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Happy 2nd Anniversary ❤️

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Keen and I celebrated our second anniversary as a couple yesterday. It will be the last anniversary before we get married this year. We had a simple yet elegant dinner at Bondi&Bourke.

Our anniversary fell on a Monday right after the long weekend of the Holy Week. As expected, it was a manic Monday especially for me.

But that didn't stop Keen from preparing for our anniversary. As usual, his funny disclaimers and surprises caught me off-guard. Plus we were able to view some lovely paintings at the Art Portal Gallery after dinner. The evening went really well.

James Keen, I just want to say how grateful I am for having you in my life. I know I've been saying this to you every time. But I guess it's never enough to let you know how much I really appreciate having you as my man. I've been through so many struggles the past year that I don't think I would have enough courage to face them if you hadn't been by my side. And now as we face a new year ahead of us, n…

A Good Friday Reflection

This morning my family and I had our traditional way of the cross. Ever since I can remember, it has been our lenten devotion every Good Friday.

What's special this year is that we are complete. It has been quite a while since we've had a perfect attendance. For the past few years there was a sibling missing because of work or other commitments. So it was indeed a very good Good Friday for all of us.

As I reflected upon our uphill journey, I prayed for strength that we may continue this wonderful journey of life as a family and individuals. With my upcoming wedding, I'm not sure when will be the next time we will be complete in our way of the cross. And so I also pray for more beautiful and meaningful moments with each other.

❤️

The New Coffee for Peace

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Keen and I were looking for a new place to chill so that we can work on some wedding details. On a rainy Monday afternoon, we were quite sure that the usual coffeeshops like Starbucks and CBTL would be crowded. Then I suddenly remembered my go-to coffeeshop when I was in college - Coffee for Peace.

Coffee for Peace was a refuge for me back then. This used to be along Matina, near Ateneo Grade School and in front in MTS. The coffee shop was not always crowded. The atmosphere's calm and quiet even if the place was full. The ambiance was nice and the prices are relatively affordable. I could peacefully finish my homework and projects when I was there. Unfortunately, they were not 24/7 so I had to move out by closing time. Then when I started working, it was more convenient for me to go to coffee shops closer to my work-space like Starbucks, CBTL or Blugre.

I think it's been five years since I've been to Coffee for Peace. On the other hand, it was Keen's first time to this…

#KaonSerye: Best Japanese Food in Davao

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Japanese restaurants in Davao City have sprouted sporadically for the past three years. Although it is no surprise as Davaoenos have retained many Japanese influences since the latter's occupation, it is only now that we have further explored our taste for the Japanese cuisine.

For the past two years we've been together, Keen and I have tried almost each Japanese restaurant in the city. We've tried every gyoza, maki and ramen we can get our hands on. We've been to many minimalist, modern or high-end Japanese restaurants. We've also been satisfied and disappointed many times. With the many things we have tasted, we are confident enough to judge and identify which Japanese restaurant in Davao serves the best dish.

Not all restaurants are perfect. Some have the best gyoza but has the most disappointing ramen, or vice versa. To be fair, we will only be comparing the dishes we have tried from each restaurant. Also, we will be judging not only the taste, but the servings…

Sunday Blues

Another week begins today. I look outside the window. The afternoon  sun hides beneath the gloomy clouds as it begins to rain.

There is a mix of sadness, self-doubt and fear that stirs inside my heart. At the same time, ironically, I feel empty inside.

But I look at the man beside me. I've felt this feeling before but I was alone in an empty two bedroom apartment. Back then I was fed up, drained and even suicidal.

Now I have someone beside me, cheering and motivating me. He believes in me. And most of all, he loves me. In my lowest points in life, he picks me up and shows me my potential and worth.

And I thank God that he has made all the difference in my life.

Exploring Cebu: Temple of Leah and Sirao Garden

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Last night my family and I arrived in Cebu for our 'early summer vacation'. But my mom wasn't much of a fan of beaches and island hopping. So for our first day here, we decided to explore the Temple of Leah and Sirao Garden in Upper Busay, Cebu City.

We took off from JY mall which is usually the starting point when going to Busay. There were habal-habals (motorcycles) waiting in the area that will take you to our two destinations for P150 per person roundtrip. However, we hired a taxi instead which agreed to take us to the temple and garden for P1,000. It was a fair deal.

First stop was at the Temple of Leah. Entrance is at P50 per person while senior citizens are free of charge. After walking a short distance from the entrance, the huge temple and its vast courtyard welcomed us with a panoramic view of Cebu Island.

Temple of Leah
The temple's courtyard
Some areas of the temple were closed so we only got a few pictures inside. The temple is a work in progress.

Mom by t…

1st Year Work Anniversary in VXI

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Today marks my first year in VXI Global. It is my third company in my five years of corporate career.

The first few months were typically the challenging months. Trying to learn new skills, having someone under you, and immersing yourself in a new working environment were some of the things I needed to adjust to right away.
Just when I was getting more settled at work, more changes and challenges came along the way. Tougher decisions had to be made. Paradigms had to shift and adaptation was key.
But more than those work related challenges, I underwent one of my toughest medical trials in my life. I had to take a leave for a month because of my swollen knee. And it didn't stop at that. A few weeks after, I got hospitalized again because of pneumonia. Then it was followed by a dental operation for my impacted tooth.
Thankfully, VXI's HMO was able to cover most of my medical expenses. I am also very grateful for my family and colleagues for understanding and supporting me.
Now, a…