Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Moved to Wordpress

Hi! Since Blogger keeps on having layout and content issues from time to time, I have decided to finally move to Wordpress. I have exported my old blog posts to my new URL:

Thank you so much!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Coffee Journey

"It's not spend-worthy."

I don't care. It's not about the coffee or the planner; it's about the experience of completing the stickers and finally getting the reward for a random self-goal.

This morning, I have finally claimed my Limited Edition Starbucks Planner 2015 at my favorite branch [so far], Starbucks - Intramuros, after collecting 18 stickers. Cool thing because I got my first sticker from Shervin (one of the baristas who know me by my name already) last 17th November and he was also the one at the counter this morning. Basically, he's a witness on how I began and reached my Collect the stickers for the Limited Edition Starbucks Planner 2015 goal. I've had less than a month to complete the required number of stickers. I guess I have spent more than Php 2,000.00 for my promo card to be completed because I had no one to help me fill it (except the man before me at the counter yesterday who just gave me the sticker that was for his beverage supposedly because he isn't collecting) and I don't just buy a drink when I go to Starbucks but I tell you, it's really worth it. Some would say that it's too much for the coffee and the planner, but no, the whole thing is more than that.

I've read this blog post (Why Pinoys Spend So Much To Get The Starbucks Planner That They’ll Never Use Anyway) from Fitz Villafuerte's blog and I couldn't agree more (except for the fact that I'm gonna use my planner because I love planners and cute notebooks and anything in between). As a support to that post and justification of this so-called luxurious tradition, here are my reasons why I joined the Starbucks planner craze:

It's not about the price tag.
It isn't all about money all the time. It isn't about the better things you can buy compared to several cups of coffee in exchange for a planner. Look, it's a Limited Edition Starbucks Planner. It isn't available whole year round unlike other planners that can be purchased from various bookstores. And you cannot just buy it. You have to work for it. You have to complete all 18 stickers to have it. From a Starbucks drinker's point of view, you have to enjoy your choice of blend in exchange for a reward - that's the planner. See the point? You enjoy and then you get your prize later on. It's not about the money you lose, it's about the fulfillment you get.

Starbucks values its customers.
Starbucks drinkers, especially those who regularly visit a branch like me, would definitely agree with me on this. The baristas don't just serve you your coffee. They serve it with a smile. Seeing those baristas happily serve you makes you feel that the money you've spent for your order is worth it. And then you get the planner as a reward later on. They make you feel good and at the same time you're up to get your prize. What's not to love?

Comparison becomes fun rather than enviable.
Admit it. When you and your friend are both collecting stickers, it's kind of like a contest. But it's not a contest where you get to be so competitive seriously. You sort of make a bond out of it. Asking your friend, "How many more stickers do you need?" becomes a way of feeling connected towards that person because you have the same interest (at least for the Starbucks planner).

Let's talk about bragging rights.
I won't be a hypocrite with this. Why would I be shameful of my Starbucks planner? It's a limited edition planner and I was able to get it during the promotional period. It's a personal goal for a Starbucks drinker (who's up for the planner like me) and being able to have it is something that I could punch on my dream board. It's not a random planner that anyone can have, but I have it. Why shouldn't I be proud?

It's a product of hard work.
Whether you're already working or still a student, it doesn't matter. You have worked hard for it. If you're a student, you have set aside some amount from your allowance to be able to fill the promo card up. If you're working, the planner is just among the rewards you let yourself have as a result of working at least 40 hours a week. You didn't get the planner in a snap (not unless you did, and if that is so, then this post isn't for you). You paid for it, so it's just right that you get to have something in return.

It makes you feel like you're a significant part of something special.
Maybe it's the tradition. Or maybe it's the fact that you're bonded with a coffee shop that has been known for its coffee worldwide for ages now. You are a part of that something, and I guess words are not enough for me to explain that sense of belongingness.


Now, let me show you what's with the planner. I chose the brown one because it's really classic and the cover really suits coffee lovers like me.

The planner is wrapped in a reusable paper case when you claim it. It's like being presented to you as a gift. It also comes with a bookmark and a two-way pen.

There are monthly thoughts to ponder and some random activities you could do.

Oh, hello there, birth month!

Aside from a spacious monthly overview, you can also scribble notes on a daily basis.

And like the previous Starbucks limited edition planners, it has promo coupons inside. The only difference is that instead of having them separately, it's already inside the planner this time, and it can be torn off when you're already gonna use it.

Cheers to my company for My 2015 Coffee Journey. Looking forward to all the positive things and life lessons 2015 has to offer. Definitely not spend-worthy. ;)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Love Like Ours

If you've finally found your bae, congratulations. I'm sincerely happy for you. But hey, here's an open reflection of my hopeless romantic self, just one of the few souls inside my body.

I am encouraging you to listen to this song while reading the next paragraphs of this post. :)
I haven't been listening to the songs of A Rocket to the Moon until late this year, and I must admit that all of their songs give me so much #feels. The melody of their tracks is perfect when you're in a night drive, or even when you're just lying down on the grass at your garden while looking at the stars. There's a story behind their lyrics that will really make you fall in love (even though you don't have a bae, haha), especially this one.

Late last year, I cursed committing. I've gone to few dates this year after my Holiday Break-up in December last year and sworn to myself that I wouldn't let anyone get into my way and destroy my focus again. Still, as of this moment, I would say that I'm still afraid of getting into a relationship because I guess I'm still not ready for a real-time pain [again].

Don't get me wrong. Not that I'm a man-hater or I don't want to commit at all - my friend, I still want to believe that there's somebody out there who will make me feel that everything's gonna be worth it. Maybe not just yet. Not now. Or maybe I haven't met that person yet. Or maybe I have already met him but the right timing is yet to come - and it's not now.

This year has been a full-time trial and error dating process for me, and having been open to going out with some guys for some months, I have realized that I'm definitely not into games anymore (so I finally decided to stop seeing people for awhile); I have discovered what I want when it comes to finding a partner. It's not just about the first impressions, because I fall for the heart, mind and soul; secondary for the body and the physical all. I know better now. I know I deserve someone who wouldn't give up on me. I know I deserve someone who would meet me halfway.

It's nice to imagine to have someone to hold as we make our dreams come true. To have picnic with at Central Park in New York. To enjoy the snow with as we stare at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. To ride the airplane with as we conquer the world. There's too much to imagine right now, and I know, in time, it's all gonna happen.

And I will do my best to make that person smile. To make him happy. To make him forget all the pain he had been through in the past. To make him feel all the love he deserves. To make him know that there's someone who believes and who will believe in him no matter what (and that's me). To make him push himself beyond his limits. To make him realize that I'm worth the wait, and that I'm worth it all, because for me, he's worth the wait, he's worth it all.

And we'll have it all. We'll be by each other's side as we both make our dreams come true. And we'll make it hand in hand as we define our own perfection. We'll sing our favorite songs in our dream car and watch our all-time favorite movies in our dream house. We'll try new food together and cook for each other. We'll have breakfast to look forward to every morning because it's gonna be our morning date every day. We'll look back as we go stargazing at night and see how we've gone through the long hard way together. We'll grow old still truly, madly and deeply in love with each other... And there'll never be a love like ours. :) *heart eyes emoji*

Somebody Out There
A Rocket to the Moon

You deserve someone who listens to you
Hears every word and knows what to do
When you’re feeling hopeless, lost and confused
There’s somebody out there who will 

You need a man who holds you for hours
Make your friends jealous
When he brings you flowers
And laughs when he says they don’t have love like ours
There somebody out there who will

There’s somebody out there who’s looking for you
Someday he’ll find you, I swear that its true
He’s gonna kiss you and you’ll feel the world standstill
There’s somebody out there who will

He’ll take you dancing and pull you in close
Spin you around and won’t let you go
Till they turn the lights off and he’ll take you home
There’s somebody out there who will

There’s somebody out there who’s looking for you
Someday he’ll find you I swear that its true
He’s gonna kiss you and you’ll feel the world standstill
There’s somebody out there who will

Tossing and turning and dreaming at night
About finding him and praying and hoping you might
‘Cause you deserve someone who knows how to treat you right

I know he’s out there 
He’s looking for you
Someday he’ll find you I swear that it’s true
And he’s gonna kiss you and you’ll feel the world standstill

You need someone who’ll miss you
Hold you and kiss you
There’s somebody out there who will

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Of Things Unnoticed

Last Saturday, even though I was out late, I woke up early to jog with the troupe. They are my friends from the neighborhood, and it feels nice to have people in the community to hangout with.

I was the one who initiated the jogging (even though we all slept late because we were together that Friday night). Upon reaching The District - Imus from Villa Bienes, it rained. We had coffee for awhile before going back to the village. Rain drops were still falling on our way, so I took the time to not be in a rush and observe. I really have this thing for little things and I couldn't let the chance slip to take a look around me.

Every day, we are too busy minding the huge things that happen in our lives. We tend to neglect the little things that give color to our world. Our eyes always stare straight ahead, not realizing that we're unconsciously taking a lot of things for granted. Like that flower I took a picture of - if you won't look down, you won't notice it. It may not be as stunning as a rose, but it has beauty. The tiny drops of water, just among the other things that go unnoticed most of the time, added to the beauty of this tiny masterpiece.

In our lives, at one point or another, we sometimes feel unnoticed... Unimportant. Unappreciated. People only see the major things we do for them, putting into oblivion the little ones. Our efforts aren't credited, and what's worse is that we're treated as if we did nothing. We want to please them because they matter, because we love them, but then we're never enough.

We fight an everyday struggle to please the people we love not because we want recognition, but because we want them to know that we're here. It's a constant battle that's actually hard to win because we can't take a hold of what they see in us. Sometimes the best we give isn't good enough.

But here's what we should keep in mind: We are more than the efforts that have never been recognized. More than the best shot that has never been acknowledged. We are more than the sum of our mistakes. Of all the things we've ever done that remain unnoticed, we're all more than that.

Here's a song I know we could all somehow relate to:

We may not be perfect, but we're always more than enough. Remember that. Always.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Kid Inside

Every time I get to see old photographs at home, I can't help but smile. The ecstasy of recalling the feelings behind those shots is just priceless. It's like I want to go back in time and watch myself as I make that loud carefree laughter. No, not that I want to turn back the time, change things and be a different person - man, even in the least reason, I won't. What I was and had been through yesterday have so much to do with who I already am now, and I don't regret a thing. I had been in the light and in the dark, and to sum everything up, my life has been a great one so far. It's just that there are some so much moments that I want to replay to feel the euphoria all over again.

My first smile? The first word I've ever said? My first few steps? The first time I ever called my parents 'Mom' and 'Dad'? (Damn, eyes, tears... No.) My parents must've smiled widely because of too much excitement. They must've asked me to do those things again. I wish I could see the happiness in their eyes during those firsts.

When I entered toddler? Joined kiddie pageants? Sang and danced on stage while looking at Mom and Dad? Had my first graduation speech during preschool? Those moments must've made my parents cutely proud. They must've clapped with the highest elation and must've made every click of the camera count because hey, films are limited back then.

And the list goes on. And on. And on.

I wish I could go back to those moments and see how wonderful (or maybe awful, haha) it was to watch me grow. I wish I could simply just see the whole scene whenever I look at those photos that just make me smile at random times now. I wish I could see my life before my very eyes.

Isn't it nice to remember? We were all kids once. We were all once free from anxieties and responsibilities of the real world. We were all once just jumping and running and laughing and playing. We were all once those little ones.

I wish I could see how I enjoyed playing in the rain. I wish I could remember how the rain only reminded me of fun outside baths with my playmates instead of random nostalgia while I'm lying on my bed. I wish I could embrace the flood once more and not mind how dirty it was, instead of remembering how many lives had been taken away because of calamities.

I wish I could see how fast (or slow) I ran when I chased my playmates, or how high I jumped. I wish I could hear how loud I cried or how hard I laughed. I wish I could see the light on my face when I was offered a chocolate bar after having tantrums. I wish I could see how amazing it was to grow up.

Life is nothing but a constant reminder that everything around us keeps on changing. Yes, we are and will always be more than the number of years we would ever live, but those numbers just prove that we're moving from one pace to another every single day. One day we'll wake up realizing that we have outgrown a lot of our clothes and that our toys no longer suit us anymore. We're no longer for the balls, but for the world.

Still, we will keep on running and jumping and chasing, but no longer because we're playing - it's because we have to. We have to because we're living the reality. We have to because we are already, er, what is it called? Grown-ups. Gone are the days when balloons are just things that we want to play with; because now, a balloon could be a symbol of what we all want to and have to let go of.

But no matter how old we are, there will always be that kid inside us. The kid inside will never die. Every day we are fighting a battle if we should act right or just act, but still, we're all nothing but an infant trapped inside this grown-up body, trying to have a tight grip of whatever we could hold on to.

I wish I could just play it all again, but life is and will never be as easy as that, so we all have to live in the moment and make every second count. I think I've already said this before, but let me just say it again: today is the youngest we'll ever be, and the oldest we've ever been, better yet make it legendary.

I would like to share this song by Miranda Lambert as I end this post. #feels

If I could just come in, I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me

All Photos from Google
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