Posted in Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Travel, Travel Highlights

My Georgia Travelogue :) (Part 3)

Since early this year, I was thinking of travelling solo, atleast once in my life. I will be turning 40 this year, so I wanted to do it and push myself out of my comfort zone by travelling without a family member or a friend with me. I couldn’t decide which would be the perfect city for this pursuit, a few cities on my list were:

(i) Seoul (I travelled to Seoul once, in 2011, has become an instant favorite since then, so I know I need to go back, as soon as possible), (ii) Tokyo (I have been to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara – so my next target city is Tokyo), (iii) Singapore (I had a 2 day trip to Singapore in 2010, since it was so short of a visit, I wanted to go back to explore more and create better memories), (iv) Taipei (I haven’t been to Taipei but I was told that it would be ideal for a solo trip and “milk tea hopping” :)), (v) Hong Kong (I haven’t been to Hong Kong, so I also wanted to check it out atleast once in my lifetime).

As you can see, my list only included nearby Asian countries from the Philippines because of budget reasons. I have also considered travelling within the country, either to visit El Nido or Siargao for the first time, or to go back to Boracay. I have travelled to Europe for 2 consecutive years so I have to start saving up again and keep myself from going back to Europe so soon! 😛 But if budget is not an issue, my ideal destination for this solo trip or any other trip is Europe, always Europe. 🙂

My plan is to travel solo either before I turn 40 or shortly after my birthday. Little did I know that God has other plans, much better than my plan, as always, as usual. 🙂

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

In late April, my boss asked me to join him to his business trip to Tbilisi, Georgia. You may check out the amazing back story from this post. 🙂

So it happened, my first ever business trip, God’s answer to my prayer, was in Georgia – Georgia is a small country in the Southern Caucasus, in between the two of my favorite continents, Europe and Asia — “Eurasia.” Such a sweet, unimaginable treat from Above! How amazing is that? 😉 Just how awesome and great our God is!! 🙂

a simple souvenir which was taken on our way to the historical monuments of Mtskheta, an hour trip outside Tbilisi

He has answered my prayer to experience going on mission atleast once in my ADB lifetime, He also answered my prayer to experience travelling solo. Oh well, not exactly solo, because I travelled with my boss, but since he is not a family member or a close friend, (but definitely a very dear boss not only to me but to many of us, a wonderful family man, a beautiful person), I considered this as my first ever solo travel experience, which makes it very special. I experienced flying on business class for the very first time, I stayed for almost a week in a very beautiful hotel, I loved my room soooo much, the view was perfect, the food was so delish, the service was great, all the meetings and arrangements went well, so it was a perfect experience for me. All praises and thanksgiving to our great God!!

Being on a solo trip, I barely had photos of me, so what I had were mostly random “mirror selfies” and “shoefies” or what I call as “I was here” photos. 🙂

But let me share with you some photos of my room first.

Here are my “mirror selfies” just to document my OOTDs 😛

While the Welcome Cocktails was ongoing on 29 May, I was able to explore a nearby “boutique”. It is basically walking distance from the cocktails venue.

This “unique” boutique or concept store is called “Chaos.” It has a cafe/bar inside but no one was there, if someone was manning it, I would have probably bought a cup of coffee there and had my own little fika. 🙂 Next to the cafe/bar, there was a retail shop, there were some interesting pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories.

One of my fave things to do while travelling is checking out quaint, beautiful, interesting cafes and shops. So it was such a sweet treat to find something unexpected just a few steps from where we’re having the welcome cocktails. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this mini-travelogue of my first ever business trip/solo travel experience. Definitely, one for the books! 😀 I’ll have one more travelogue post to wrap up and that will be it. Please stay tuned! 😉

There’s always a first time – and almost always – it will occupy a very special place in our hearts 🥰

Posted in Coffee lover, Coffee Princess, Good gifts, Gratitude, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Travel, Travel Highlights

My Georgia travelogue :) (Part 2)

Asian Development Bank in Tbilisi, Georgia is occupying 2 floors in this building

In the morning of 29 May, my boss and I, together with our co-hosting partners from EBRD went to our office in Tbilisi which we call “Georgia Resident Mission” (GRM) to meet and finalize the remaining arrangements. Our GRM colleagues have helped us tremendously in dealing with the hotel where the meetings would be held, with the restaurants, with the transportation company, with the metro train company where we would have site visit, with the venues where we would have a field trip on the last day, and a whole lot more! We’re truly grateful to all our colleagues who had kindly and generously extended support to our event.

After the meeting which lasted for almost 2 hours, we had an opportunity to tour around the offices, but everyone was busy, so we didn’t get a chance to take photos with them. After the tour, my boss and I returned to the hotel. The welcome cocktails would start at 6pm. We didn’t have lunch yet, after I did some work and ensure that everything was in place for the first event, I decided to have lunch, this was almost 3pm already. My very dear friend Eia who had went to Tbilisi a couple of times for work had suggested for me to have coffee or a meal at Paul’s Cafe which is beside the GRM office. I had meals at Paul’s Cafe in Manila a couple of times and also in Paris, but I also wanted to try it in Tbilisi so I took a cab for the for the first time from the hotel and went to Paul’s Cafe.

After my yummy meal and some quiet time, I figured I still have time before the Welcome Cocktails at 6pm so I headed back to Rooms Hotel on foot, which took me around 20 to 25 minutes, it’s a good exercise and a way to experience the city. The weather was cool so walking outside between 4 to 5pm was easy breezy.

Now let me show you some photos at Rooms Hotel where I and 16 general counsels (GCs) out of 19 had stayed for almost a week, where we had buffet breakfast everyday and where the welcome cocktails, GCs lunches and meetings where held.

The chairs/co-hosts are Marie-Anne from EBRD (in dark blue suit) and Chris from ADB (in white long sleeves), my boss, are the ones seated next to each other at the end of the long table 🙂
Working while the meetings were ongoing. This stolen shot was taken by Ana, a GRM colleague. The pretty lady on the other side of the table was Nino, a Georgian lawyer from EBRD who had also kindly and generously helped us in the event.

That’s all for today, friends. For the next post, I will share photos of the Concept Store which is walking distance from the courtyard, and I will also share photos of my room, so far, it’s my favorite room ever. 🙂

Posted in Books, Coffee lover, Coffee Princess, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Travel Highlights

My Georgia travelogue :) (Part 1)

Dear friends, obviously I can’t get enough of my Georgia experience. 🙂 I am sharing here some photos which I took while walking around the city from Rooms Hotel, where I stayed for almost a week.

Stamba Hotel is walking distance from Rooms Hotel. I have come to love Stamba Hotel because of the lovely cafe and bookstore inside. Stamba Hotel is used to be a publishing house that’s why you’ll find a great collection of books inside. 🙂

That’s all for now, I’ll share more photos in the coming days. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend, friends. 😉

Posted in Good gifts, Gratitude, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Travel Highlights

My Title: A child of God

Annual Institutional Financial Institutions General Counsels’ Roundtable in Georgia

I am forever grateful to have met and supported these highly accomplished but surprisingly very down-to-earth heads of legal departments across the globe.

At the Jvari Monastery

Before going on mission, I was kind of worried that I might feel inferior being surrounded by lawyers. 

I was the only one without a title there, but God is great and faithful, He showed me so much favour from these wonderful individuals. I was so blessed to have opportunities to speak with them and my worry proved to be baseless.

God reminded me that I don’t need a title. I am a child of God and that’s the only thing that truly matters.

Thank you to our Georgia Resident Mission (GRM) colleagues for the ADB Today blurb to be published on Monday, 17 June.

ADB co-hosted the Annual Roundtable of General Counsels (GCs) from International Financial Institutions (IFIs) including GCs from 19 leading IFIs, including EBRD, World Bank, IMF, IFC, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, EIB, AIIB, IFAD, and the European Central Bank. The event was conducted over a 3-day period in Tbilisi.

The GCs were also briefed on ADB’s development work and operations in Georgia, and visited an ADB-financed metro station in Tbilisi accompanied by Georgian government representatives and GRM staff.

Posted in Coffee lover, Coffee Princess, Gifts, Gratitude, Health, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Love, Travel, Word of God

In the Pink

The earliest citations of ‘in the pink’ are from the 16th century and, at that time, the meaning was ‘the very pinnacle of something’, but not necessarily limited to health. 

I actually feel that I am on my way to the peak of my life.
Life gets better and better every single year.
I thank and praise God for all His marvelous deeds in my life!
I am excitedly and expectantly waiting for more of God’s best to come my way. 🙂

One of my fave me-time/pastime(s) is chilling and drinking coffee in a beautiful café (with a good book is best).

Around this time last Sunday, I enjoyed a new cup of latte for the first time. 

When I was browsing through the coffee selection, “pink latte” caught my attention. Before I ordered it, I asked the waiter why it’s called pink latte, as soon as I heard beetroot and almond milk, I knew it was something worth trying. And I was right. 🙂

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11
Posted in Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Travel, Travel Highlights

{Another} one for the books

I had the most wonderful time last week in a place I have never imagined to see and experience in my lifetime, to say the least.

This photo was taken the morning after our Tbilisi event has concluded. I’m so grateful that everything went well, every single experience was new to me, and there’s so much joy in meeting and spending time with a bunch of brilliant, beautiful and kindhearted individuals while discovering an equally wonderful new place where every meal is a feast, and enjoying a couple of privileges for the first time.

Rooms Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia

My work is one of God’s best blessings in my life and in my family. From it, wonderful and unimaginable blessings flow, both tangible and intangible. In the recent years, I prayed to God to let me experience to go on mission (business trip) atleast once in my ADB lifetime. Though I know it’s kind of impossible for my current position, but still I love asking God for impossible things because I know He’s a waymaker and nothing is impossible with and for Him.

Based on my friends’/colleagues’ experiences, going on mission is not something that you would wish to do every so often because it requires too much work before, during and after. But still I prayed to experience it atleast once. And it happened, I was in awe, and my ❣ is overflowing with so much gratitude for how the Lord orchestrated everything behind the scenes. You are an amazing God.

I had no expectations whatsoever, I know it’s work, so I just prayed for 2 things: everyone’s safety (all 19 general counsels, plus Nino (the very lovely, kind, helpful, young Georgian lawyer in photo below) and I were coming from different continents) and for the success of the event. But as always, God has surprised us with sooo much more (beauty, favor, kindness, joy, laughter, productivity, food, wine, etc).

To actually witness and experience what we’ve been preparing for since last year is one of the sweetest rewards, ever. Thank you and praise you, Jesus! 

🙌

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15


Posted in Ballerines, Essentialism, Intentional living, Love local, Minimalism, Sustainable living

On switching and loving local

I’ve always been a ballerines (French word for ballet flats) kind of gal.

I just love its classic look and comfy style. 

Repetto Ballerines

Since I started working in my early twenties, that’s almost 2 decades by now, I’ve probably bought and worn (almost) a hundred pairs of ballerines. No, I am not kidding, you’ve read it right. Because I love it a lot, I just buy a pair or two, sometimes three each time, just of different colours. #beforeminimalism

Au revoir, Marcha…

I think it was in 2015 or 2016 that I discovered Marcha Ballerina, it wasn’t a local brand, but it has become my go-to when it’s time to shop for shoes. In April 2018, I learned that it’s going to close their physical stores in the Philippines, they had closed their small shops in nearby malls in late 2018. So my last purchase of ballerines was in mid-2018. Though they are still selling online in broken sizes.

Almost 9 months into essentialism journey, one of my guiding light in this journey is choosing and loving local brands whenever possible — it limits my options, thus making my life simple and uncomplicated, at the same time, helping out small, local entrepreneurs — basically my idea of intentional living at its finest.

I’ve always wanted to try Posh Pocket Shoes, it was always on my radar, but since Marcha Ballerina has become my go-to brand, I didn’t get to try Posh, though I bought a half-moon crossbody bag from their bag line, PoshEveryday.

One Friday afternoon last month, February, I finally had time to visit their one and only store in Makati, I didn’t buy thru their online store because I’m not sure what size to get, I’m usually 6.5 or 7, depending on the shoe style. 

After getting lost, I finally found their store which was located at the lower ground of a building so you won’t see it while inside the car, so I passed by it twice. 

I wanted to try their Pointy Basic and Erin (one of their ballerines’ styles) but they are not available in my size! Now I know I’m size 7” with this brand. So after trying a couple of other shoe styles, I ended buying Prima shoes (the one on my right foot), another ballerines’ style, in blush. I bought only one pair this time because I wanted to try its fit and comfort on my feet first. So far, so good, I’m glad I bought this style and color.

Around 2 weeks after my visit, little did I know that the store will be renovated, the website is ongoing enhancements, too. I’m thrilled I managed to see the “old” store and really excited to go back and check out its new look. 

Hopefully by then, Pointy Basic in greige (gray and beige) will be available in my size.