Thursday, November 17, 2016

Of clothes and outfits


Just recently I had my self-imposed “spring” cleaning and boy was I really surprised by literally heaps and heaps of clothing I own! Yes, I had my shopaholic days; I had my hoarding days because I LOVE CLOTHES. I love dressing up maybe because I grew up with my Mom buying me new clothes regularly. We used to own a tailoring shop and so I will have my Sunday dresses custom-made just because. I am a frustrated creative persona but a self-confessed wallflower; and one thing that I make sure is that in my manner of dressing up, these traits would be apparent. I realized how/what I feel inside manifests on how I dress which then translates to how I face the day, how I talk to people, how I perform my tasks. Do you also feel this way? Others may view dressing up as something just for a mere cover up; but dressing up is something that I don’t take too lightly, most especially as a corporate woman who has choosing the outfit part of my daily routine.
the heaps of clothes I own and to be discarded!
p.s. I am holding a preloved by Merie sale

Of course there are busy days that planning my outfit is not something I must allocate a huge chunk of time. There are days that I hate the standard sizes in shops because my body type is on the super skinny side hence the struggle. There are days that I blankly stare on my closet and feel like I have nothing to wear. There are days that I imagine a certain piece, or maybe I remember some clothing piece online and yet I can't find it anywhere but I feel like the need to own it and wear it. This is one simple task I overcome every single day and when I pick and finally put on the right outfit it feels so good that I feel like I can overcome the world! I feel like I can check all of my to-do lists for the day. I feel more confident and vibrant. I feel more human! Hahaha! Might be funny but trueeee! I realized that my manner of dressing up is my way of connecting to the world, it's my outlet and it's helping.

Anybody who can relate with this? I’d love to know your story. :)

(Photo credit: broadsheet.com.au)

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Yes, I'm Still Healing

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In  a rather pensive mood. *pats myself at the back* Okay, maybe not. Just feeling like sharing something and maybe word vomit.

And in this process of healing, one article on nature, on ecosystem moved me. If a nature can heal itself, by "killing", then this pain I am feeling is necessary and vital. The barren valley grew and bloomed because there was an important change that was introduced. Other species arose contributing to a whole lot better ecosystem. If the Man up there who knew right from the start the roles of this creatures in the big big cycle, caused the cause and effect of nature; then I, who's dearly loved by that Man, must embrace this process of healing I am still going through -- all these pruning and cutting. And the beautiful transformation, did it happen overnight? No. It even took decades. No hurrying. Better things will arrive. Best days ahead. And someday all of these will make a lot of sense in the greater scheme of things.

Please watch the video below. It IS AMAZING. And to better understand all those I blurted out above hahaha!

Source: http://weloveanimals.me/released-14-wolves-park-no-one-prepared-unbelievable-nature11/



He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
-Psalm 147:3 
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Friday, August 12, 2016

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”

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“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”
“She made herself stronger by fighting with the wind.”
"So long as Mistress Mary's mind was full of disagreeable thoughts...she was a yellow-faced, sickly, bored and wretched child...When her mind gradually filled itself with robins...with springtime and with secret gardens coming alive day by day, and also with a moor boy and his "creatures," there was no room left for the disagreeable thoughts...[and so she became well and happy]."
As a child, I liked reading The Secret Garden, and enjoyed watching its Tagalized version of “Si Mary at ang Lihim na Hardin” (raise your hands those who can relate to me!) It’s been more than a year since I last released a collection. In between then and now, a lot has influenced the creation of such. Set to be released spring of early this year, cancellations deterred it. But I trust the universe swayed circumstances to this point in time. I don’t think this collection will be as sweeter if not because of the events that caused the delay.

The Secret Garden has little to do with the visuals of the collection, but the journey towards it. Felt like I have discovered a personal secret garden and tended it from the time of my last released collection up until now. Still looking forward to its fullest bloom, a desire for a constant connection and help in the characters of new people, Dickon, Martha, Susan and Ben – it is a journey towards progress. The journey of Mary Lennox is also my journey – journey of rediscovery. From being sickly, foul-tempered, unsightly, she tends to the secret garden, she got engrossed by it and helped to her “miraculous” restoration – no longer bitter and friendless. A journey of more self-discovery, away from my “sickly and bitter” self as well. Changed from glory to glory. The secret garden is shared, passing on the miraculous restoration – to Colin then to Mr Archibald Craven. 

This collection is a creation of a discovered self. The pieces are not loudly visually secret garden but the ruffles, the patterns, the appliques are slight touches of it. The pink color is mainly due to the color of my personal copy of the novel. The grey and the black is an emphasis of a not-so-friendly past which must not hinder a positive outlook, represented by the minor floral patterns and appliques. Hoping that I may pass along through this collection “the miraculous restoration”, may this collection be a source of inspiration. On to our fullest bloom.

View the lookbook here.

This lookbook is a combined effort of creative minds and I am so proud and blessed to meet this people:


Photographer: Khrizel Asis
Hair and make up artist: Eloisa Fernandez
Models: Joyce Reyes, Brenda Basas and Frances Lim
Location: The Hollow Box

Kindly visit @wear.missmerie on Instagram for more on this collection and Miss Merie's Facebook page.

Also sharing more quotes from the novel:

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done--then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”
“Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”
“Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world," he said wisely one day, "but people don't know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”
“Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.”
“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us”
“Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places.”
“One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts--just mere thoughts--are as powerful as electric batteries--as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.”
“At that moment a very good thing was happening to her. Four good things had happened to her, in fact, since she came to Misselthwaite Manor. She had felt as if she had understood a robin and that he had understood her; she had run in the wind until her blood had grown warm; she had been healthily hungry for the first time in her life; and she had found out what it was to be sorry for someone.”
“He had made himself believe that he was going to get well, which was really more than half the battle.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
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Sunday, July 31, 2016

When God answers...

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Hello from Catanduanes! The island is quiet on a Sunday at 10PM. I like how simple and peaceful the life here is. Hayyy. The more I visit provinces, the more I want to settle in some province than in Manila. I like the people here, in provinces. And with solo traveling, I love the feeling that no one knows you. But the point of this post has nothing to do with my stay here. Haha! Just to segue, I had one decision to make, I prayed for it and this trip which was booked months ago incidentally paved way to my personal sabbath and make a decision.

When God answers... I've been praying for a lot of things lately -- a lot of audacious things actually. And know what? I feel like I've been getting a lot of "No's" (well I wouldn't know if it's a "not yet" yet). Those times that I linger on the thought, I can't help but feel sad. I know I would surely get your empathy as soon as you get to know what I feel like these "missed" opportunities were (I said "what I feel" because certainly God knows best and may actually mean it's not an opportunity for me!)... But you know, God answers in amazing ways. So for those times when I've been praying for the answer, and I felt like I got a NO, I then started praying for the "why's". And funny how God answered.


"Count your blessings..."

In my last birthday in FactSet (2012), my team compiled words of encouragement from the whole department -- from my trainees, workmates, etc. They told me that in times I feel discouraged, I just need to pick a piece of paper from this "treasure box". What I did was to read them all at once as soon as I got it. Until it occurred to me just a few days back to use it for its purpose. Yes, that photo above is the one that I first picked. And then I started crying in prayer to God. I know it was God talking to me through that piece if paper.


I kept praying. You know, I tend to be really hard-headed in my prayers. A few days after I got below. 


"God has His own perfect timing."

Wow. "Ayos ah, ayaw niyo po talaga ibigay sa 'kin..." Hahaha! 


Back in June, I applied for a scholarship in a fashion school somewhere in Europe. Lakas ng loob ko hahaha! I just gave it a shot, even though at the back of my mind it's a really loooonnggg one. I submitted requirements, drafted my motivation letter a no. of times just to get their attention, answered the interview the best that I can, and prayed really hard. I told no one, not even my parents. I cryptically told Twitter though HAHAHA! Just a few hours before my trip to Catanduanes, I got a mail from them telling me that I got a scholarship, it's for a one year intensive fashion design course by the way. 

As I'm writing this post. I have already made up my mind. I realized that when God answers, He has his unique ways of making you understand His direction. Not all the time that He would give you a loud YES nor an obvious NO -- there would be times that He would make you realize, to decipher. We have the mind of Christ after all (1 Corinthians 2:16). So the email that I got? It's an answer, but it's not the answer.

Sorry for being so vague about my heart's desires, my prayers, my decision. I know someday I will be sharing it here to maybe inspire others but for now I want to keep it to myself. But I'm really grateful, life is surprisingly good, despite the seemingly mountains of problems I have (mukha lang wala pero meron meron meron!!!)

I drafted this post before I got an email regarding my scholarship application. I initially would post just on the picked up pieces of paper from the treasure box but God just sent another answer before I'm about to post this.

So to those who wrote those two way back in 2012, thank you!!

"And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
-Matthew 21:22
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

...

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At this very moment I'm writing, I am here in Butuan, alone. This is "officially" my second solo trip, my first locally. Why do I do it? On the surface, I simply want to wander and escape Manila. I want out of my "everydayness". On a much in-depth note, I want to know my capabilities, of my strengths, and to abate my weaknesses. I want to discover more of me. Apparently my nearing three decades of lifetime seems foreign to myself. And I thought I already know "Merie". No, there is so much beyond her unearthed. She has attached herself to a lot of things, and as soon as they're gone a piece of her went with them. 

I want to have an attachment to myself. That nothing can tear my identity apart. NOTHING.

It may sound selfish, but I guess I have been selfless enough -- in both positive and negative of ways.

And an attachment to the Someone within me. That my focus may be retuned to him. Nothing else above. I want to hear him loud and clear. I want him to direct my path. I want his signs and miracles. Because my identity is in him.

And I will keep traveling solo, until I visit all 81 provinces and until I set my feet on all continents. Until myself is no longer sufficient to discover myself. Until there is nothing left to discover.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tonight I write to forget... To begin anew...

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Tonight I write to forget. Tonight I choose to jot down my thoughts sincerely praying for a renewed phase, for a new chapter I was so eager to leaf to. I choose tonight better than new year's eve when Easter eggs remind me to break free, to breakthrough; and as I'm reminded that Christ has overcome death, the death for my sins and shame, to finally forgive myself. I pray that as I burnt in writing the overwhelmingly negative retentiveness I had for the past year, I would bring forward with me the wisdom of the constant changes that occurred. I pray for the Spirit's light on my path as I face the expanse ahead of me. I pray for full resumption. I pray for restoration. I pray for Your loving will. Amen. Happy Easter!!

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." -2 Corinthians 5:17

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Freedom From Wanting Everything

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Not really in a pensive mood but more of inspired as I heard the Word of God in today's service. I can't help but share in my little way of how I am blessed. My heart was deeply touched I found myself keeping my tears from falling while listening to the pastor sharing the Word. Quite a number of people have been worried about me lately and I appreciate them for that. Yes, I am in struggle and in that struggling I discovered that I am actually carrying some unnecessary burden hence struggling for as long as I can remember, not just the recent months. How I treated it just bore me deeper into a hole and now it feels harder to get back up on the ground. I am a flawed being hiding in my fab, fashionable, well-coordinated or whatever you may call it ootd's. I am someone who is really lost and confused and not any travel destination can offset it. My constant increase in pay and profit from the sideline cannot compensate for what is really lacking in me. I felt like everything is just not enough. I felt entitled and I felt deserving of every damn good thing I could see. And so I fell apart and I am broken into pieces. Right now I am trying my best to refocus and find myself.

I bought this book titled "Gotta Have It!" (by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz) almost a year ago and if only I have read it earlier or right away, I can't help but think that maybe things would have not ended this way today. But well, life happened. I have a confession to make. I'm a hypocrite. I keep on saying thank You, talk and post about gratefulness but deep inside I have always been badly craving for more more more, wanting everything, just a bit of everything, because maybe I wasn't really being thankful, because if I was grateful, there should be contentment. Far from it people, that's how hypocrite I am. Deep inside of me I wasn't really contented. I lost myself in this awful path process I chose. And now that I'm trying my way back to the main road, it has been arduous -- really really difficult one. It's the result of my past hard-to-admit not-so-good choices. I have shifted my security to the things and people around me, which is WRONG. I chose to find comfort on the things that I wanted and did not resort to mending things and or figuring out what I truly need. I was so hard-headed, impatient, immature and so earthly. And now let me use the phrases I am suffering the consequences and I am learning the hard way. Whew, there goes my ego! But I need to accept these stinky things about me because it is through this that I will be really free. 

What I relearned in this really really tough process:

1. Be patient. Be patient with the Lord. God's got me covered in the things that I need and so with those things that I just want, I need patience, be patient with those excessities or things that I just want. Psalm 37:7 (GNT) says "Be patient and wait for the Lord to act; don't be worried about those who prosper or those who succeed in their evil plans." Leave the choice to Him regardless of how you feel. In the course of just a year, I had a lot of those what-if's and if-only's only because I tolerated my hard-head, my emotions, my earthly desires and did not really rely on His timeframe. I was so impatient that I immediately wanted things to happen NOW in my own time. I actually disregarded my favorite Proverbs 3:5 verse. I learned that patience is not giving up and not doing nothing. Patience is an optimistic expectation. Patience is fueled by hope. As Romans 5:3-4 (NIV) states, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Right now that I am in this very stage of my life, I guess this is the biggest test of my patience so far. I'm now relearning to fully trust the One who is the orchestrator of my life. In His time.

2. Rid of envy. Don't be bitter. Each of one is unique and so as how are lives are designed. Envy makes things worse. It's such an ugly ugly thing to have but for the past months it stayed with me. I cant't help compare myself, my successes, my life to what others have. I kept insulting Him of how He designed me and my life. I kept on questioning Him. Envy is such a strong feeling that won't make someone feel any good. I don't understand myself why I keep clinging to such revolting trait. I relearned to look inside of me and pray and discern of all the good things and the talents He has blessed me with and enhance on these, flourish from where I am planted. It's still hard because I am easily distracted, not to mention the harsh effects of social media. It also boils down to trusting Him and focusing on Him. "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." -James 3:14-16 (NIV)

2. Security and contentment is in our Lord. Seek Him always. If we  try to find security and contentment other than Him, it will always always fail. Trust me, I know how it feels finding security elsewhere and was I successful? Uhmmm NO. God gives and God takes things away. It is only in Him that I can find happiness, joy, fulfillment, satisfaction. The song Unending Love was sang by the worship team a while ago and it hit me so strong I felt like it was again my first time surrendering my life to Him (That's how flawed I am). The song says how I'll find everything I need in His unending love. If Jesus is in me, indeed how can I worry over other trivial things? How can I crave for anything that is less than Him, my everything, in me?
There's no silver or gold and no treasure untold that could draw me away from Your heart. Neither love of myself or of anyone else will do. Letting go of my pride I lay down my desires just to worship in Spirit and truth. More than all of my dreams, more than fame I will seek You Lord. Jesus, nothing compares to this grace that rescues me. Savior, now and forever Your face is all I seek. Now all I am I lay at Your feet I'm humbled by the wonder of Your majesty. One thing I know I find all I need In Your unending love, in Your unending love. Your love, Jesus.  

I've made a big deal of awful decisions and acted wrongly on different situations. Covered in shadows and regrets, it took me one big blow to decide to straighten things out. At the end of the day it's all about bringing back my focus to Him. It's all about Him. I am not telling that I am done with the process that I am a fully changed person. No. Far from it. I just accepted these sad facts and flaws. I am now in the process of moving on and growing up all in God's grace. I am also thankful for that someone who made me realize these things. Thank You, Lord, and thank you for loving me this way. I'll come out of this better, and into that woman You designed me to be.

"Every time you are confronted with a choice between what you want to do and what you need to do, make the most of that chance. Choose wisely and move forward. If you take a step backward, learn from it and grow; use your head. Above all, keep going, keep progressing in your understanding of where to go to truly meet the need. [...] In the end, it really comes down to you and God, which is a very good thing when it comes to needs. In Matthew 6:8, Jesus reassures you that God's got you covered in that department; He already knows what you need even before you ask."

I'll leave you this beautiful song.


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Monday, April 20, 2015

WIW: Saturday Summer Feels

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It was a busy busy Saturday but I am not complaining. Last Saturday was so productive; it was a happy pill for me! The only thing that irritated me that day was the unwarranted SUMMER HEAT!! I believe the temperature that day rose up to 36.5 Celsius high! Thank God for air-conditioning!! As you may already know I AM NOT A FAN of SUMMER. One of the few good things for me that I love about summer is I am free to wear “lighter” and shorter clothes without being much bothered by the rain or the cold. It’s one season to give those layers a rest and simply put on a dress. My outfit last Saturday may not be a dress but it’s a perfect example on how someone should dress lightly! Haha! I am wearing a comfy printed sheer top from Miss Merie. It’s actually my lazy outfit, top and shorts, most especially these HOT summer days. 

Another go-to outfit not just on summer is dresses! It’s so easy to just slip in a dress then off I go! I always enjoy creating and shopping for dresses. I frequently visit Polyvore as the choices on this site seem endless! But of course, it's more of a window-shopping online. Just last Saturday I was doing my rounds of gathering inspiration for my designs, and I chanced upon these pretty nice dresses and it actually caters locally!! I almost shopped!! I had to stop before I click on the proceed to payment button. Anyways, let me end it here before this crazy heat completely drain my energy as I have some dresses to make for my clients as well. :) 
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bamba Bistro Birthday Dinner

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Bambaaaaaa Bamba Bistro! Sister's birthday sumptuous dinner was at Bamba Bistro, guess where?? Still along Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes! I chanced upon this on one of Patty Laurel's blog posts. I have to agree with her positive review of the place and the menu. It was a Tuesday evening and still the place was packed! It is not big enough. We were already seated outside the reason why I don't have much photos of the place. One downside is the serving time which took about at least thirty minutes for a meal to be served. Hence, this might be a good venue for catching up, plenty of time haha! What we ordered that night was worth the wait and their prices.
French Fries Moderne - feta, honey, fried rosemary Php 190
I LOVE this!!! 
Baby Back Ribs Php450
Bitin!!!
Crispy Lapu Lapu Php490
MOST LIKED dish that night! Yummy yummy crispy lapu lapu fillet!
Lamb Adobo Php395
An interesting take on lamb meat. I believe this is one must-try in their menu. The distinct taste of lamb meat is evident in this dish.
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Milky Moustache in BF Homes

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Family dessert night at Milky Moustache still along Aguirre Ave in BF Homes! I can still picture it as a "white" and neat place with a touch of sweetness. From outside the white interiors will catch attention, milky indeed. Unless packed with people, I see the place as somewhere I could find myself busy with a book or a magazine. There is also a hint of coziness in it, their chairs are comfy with high backs. It's also interesting to look at the quotes chalked in the framed blackboards on the wall. That night we ordered their English Moustache (cookies and cream), Mario (Kitkat) and Batwing (coffee) milkshakes. Obviously mine was the coffee one and I liked it! Just the right mix of coffee and milkshake. Didn't like much their Mario and their English Moustache was too sweet. I would like to be back to try their other flavors and their bestseller which was not available that evening. Prices are a tad expensive, ranging from Php150-180, if I recall it right on their milkshakes.
The place is attractive from outside.
Their interiors are neat, nice and simple. 
Their menu as mentioned by one of those who assisted us are not yet final that time.
Our milkshakes.
Picturing myself alone in this place. Not bad.
Yes, my Mom has been taking lots of photos lately. 
Sibs!
Parents <3 p="">
Sisterly lovin'.
Family is love. Family is forever.



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Que's Birthday

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It's two months overdue but my one and only thus the best sister's birthday is worth a space here in my personal nook online! I couldn't ask for any better person to be my sister other than Queza. A very down-to-earth,  nice, hardworking, responsible, wise and bright, basta napakabait at napakabuting tao my sister is! It's funny looking back on those two decades and so on how we grew up and now we are both trying to get past through our "adult problems"! Hahaha! Parang kailan lang when she was one cutie patootie grey-eyed bald baby girl and now she's grown to be the best in bullying me! My only prayer is for her to grow even more, to be the best woman God intended her to be. I know she will. 
On the second of February, as part of sorta early celebration, we dined in at Mama Lou's in BF Homes. Mama has been wanting to eat there and so we did that night. Oh how it satisfied our tummies! Mama Lou's has been consistently meeting my expectations so far. I understand why it does not run out customers. :) We also had our dessert at Milky Moustache after which I would also be posting about next. 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Aficionado: CAD Coffee in Singapore

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 Finally, naks a post on my blog's aficionado series featuring a cafe abroad! Hahaha! Throwback to November of last year when I was in SG, I made sure to drop by Haji lane and try CAD Cafe. Sure it is, now I am writing about it! Haha! This cafe won't go unnoticed with its bright blue exterior and graffiti paintings. The place is a tiny one with about two to three tables inside and some stools. But true to the meaning of CAD (Coffee Art and Design), how little the place may be, it showcases local and international artworks. No, my photos won't do justice with what I am saying haha! There were artworks displayed on every wall of CAD cafe. 

CAD Cafe is all about Coffee, Art & Design. The founders with backgrounds in art and design have created a space that showcases various works from internationally renowned artists to local upcoming and student works. Also extremely passionate about coffee and food, you can sip on an exceptional cup of coffee and bite into some tasty fare whilst admiring the art work on display. Pop in and say hi at 23 Haji Lane and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere with great coffee, food and craft beers. Not only will you find CAD Café at its home base, keep an eye out for our pop up coffee and juice bars at various events across the island. (cad.sg)
 They serve all-breakfast menu and sandwiches. We tried their Grilled Cheese Toasties and it was good! E wala e ma-cheese e so instant like for me! And since it was really hot that day we tried their iced coffee drinks (Ice Latte and Ice Mocha). Their coffee are made of the same coffee beans Toby's Estate use and nothing "CAD-specialty". 
 For someone from another country like me, I found their menu pricey hahaha! But should I be living in Singapore, this would qualify for a go-to place. =) There's a whole lot of coffee shops in Singapore but CAD Cafe is worth a visit and a try.  
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