- Wake up to no-alarm clock days
- Attend morning yoga sessions (without worrying that I'll be late for work)
- Run all I want
- Read all I want (lots of books in line)
- Nap when I want to
- Take long hot showers
- Spend time with my family (My parents and sister are scheduled to come home soon!)
- Spend time with my nieces
- Maybe even bring / fetch my niece S to /from school (I'd love that!)
- Spend time with my relatives (Balikbayans by September!)
- Meet up with friends
- Practice my make-up skills
- De-clutter the condo
- Pack for SG
- Organize a garage sale
- Try out simple, budget recipes
- Organize files
- Do photo shoots with my Hubby
- Plan out the next chapter of our lives
- Enjoy DVD marathons
- Watch films at the cinema for free (Yey, free!)
- Walk around the city (Confession: I haven't seen all of Manila. What a shame!)
- Volunteer for charity work
- If I have extra money, maybe enroll in more fashion / hair / makeup workshops
- Do nothing
18 August 2011
I'm retiring in a few weeks, at age 35.
For the first time in my professional career, I'll have the chance to enjoy a month-long (or more?) vacation. The longest I've gone on VL since after college is only two weeks. So I'm really looking forward to the long break.
As I mentioned in my past entries, this is my 35th birthday gift to me: freedom!
The list excites me! But I have to admit, the no-more-payday reality is haunting me. But I know I / we will survive. Sandali lang naman. Hindi naman ito forever. We've saved a bit, of course. But we don't plan to drain the "Singapore Dream fund" dry.
This is where our childless by choice stance comes in handy. No child will go hungry with our decision to "retire" now, nang sabay. If ever, kami lang ang magugutom. Hahaha! (Thank God our families have pledged to feed us pag nagkagipitan. LOL.)
So how do I plan to survive the no-payday-for-awhile reality? I've been reading "simplifying your life" articles. And I'm actually inspired to try the ideas! Operative word: try. My recent ukay-ukay success may have been the first step towards...zen. Hmmm...
Sharing with you ideas to Simplify Your Life, from ZenHabits.net:
Posted by AVM at 10:14 PM
17 August 2011
Paris Hilton is in Manila. No, I didn't get to see her (have no plans of doing so). But just for fun, I'm playing six degrees, haha.
Paris arrives at the NAIA.
Every one wants a piece of her.
Paris had dinner with Manny & Jinky Pacquiao.
Makati Shangrila Hotel
Among Century Properties' award-winning high-rise projects is Essensa. Other Century Property condos: the SOMA project at the Fort, Grand Soho, Century City in Makati, the Versace-designed Milano Residences, Acqua, and our condo, Soho Central.
There's the connection! She endorses Century Properties, we live in a Century Properties project. Ang layo. LOL. So magka-level na ba kami? Hindi rin. Hahaha!
Paris with the Antonios,
the real estate family behind Century Properties.
Does the Paris connection make Century Properties' Soho Central a more prime property? Will that be good for us if we do decide to sell our unit as we go on our SG adventure? We'll see. *wink*
"It's a small world after all..."
Photos: from the internet
Photos: from the internet
Posted by AVM at 9:06 PM
Yes, the headlines bother me -- "Singapore tightens rules for hiring foreigners." But they can't scare me off. No one said the road would be easy. We just need to keep our seat belts on (plus helmets and butt cushions?) for the rough road ahead. "Have faith, not fear."
In times like these, I'm inspired by more lessons from extraordinary lives:
- You're gonna have trouble doing a lot of things in life, but they can be done. If you say "I can't," that means there's no solution, you've given up, you've quit. But if you're "having trouble," that means that even though you may not know at the time how to solve the problem, you know there's a way - you're just having trouble. Let's figure it out. -- Matthew McConaughey, Actor, Director, and Creator of the j.k. livin Foundation
- Don't give up. Fatigue, discomfort, discouragement are merely symptoms of effort. You quit, you fail. -- Morgan Freeman, Academy Award-Winning Actor
- You can't figure out what you want to do from the sidelines. You need to jump into the pond and splash around to see what the water feels like. -- Ina Garten, Bestselling Cookbook Author and Television Host
- If you have a strong desire and passion to do something, even when the smart advice is encouraging you to downgrade your expectations, I say don't listen. -- Davis Guggenheim, Academy Award-Winning Film Director and Producer
- Have faith, not fear. Faith not just in myself but in something larger. It was this faith that allowed us to push through, without being stymied by potential consequences or paralyzed by what-ifs. -- Wes Moore, Entrepreneur, Bestselling Author, and Youth Advocate
Posted by AVM at 2:58 AM
12 August 2011
Hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Right away I said, "a photo shoot."
We're really a team, you see. He's into photography. And I'm practicing my styling, hair and makeup skills. A photo shoot would definitely be a perfect birth-date! So we turned our tiny condo into a photo studio. The first hour was devoted to hair and makeup; and the background, lights and camera set-up. The second hour was all test shots, experiments and adjustments. By the third hour we've found the "formula" and started having so much fun.
LABOR of LOVE
Through Hubby's Eyes: Me at 35
Dear J, thank you for always making me feel like I'm the most beautiful woman in the world (even though we both know I'm not!). Hahaha! Thank you for loving me, seeing me the way you do.
Posted by AVM at 8:41 PM
I knew my 35th would be a very special birthday. It'd be the year when I'd finally step out of my comfort zone to finally explore the world. It'd be the year I'd be spreading my wings. New country. New life. New job.
My gift to me: FREEDOM!
But as usual, nothing tops God's gifts -- the wonderful people in my life. Birthday bonding with my parents and sister abroad was via Facebook video chat. Birthday date with my Hubby: my dream pictorial (hahaha!). Will blog about it separately.
My other birthday dates...
A simple lunch at my cousins' Inasal place.
With two of my favorite girls, S and S;
My dear brother's beautiful family
(another pamangkin on the way!);
S and S with books from Tito J and Tita A
(Yes, ako may bday pero ako ang nagbibigay ng gifts. Love that.)
plus a new Barbie from Grandpa and Grandma;
our Bday Lunch Group;
my yummy birthday cupcakes from little S;
a birthday surprise;
my dear cousins K and D;
my "30 something" cherry cake.
If you're in Marikina, try Ar-J's Manokan!
My business-savvy cousins opened another business:
an authentic Inasal joint,
in front of the Blue Wave Mall in Marikina.
AR-J Manokan gets to two-thumbs up from us!
Loved the Inasal (Paa) with unlimited rice
and their Kansi!
Hubby J had the Inasal (Pecho) take-out.
We agreed it had a lutong-bahay flavor.
Yung may pagmamahal sa preparation, not so commercial.
Our super busog lunch group also had
chopsuey and KBL (kadyos, baboy, langka).
Everything is so affordable.
My cheerleaders and best friends.
L and F are in town!
It was the perfect time to meet up.
We had dinner at Banana Leaf (YakiMix was super puno), Podium.
Then dessert at Cafe Breton.
See our big bags?
Dami kasing gifts!
My dear college friends have been instrumental
in my finding the strength to finally do IT.
For the nth time I say -- I may not be rich, famous or powerful, but with my marriage, family life and friendships, I know I DO HAVE IT ALL. It was a blessed birthday. Thank you.
Posted by AVM at 7:49 PM
Among the many things I'll miss when we fly out: sizzling sisig (Wikipedia: Sisig is a Filipino dish made from parts of pig's head and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chili peppers).
So today, for lunch, I suggested we eat at Trellis (Matalino Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City), our favorite sisig place. When we lived in the neighborhood, we were Trellis regulars. As in pwede na raw kaming stock holders, hehe.
Our sisig style: Well-done. With calamansi. With rice and Coke.
Me: With lots of Knorr seasoning and hot sauce.
What's your sisig style?
Posted by AVM at 3:48 AM
11 August 2011
Watching the last main feature (aka last full show) is among our after-work no-gastos (thanks to our "super pass") bisyo. Below are the titles we saw the past two weeks.
Captain America: Saw it on 3D. Entertaining. Pero pambata.
- Best thing for me: Chris Evans!
- Best thing for J: The Avengers teaser
Rise of the Planets of the Apes: I was pleasantly surprised. OK siya.
- Best thing for me: "No!"
- Best thing for J: ?
Ang Babae sa Septic Tank: Loved it! Loved Eugene Domingo! Is it true the title's being considered as the Philippines' entry to the Oscars? (Pwede!)
- Best thing for me: 3 types of acting (LOL)
- Best thing for J: For quite some time now he held the same opinion about indie film making. Ayan, na-"immortalize" na. Hehe.
Larry Crowne: Slept through some parts. It's either the film was boring or I was way too sleepy.
- Best thing for J: Age-independent learning. Second chances.
- Best thing for me: I'll give it another go. I promise to stay awake.
Posted by AVM at 1:30 AM
10 August 2011
They say timing is everything.
After my resignation, people have been asking – Why now?
Photo credit: time-management-central.net
Hubby and I have always had our life plan and calendar. The Singapore Dream has been part of it since our very first trip to the
in 2005. We came back a few times to double, triple, quadruple, pentuple check – do we really want this? And every trip just reinforced the plan to work and live there one day soon. Lion City
2011 was the target year.
- Because this year we would have saved enough.
- Because this year we have better early retirement packages.
- Because this year J turned 40, and I just turned 35. You know how you yearn for big changes, especially during major birthdays?
- Because this year we prayed for “two things” and we got them!
It was not a knee-jerk reaction. We’re stronger, smarter, more practical than that. (And no, it’s not about you. You must be really so full of yourself to even think that!)
Because we finally got our SG work passes! Yey!
Because we finally got our SG work passes! Yey!
Seriously now. Because we do not believe in "there’s never a good time to go." People can forever make up excuses for themselves. But the bottomline is – NASA SA IYO YUN. If not now, kelan pa?
Throughout my life, God has shown me that His timing is impeccable. His promise stands – He makes everything beautiful in His Time. Everything we asked for, He sent our way. Right on time.
Posted by AVM at 11:20 PM
When we woke up Saturday, a day after we've resigned from our TV jobs, my first line to J was -- "Ang lakas ng loob natin ha!"
Then I thanked God.
It has been a very, very long process for me. It was not like I woke up Monday, and decided to resign Friday. I've been praying for courage to walk away from my comfort zone and explore the world for years (Yes, years. No, I don't blog about everything). All those time J patiently waited. With a kiss, he'd always assure me, "When you're ready...." My family, relatives and closest friends were there throughout my struggle; and again throughout my victory over fear.
I'm really blessed with such loving, solid relationships. But above all, I'm blessed with a Father who reminded me every day -- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Each time we visited Singapore
the dream to live and work there is reinforced.
For anyone who has a dream but has been too afraid to pursue it, I hope these help...
- "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway." -- Actor John Wayne
- "When it comes to going for a job, a promotion, or just about anything in life, I'm pretty convinced that the meek will not inherit the earth." -- Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist Katie Couric
- "I believe in serendipity, but I also believe there are times when you have to be the one who lines up everything so it can fall into place... After all, what's the worst that could happen? 'No' isn't really so bad, and 'Yes' might take you places you'd never expect." -- Broadway Director & Choreographer Susan Stroman
- "You are surely afraid: of leaving what you know, of seeking what you want, of taking the wrong path, of failing the right one. But you can't allow any of that to warp your life... Acts of bravery don't always take place on battlefields. They can take place in your heart... You may still falter or fail, but you will always know that you pushed hard and aimed high. Take a leap of faith. Fear not. COURAGE IS THE ULTIMATE CAREER MOVE." -- Bestselling Author and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Anna Quindlen
- "Fortune favors the bold!" -- Comedian and Host George Lopez
Posted by AVM at 6:52 AM
09 August 2011
We've taken the first big step towards a dream!
Living the Singapore Dream
Each time I pursue my heart's desire, I feel equally excited and scared. And since I'm pursuing this dream with my dear hubby J, the excitement doubles, the fear is cut in half.
I'm glad to be moving forward, forward, forward while holding my Life Partner's hand.
As usual, God's timing is impeccable.
MARAMING SALAMAT PO!
Posted by AVM at 2:32 AM