love is You

Love is …..

my own

Love Song for Easter

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a consistency of struggles and changes during the first quarter of the year, more particularly over lent.  I’m not sure if it’s oppression or not, but I often tend to get spiritually, financially, purposefully challenged the beginning of each year. As Easter approaches, I reach an internal spring cleaning of sorts.  My spirit feels renewed (as much as I let it) and I reminded of the hope and glory God’s love offers.

So in the spirit of change and faith, I thought of posting an old favorite song of renewal:

He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
As close a heartbeat or a song on her lips
Someday she’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
Someday He’ll call her and she will come running
and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and she’ll pray,  “I want to fall in love with You”

And of course, my favorite Jesuit quote that has motivated me through many changes:


Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything. – Father Pedro Arrupe SJ

Both are fervent reminders to fall in love, stay in love, and let God. Much needed after all this internal questioning and settling I’ve been going through. Thank you, Love 🙂

Because you are alive, everything is possible!

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We often tell ourselves, “I’ll be happy when….” or “I’ll feel better about myself when….”. Sure the motivation is great, but what about now? What about enjoying what life presents to you, right now? Whatever you give out in thought, word, feeling, and action is returned to you. Whether the return is negative, or positive, failure or success, is all up to what you give out.  The trick is: keeping the right perspective. It’s easy to question our worth, how or why things happen to us, but don’t take your thoughts, time or life for granted: “because we are alive, everything is possible.”  

cheers to newness


I wrote this post back in January 2011, but look back on it every year as a refresher


Here comes another year, another season of hope and expectations, and another threshold of change. It’s kind of a ritual isn’t it? At the end of every year, we reminisce on the good, tuck away the bad and hope against hope that next year will be better.

Next year we’ll be thinner, healthier, richer, able to travel more, able to find (or keep) the love of our lives, able to progress in our careers, more accomplished…yes, that’s the hope the new year always brings. Some sort of assessment of who we’ve become and a fresh start to once again, become who we’d rather be.  Goals, resolutions, deadlines…whatever it takes to bring out the new and improved version of ourselves.

It’s definitely a great feeling: part euphoric because of it’s hopeful newness, part nerve wracking because of the uncertainty, but an all encompassing reminder that life is giving us another chance. That even though we’ve aged, struggled and may have missed out on a few opportunities; time and life are giving us another chance to try again. Not to simply start over and repeat the process, but to do things differently, with a more fervent passion and perhaps a little more direction on becoming who we’re meant to be.

So goes 2 rather pertinent questions: What will you do differently in 2016? Who do you want to be at the end of it?

Where is home?

It’s interesting how what seems like an easy question, can reveal so much about someone. Asking where home is can also mean: Where are you from?  Where were you born, raised and educated? Where do you pay your taxes? What place goes deepest inside you?  It’s something I take to heart in getting to know others.  Or rather, know myself in the world.

I remember asking this on a first date, his answer was so unscripted that it led up to 4 (or more) hours of an interesting conversation. By definition of place, he was born in the UK, raised in Boston, lived in many countries in between, and was in San Francisco for work. By affiliation, however, neither place felt like home to him.  Most people just assume home meant their address, but he naturally opened up how home was purely contextual for him. We shared how “home” brought up feelings of (mis)identity, our paths of finding our “niche” among social circles, our family life, the places we’ve seen and lived, and our communities in general.   Years later, I still remember that conversation as if it were yesterday.

As it is now, home is more of a feeling rather than a place.

I’m back at the place I was born and grew up in, but it doesn’t feel the same.  It used to be a small town with a mountainous playground, a cheerful people and places to explore, now it’s an even smaller polluted town filled with traffic and grumpy people.  (LOL…I realize I sound like an old grump saying “back in my day….” but you get what I mean about change)   I’m very grateful for childhood friends and family of course, thanks to them, home is as comforting as can be.

Of course I miss my American home.  I miss Seattle, San Francisco and the communities I’ve set up for myself that make it home.  I miss the freedom and diversity of life there.  I miss the sense of ownership I worked hard for.  I miss the rewards of the work hard play hard lifestyle.  Home meant making the most of routine.  Home meant overcoming those challenges.  Home meant fun.

But I also miss the feeling of home “out there”.   Foreign as it is, there’s a sense of belonging travelling to a different place instills.  That feeling of knowing who you are, where you are meant to be, or simply making the most of not knowing when you could go back to that same time and place. It can be so naturally ours. Being out there can even be the best home there is.

So then….where is home? I found this TED talk by Pico Iyer and got my answer.

“Take pieces of many places and piece them together into a stained glass whole. Home is a work in progress of constantly adding improvements.  For more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil than, you could say, with a piece of soul. Home would have to be whatever you carried inside you” – Pico Iyer

TED talk on Where is Home (click for video)

Thanks to his short talk, I’ve been reminded that home isn’t just the place where you’re born, or where you are.  It’s not just where you sleep, it’s the place where we stand. It’s the place where we become ourselves.  ‘We find this place by stepping out of our devices, making the most of our present and constantly creating a home to keep going back to.

Home is simply the pieces and places that create where we belong.

Almost a Local

Although, I still deny it I’m pretty much a local again.  Can you believe it? I’ve been here 9 months already. Gggguuuullllpppp!!!

It’s also been 2 months since my last blog post, so I have a lot of updating to do.

I took over the management of a small beach resort.  The project entails everything from repairs and remodeling, hiring staff, setting up an operations and finance system, marketing and advertising,  concierge and guest services etc.  The works! It’s been a good exposure to the ways of the land. Here are a couple photos of the pool and sunset beach:


I’ve also been helping out with my cousin’s wedding styling business. I like that it’s a balance of creativity, art, project management and business.  We’ve decorated weddings with fun themes like travel, rustic, victorian, ethereal, literary etc.  Here are a couple of our designs (will add more later)

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Hmmm…what else? Baguio doesn’t feel like my niche yet, but it’s home for now.  While it’s been great reconnecting with family and childhood friends, the small town mentality can also been stifling at times. I sure miss the independence and variety of people and things to do in the States.

Lastly, I got a REALLY bad eye infection from my contacts.  It’s called corneal ulcer.  It was so bad I could barely open my eye, couldn’t see and a month later, still have blurry vision. It’s been a good wake up call to slow down and make the most of basics. So in case you’re wondering why the lack of communication (blog or otherwise), it’s because I’ve only been able to see half the world lately. Thankfully, it’s gotten better (or I wouldn’t be writing this) but UGH!!! I sure am itching for when I can explore and travel again!

Actually I highly doubt anyone is still keeping up with this blog, but much love folks!

New Year Dedications

So I just got a new journal as a Christmas present.  This one’s colorful, compact and potentially easy to use. It immediately served it’s purpose as I find myself sitting in a cafe late at night.  I’ve obviously had a lot happen recently, which also means I’ve also avoided facing my feelings. It’s been 2 weeks since Mom left and it’s only now I finally gathered the courage to write out everything on my mind.

I’ve constantly been replaying images and memories of Mom.  I definitely miss her presence and loving nature.  I’m very grateful for everything about her and constantly wish we had more time together. However, I take to heart some advice Mom had often told me.  It goes…“Rise above the emotionalism and trust that when the road seems foggy someone will be sent to guide you”.  Talk about practical faith.

As the new year beckons, I dedicate my 2015 to celebrate Mom’s profound zest for life.  She was a risk taker, an adventurer, a tireless empath, and a powerful woman of wisdom. I, too, choose to continue a life of unconventional successes; to take risks to follow my heart, and to always trust I will always be guided.

In your memory, Mama, here’s my heart and soul. Thank you for being my Angel.10846212_10204346705325460_7043391556949502071_nadventure awaits

The big questions….

I’ve been asking myself these questions over and over, not out of regret but more of redefinition.  Also had a good talk with a former colleague about these, so I thought I’d post it as well.  Trying not to overwhelm myself with an answer, but since I’m on this career break of sorts here goes:

1.  If you didn’t have to work, how would you spend your time?

2.  If you could reboot life, what would you do differently?

3.  If you were to be known or famous for one thing (a legacy), what would you like it to be?

They’re really broad and can be answered in various ways, but worth definitely a thought.  I’ll get back to you on this as I dwell on it some more.