The Search for Happiness

>> Sunday, March 1, 2015

I've had some friends mention to me Simon Pegg's movie Hector and the Search for Happiness, over the last few weeks. There was an initial desire to watch the film, an attempt, but it wasn't until I was wide awake at 2 AM that I kinda had no choice but watch because it was sitting right in my To Watch bucket.

It was okay.

That is not to undermine the film though: I think there was something in it that was calming: to know you're not the only one who is looking for happiness. I recall reading about Liz Gilbert's search for this, too, and so many TEDx videos about it. My favorite one would be Mathieu Ricard's and at almost 30, I do know it can be hard.

Some things I know of is that it's a choice. There will be days that I fall into the trap of nitpicking every single thing that's going not too right in my life and take it apart and analyze it. I find that when I do this, every minute from then on goes down into a downward spiral and I am trapped in a sea of not knowing what to do.

That's until I catch myself and realize that picking it all apart doesn't make them better. It seems, that life is one big act of letting go of things we cannot control. It's the capacity to enjoy the present, however much of a cliche that is. It's closing your eyes and opening them again to see things in a different light. It's moving away from yourself, your thoughts when your pulled down. It's taking a moment in moments that you feel don't work for you and gently remind yourself that what's good for you won't pass you by.

It's a lot of letting go and acceptance. And it's needing very little. Sometimes I feel like it's counter intuitive -- but I realize how happiness is never anchored on very few things in this lifetime. That is how I know one can be happiness {while also being sad, and other things, per Mr. Ricard}.

And I also know that happiness is an inside job, more than anything.


Chronicles of Benefit Puff Off Instant Eye Gel

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It was during a game of Werewolf that I had been in deep conversation about eye creams, eyebag prevention and covering eye imperfections when needed. As I near the age of 30, I kind of feel like I'm close to approaching that day that metabolism and recovery is going to be so slow, but hey, nothing worthy doesn't come without work. While I'm all for early prevention {I started eye cream at 21}, sometimes, there are unforeseen circumstances and we just need stop gap solutions for these.

Benefit's Puff Off Instant Eye Gel seeks to resolve undereye puffies caused by lack of sleep, crying at night {lol #drama}, too much salt intake, wrong position in sleeping, with the help of the iron design, which gives a satiny finish to the eye area. The consistency is a mix of cream and gel.

What I Love:
  • Product is of good size, no too big sizes given it's just used for the undereye area.
  • I waited a long time to make sure I use this on a puffy day and so here it is: works like a charm!
  • It feels more like a primer than an eyecream, which temporarily cools the eye area and fills the lines. It doesn't do anything for long term effects, which it doesn't promise anyway.
  • The packaging is a cutie pie --- as expected from a beauty innovator like Benefit Cosmetics.
  • A tube costs PHP 1,500 -- some might find this a wee bit expensive for a 10-ml tube :)

  • Benefit Puff Off is available at all Benefit stores nationwide: Trinoma, Greenbelt 5, Alabang Town Center, SM Mall of Asia.
This is how I used it.

This is how it looks on me. Lessened the puffiness, too!

Happy Wednesday!


A Little Prayer

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Because, every now and then, it's all we really need.

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ


Things I Love Sundays: The Best Part of Traveling

>> Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's coming home after days of sleeping under the stars and the sun. It's coming home after nursing a bad burn. It's coming home because even if traveling is one of the best things in this life, the ultimate sign of a well designed life is still having an amazing life at home. I'm happy to have this.

Yesterday, I spent the day going around the island in a motorcycle. It was easily one of the best days I've ever had. I'm not quite sure if I've ever seen an island as beautiful as Siargao. The trees are lined up beautifully, kind of like in Kyoto, but greener. The roads are paved well. Some moments, I spent talking to locals. Some, I really just took in the sight of rice fields, perfectly laden, endless rows of coconut trees. I arrived to the best beach in the island, which was Magpupungko and climbed a small lagoon where you have the best view of the clearest turquoise waves. I'd never seen turquoise waves so this was an aaaaaah moment for me. It wasn't so much it was a life defining moment but it was just really admiring simple things in life.

There's actually a video I wanna share with you posted by my friend but I'm on my iPad and I won't be able to embed till later. It's about the traveling douchebags of the world, talking about how travel changed them etc. it was so funny. And true :p

UPDATE. See below:

So that's me today. I'm really excited to come home, sleep on my bed and resume my life. Till my next travels :)


One of the Roads to 30

>> Saturday, February 21, 2015

This is what's facing me as I type in a few paragraphs this morning on my iPad: the waves crashing down on rocks, coconut trees swaying, a faint conversation in French, Walk the Moon playing. My omelette is on its way and my brewed coffee is steaming beside me.

There were some initial fears on traveling alone to Siargao: It was the first time I'll ever do it locally, and it's not exactly a place that's easy to get to. I had to ride a four hour boat ride from Del Carmen port in Siargao Island, and a 40 kilometer tricycle ride to my resort so I didn't have to stay overnight in Surigao. When I arrived, it was sunset, and the surfers were just winding down with a beer in hand. It kind of felt like home on so many levels.

Not so ironically, my choice of book read during this trip is one that feels almost autobiographical. Kristin Newman's What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding was a memoir on her life during the time one by one, her friends were getting married and popping out babies. When you're almost 30, it's impossible to not be face to face with this pressure. It takes a high level of emotional quotient not to marry the first guy who shows interest. I'm glad that this life granted me high EQ. However, Newman spurts something that might've been in one of my very own journals: "Whereas in the 90s, the sign of a single woman was one cat too many, nowadays, it's the constant traveling." Here, now, alone in an island in the far end of the country, I understood exactly what she meant, but not completely related to it.

Unlike Newman, I had no vacationships to boast of. My single girl travels consist of part adventure, part trying to convince myself to get out of the bed, part being introvert, part shopping. Heck, my passport stamps won't even be able to compete with hers. I did learn about a lot of things from her, such as men in war-torn countries made love the best. Probably because they might not be sure if everyone's alive by tomorrow {or something like that}. There were so many things I took away from this book, I should do a proper review soon. It's nice to note though, that happy ever afters do find even the most elusive ones.
In other news, I did tick off an item on my list, and that is to back ride on a motorcycle. It wasn't the most glamorous, Lynyrd Skynyrd type, or what I had imagined it to be, at the back of a Ducati. Still, it was thrilling and necessary. Nothing I'd like to keep repeating if I don't need to, for sure.
More than anything, it has been a great adventure so far. I've made friends along the way, talked to locals, mingled with people I never would've met if I didn't come and saw people from four years ago. I also proved I can make it alive to here alone. Not sure if I wanna keep doing it in the future but at least I know that if I truly have to, I can.
Happy weekend!



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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