I’m in Cebu now and one of the things I have always wanted to do was visit Inkin’ Ian’s Tattoo Studio (Ian Cabrido) . I’ve seen his work online and have heard so many good things from friends who have had their body artworks done by Ian.
The tricky part was making sure I’m in Cebu for a week or so and have no work or beach trips. This having some free time really has some perks like checking off bucket lists.
My foot ink has had a number of permutations. I started with this sun tattoo I had done 20 years ago, then had a poppy flower done in 2013. Today, I asked Ian to enhance and repair the current design and I’m so happy with what he did. The man has mad artist skills.
Ian’s home studio is quite far from Cebu City, around 12 kilometers. Twelve kilometers that’s worth it. I had to take an Uber because in as much as my mother has accepted my tattoo, it’s awkward to say “Mom, I’ll use the driver to go get a tattoo.” I wanted to save myself from the sermon.😂 I’m glad Cebu now has Uber!
Off I went to Krishanta Subdivision, Talisay. It was my first time at the area and I felt like a tourist in my own hometown. It was a 30 minute drive as traffic was not bad at 9 in the morning and I finally got to meet Ian Cabrido, tattoo artist. He’s apparently took up architecture but he’s been pursuing his art. Since Cebu is such a small town,we have tons of mutual friends and even went to the same school ( USC- SAFAD represent!) At least we had a lot to talk about as he worked on my foot. I do a lot of small talk during awkward situations.
Thank God I had a pedicure a few days ago…are my feet clean? Those things pop in your head when someone touches your foot, you know.
The outline hurts the most. It’s the fist thing he did and I think my brain receptors have not gotten the message that I’m in pain and will be in pain. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really not that bad. Brazilian waxes are more painful, I tell you.
I have been working for 20 years. Two days from graduation, I trudged through the doorways of my first job and I haven’t stopped ever since. I love working. In fact, a lot of people used to say I was a workaholic and that it was my priority in life. True and I didn’t deny it. Work gave me a sense of fulfillment, not to mention financial gratification. I just love being busy and productive.
A few months ago, my husband and I decided that I should take a break from my corporate life. There were many reasons behind it. Most people would probably say, “That’s awesome!” but it wasn’t an easy decision for me. You won’t believe how many motivational quotes I had saved on my phone just to push me to do it and get perceived fears out of my head. I can keep painting but what else would I do, right? What a dilemma.
I just told myself that I will just allow God to surprise me.
I did it anyway, and had my last day of work a couple of weeks ago. It has been an extremely busy 2 weeks filled with, you got it right, surprises!
Busy And Productive Outside The Four Walls Of An Office
My friend has been asking me to help her with the events business and I wanted to do something fun, so I did. I’ve been doing corporate events all my working life anyway. It was one flurry of corporate events after another and I had worked and met with wonderful people – the production teams, clients, talents and suppliers. I have missed the adrenaline rush of running a show and being part of a good team. I even got to meet up with friends in Cebu (yes, I ended up in Cebu for a day).
Getting to know my neighbors is something I have been missing all these years as well. I never really did get a chance to meet or interact with my neighbors. I’ve never been a social animal and my schedule has always been terrible so I actually do get a chance to talk to them and know more about them.
Being out of an 8-5 job has its perks. I finally get to be part of special events and milestones in the lives of good friends. I never would have been able to do this if I had work.
Last August 17, Cecil a.k.a. Chuvaness launched the ChuvanessXNBS line. It’s a must get line of products not just for the quirky, cute and adorable design but the quality of the products. It’s still available at National Bookstore and hoard now because they would be great gifts in the future and I don’t know if it will be a limited edition thing. Cecil is one of the most talented, warm, thoughtful and generous people I know. She has always been ready to help and there at my lowest. I look forward to her “Zee, how are you?” calls or messages (in the sweetest and most distinct malambing tone). I love her and her style to bits!
Last week, another friend also had a milestone and I’m glad I didn’t miss that too. Daphne Osena-Paez launched her new book entitled CHIC. She has been working on this book the whole year and I know she worked so hard on it. I just couldn’t miss it as well and I didn’t. I had the time. Daphne has always been one to push the envelope, from her linens, furniture, jewelry, Daphne.ph, endorsements, hosting, now her book. She’s quite an admirable entrepreneur and silly to boot. She makes me laugh so hard and face palm as we exchange mundane issues in life.
These two are inspiring people and very different from each other. I am lucky to have been part of their milestones. They are both very encouraging and give good advice all the time. They are supportive and encourage me to keep pursuing my art and writing. They hustle and work as hard as anyone in the corporate world. It’s heartwarming to get support from people you admire.
My take out from the last two weeks is that it’s not easy to be an artist/stay at home mom/entrepreneur. You have to work twice as hard, search for opportunities, motivate yourself daily. You have no set KRA’s that guide you or a company mission-vision to follow. You create your own on a daily, weekly basis. Your mission-vision is for yourself and your family – to be a better person, mom, wife, sister, daughter. This is a challenge for me. Heck, choosing the dinner menu is a challenge for me. I can’t hide behind a desk, my schedule and my laptop anymore. I am exposed to the world and the wonderful people around it.
The good thing is that despite its being hard, I can be myself, I can wear what I want and can freely think and create.
I’ll make most out of this opportunity, just have God surprise me some more and yes, write about it. Maybe one day, it will be useful to someone going through the same thing.
I had my daughter at 27 years old. Pretty good age, I would think. We have both been through tough times. She’s my best friend now and keeper of my secrets and pains. We have a relationship based on honesty. “Always be honest to momma.” I tell her. “Always be honest to me.” She replies. We tell each other the truth even if it hurts sometimes. I tell her the truth even if it means that she sees her mother, weak, vulnerable, making mistakes or major disasters. We have learned to laugh at them. I open up to her about my work, my struggles, relationships, and financials. Everything is an open book and she has her inputs about this as well. There are times when the best advice comes from her. In fact, she’s the one who reminds me that we have been through much more and survived when I hit a rough patch. I’ve been mulling over this and have seen different dynamics especially with single moms.
We have heard so many times that honesty is the foundation of relationships. Sometimes we forget that we have relationships with our children. We shield them from the truth thinking that it’s best for them. As mothers we try to present a strong facade, and portray Supermom. I think not just towards the kids but towards society as well. It’s so much easier to tell them what to do and not involving them with “things that are just for adults”. We can shut them out and they live in a bubble of video games and toys, not knowing what’s going on.
We program them to think what we want them to think but these kids eventually grow up into adults, with their own thoughts and their own opinion. They turn into adults exposed to other people and experiences. Then they realize that their mother lied.
They look back and realize that the man knocking at the door weekly was not the nuisance she didn’t want to see but a bill collector, the “uncle” she introduced to you was the boyfriend who broke her heart, the man who visits was not a friend but their dad, the shatter and scream you heard as a kid was not a broken mirror but was your dad hitting your mom, many small and big lies. Everything to shield the child from “adult things” At the end of the day, all contradiction and lies.
We try to shield our children from truth and try to paint a picture of perfection but it can bear a lot of resentment and anger in the end. Children are little adults. They feel, see, hear, understand and want to help. They also love their mothers and the most hurtful thing for a child is knowing their mother lied to them all their life. SuperMom dies because all the kid will remember would be the lies.
I plan to continue to be honest and transparent to my child. She’s 12 and is my best friend. Our relationship is based on respect, honesty and teamwork. We go through every single challenge together – win or lose. We learn from this, build a stronger relationship based on this and love each other more because of this. We mutually love each other, imperfections and all. As she goes through her teens, this bond is something we need to strengthen more than ever. I am glad I started early.
What do you think about propagating honesty and transparency with your children?
Call me a crazy dog woman but I’ve always loved dogs.
I grew up with them and as a child I envisioned myself as the dog queen among our many dogs at home. It came to a point that we had 21 dogs at home. We had dogs of all shapes and sizes and they terrorized the neighborhood for a good 30 seconds every time we opened the gate and just ran back in as the car came in and the gate closed. They acted like a pack and I wanted to be their queen, then I wanted to be a vet until our vet had to put asleep one of our dogs and that kind of put me off.
When I moved to Manila, I never thought I missed having a dog or a pet but I did. I lived alone and was a work most of the time so it wasn’t practical. When I had my daughter, I got her a Shih Tzu and named him Ashley. Then Ashley had a puppy from one of the neighbor’s dog of the same breed and we named him Twirly. We loved both very much and leaving them behind was one of the most painful things I did when I had my annulment. Bea and had no space nor could we afford to have dogs when we initially moved out.
We finally got Vader when everything settled but someone stole our baby. This depressed me for quite a while. It still pains me to see his pictures but we felt it was time for me to have a new baby puppy. We decided to get one from a breeder. Since we decided on a hypoallergenic dog, a Yorkie would be a good choice. My friend Myka who joins dog shows referred the breeder to us and I fell in love with the puppies. The best Yorkshire Terrier breeder in the country it seems. I didn’t know. I just wanted a new baby puppy to love.
No To Puppy Mills
We went to Tiendesitas to check out other dogs months ago and you would only head home feeling bad about the conditions the dogs (and other animals) are in. The Yorkies we looked at were tiny and if you ask them how old these were, they would quickly say 3 months. 3 months yet they couldn’t walk. They were belly crawling on the floor like 4 week olds. Tiny dogs sell and the minimum age for selling a puppy is at 3 months. It was also difficult to determine the actual size of the dogs as the parents aren’t there. Manhandled, scruffy with no parents. Poor doggies
We bought Luna the pomeranian at Tiendesitas and we brought home a puppy with Corona Virus and a lot of Tape Worms. So much tape worms that I felt like she was a piggy bank you could jiggle and worms come out. We spent twice as much for vet fees than what we spent to purchase her. The worst part was the scare of losing the puppy and my daughter already fell in love with her. I am just glad we brought her to the vet for a check-up as soon as we purchased her and was able to literally save her life. We bumped into a friend who bought a poodle on the same day and his puppy passed away 5 days after. Please don’t support these puppy mills – Tiendesitas, Cartimar and the like. They lie to your face about how the puppies are bred, age, condition and even the purity of the breed. Luna is a Pomeranian and we were told she was going to be a toy sized Pomeranian so we paid a premium for the small size. Well, we love her to bits and she’s such a cutie but there’s nothing toy about her size and weight.
Preparing For Our New Baby Puppy
I’ve been waiting for Porkie for a couple of months. The breeder sends us update pictures and she is just adorable. We’ve preparing our home for our new puppy too. We already have her designated area and bought her dog food (we asked the breeder), bed, food and water bowls, leash and collar, shampoo, and toys. We have mentally prepared ourselves for a week of sleepless nights and have cleaned up the crate for initial crate training. Introducing Porkie to Luna may be challenging. Since Vader disappeared, she has been enjoying the alpha dog and only child status. She is quite socialized but I’m sure a little jealousy would come in. We really have to make sure we don’t dote on the little one (Even if I do really want to).
Haay..I really just had to write all of this down because I’m so excited for our new baby, I could burst!
People have been asking about my skin care regimen. I don’t know why when I suffer from stress-induced acne (I have a giant pimple at the side of my nose now. It’s healing but driving me crazy) once in a while and break out in allergies. I also scar really bad. Meaning, I do not have perfect skin at all. Good skin takes a lot of discipline, determination and hard work, people!
It took me awhile to realize that I had extremely sensitive skin. It took A LOT of visits to the dermatologist too. I break out from stress and most of the ingredients in beauty products especially scented ones. I can’t hoard the way I used to. Now, I Google for reviews or ask for samples if they have any and try it out to see if it suits me. Samples are fun and I wish more companies gave away more samples here in the Philippines. It saves me a lot of money because
a.) I end up not buying it anyway because I have alleviated the purchase itch.
b.) I don’t have to have emergency derma visits if I break out in hives from hell – see this post: Allergy Attack From Hades
I don’t know why someone who can be so insensitive have such sensitive skin. Ugh.
I didn’t include a picture on that post because I was too embarrassed but here it is. I can laugh at it now because that’s all gone. I did freak out when it happened. I had perfectly good skin and this happened within an hour. I literally felt it grow on my face. Rashes with pus in it. This picture was when it subsided a bit..3 days after. It was so much worse on the day it happened, I wanted to knock on the dermatologist’s door. :
It’s not easy for me nor is it easy for dermatologists. I have met some who get scared to touch your face or body (another story altogether) because they might do something to mess you up some more. I felt like a leper. Oh well.
I dropped (and threw out) most of the products I have bought and stuck to the following that I swear by now:
Morning: facial wash, a drop of Human Nature Sunflower Beauty Oil for face and Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50
Biore Make Up Remover Oil
Clarisonic Sonic Facial and Skin Cleansing System
Etude House Baking Powder Pore and BB Deep Cleansing Foam
Mario Badescu Glycolic Toner
1 drop of Organic Alley Argan Oil
1 drop of Organic Alley Rosehip Oil
Once a week I use a mask – gold, charcoal or clay mask
Repeat and be consistent. That’s it.
Please do share if you have good skin care tips and products that people with sensitive skin can use!
I dread birthdays and mine is coming up in a few days. I’ll be honest, I’m scared of aging. Not just in a physical sense but more of the fact that I really want to grow old with my daughter and pursue the many things I want to do and fulfill in my life. Welcome to my annual birthday blues post.
Wrinkles are fine but I don’t plan to just go without a fight. I will continue to marinate myself with argan oil and rosehip oil every night and slather sunblock every day! Like aged rib eye steak! We shall tap into more drastic methods if we need to! Those botox injections were not just created to stop your armpits from sweating, you know! Though the show “Botched” scares the heck out of me. I think looking like a weird cat woman scares me more than the wrinkling.
What scares me the most would be the lower level of activity in the future as I can already feel my muscles and bones creak because of the lack of exercise. I see articles of 70, even 90 year olds pushing their limits and doing gymnastics and marathons and all I can say to myself would be “What’s my excuse?”.
I guess for the last year of being in my 30’s, I better push myself some more so that I can physically sustain myself for 40 more years or so. Haha.
I have a 12 year old and I had a really bad health scare from 2011 to 2013. It was something we had to overcome as a family and what gave me hope was my little girl. She is turning out to be a very conscientious and responsible young woman and I want to be there for her when she has many more “firsts” in life like stalking her and her date during the prom. I want to continue to support her and reassure her (because she can be quite anxious) when things are not going too well and even if they are doing great. I want to continue to be her biggest cheerleader and ally for as long as I can. Go, Team Bea!
Plans. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. Either way, it’s nice to plan and dream. My hubby and I have a lot of plans and dreams.
He wants to watch Wrestlemania and I want to try out the restaurants on Man versus Food, be a full time artist or work in the beauty industy and be surrounded by beauty products (Hey, it’s a dream. ).
We talk about them before sleeping at night. I’ve learned to let go of my dreams and just be surprised and happy with what comes my way. It’s so much easier (and less stressful) that way. My husband taught me that. I used to plan and obsess and make sure things happen. Life was plotted on an excel sheet and everything documented and listed down to make sure my plans happened. I lived this way for the longest time and more often than not, I got the things I wanted. You get what you want but it does not necessarily mean you’re happy. I would rather be happy. Still, we plan, prepare what we can and pray it does happen. Hopefully, we have 40 more years to fulfill them.
If there is anything I have not been too happy about, it is the past several years of inactivity. I have learned to fall in love with sleep and just staying home doing nothing. Now, it’s so hard to go back to being active again. It’s so hard to push myself again. Good health it seems is the key to not fearing the aging process. I know I have to start now, before it’s too late and totally give up on it altogether or my body gives up on me.
Haay…If I’m scared now, I will probably have an anxiety attack when I hit the big 4-0.
2016 has rolled in. We really didn’t welcome it with a big bang. I left for Cebu with my little girl while my hubby was left to old the fort here in Manila. Visits to Cebu can be fun and stressful at the same time.
The kids rarely see their cousin (my daughter) so every night is slumber party night. Of course we have to keep watch or referee… eventually, one kid ends up crying.
I didn’t even get to spend time with any of my friends (sorry, guys), it was all about the kids shopping, games, food and more food, visiting places they Googled about like this Cat Café and Café Tiala. All good fun.
They have all grown up so fast. Soon, they’ll be teenagers and I don’t know if they would want a mom or aunt chaperoning them. The thought breaks my heart but on the other hand, it gives me time to sleep and rest. Haha. Really, I don’t want to think about the time they’ll be gallivanting on their own.😦
2016 will be a great year. I just know it. I don’t know what it will bring. Everything just seems so unsure but I’m just going to just go with the flow and let things surprise me.
I have been wanting to post this for a while but I forgot. That’s the problem, I forget. For the past 3 years, I’ve been getting absence seizures because of this congenital brain deformity (to be honest we really don’t know when this started). Nothing to worry about except for the fact that every time I seize, I forget some things. Things like what that thing you have in your hand is called. You know, the thing that you use to call and text people. That thing you hold against your ear and causes carpal tunnel…that thing. For the life of me, I would not be able to recall what it’s called until hours or a day after. Same as that yellow thing you use for writing and drawing with the pink eraser at the end. It’s not just these things I forget, I forget things that happen to me too. I have blurry memories of dates and activities with family and friends. Blurry memory if I’m lucky. At times, I get a total blank. Funny but it doesn’t really affect much of the memory related to work or heavy data. Stupid right? I can still remember the YOY net income of the company I worked at years ago.
It gets frustrating. It frustrates me that I don’t remember much, it frustrates me that my family sometimes has to talk to someone as if it’s a game of…I forget..the game where you have to act out things..wait, I have to ask a friend. Ah…Charades. That game.
It scares me too. I have images of Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. A movie I really didn’t like, by the way. I felt that the female character, Lucy was asking too much from the male character, Henry. I mean seriously, all that effort every single day just to make her remember, every day for the rest of their lives. I do have maintenance medication but I do forget to take them at times, get episodes and I end up crying when a bunch of data gets booted out of my brain. My husband patiently reminds me of the things I forget. He reminds me of the dates we’ve been to, the things I have done or bought, the things he did. He reminisces while I listen as if it’s the first time.
“Oh, how sweet of me or wow, how could I have done that?” I would say in reply. I have no memory of these things at all.
I laugh at how we were and happy at how we are at the present. That’s just it, I live for the present now. I try to be as happy as can be every single day so that in case I forget, I don’t have to worry. In case I forget, my husband and daughter have a good story to tell me in the future to laugh about. The good thing about this is that we try to love each other as much as we can on a daily basis. My husband tries his best to make me fall in love with him every single day and vice versa. We aim to have good memories every day. Just like 50 First Dates, we love and live one day at a time.
I will be posting regularly now and keep this site as a journal. You know..in case I forget. Do you know anyone else with the same problem? It would be great to hear about how they cope.
There are just some things that are more important than work. Admittedly, it took a while for me to learn all this. I was independent from my family in my early twenties (in the Philippines, that’s pretty early or unimaginable) and have been stressing about household bills and surviving for around 16 years. I guess working my ass off to have food to eat and save for my future was hard-wired into my system. Things changed when I had my daughter and my second marriage. Work didn’t seem to be THE priority. Whatever joy I derived from work just didn’t seem to compare to the joy I had at home. This actually confused me. For many years, I latched on to my work and it slowly ate me away – my body, personality and my joy. It turned into an addiction and just like any addiction, difficult to manage.
I stopped working for a few months this year. Dropped everything and stopped working. For the first time in 19 years, there was no company name attached to mine. Questions such as, “What are you doing now?” or “Where are you connected now?” was something I dreaded. I came out with a blank. I had no calling card.
For the months of September and October, I decided to just recuperate and re- align myself. I focused on family, friends, painting and resting. Things and people I love. In a span of a couple of months, the addiction called work melted away.
My husband and I had a long talk about our situation. My choices in the next few months were crucial. If I were make a wrong choice when get back into the rat race, all would have been wasted. At this point, I told my husband that I wanted to step back at work, paint, write more and support him. The decision came with huge sacrifices but we feel that it’s all worth it.
I’m back at work now. Everything has been working well so far. It’s so hard to consciously pull back but I know that it is needed and a decision made. I apply my “Decide, Do, No Looking Back” motto again.
Some question my decision of taking a few steps backward career-wise but you know, when we die, our tombstone won’t have a company logo, credentials and a position title. So yeah, get over it.
There is nothing is more important than being happy. There is nothing more important than family.