2010, You Were So Effing Epic.

>> Friday, December 31, 2010

... and you are my favorite year so far.
and I'm fully aware of how cheesy my title is.

You know how it feels when you have so much of a good thing that you don't want it to end? It's sort of like when I was reading Eat, Pray, Love, and the good feelings were coming one after another, so I prolonged it until I had to face that the book was ending. It feels like that time when you have your favorite dessert laid in front of you and you devour each inch of it and yet, ordering another one seems inane.

Unlike 2009, 2010 proved to be a karmic remuneration from all the drama I had the year before. Last night, as my bestfriend and I were gabbing the night morning away, I realized that much of the things I have done and accomplished this year was due to the fact that I have remained unattached {if any of my ex boyfriends are reading this, sorry na but that's true}. I tend to adapt a completely boring persona when I am with someone, for the simple reason of rather spending time together, even if not doing anything. They tend to become enough for me and thus kill my will to distract myself with new things, my spunk for adventure and general retarded-ness in following my guts at the third second. Sad, but true.

Now, as I have just celebrated a year of singlehood, I also close the best year I've had so far. Incidentally, this is the year that my supposed, quarter life crisis started and if there's anything that's to be gleaned from drama and trials and all those sentimental nega things, is that they push us to look into the bigger picture and focus on things that will lift us from the muck that we got ourselves into. I know this too much because it happened to me.

The other day, just as I and my friends were doing our favorite thing of talking over beers and hotdogs {yun lang ang tinda dun, okay?}, we were to sum up our 2010 like this: It was the year of ____________.

Mine was of travel, of being able to see my family and of a well-rounded career.

Travel. This year have been, so far, the most times I've been on a plane in a single year. I've been on a plane approximately 30 times this year, personal and business combined. I know of so many people who fly even more frequently than I do but for me, that's a pretty high number, considering my former goal used to be only two OOC trips a year. And for that, I don't take credit, I have God to thank for, for all those opportunities and resources to make them happen.

Here are some of my favorite snaps:

My favorite overnight bag, which took me to a lot of local destinations this year.

Bangkok, Thailand | January 2010

 What kind of a facial expression is that?
Boracay | March 2010

With my love, Mac | Cebu | April 2010

Bacolod | May 2010

 Cagayan de Oro | April 2010

 Mexico | June 2010

Palawan | June 2010

 Boracay | June 2010

 Cagayan de Oro | August 2010

Davao | September 2010
{not really my favorite but apparently, I did not snap photos that much}

 The Davao Airport Lounge | Only because I enjoyed it so much in there

Family. I have no words for this except that I am truly ecstatic over seeing my mother and stepdad this year and spending two weeks with them. Ha, it's good to be a whiny, spoiled daughter again!

Families are the world's eighth world wonder.

Career. I am blessed. I have been told many, many times, by people, some of them earning 20x more than I do that I'm lucky enough to have found a job that I'm crazy about. And it's true. I have no complaints and I am still very, very crazy about it to this day. I do whine about it sometimes, I admit that. When there's a lot of things in your plate, there is no escaping the thought of just fading away and sleeping. But as I have realized as I was slaving away over websites and articles that were due and marketing plans, I love my job. I love putting things into a gold wrapper and tying it with a bow. It's the people I am obligated to work with sometimes that puts a halo effect to my overall feeling. At least, now I know.

Our former head have told me time and again, you win when you have fun. With a promotion and a number of awards this year, I guess he's right all along.

At the IABC Awards Night | November 2010

At the Digital Filipino Club Awards | November 2010

And even if it's not a career, it is my favorite hobby: Blogging. This year spelled incredible and numerous opportunities for me. However, those are truly just icing on the cake. What I love the most is the friendship that I have found in the people I have met. 

So, 2011, all I can tell you is: Beat that.
Seriously. I can't wait.

Happy New Year, y'all.

*Some images belong to respective owners, Shen and Lace.


Sometimes, I Am Samantha Jones

... because I'd like to be the one to buy my own bling.

But no, I haven't purchased this lovely ring just yet.

Sometime back in November, I was invited, together with two lovely friends and other beauty bloggers at the launch of premier jewelry line, Jewelmer. From the 'ladies who lunch' vibe at Cav (BHS), down to the no nonsense talk, to the fabulous outfits, we were one woman short of an excerpt of the hit TV movie series (and forever and ever will be my favorite-st) Sex and the City.

I'm gonna say the one thing you aren't supposed to say. I love you... but I love me more. I've been in a relationship with myself for 49 years and that's the one I need to work on. 
Looks like me on an ordinary day, minus the glasses.
I never thought I'd have as much parallelisms with Samantha Jones {cos I'm Carrie forever!} but more on that in the next few days

It wasn't so much of the sex boy talks (there weren't any), but it was more of being the one to buy yourself the bling that you want. As a bunch of career girls women, we share the same philosophy of pulling an 'independent woman' stint, working hard for our own diamonds, or pearls in this instance.

In SATC 1 {film}, while I was deeply touched how Smith outbid Samantha at Christie's for the $5,000 diamond ring, I could completely empathize why she felt cheated out of the right to fulfill her own wishes. Sure, it's fun and completely gratifying to be spoiled and adored by the love of your life with jewelry, but sometimes: We want to reinforce our beliefs in ourselves, to reward ourselves for the hard work, to persist and to prove that we can achieve things without the help of a male hand, or wallet. I know I do.Women, through centuries, have fought for independence, for their own recognition. I may just be reaping the effects of our female ancestors by having a really good job now {a cross between Samantha's PR job and Carrie's writing knack} but I would still very much like to be the one who gets the credit for the big ticket items in my life. *cue Destiny's Child Independent Woman here*

I remember joking about proposing to myself if only to justify the un-affordability of these things {hey, nothing of this class comes cheap}and declaring that I'm married to myself, instead of waiting for Prince Charming to blind me with diamonds. If he arrives in a white steed though, and with a truckload of diamonds, I wouldn't be caught complaining. But let me just say it out loud (errr, in public, I guess), that I'm not waiting for a member of the male species to come marry me so I can have this ring.

For when I have enough, I will be sporting this very ring.
{That is the Lautitia - Ostrea ring, from the Jewelmer 2010 Premier Collection
inspired by gold - lipped oysters, my loves}

I realize that envisioning myself with all these sparklies complements my lifelong dream of becoming a female superpower but more on that in the future.

And for reference, here are the other pearly, shiny things that were included in the Jewelmer 2010 Premier Collection:

 The Rosone Collection

Must print and post on my dream board.

The Lautitia - Efforo Ring is a beauty in a league on its own.

And just because I'm hungry for desserts right now, I just want to give a shoutout to Cave,
for the amazing food, most especially their Chocolate Souffle Cake with Berries
which every inch of was divine.

What's your take on blings? Tell me?

*Images of Kim Cattrall are from from IMDB. Special thanks to Jewelmer and Team Yehey for the invite.


Yvan Rodic is so Adorable

>> Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And if this is any indication of how witty / charming / quirky this man is, then it just might be more than worth it.

See you tonight, Yvan!

Yvan Rodic in Manila is brought to you by Status Magazine, Fully Booked and Adidas.


An Exercise in Savoir Faire

>> Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The last week of the year spells a lot of books closing, years to be rounded up, leaves to be turned. Being a relatively un-complicated person, the only book I'm closing is my year-long trusty BDJ 2010 planner, one that actually served me long, as opposed to its older sisters that I've only used about three or four months and conveniently forgot about them.

Some five years ago, I wouldn't even be seen toting a planner. I had nothing to plan. I doodled on the sides of my notebooks and fillers for my assignments, thesis notes and projects. I have about a thousand post its on my desk to represent every task I have to finish and I just toss them into the bin when I'm done. It was THAT easy.

Fast forward to 2010, I can barely live without some 60 spreads of my weeks, scribbled with the littlest of tasks, for fear of forgetting them. The most accomplishing of keeping a daily planner? Striking out the tasks I've done and seeing a week chock-full of chores, all of which have been done.

For three four years now, I've only trusted one planner to house all my to dos: the Belle de Jour planner. The incoming year is no different.

And as we usher in the year of 2011, I'd like to bid adieu with flourish to some of the pages of my 2010 BDJ planner, if only to remind me to keep it up next year:

On January 1st of 2010, I wrote them words above.
I've no idea what I meant when I said "To be more creative" 
but judging the way things have gone, circumstances can lead you
to be indeed, more creative. Hence, that's a check.

The 2010 Checklist according to Belle de Jour.

Some things I've been able to tick off (and proud to have!):
  • Stay away from toxic people. It wasn't easy but the positivity I was able to raise from this exercise was worth it.
  • Isolate yourself from the world for one day. Hello, social recluse.
  • Watch a play. I'm pretty sure musicals count. And with that, I think I've hit a pretty good number.
  • Get over that no-good for me ex.
  • Set aside funds for the rainy days. It can feel sad giving up some instant pick me uppers like
    shoes, clothes and new books but nothing beats that feeling of security knowing
    I have a respectable amount stashed away for emergencies.
  • Write your goals for the next year. Don't think I'd have to elaborate on this one, yeah?

 A Day Week in the Life of Tara Cabullo
Amongst my tasks this particular week was to play Plants vs. Zombies.
For work. Yes.

Now that I've paid my little homage to my outgoing planner, it's time to welcome the incoming, albeit still a little clean and smooth and smells of paper, not of the mish mash of scents of things in my bag {white musk, alcohol and books}.

The first week of 2011, whilst everyone I know is on vacay, I am left slaving off.
Which is refreshing, actually, now that I think about it. At the beginning of the week,
I tend to fill out the first few weeks and my handwriting is still discernible. Come
end of the week, YIKES.

Have you started planning out this coming year?


Remember When Life Seems Unfair

>> Monday, December 27, 2010

by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s

or aka when you're nursing something like this in the middle of the afternoon.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Things I Love: The Christmas Edition

>> Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ah, Christmas.

I can't believe that most of my Christmas season was spent napping and being a grinch. Well, not really because I still did my usual gift-giving and I still have a bunch of people whose gifts are still to arrive from me so I'm not completely mean. I did spend a good, few hours being a good girl in the kitchen, then got sleepy, so went to nap and when I woke up it was already 9 PM, thus it was dinner time and my cousins and nieces were doing jumping jacks on my bed me.

The thing is, after my birthday, I kind of sunk into this fit of quietness and always craving for solitude. No, scratch that. I have sunk into a fit of catatonia ---- caught in a mental stupor that allowed me to carry on with my usual tasks, interaction responsibilities in an almost robotic manner, I seem to have fooled even myself.

The truth is, the truth that I have been running away from the past almost 10 years has decided to catch on, bringing me to a fitful of 'hormones,' making me cry at the slightest bit of provocation. I cried when someone forwarded the lyrics of our "team" song, I cried when my mother sent me photos of her Christmas tree at her home in NH, I cried when she refused my gift, cried to all the holiday movies I have a tradition of watching every Christmas Day and many other times. What a sap, this girl. And as my boss said, this is me being homesick and family-sick. I guess, not having your immediate family for Christmas for nearly 10 years can drain your strength.

But despite all these, here I am, fending away sadness with the things that actually made me happy. Whenever a friend is sad over love, over another friend or over irrelevant things, I always tell them that being sad is a disservice to the people who make you happy. So dear me, get that.

The Team Song.  Super cheesy but when you belong to a team of people whose thoughts are as diverse as the members of the flora and fauna and manage to agree at the end of the day, Joey Albert and Pops Fernandez make all kinds of sense.


I'm pretty sure everyone got perfect gifts this year and thank God, I am not an exception. When friends would ask me what I want for Christmas, I couldn't say anything, though. There is not a material thing I'd like anymore, I believe I have everything I could want and need {except maybe new boots and a whole day of shopping spree at Forever 21 but well, whatever.} Immaterial things? Let us not get started.

And surely, every gift sent my way are things I'm eternally grateful for. It's just that, well, books are always, always first in my book. Here are some of the best, so far:

Stieg Larsson's 'The Girl' series. This was a gift from my constant date
and partner in crime (literally), Y. Love youuuuuuu and thank you
for giving me what I want.

Gregory Maguire's Mirror, Mirror, cos this girl needs to
brush up on the classics.

Because this girl has gotta stop being exclusive to prose and channel my inner poetess.
And my favorite line so far, one that did not fail to throw me out of my chair when I read it:

I want to do to to you what spring does to cherry trees.

This is the perfect way to learn Spanish.

Gift giving. Nothing like the look on your inaanak's face when he/she opens a gift from you. Priceless. But since I wasn't able to snap that, here are some snaps from the girls' party about two weeks ago:

Parties. Aside from the blast that was our company Christmas party, there were several parties I went to, too and they were superrrrrr fun, it makes me wonder why I am such a kill joy not wanting to go at first. Then I always end up being the one jumping, dancing, screaming my lungs singing and always the one who stuffed herself the most.

All in a matter of five seconds.

Winning. Because when you have fun and when you put your heart into it, you win. {GM, December 2009}After a year, that very line still sticks to my head like a bad stickum but with a different effect. So it happened. Again. For that, I am grateful to God and to you GM {regardless of the fact that there's no way you'll be reading this rubbish blog of mine.}

Just the performers alone, we already resemble a baranggay. 
Congrats, Team Sales and Marketing et. al!

With Mel Feliciano, Giselle Sanchez and Joee Guillas, aka the judges,
accepting award for Best Female Performer, and just so I can explain
why I'm so career haha.

The food. The wine. And more food. Due to my catatonic state, I forgot to whip out my camera during the family festivities and wasn't able to take photos of the fiesta that are now responsible for the additional pounds I've packed in the last two days. But let me tell you this: they. are. so. good. I bet you can totally understand what I'm talking about.

Wine, toasts and a cheers to my greatest year, so far. Two other friends and I were *surprise* doing our usual conversations and we asked each other: What are you thankful for this year? As for me, I am thankful for being able to see my parents again, for the wonderful friends {that's you Team E! and more, you know who you are} I've made this year, for the enormous opportunities that came my way {most I've blown off anyway, some I've grabbed}, for the love I have felt, given and received, for the feeling of gratitude every day and for two-way forgiveness. Life and God are really, really good.

The first of many toasts to come. Cheers to you, 2010.
You were so incredibly awesome.

Greetings. Especially those that come at the most opportune time of 12:00 AM of Christmas eve. How can I not love that fact that I am that person in that person's life? Priceless.

My mother and her weird quips. I've blown off blogging this month, not because I was too busy and tired but because I did not feel like it. For that, I'm truly sorry. And when your number 1 sends you something like this, all you can do is just get on your feet and write.

Mama: Mag blog ka naman.
Me: Bakit? Natatamad ako eh.
Mama: Wala na akong mabasa eh. Ang baba ng output mo this month ha.

The new Philippine Peso bills. Because, quite frankly, who wouldn't be happy with them? Everyone on the bills are smiling, President Cory Aquino joins Ninoy on the 500 bill and oh, the perks of having a bestfriend who works at the BSP {hehe, love you Y!}

Us and the new twenty peso bill.

Korean Ice Cream. Because this is an addition to my growing love for all things Korean. With the exception of kimchi and bibimbop, too. And because you saved me from a night of misery and crankiness. I love you forever, Korean ice cream.

Holiday movies that make you laugh, then cry. Every year, I sit in front of the TV, plug a couple of DVDs and clutch my heart because it makes me happy, then sad yet I still do it every time.

 All I Want For Christmas is You | Love Actually
The "Because to me, you are perfect" is my most favorite scene of all but I think
this encompasses why I (and probably you, too) love this movie.

I Will | The Beatles, as sung on Love Affair
This gives me the chills everytime.

Notting Hill. Ain't a holiday movie but watching this feels like the holidays all over again.

What are you loving this Christmas season?


TILS: Pride, Old Friendships and Blast from the Past

>> Monday, December 20, 2010


It was one of those days when even the slightest, smallest task of day was too much to bear. December is the craziest month in everyone's calendar and 2010's may just be the craziest of them all. The economy {at least this side of the planet} has picked up, everyone's toting long lists of gifts to buy. Everyone has a Christmas party go to to and year end celebrations are left and right. Amidst all these, I chose to stay behind, catch up on work, stay home when I have no purpose of going out. I did my Christmas shopping when everyone else was partying and I guess my only indulgence for this month was participating {albeit with a bigger role compared last year} at the team presentation for the Christmas party.

Let me tell you a little about what I think presentations and company Christmas parties. If there is anything I wouldn't trade for the more vagabond life, it will be office interactions and Christmas parties. Despite the perceived growth stunt and office politics, I find that the ones I work with are so dynamic, it's amazing. And where I come from, the Christmas parties are some kind of wonderful.

When our big boss declared that we were to reclaim our title, and that I was playing one of the leads in the presentation, I had no qualms in participating. While performing on stage is not everybody's cup of tea, I find it preposterous hiding talents / bravado / kapal ng mukha by not performing. As for me, my only thought was, "Why not?"

Our theme was this year's popular party theme {Glee} and our team's presentation was the episode Britney / Brittany. You can now guess that I of course, played Britney / Rachel, singing and dancing to Hit Me Baby, One More Time, right smack in the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri La.

Here are some snaps:

OOTN #1: Dress from Chilli {with my officemate J}

 Frozen Smile. In my costume and ready to go but having pangs of stage fright.

In full performance career mode, Hit Me Baby, One More Time.
And it {the diet, the no-drinking part, the workout} paid off!
I won the Best Female Performer award!

The Boys of Stronger. How I wish men played football
in the Philippines for real.

Together with the Stronger boys, Me Against the Music Britney/Madonna,
and I'm a Slave 4 U Britneys,
dancing to Toxic.
 {Career mode talaga ako.}

Watch this if you want to see how career I am :P

And so, WE WON, again!

So it was time to party!
 OOTN #3: I originally planned to wear something else but decided against
it last minute because this dress was easier to slip into. Tamad! 
 {That's me and teammate, TJ}

Not sure what I was doing here.

Blast from the Past. I've always wanted someone to write me a poem. I did not know that this dream came true in the early 2000s, it even got published, too.

I wonder if your kisses still hold the air that touched my lips.
I shrugged the midnight thought, I opened my eyes and let the sun shine.
Bittersweet are days without promises. Your image gushed into my head, as I picked-up the sobered flesh.
The world turns because of yesterdays and soons.
My finger taps the unforgiving of time.
Your presence runs through my veins, yet I can’t still have you.
Your beauty is painful more than ever.
I guess, we’ll keep everything from a stare.
I guess, the world will remain unfair.

Reconnect with an old friend. In 2004, I met one of the wisest people in my life. She was probably twice my age but was one of the coolest, smartest people I know. In 2006, we had a friendship fallout due to thesis class {she never finished college until then because life happened, how cool is that?} and many many times since, I've wanted to reconnect with her, find out how she is now, talk to her about the most mundane things of life and see if my hope that life be good to her did happen.

STATUS: I tried dialing her mobile # whilst typing this, however it seems like she's changed it so I have to try soon again. EDIT: The BFF knows her number so let's see what happens :)

CHECK. I have no words for the feeling of reuniting with one of the best, greatest friends I've ever had and all I have to show is my shirt that got wet from the dam of tears that exploded. I am not even kidding.

Best of all, I am done with Christmas shopping! Well, almost. But there's a few that's left on my list and I'll be done with the help of online shopping! *insert wide smile*

What are you loving today?

*Photo credits: M. Lua and J. Balbido.



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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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