Philippines Trip

Here is a (very be-lated) look at my family's trip to the Philippines early this year. Click to see full-size!

I miss it and my family a whole lot.


I didn't take many pictures in Manila, unfortunately. It was mostly family time and going from house to house and sitting in (lots of) traffic. We did visit some nice places though, but I seem to have prioritized Snapchat in lieu of actually photos. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



Our first little side trip was to Baguio, on the north of Luzon. It's a relatively cool-weathered mountain city that was originally set up as a hill station by Americans in 1900. Had a lovely time climbing through the hills and watching an overwhelming abundance of fireworks for New Years.



Probably the most relaxing part of our trip was spent in Boracay, a popular island getaway off the coast of Caticlan. We hung out, ate good food (my first halo-halo of the trip!), and went snorkeling and suchlike. Vinny, my brothers, and I took a little trek out to Spider House, a resort and restaurant situated on the side of a hill, basically on top of the sea. You could actually jump from the side of the restaurant right into the water if you so cared to (I did not).



The Batangas is where the Perezes are from. There is a farm full of mangoes and coconuts (o'course) and a little vacation house about a mile away. We drove ATVs through the mango groves and got super muddy. And we ate lots of good food courtesy of my Tita and Lola.



After the Batangas, we decided to climb Taal volcano, which contains an island in a lake (the crater) on an island in a lake on an island (Luzon). So yeah, I've done that! It was as exhausting as it sounds, but entirely worth it.

24 Hours in Japan

We spent 24 hours in Tokyo on the way to the Philippines, where we stayed for two weeks.

It most certainly was not enough time to visit and I desperately want to go back soon! Here are a few snaps of that visit.

*Click to see full size.*




2017 has already started off as a rollercoaster. I had a fantastic and exhausting trip to the Philippines (with a little layover in Tokyo) and came back so ready to work. But suddenly, I was plagued with self doubt and got a visit from some mental health demons (more on that later).

Regardless, I've decided that my theme of 2017 (I'm not really a resolution person) is to "face my fears". I know it's cliched and tired, but I really can't find a more direct way to put it. And I've already started! I've been more direct about what I want with clients. And I got what I wanted! No big deal. It used to be a big deal because I would whine about how much they would hate me if I said no to something or asked for too much. But so far I'm learning that as long as you are kind, polite, and a hard-worker, clients who care about you are more than happy to accommodate.

Another fear I'm facing: meeting/talking to new people. I wouldn't say I'm very shy. I AM very introverted, but I still like hanging out with friends and mingling at small gatherings. So I'm trying to attend more events in my community and have already a handful of friends in the neighborhood. I was even in front of the camera today for a little photoshoot which was WAY out of my comfort zone but I'm glad I did it.

Anyway, here's to 2017 and facing fears. Including the big, angry, political fears that are beginning to take over this country. I'm ready for ya.