10 Things in 2015 + My Annual Qs

Here we go again with the listicles :P Sometimes, I am not in favor of myself writing lists, for the reason that they're lists, so easy to make, yet doesn't fulfil real writing skills. Or that's how I think to myself.

I'm finally 30, so that kind of ends {for the mean time} the list of things I need to do. I still want to do the items on it, but as this year made me learn, it's never about getting to fulfil an item at a given time. It's not relying on my own timeline but His. 


  1. That I have had my fill of traveling alone. The first time I felt this was beginning this year when I went on a spontaneous trip to Siargao, and then once more in Barcelona and Athens. Maybe it was my age, maybe because I happened to be reading it, too. I learned that doing things with friends, family, a significant other, including exploring a new place will always be my preferred mode. But check back after a few years :P
  2. How to be loved unconditionally. Did you ever wake up one day and know in your heart that you want to take care of something and love it with all your heart? This is how I knew I was ready for a puppy. One day, I knew I was ready to devote a huge chunk of my life, taking care of something, someone. I knew it was going to affect my travels and my whole life, and wouldn't you know it, I did slow down for this little pup. But it's not even me who displayed this unconditional love. It's Butters. He's the one who's all excited and happy after I've left him at home. 
  3. How to surrender. This year was witness to that moment that I finally surrendered. I'd always thought that I had given my life to God by being diligent with going to church, by reading the Bible when I'm troubled, and other stereotypical Christian activities. I didn't realize what it's like to truly surrender when one night full of despair, I just broke down, gave up all hopes and agenda and let God lead my life. I think about that night and I think how much better my life has become after. I didn't realize it then but I don't give up easily, and had been holding on way too long, way too hard. When I surrendered, it was like an invisible force came down swooped down and took away all the hurt that I had and replaced it with a peace I've never known before. When I let God take over, the amazing things happened in my life {too private to share here though}. But it had been amazing so far. It's not the easiest thing to do in life, I admit. There are days I try to control my life again, and I end up failing myself. When I let him take over, everything is peaceful. Being a Christian does not guarantee an easier life. However, there's always comfort in knowing there's a bigger reason as to why a certain thing is happening and that you can trust that in the end, everything will work itself out.
  4. How to start again and get up. 2015 saw yet another switch for me, jobs-wise. I am always grateful for my stint in FMCG, it awakened my thirst for a faster paced in life, for more knowledge, but I needed to move on and it has been so far one of the highlights of my year. Moving to the telco industry made me feel like I belonged somewhere, and rightfully so. Today, it gives me a reason to get up in the morning, to give rhyme and reason to the skills I have, and an environment where I get new friends, build new skills and learn. 
  5. How to forgive. Related to #3, after a hurtful time comes a moment to ask and give forgiveness even when it isn't asked of, even when it's not deserved.
  6. How to give chance. Some things in life happened to be repeat of other circumstances, and me being me, decided that I should just walk away. 2015 was a year that saw this -- and in an effort to minimize regret, I repeatedly said no, only to be convinced that indeed, second chances are worth it, if only to see what's going to happen.
  7. How to be in a relationship.
  8. How to stand up against bullying. 
  9. How to be less passive aggressive. :P
  10. How to assert myself, say sorry less {not say it when I am not at fault}.
  11. How to respect other people's opinions without hating them. I have always been like this, and I've prided myself for being so. This year though sealed that deal and I saw myself rather thriving even when I meet people whose opinions and worldview differ from mine.
  12. How to stay calm in the face of real danger. I was about to be mugged in Rome around 4 AM and while I really wanted to run, I had a staredown with the mugger until he went away. I was praying intensely, too!
  13. How to be patient with myself. This is a work in progress, and many times I still deal with anxiety over issues I haven't accepted. BUT I have started and that's something!
  14. How to have faith. And to truly trust in what life has to offer.

And as for my yearly questionnaire:

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder? Happiest than I've ever been. 
Richer or poorer? I've been richest than I've ever been.

What do you wish you'd done more of? I worked out more. I feel so fat this year.
What do you wish you'd done less of? I wish I worried less.
How will you be spending Christmas? Spent it with my family in Raymond, NH after more than a decade of spending Christmas apart.
Did you fall in love in 2015? Take a guess :)
What was your favorite TV program? Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, Narcos and One Punch Man are a few favorites.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No.
What was the best book you read? Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid for Fiction, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman for Non Fiction.
What was your greatest musical discovery? Bombay Bicycle Club, Psychotic Girl
What did you want and got? Everything I have hoped for :) Including these.
What was your favorite film of this year? Little Prince
What did you do on your birthday? Hehe :D *wink* Spent it eating lobsters, scallops, drinking great wine, looking at the past and maybe promising to never look back, thinking of the future, feeling like maybe I should be more mature since I am 30 after all. 
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Classic with bursts of color -- as it has always been.
What kept you sane? The book of Corinthians, a small prayer every now and then and the thought that everything will come to pass.
Which celebrity figure you fancy the most? Still, Tom Hiddleston.
Who was the best new person you met? Someone I met a year before, who has read the whole encyclopedia.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015?  See 1-10.

I read this best advice somewhere and I take comfort in knowing it doesn't take much to lead a happy life: “All you need to be to happy is someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to.”

Happy 2016!

Things I Love Holidays Edition, 2015

Merry Christmas from the other side of the world!

It's finally Christmas here in the East Coast -- and the only reason I feel impatient is because everybody in the Philippines have long celebrated it before I did, so that's a first. I'm with MY family for 2015 Christmas! My wishes for this year came true! :)

Nothing beats Christmas in the Philippines, this much I know :D But I am very happy, thank you Jesus for sharing your birthday with us. Thank you :)

Things I Love Sundays: Galactic Dreams

I FINALLY saw Star Wars, and being a total noob, I loved it. I'd say I'm just a normal fan, nothing like die hard fans, but suffice to say, I'm watching the first two sagas on my flight to NH in less than two days. I'm going to miss Butters most of all but I'm pretty excited to be spending Christmas with my family this season. <3 <3 <3

Tis the season for Christmas parties! Hosted my annual gig (?!) for my Sun Life family as everyone stood still in carmageddon in Manila last Wednesday, fun fun fun. This week saw our Marketing Team at Globe's Hat Party, too :D In the photo above, I'm sitting with my fellow Real Housewives of Globe friends :P BDJBOX arrived for December! As for the weekend, other than spending it soaked in Star Wars, I also spent it with my very best friends {Dang is home!} catching up on life events, things that matter at the end of the day and just being with the people you've grown up with.

All is well in the world :) Happy Christmas week!

Things I Love Sundays: Stars, Love, Style, Life

I'm borrowing Garance Doré's book title for today's blog post. After all, I've spent a good part of the week reading it when I can. I've loved Garance's blog even back in the time it didn't have the perfect layout it has now. I'm an unabashed Paris lover, and I love the way Parisiennes express themselves, moreso Garance, who also lives in New York and Corsica, an island in the south of France.

It was a particularly enjoyable week -- thanks to Taguig Day being a holiday :D I spent the day curled in bed with Butters, shopping for gifts {and then some, ha ha}, a really yummy dinner with my man friend at a new restaurant in Ortigas called Sobremesa. Despite the traffic everywhere, I'm a happy girl. Doesn't really take a lot to make me smile ear to ear :P

1) My book du jour: Love Style Life by Garance Dore, a printout of my favorite photo of Butters, my new body oil from Nuxe, a gift from darling Phoebean Instax printer from Fujifilm <3 <3 <3 and of course BUTTERS, as well as a gift from The Body Shop, cologne in Atlas Rose.

2 and 3. Star Wars Quiz Night and Star Wars' mapping on the Globe Tower. What a cool thing to be working with Globe right now.

4. Finally, after a little more than a year, I opened my special bottle of champagne, that I got from Champagne, France. I intended to open this bottle, as suggested by a good friend, on my 30th, but another champagne bottle came in so that got popped. Last Friday night, I opened this rosé champagne, not just for myself too, realizing that maybe it didn't need to be a night of celebrating a birthday, but rather of night of just having somewhere, someone to come home to, that feeling of finally not dreading the holidays, belonging somewhere, being unconditionally loved by a pup, feeling fulfilled in a job. The details of daily life are endless, and I realized, worth opening nice champagne for.

Happy week ahead, darling readers :)

Tara's Christmas Wish List 2015

As I type this, my legs hurt from doing ashtanga yoga after maybe 3 months of not doing any yoga at all. Last night, as I launched into a standing bow, I thought that some parts of my body hurt, parts that I never realized were even there. I thought to myself, "Wow, I can definitely feel being 30!"

Anyway, I wanted to entertain and reward myself right now because I just finished signing a whole bunch of documents. It's Christmas! These are the material things I would want anyone to give me har har.

1. You are Loved boxed set, Shop Olivine, $26. Because I am very particular about my permed hair nowadays, because they look awesome against my dresser, and that is all. :)

2. Kate Spade Stationery. I was in National Book Store, shopping for books to give this Christmas when I chanced upon Kate Spade stationery. So dreamy and classy at the same time!

3. (Rose) Pandora Bracelet. I've been meaning to get one for myself but haven't gotten to do so. I think it'd be nice to start building a story through a Pandora bracelet, that's not too expensive, too :)

Honestly, I already have everything I need and more so these are really just an added bunch of happiness, but happiness nonetheless :P 

What are you wishing for (materialistically, ha ha) this Christmas?