Posted in Just Random, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, note to self

More on knowing oneself

Recently, I’ve been watching youtube videos, especially while I’m doing treadmill. I’ve watched this video a couple of weeks ago and thought of answering some of the questions just for fun and to know myself a bit more.

50 Questions with Anne Curtis

Sunday, 18 March 2018

  1. what did you do today – I’ve walked/jogged a bit with my momsy
  2. what’s the best thing about what you did – it’s precious bonding time with my momsy, we get to exercise and get some vitamin D 🙂
  3. fave food – I eat almost anything, but I have preference over Japanese & Korean food
  4. best thing about Philippines – being with my family, friends, working in ADB, white beaches 🙂
  5. fave Filipino food – my momsy’s sinigang and pancit 
  6. least fave food – hmmm I try to do away with anything with lots of preservatives
  7. fave ice cream flavor – pistachio, coffee, avocado!
  8. fave fruit – banana, avocado, lanzones, berries
  9. fave drink – milk tea, cappuccino for coffee (so far)
  10. fave movie – Audrey Hepburn’s movies, Pretty Woman, Serendipity, Leap Year, etc.
  11. children’s book – Little Prince
  12. fave novel – Pride and Prejudice, Little Prince, A Little Princess
  13. fave toy – lego
  14. TV show that’s currently on – just finished My Golden Life
  15. fave book – the Bible, travel books
  16. fave record – I don’t have any, I live on Spotify 😛
  17. twitter or instagram? – Instagram
  18. fave song – Author of my life, Radiant, Beautiful Love, A Thousand Years, It’s You
  19. country you wish to visit – Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden)
  20. pack light or heavy? – I try to pack light, getting there…
  21. top 3 fave cities – Seoul/Busan, Japan cities and European cities 😛
  22. last country visited – South Korea
  23. do you believe in mermaid – no
  24. fave disney princess – Aurora and Belle
  25. kittens or puppies – not into pets
  26. someone you look up to the most – my momsy 🙂
  27. fashion icon – Audrey Hepburn, Peony Lim, Mari Jasmine, Rissa Mananquil Trillo
  28. coolest thing on my closet – hmmm maybe my collection of books 🙂
  29. best halloween costume – not into halloween and costumes
  30. fave holiday – Christmas!
  31. coolest thing in this room – I’m at our living room while blogging so it’s this laptop and the wifi connection 🙂
  32. best first date idea – a walk in the park on a cool weather, a good conversation over lunch and coffee afterwards 
  33. weirdest thing someone said to impress you – I can’t remember 😛
  34. pancakes or waffles – pancakes
  35. dream job – travel blogger/vlogger, café owner (with collection of classic books inside which customers can read), small boutique owner of classic, vintage, cool stuff
  36. define love? – God is  
  37. super power – just like Anne, teleporting so I can travel the world! 🙂
  38. super hero – wonder woman
  39. best breakfast food – French toast with crispy bacon and caramel latte or cappuccino, for something healthy – overnight oats / avocado toast
  40. Filipino film – John Lloyd-Bea Alonzo movies 😛
  41. do you like vegemite – I haven’t tried it so I don’t know yet
  42. fave website –Desiring GodConde Nast, CNtraveler, Peony Lim to name a few
  43. most prized material possessions – I try not to be so attached to things, but to answer this – I think the few jewelry pieces which my dad gave me when I was a teenager which I still have and use 😉

I must admit, answers to some of these didn’t come quickly and easily, I have to pause and think about it hard at times, but I’m glad I was able to remember some favorites and share them here. For some items, I didn’t get to think of only one top favorite, so I ended up writing more than one. 🙂 Some favorites might change over the course of time but it’s okay. Because change is beautiful. 

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Posted in God's victory, Inspiration, Knowing oneself, Lessons Learned, Love, Minimalism, Non-negotiable, note to self, Womanhood, Word of God

knowing oneself

Lately there are lots of templates on Instagram where you will answer questions about yourself, it’s like an online version of the good old slambook! 🙂

I first saw it from my dear friend Gillian’s IG stories so I downloaded some of the templates from TheSundayChapter IG and answered them. Sharing some here:

Having been able to answer these templates quickly and enjoyably made me happy and realized that I know myself much better now compared when I was much younger. I guess that’s just how life works, as you go through life, as you experience lots of things, both good and not-so-good, you get a better understanding of who you are, what you prefer and why you prefer this one thing over the other, why you do what you do and you are happy about it (no need to explain yourself to anyone), you know your negotiables and non-negotiables which is really liberating. You don’t depend your choices and decisions on someone else because you know what works well for you and what’s not, and you are very cool with it (talking about acceptance :)).  

Knowing oneself is a lifetime process, so we better enjoy and love as we discover new things about us day by day. As we age, we change our preferences, though there are things that we will hold dear until the end, we improve (hopefully), we learn to let go of things quite easily because we now know what matters most, and we know that it’s never about material things but about our God (our life with Him here and thereafter), our life’s purpose, and every single person we are blessed to have around us. These people help shape who we are, and vice versa, so let’s strive to have positive influences towards each other, let’s walk together towards goodness and righteousness, all for God’s glory. 

Discovering oneself will not be always a walk in the park, sometimes you will have doubts, sometimes you will be judged and you might get off track and feel sad about it but you have to be reminded who you really are, in Christ. Your worth is dependent in Christ alone, He knows who you really are and He loves you just the same, unconditionally for all eternity. 

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27

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“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Posted in Baking, Books, Coffee Princess, Family, Gifts, Goals, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, Love, Reading, Starbucks, Things to do, Word of God

So far, so good…

Hello everyone! How are you??

Hope you are all doing great!! 

We’re on the 63rd day of 2018, 2 months passed by so quickly, right?

My first two months were great! Thank and praise God for all that He has done and for all the blessings He has poured upon my family and all my loved ones and friends.

The biggest blessing/answered prayer so far is my little sister’s pregnancy. 🙂 Our family is soooo happy and grateful for this blessing, such a great way to start the year!! She’s on her 3rd month and we are so looking forward to the new addition to our growing family.

We are also counting the days to our first out of the country trip for the year, it will be my first time to travel with my sister and brother-in-law to Bangkok. It’s my sister’s first out of the country trip so we are all very excited. 🙂

With regards to my #Goals for 2018, I think I am doing okay, I have 10 more months to fulfill most of it. 🙂

Read and study the Old Testament. – I’m on Genesis 16. I am slow but it is okay. Reading and studying the Word of God is not a contest, it’s about consistency, commitment, and building a personal relationship with the Author. 🙂

Finish one-to-one discipleship with muy bella, Mel. Then participate at the Victory weekend and be water-baptized as a Christian. – I hope to be water-baptized this year, I am not rushing this, I will happily and peacefully follow God’s timeline.

Join VictoryFort’s feeding program regularly. – I will join VictoryFort’s activities after my baptism. 🙂

Buy an oven and learn how to bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. – My target for this is next quarter. I hope to buy an oven by April and start baking thereafter. 🙂

Save up Pxxx,xxx by end of the year. – I think this is attainable. 🙂

Read atleast one book per month. – I’ve finished reading these 3 books but I started reading them in late 2017.

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I hope to finish these 2 by this month, March.

I bought 4 new books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair, here they are:

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I hope to read all these books this year, in addition to the original pile below…

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Learn French using the Duolingo app. – This one I am not consistent. I should start again very soon!!

For the first two months of the year, I had a couple of disappointments which caused me momentary heartbreak but it’s all okay now. I think I was able to manage my emotion well, and hold my peace thus no relationship was compromised. I have forgiven and learned to let it go. I know it is never right to judge anyone, but because of what happened, I had a better understanding and appreciation of why God has commanded us not to judge our brethren.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2

I have been judged, and it hurt so much. People, even family or friends, will not always understand why we do what we do, so it is best to not judge. Each has his/her own reasons for doing things, in most cases, only God is our witness and He’s the only one who understands, accepts, forgives and loves us, no matter what.

Anyway, I am so grateful that God is always ready to listen to us, to hear our prayers, our cries, and He is with us to comfort, to give us peace and the assurance that everything will be okay because He is our Father, He is in control and He has the best plans for each of us.

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Anyway, on a lighter note, I am very happy with my increasing commitment to working out/exercise. When I say “workout/exercise,” it means joining Thursday Bootcamp, planking and abs workout at home (checkout JessicaSmithtv), playing squash and doing treadmill at the company gym. I’ve recently discovered what will entertain me while I run, that is watching YouTube videos, I am specifically hooked with Erwan Heusaff’s videos, because it’s 99% travel and food! 🙂

On weekends, I try to jog/walk with my momsy, and then we would have coffee  (and French toast and baked sweet potato, oooopppssss!!!) afterwards if the time permits it. I think I am officially a coffee princess, in other words – coffee addict, which is not actually bad, for as long as I am not drinking too much. 🙂

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I super love our mom-daughter bonding on weekends thru jogging/walking and drinking/eating. 😛

We are only done with the first two months of the year, but I have been blessed with so much already. So many favors and blessings from God through my loving family, well-meaning friends and colleagues at work, good health and strength, travels to look forward to, a happy, healthy, godly baby for our family in a few months.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2

The future is bright, it is so promising and filled with God-ordained circumstances. I am very hopeful and expectant of all things good, lovely and beautiful because my hope rests in the Lord.

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord
    even as we put our hope in you. – Psalms 33:20-22

Posted in Bucketlist, Family, Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Just Random, Lessons Learned, note to self, Reading, Womanhood, Word of God

Happy, healthy, hopeful…

…blessed, lovely, and peaceful 2018 to all! 😀

Hello everyone! 😉

How’s your new year going? All good? I hope. 🙂

As I write this, 2 January, 2018, it’s all good. I had a good start, thank and praise God! 🙂

I was able to do some reflection, bible reading, I wrote my faith declaration for the year, prayer requests for family and friends, some goals which I offer and surrender all to God, the hope of glory. 🙂

On the last day of 2017, I attended the church service at VictoryFort. Before I attended it, I prayed to God to speak to me and guide me through the pastor’s message. Pastor Joey’s central message is about HOPE. You may listen to his message thru this link. I love the message and it was exactly what I needed from the Lord. I’m grateful to be reminded how great, how loving, how powerful, how generous, how mighty our Father God is, His unchangeable character and time-tested word [are] enough for us to depend on Him and hope in Him, it’s enough to be comforted and to have peace as we go about our days in 2018 and all the glorious days of our lives. Sharing with you some of the bible verses which Pastor Joey shared to remind us how important it is to focus and keep our hope in the Lord because HE is our Father, our Savior, our Provider, our Healer, Comforter, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Prince of Peace, our Alpha and Omega, He knows the beginning and the end of our lives so trusting Him and hoping in Him is the best thing that we can do to live a victorious life today and everyday. 🙂 

Hebrews 6:17-19 ESV

17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Colossians 1:27 ESV

27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

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In the same way that the message of hope has given me all the comfort, peace, encouragement and excitement to face the coming year with a joyful, grateful and expectant heart for everything that the Lord has planned to bless my family, friends and me for the year, I hope you have been filled with the same strong hope from God’s unchangeable character and time-tested word. 

Cheers to a blessed, happy, healthy, hopeful, lovely, and peaceful 2018! 🙂 

God’s best always! 

Posted in Good gifts, Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Love, Sweet November, Womanhood, Word of God

My foretaste of sweet November

I wouldn’t normally share something too personal here or even in my Instagram account. I guess I’m that kind of person. Not really secretive, but just not too open to many people. I have friends who know very personal things about me but they’re just a handful.

For some happy but strange reasons, I feel like sharing something that recently happened to me through my space here. I initially thought of posting it on Instagram but hesitated at the last minute.

My friends know that I have lots of Korean actor crushes, just watching Korean series makes me happy. 😍 So for a long time already, the “men in my life” are all Korean actors. Unfortunately, no men of the same nationality have tickled my fancy for a couple of years now. I’ve fallen for the wrong person (yet again) a couple of years back, it was tough for me because I really liked him but I had to do what’s right and tried my best to forget about him. I did succeed not because I’m strong enough, but because God is, and God comforted me all those times that I was hurting so badly until I finally learned let go and let God to take care of my heart. Now I am much better than okay and I have learned a lot from that experience. ☺️ Again, because of God’s unconditional great love, and understanding and support from friends who didn’t judge but loved me just the same.

Just recently, in my quiet time, God’s been speaking to me, on point, and I’m really glad and grateful each time this happens, because sometimes God can be quiet, but in those quiet moments, we just need to trust that He’s working behind the scenes (because He does), and when all things are ready, the dream, the wish, the answered prayer will present itself right in front of you and you will have no other more fitting response than to praise God and cry out of uncontainable joy and gratitude to HIM for blessing you with something much more than you’ve asked for or even imagined.

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On a rather ordinary work day, lately when I say ordinary, it means busy, I’ve met someone who have warmed my heart in an instant, it was very unexpected, such a sweet encounter.

Liking someone and seeing him as a man rarely happens to me. At my age, I liked very few, whether I admit it or not, I guess I am picky. When I see someone new, it’s either I like him or I don’t. But of course, I can be friends with him whether I see him as a man or just a friend.

I know myself when it comes to “liking someone” on the first meeting, it all begins with all things tangible: the height, the “presence,” his voice, the way he speaks, the way he carries himself and relates to people; and then to something intangible: that is, the way he makes me feel, unknowingly, naturally.

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I don’t know if I will get to see him after that encounter, so I just enjoyed the short time we were together, I think a good one hour or so… 🙂

As of this writing, I couldn’t actually remember how exactly he looks like. I just know that I would like to know him more, given the chance. What I remember and would like to cherish for as long as I can is the way he made me feel. I feel happy just realizing that my heart is still capable of appreciating a new person and knowing that the possibility of meeting My Boaz is just right around the corner… 

In my heart I am comforted to know that the Lord is preparing His best for me. And I am willing to wait for God’s love story to unfold slowly, beautifully, sweetly because He is the one and only author of my life. 😍

Posted in Bucketlist, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, note to self, South Korea, Travel

Some more Notes to self…

Yes, I’m still not over it, probably never will I… 🙂

I realized I have missed out blogging about a few more important bits which will be quite useful for me to remember for my future trips (take note, tripS 🙂) to South Korea, yes, not only to Busan, but to other parts of South Korea and probably to Japan.

I live in Manila, we don’t have spring, autumn and winter here. So if I would like to experience other seasons, the nearest that I can go to is South Korea and Japan. My first experience of spring is in Seoul in April 2011, while my first autumn experience was in Osaka & Kyoto in late November/early December of 2015. I am blessed to be able to go back to South Korea, to Busan just recently, but didn’t get to witness “autumn” colours as yet, but definitely felt the lovely autumn weather.

Spring, Seoul, 2011

Autumn, Osaka/Kyoto, 2015

It is likely that I will be going back to these countries because I love them so much for various reasons. I love the weather, the food (this alone is good enough reason for me to keep on going back), the beautiful sceneries, the courteous and disciplined people, the good quality of their products, and a whole lot more!

In every travel that we experience, we learn a thing or two, and we become a better traveler and a better person each time. The things that I learned in Europe are different from what I learned in South Korea. I have shared here some of the lessons learned during my first travel to Europe.

Today, I will be sharing some notes to self which I should remember by the time I’ll take that next trip to either Japan or South Korea.

Early November is a good time to go…

Some friends and even celebrities which I follow in Instagram went to Seoul this week and I actually wanted to go back on a whim! Their videos and photos are so beautiful, the food looks so yummy, I know they are, the weather is sooo cold, the colours are just so pretty and lovely… So I am praying and hoping to be able to go back to South Korea next year, most probably in early November, Godwillling. (The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9). 🙂

Bring a medium AND a small luggage

Well, I know I should always try to travel light but I’ll make an exception for these 2 countries because I honestly believe that’s it’s okay to hoard all the yummy food they have. 🙂 I wasn’t able to do this recently because I only brought my small luggage. The medium luggage will be for my grocery shopping, not for my OOTDs. My clothes and all other knickknacks should fit inside my small luggage.

When I told my friend Ina that I would be going to Busan, she requested me to buy this pack of honey butter almond, she said it’s yummy. So I bought a few packs for my family and for Ina. I didn’t try it while in Busan, had I known how good it is, I should have bought more and tried to squeeze some more inside my luggage… (I love nuts. Thank you Ina, it’s because of you that I discovered this 😍). There are other variants, which are equally yummy. I tried the mixed nuts, it’s so good too!

IMG_2734I love French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato, so when I saw these in one of the convenience stores, I bought 1 box each, which has 8 packs inside. I should have bought more if I had more space. Now you know why it is important for me to bring a medium luggage, or maybe just 2 small luggages? Well, it depends on how long will the vacation be and how much will be my budget for food shopping. 😉 Let’s see…

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Try new drinks, both hot and cold…

As I have noted in my previous post, when in Starbucks, I should not only check out the available cards but also try their new hot and cold drinks from Day 1 of the trip so I get to try all by the end of the trip. 🙂

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Find time to check out quaint cafes (they have the cutest cafes!), other food stalls, and eat all the berries and other unfamiliar fruits as much as possible… 😉 I love berries and another thing I love about these countries is that they have the freshest fruits and veggies 🙂

Always thank and praise God, allow Him to surprise you 🙂

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you …” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, I thought 2017’s highlight would be my Europe trip, THE trip of the year, but God has His way of surprising and pampering His children in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I thank and praise God for our Busan trip as much as I praise and thank him for the Europe trip, they are both very special trips to me, cherished by my grateful, joyful heart. I give all thanks and glory to God for just blessing me with all good things. He knows I love to travel, and He delights in blessing me with wonderful experiences each time.

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… – James 1:17 ESV

Posted in Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Just Random, Lagom, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, South Korea, Starbucks, Travel

Short can be sweet…

so sweet 

Yes, a short vacation is always sweet when you are with your lovely family and/or friends. 🙂

It’s the first day of November (hello, beautiful November!) as of this writing, it’s a holiday so I had time to write and hopefully wrap up my posts about our Busan trip. 😉 Let me share with you a few more things which made this trip sweet’er’. 😉

IMG_2344Starbucks

On the first two days of our trip as well as the third and last day, I had the chance to go to Starbucks (SB) with my friends. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll remember that I shared in my post here that I collect SB cards, so it is a must that I visit SB whenever and wherever possible. Thanks to my supportive friends I get to do it with so much joy! 😀

During this trip, I was able to get 4 new SB cards from different SB branches around Busan and I super love them all, very pretty designs and very meaningful as well. 🙂

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This photo was taken on the last day, 16 October. I ordered something new, Gongju BoniBam Latte, yum! On day 2, I also tried Jeju organic green tea. So I’m really happy to try new SB drinks, such a sweet treat!

I also have a small collection of SB demitasses. So it was so tempting to buy this pretty set (photo below) but I restrained myself… Having set a working budget is really a good idea. It actually kept me from buying everything that I liked. Good job, Ryah! ;PIMG_2144

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I not only tried new hot drinks but also excitedly tried some of these SB healthy drinks. I should have discovered this early on, I would likely try all variants, if I remember it right, there were almost 10 different variants. I bought these 3 on the 3rd day and had to drink within a couple of hours because I couldn’t hand-carry it and also didn’t risk checking them in. I tried the kale & apple drink first while at SB, while the last 2, I finished them just before I placed my hand-carry bag on the conveyor at the airport! hahaha They’re all so yummy! I should have hoarded!! Next time, I should remember to not only look for SB cards, but to try new drinks from Day 1 of the trip.

Lagom

Remember the Swedish word and proverb I shared with you a couple of weeks back on this post?

Lagom which literally means not too little, not too much.

On day 1, I saw these products, it caught my attention because of the brand name (and the minimalist packaging, very true to its name)! 😉 And I just couldn’t resist, I had to purchase a small cleanser tube and small toner bottle so I could try them, I got some freebies too. 🙂

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I love these products, I’ll try to get a bigger size when I return next year, Godwilling. 🙂 This is such a sweet discovery. 😉

Me time

Gill’s fly out from Busan was earlier compared to my flight and Eia’s. So Gill left for the airport at around 12nn if I remembered it right. Eia and I had initially planned to watch one more movie in the afternoon of Day 3 but Eia had to work on some urgent matters, good thing we decided not to purchase another movie ticket the day we bought the first movie ticket. Eia and I went to Starbucks at around 1:30pm, it’s walking distance to the airport bus stop and also to Haeundae Beach. At 3pm, I left Eia alone at SB so she could focus on her work and I could explore the area a bit more. I really wanted to spend some time at the beach so I crossed and went to the beach area. Oh, how I love the beach, the cool breeze, the sound of the waves, I love everything about those little sweet moments to be one with nature. 

Photos with the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics’ mascot. 🙂

Victorious or not-so?

Remember the travel challenge I took upon myself for this trip? Well, the challenges are to stay within the budget (a total of Php30,000 or around USD580)  and to travel light.

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This was taken a week before the trip when I haven’t packed my clothes because I didn’t want them to crumple or wrinkle too much. On the day of the trip, I decided to leave that small leather bag on the lower right corner, and opted to use just one day bag all throughout the trip, a roomier bag, my red Girbaud bag, which can accommodate my passport, wallet, cellphone, pen,  umbrella, parka, ecobag, a small bottle of water, tissue pack, comb, mirror, lippies, hand sanitizer and a few more knickknacks. ;p
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Here’s on the day of the trip, I only used my small luggage and just my red bag.

On the day of our return to Manila, I only had to use one additional foldable overnight bag, so in terms of travelling light – I am victorious, yey!!! 😀

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For the other challenge, the target was to only spend a total of Php30,000. After doing my accounting, I spent a total of Php35,198.90. I exceeded Php5k plus, but Php5,483.25 was spent on pasalubong (small treats for family and friends). The excess was a sweet one because it’s for my loved ones. 😉 So I think, I am also victorious on this challenge, you agree, right? 😉

Sweet memories

In this short trip, more sweet memories were created amongst the three of us. Gillian and Eia are my friends for more than a decade already, our friendship is becoming sweeter and sweeter as time goes by. I love these ladies so much, truly grateful for them. I hope and pray to create more happy memories with them, here and just anywhere around the globe. 🙂

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Where to next, lovelies? 🙂 🙂 🙂