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 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 Beauty and Wellness, Books, Change, Coffee lover, Goals, Inspiration, Just Random, Knowing oneself, Lagom, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, Minimalism, note to self, Reading, Things to do, Womanhood

“me time” essentials

💁The ABCs of my “me time” essentials include:

Good:

  • Ambiance 🌿🌻
  • Book 📖
  • Coffee ☕

On this particular day, I managed to squeeze in some “me time.” I actually wanted to make it a regular part of my schedule, maybe once a month, one Saturday or one Sunday when I will spend it somewhere, just reading, chilling, writing my thoughts, drafting some blog posts, having coffee in a cozy place. On some days, I can also watch a movie after I’m done with my reading and writing. I should do it, I think it will be a good investment for one’s wellness to have some me time once in awhile. 😉

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Last Sunday, I brought this book with me, I’ve read it a few weeks ago, and I wanted to browse it again and be reminded of the beauty and versatility of wearing white shirts. I consider it to be a classic and classy wardrobe staple.

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I used to not like white shirts. I thought it didn’t look good on my complexion. But it has changed in the recent years, I now love white shirts. It’s either I’ve become less conscious of how things look on me or comfort has become a priority as I mature — must be both reasons. 😉

Photo from Pinterest

This is another change in me which I lovingly embrace, wearing a basic white tee with white or denim pants is my fave outfit now, and I am certain it will be that way for a really long time, or maybe until I get old and grey. 😛

#embracingchange #simplicityisbeauty

Posted in Coffee lover, Coffee Princess, Knowing oneself, note to self, Starbucks, Womanhood

Coffee, tea or me?

While we are on the subject of change, I will be sharing with you some changes in me, very light and happy ones, so don’t worry. 🙂

I used to be an avid tea-drinker, well, I still drink tea but very seldom. I only drink it when I feel like I “need” it. Need means I need to detox, I don’t feel good and it seems that drinking tea will make me feel better because of its health benefits. I have lots of tea on my cupboard, all gifted by my generous and thoughtful friends. For some odd reasons, I became more of a coffee-drinker overtime… I guess it’s always true when they say that when you keep on doing something, in this case, drinking coffee, it will eventually become a habit, and your system just longs for it, sometimes you don’t realize that it has already become a part of you.

Here are some cups of coffee which I had in the past couple of months. Aside from the taste and aroma, I think I am drawn to its beauty. The latte art, whether simple or intricate, will always get me. My love for all things beautiful will always make me prefer coffee over tea. But don’t get me wrong, I know tea drinking and ceremony (is) another level of beauty and even history. And milk tea is a different matter altogether, I love milk tea with pearls, period. I am just saying, at this stage of my life, late 30s, I have discovered my love for caffeine and I am happy with the journey.

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On normal days, days when I am drinking coffee alone, I drink different “instant” coffee which I discovered one way or another. I am trying to find that one instant coffee that will become my “go-to” for comfort and that morning caffeine fix. So far, I’ve tried the following: Nescafe Gold (Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Cafe Au Lait), Khao Shong from Thailand (Caramel Macchiato and Cappuccino) and Kaffea, a local brand and it’s organic, I love organic and supporting local brands. I’ve enjoyed them all though I am still looking for some more or “the one”. 😉

This is a little change in me lately and I am happy to embrace it. Drinking coffee is very special to me because most of the time, it means being with family and friends, catching up, having fun, making memories, enjoying a cozy ambiance, and just being together. 

Posted in Acceptance, Change, Gratitude, Just Random, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Life's lessons, note to self, Settling, Sweet Surrender, Womanhood, Word of God

Change is good…

…it is beautiful. In God’s perfect time.

Are you the type who embraces change quite easily or are you like me or most of us who prefer comfort 99% of the time and stay in that zone as much as we can, as much as we are allowed to?

Change has lots of facets, degrees, phases, twists and turns, which make life all the more fun and exciting. If change is good and beautiful, that without a doubt is so easy to accept and embrace without so much thought and resistance. Change is sometimes internal, we change through our experiences, lessons we learn as we go along, and sometimes change is external, life imposes it upon us and we have no control about it but we only have to  face it, trust that it will be for our good, optimize all the teachings it offers, either it’s obvious or it’s something that will unfold eventually.

Sometimes, when life is well, we like it to stay that way for a really long time, though sometimes, even when life is well, you know in your heart that you want something more, something different, something you think is better, more beautiful than what you currently have and where you currently are, and sometimes I go and dwell to that place and phase. I am happy and grateful with how things are in my life, I am so grateful for my family and every single person in my life, very grateful for good health and strength, I appreciate the people I work with and the place where I work, I look forward to the coming of the baby in our family, my very first nephew, and the changes it will bring in our lives. But sometimes, I will remember to ask the Lord to bring me to “this world” which I dream of, pray and hope for… If the Lord will grant that request, it will certainly require so many changes in me and everything around me, it is both exciting and overwhelming when I think about it. And after awhile, I will get back to my senses and be reminded that God holds my life, its beginning and end, He is my Father and He definitely has the best plans for me, for all of His children. From then on, peace will again fill me, and I am well.

Sweet surrender is a good place to be – always whether you are currently in your comfort zone or you are brought to a entirely new environment.

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

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Posted in Family, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, note to self, Travel, Travel Highlights

Summer Special (Last Part)

When I travel, I usually pack my clothes on the day of departure because I didn’t want my clothes to crumple (too much). I think this is okay for short trips, but not for 2 or 3 week trip. I tried to do that for my 3-week Europe trip, and it was not good, it’s actually a bad move, I ended up bringing so much clothes which was a nightmare especially in Europe!! I lost weight (even after so much eating – too much pasta, pizza and gelato) from carrying my heavy large luggage while transferring from one city to another. We explored 6 cities in 4 countries within 3 weeks, I knew it was only by God’s grace that I was sustained with so much energy and strength, and I was definitely in good health, before, during and after the trip, thank and praise God for everything and for sending kind-hearted people who helped me carry my luggage when I needed it most! 🙂

So on the day of the trip, I packed the lightest clothes, mostly white tops, because Bangkok weather was ranging from 32-36 degrees that time. I actually dreaded the hot weather but I just tried to prepare for it, I brought a big good old fan, facial mist, wet ones, towels, sunscreen, my good old Starbucks tumbler (which I always fill up with water), and extra shirts. Below is the photo of all the things I packed for the trip. On the day of return to Manila, I only had 1 shorts, 1 skirt and 1 sleeveless top which I was not able to wear, so I was really happy for doing a good job in my packing this time. 🙂 By the way, I ended up not using the distressed jeans on the photo, I wore a lighter pair of jeans with floral stitches thrice during the whole trip! 😛

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Our 4th and last day was basically a travel/airport day, no more other agenda aside from checking out the nearby pool in our neighborhood which was less than a minute walk from our beautiful and big AirBnb, our happy home. We had hoped to atleast hang out by the pool and swim but we were so tired each night after a long day of travel so we didn’t have the time for some refreshing night swimming. Another thing that we ran out of time to do was to get some relaxing, must-needed Thai massage – definitely a must next time! 😉

So on our last morning in Bangkok, we tried to capture some more remembrance of our happy home and lovely neighborhood. 🙂

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group photo inside our lovely home on Day 1

I had managed to do an endorsement shoot in the morning for a newly discovered drink which became an instant favorite Thanks for the sister for being my photographer! 😛

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Before heading to the airport, we had our yummy breakfast at a “fancy” street food stall near our home 😛

DCIM100GOPROGOPR2570.JPGHere’s the authentic, freshest, yummiest chicken Thai soup I had for brekky, and it’s the cheapest too! 

Of course, I wouldn’t let this day pass without my milktea! I loaded up on milktea for 4 consecutive days!

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last milktea for this trip… until next time 🙂

Before going back to our happy home to get our things, we had one last stop at 7-eleven. I would have hoarded lots of drinks (especially the collagen one, soooo good!) if only I wasn’t afraid of them accidentally spilling on my things! Next time, I should have a separate, durable bag for drinks alone! I ended up bringing home only 3 pouches of the collagen drink which I finished all in one day… 😛

Now, we’re ready to go and spend a few hours at the airport before our flight to Manila. The flight of Nikky, my brother and my sister was 5 hours earlier than Tet’s and my flight. So Tet and I had some time to window-shop, chill at Starbucks and chat a lot! 🙂

By this time, you probably know that I collect Starbucks cards from the places I visit, and even from Philippines when I find the cards lovely and pretty. And my very thoughtful and generous friends give me Starbucks cards as pasalubong from their trips too. 🙂 I find that they are the lightest souvenir that I can take home from my trips and also I get to enjoy a cup or two because when you “buy” the card, the cost of the card is actually consumable. 🙂 The cards are free in some cities/countries too! Here are some recent additions to my collection, which are gifted by my sweet and supportive friends. 😉

So for this Bangkok trip, getting a Starbucks card was part of the agenda. There were lots of Starbucks in Bangkok but we didn’t manage to visit most of them due to lack of time. I checked out one Starbucks branch, I forgot where, but I didn’t like the available cards so I didn’t get any. I thought I would get another chance to check out other branches, which I did, there were 2 or 3 branches inside the airport, I was able to go to 2 of them.

Tet and I went to the first branch after we had lunch with Nikky, Carlo and Kris just before they checked in.

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Another thing I really enjoy is trying out new drinks and pastries in Starbucks. I know these are not available in the Philippines, so I ordered and loved the new cappuccino blend and the green tea and red bean mascarpone. I had to check my Merriam Webster app to check what mascarpone means. 😛

mas·car·po·ne

  (mäs′kär-pō′nĕ, -pōn′) 

n. fresh soft Italian cheese with a high butterfat content, made from light cream.

My sister requested me to buy her a set of Starbucks demitasse, her collection. Sorry, I didn’t have a photo of it, but it’s a set of 2 mini-mugs with Bangkok and Thailand inscription on each, a good souvenir too. The first branch had no Starbucks card. So while getting the demitasse for my sister, I got tempted to get a cutie mini-mug for myself. 

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I love the design and it’s very handy too. For souvenirs, I prefer something light and small. Btw, the demitasse is on the lower right corner of this photo, sorry, it’s blurred.

Maybe after more than an hour of chatting and chilling at Starbucks, Tet and I waited at the designated Terminal to check-in. After we got in, Tet and I walked a long mile to find the 2nd Starbucks only to find out that there were no cards too! 😩😭😫 So I tried to keep my cool hahaha and I was glad that I got a better remembrance from the 1st branch! 🙂 Thanks much Tet for supporting me in my crazy pursuit though all in vain! 😛 But seriously, thanks a lot for walking the long mile with me to find the Starbucks on the other end (of the world) from our boarding gate, and window-shopping with me! Really appreciate it. Kob kun kaa. 

Now that I am about to close this 4-part series of my Bangkok posts, I would really like to take this chance to thank these 4 amazing, beautiful, lovely, fun-loving, easy going, generous, thoughtful, godly bunch! If not for all of you, I wouldn’t have a very special summer trip this year. I thank and praise God for our wonderful, glorious, short but sweet summer vacation. I am truly blessed to have visited Thailand for the first time with my Christian family and friends – that’s another reason which made this trip truly special.  Where to next? 🙂

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“Every good and perfect gift is from Above…’ – James 1:17

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