Sacrifice and Selfishness

Perspective

 

I got a smack on the head last night. Having my episodes is always a sign of PMS. I always tell myself, it’s just the friggin’ hormones! Despite that knowledge, I am always sucked in to this abyss, feeling hopeless… just succumbing.

I do not know what is happening with my life. All these years, I work under a plan. And because of my little APAS situation, I have decided to quit corporate life in the hopes of having a baby. My ‘big’ sacrifice.

One month… three months… six months have passed and nothing. I have no stress, I have taken my medications religiously. Still nothing.

Do you think I am trying to grasp at some loose ends? Am I in a futile attempt to control what is happening? Maybe what I thought was sacrifice was in fact, trying to put things into my own hands and not really letting God? To the words of my best friend, Carla, maybe He does not really want me to sacrifice anything anymore and just go in blind faith that He can make things happen even if I have to go back to work again.

Such a crazy position to be in.

A friend told me that I am living the dream. I don’t have to work. I escape the horrendous traffic that everyone (who goes to their daily corporate grind) is braving everyday. I have all the time in the world to read all the books I want. I can write whenever I want.

Yes, I am living the dream. And yet, I want to go back to corporate. Why?

Because staying at home makes me feel like a lamp under a bowl.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t undermine people who work from home. It is something noble for people who are born to be homemakers and for people whose calling is to change the world in the comfort of their own abode.

But me? I cannot continue to be a lamp under a bowl.

Because my gift is in connecting with people. My gift is in marketing. My gift is in seeing that I can change the world in my own little ways. I have always thrived in a team. Where people work together. I feed (for lack of a better term) from this energy. Interaction with others makes me whole. Succeeding WITH others makes me feel complete.

Do I regret my decision of quitting corporate?

No, not really. Because of my hiatus, I was able to hook up with an Australian client who specialises in the health and wellness industry. I was exposed to the world of autoimmune disorders and stress and how to counter it with healthy eating. Because of this six-month rest, I was able to brush up on my writing and reading.

But this can’t be enough. I really tried to love this situation. Be a homemaker.  Do some writing.  Focus on my treatments. But this is not who I am.

I think I have done my part and it’s time to just move on with life and stop living in fear and apprehension. Five rounds of immunotherapy with a go signal to conceive. And yet, after six months of rest and waaaayyy less stress, it is still not happening.

To have faith. To have faith that God can still make things work out in your favour, with or without your sacrifices. That is Carla’s closing words.

I don’t know. It was something that made me stop and think. And there is so much truth and sense in those words. Maybe she is right.

Maybe it is time to let go and just live. Would that be selfish?

When Will The Stork Come?

Waiting for the Stork APAS

When will the stork come?

I am in a dark place again. It has been happening quite a lot lately. It’s just that everything seems so bleak and uncertain with this APAS thing. I move in and out of this black hole once in a while (especially during THAT time of the month).

Sometimes, I get tired of waiting. It feels so unfair. It’s that treacherous feeling of wanting to blame someone but there’s really no one that you could pass this burden on to but yourself. I wanted to punch someone, anyone. Just to let all these suppressed emotions out.

I am in that dark place. Again.

Edzel has reassured me more than once that the baby will come. Sooner or later, it will come. And if it doesn’t, we have each other and that is more than enough. I want to hold on to that thought. And I could never be grateful for those words. But still that pain remains. Consuming you from the inside until your head feels like there are thousand shards of glass piercing through it and your heart just wants to pop out of your chest.

I wanted to write a book about this condition – this effing crazy journey of infertility. Medically, that is how they define it (infertility) when you have been trying for a year and haven’t conceived. It pains to be categorised as such. But that’s a fact. A joke of a fact, if I may say.

I have already gathered those who would want to share their stories but I can’t yet move forward. I have to go back to my core, stabilise myself and see where this goes. I couldn’t write a book that can inspire others when I am on downward spiral. One day… one day soon.

But anyway, here is the prologue of that book I am planning to write. Let me know what you think of it, loves. I need a little bit of inspiration and a dozen more affection.

PROLOGUE

There are many situations that propel writers to write. It could be a movie, a book, a painful experience. Or it could be that you just need to write. A deadline, a requirement in school or work. Or it could also be that desire, a deep yearning to do just so – a calling.

 

In my case, I have struggled with my writing for a very long time. In my younger years, I know that I will be a writer. But priorities change. Reality happens. People grow up and something that you love to do so much takes a backseat because you have obligations to fulfill.

 

Writing was something that I never thought of as a profession. Don’t get me wrong, I admire all the prolific writers out there who can earn a living from it. But somehow, for me, it was different. My writing is so personal. It is a window to my soul. I write because I want to express my innermost thoughts. It is a hobby, a passion. Some dreary days I ask myself, ‘who the hell would want to know about your journey? About what you write?’ I still do not know the answer to that question. But I persevere. I still write. Just for the love of writing.

 

And then, something just happened recently that made me realize that I need to put my calling into action. I need to write a book about my journey. Why?

 

Because I have stories to tell.

 

This book is a story about infertility (it still pains me to even type the word). This is a story about the continuing journey of couples who have been in this boat and those who are still lost in it – to serve as a reminder that we are not alone.

 

Some of us wait for a long time. Some of us don’t have to wait that long and are taken by surprise when our prayers are answered when we least expect it. Some of us pay millions to hasten the wait. But in all the waiting, tears were shed. Dreams have been shattered. Relationships have been tested in fire. But as my writing, we persevere. Because in the end, we have to play with the cards we’ve been dealt.

These are our stories. This could also be yours.

Book of the Week: The Dog Next Door

 

The Dog Next Door by Callie Smith Grant

The Dog Next Door by Callie Smith Grant

I am in love with my dog, Sachi. If you follow me on Instagram, you would notice that I always gush about her. Dogs are just aweeessoome!

I have always been an animal keeper. When I was a kid, I had rabbits (my first one was named Giggles), white mice (impossible to name them all), my monkey Bor, fishes, my father’s roosters and chickens, dogs (Iris & Jack), cats (strays), love birds and pigeons.

A newfound friend told me that dogs seem to be a TTC (trying to conceive) requirement. Maybe she is right! Hahaha!

In one of my trips to a thrift bookstore, Book Sale, I chanced upon this book, The Dog Next Door by Callie Smith Grant. This book is a compilation of many dog stories that will touch your heart. If you have read the Chicken Soup series, this book is something like that.

Here are some of my favorite anecdotes:

“Skippy was probably the most intelligent animal I had ever known. And he had soul too. If you praised him, he got it right away. If you shamed him, he got that right away as well. He knew lots of tricks, which he learned after being shown how to do them only a few times.” (I feel this way about Sachi.)

“People don’t realize that you have to stroke animals, not pet them. They don’t like to be petted. You have to stroke them the way a mother’s tongue licks them.”

“With his numerous losses, including his home and his best friend, Max was still ready to trust people. Even with his flaws – missing ear tips, cut-off tail, indiscriminate pedigree – Max still had a beauty all his own that came from a heart of gold. He was ready to fully love people again and again, even when they fell short and disappointed him or treated him unjustly. Max knew how to let go of the past without holding any grudges.”

I rate this book a 4 out of 5 because it is a feel-good book, perfect for a furry lover like me.

How about you, loves. Do you have any books about our lovely canine friends that you think I will love? Hit me up in the comments <3

x,

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I Blog to Write, Not Write to Blog

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I still cringe when I am referred to as a blogger. It’s that squeamish feeling knowing that I am not, or probably, never going to be. But for lack of a proper (or should I say, more accurate) definition of the term, I suppose, I can be categorised as such. Just because I blog. Period.

When people say “blogger”, I would imagine those who have rankings that are way over the roof, have sponsored content, get consistent and constant event invitations, get paid to write a review and so on. I am neither of these.

I blog because I do not want to miss out on my craft. I blog because I want to share my feelings, my thoughts, my views on things, places, and people around me. I blog because I have a story to tell, my APAS disorder and how I am we (me and the husband) are coping with it.

This month, I applied and was chosen to be one of the administrators of a blogging community called Bloggers Ng Pinas. I didn’t apply because I am a self-proclaimed blogger. I am wayyy far from it. In fact, I am looking for a mentor (ahem!) to be worthy of the “title”… somehow. 

I applied because I wanted to help in marketing the blogging community. Coming from the other side of the fence handling media and  public relations for my previous job, I feel that I can contribute something – probably give a glimpse of what brands look for when they want to have a footprint in the blogging world. Besides, it’s always nice to know how people think/act/behave on the other side.

I wish one day, I could be both – a writer and a certified blogger. After all, it is always good to be multi-faceted, right? Haha!

In the meantime, I am just here, in this little .com corner of mine, sharing some slices of my every day life through two things I know most – images and words. Please indulge me.

Happy Tuesday, loves! x

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Awesome Find of the Week: Viber Games

Game On

It is amazing how technology has evolved over the years. Fifteen years ago, texting was limited to boring characters. No pictures (you can try to create Christmas trees with the characters, though), no videos, no cute stickers! Today, everything just whets your visual appetite –  you can send and receive rich media files, cute stickers, photos and videos through different messaging apps. This made people connect with each other more and more.

I have tried almost all messaging apps available but most of them are just in my messaging folder – rarely opened, rarely used. Except for one.

Viber.

I use Viber every day. I love its interface, I love Violet and legcat, haha!

Sticker 2

 

I love the colors and everyone is just using it (even our househelp does). When I was in corporate handling the communications team, I used Viber to do emergency message blast or announcements to all employees in the company. I get in touch with my friends in other countries through this messaging app and almost all groups that I am part of use Viber for our daily communication. The main difference is really the interface – people like something simple and at the same time, it has numerous stickers that can capture what you want to say to your friends!

So it’s a pleasure to announce another expansion to the app with the launch of Viber Games. Now you will not only experience Viber’s free messaging, HD quality phone and video calls, you can now pass time with Viber Games!

Viber Pop in Hands

Viber has partnered with leading game developers to bring unique gaming experiences to the platform featuring Viber characters and exclusive content. Initially released in Belarus, Malaysia, Israel, Singapore and the Ukraine late last year, Viber Games is now available worldwide.

 

The launch line-up features Viber Candy Mania and Viber Pop from leading mobile game network Storm8 and Wild Luck Casino from leading casual games developer, Playtika. The games were built using a new private API that allows users to sign in with their Viber ID to connect with their friends and contacts on Viber, send them gifts and brag about their achievements. Additionally, users will be able to send game invites via Viber, and see what games their friends are currently playing.

Games will take on the Viber brand look and feel, and feature many of the characters that have already become popular staples of Viber’s Sticker Market. The games will be promoted in the Games section on Viber and will be free to download via Google Play and the App Store. Access to additional features will be available via in-app purchases.

“Viber Games is the latest feature in our ongoing enhancement of the Viber platform,” said Michael Shmilov, Viber’s COO. “Whether users are bragging about their achievements, sending gifts or simply checking out what their friends are playing, Viber Games is another engaging way for people to connect within the app.”

 

“As a pioneering leader in mobile social games, we’re committed to partnering with companies that expand our reach and provide innovative player experiences,” said Terence Fung, Storm8 Chief Strategy Officer. “We’re delighted to be a launch partner for Viber Games, debuting two new Storm8 titles that bring to life Viber’s popular characters and offer a new level of social interaction among friends.”

“This partnership opens up a new channel for Playtika to introduce our world-renowned social slots to Viber users via a new game we developed specifically for Viber – Wild Luck Casino,” said Elad Kushnir, VP of Business Development at Playtika. “We are excited to take advantage of Viber’s existing communication channels to add another layer to the game experience.”

Three games are currently available, with more to follow in the coming months:

 

Viber Games_Candy Mania

Viber Candy Mania by Storm8

Sweeten your day with a delightful new game! Follow Viber’s popular sticker characters Violet and Legcat through the levels, as you match and collect candies in this sugar-filled puzzle adventure.

 

Viber Games_Viber Pop

Viber Pop by Storm8

The best bubble puzzle adventure game yet! Defeat the Evil Bubble Wizard and rescue little buddies. And, for the first time ever, you can play with your favorite Viber character, Legcat!

Viber Games_Casino

Wild Luck Casino by Playtika

From the makers of Slotomania, an authentic slots experience is at your fingertips with an exciting range of games to choose from. Play with your friends to win free coins and prizes, then share the good vibes by sending gifts.

 

Viber Games Features Summary:

  • Gift sending: Send gifts to your Viber friends; receive rewards for the more gifts you send
  • Leaderboards: See how your scores stack up versus your Viber friends’
  • Invite friends: Invite your Viber friends to download the games to play with you
  • Bragging: Tell your friends when you beat their high scores
  • Friend progression: See what levels your friends have reached in the game
  • See what games your friends are currently playing.

For more updates on Viber, visit www.facebook.com/viberph, www.twitter.com/viberph, and www.instagram.com/viberph.

About Viber:
Viber is a pioneering mobile messaging, voice and video service. Viber lets everyone in the world connect. Freely. Users can send free text messages, fun stickers, photos, videos and doodles, share locations anywhere in the world, make free HD-quality calls and communicate with Push-To-Talk. With Viber Out, users can make low-cost calls to any phone number around the world. Viber is available for iPhone®, Android™ phones and tablets, Windows Phone, BlackBerry®, Blackberry® 10, Windows®, Windows 8®, Mac, Linux and Symbian devices over 3G/4G or WiFi connections. With over 516 million unique users in 193 countries, Viber is constantly innovating by introducing new platforms and adding fun new features. Viber is a Rakuten Group company.

www.viber.com

Loreland Farm Resort in Antipolo – A Weekend Getaway

So as I mentioned in my last post, Edzel and I decided to have a short weekend getaway. We decided to stay at Loreland Farm Resort, Antipolo City with Traveloka as it was one of the more popular resorts in Antipolo.

Antipolo At Night

Antipolo At Night

This was where Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa was located (the spa that I wanted to check out).

Loreland Farm Resort

 

The resort facilities were okay. Loreland Farm Resort reminded me of Mambukal Resort in Bacolod. There were many  guests in the resort, locals and foreigners alike. This resort is around 2.6km away from Pinto Art Museum.

This is where we stayed.

Rooms at Loreland Farm Resort

And this is how it looked like inside.

Superior Room with Queen Bed at Loreland Farm Resort

Superior Room with Queen Bed

There were four swimming pools around Loreland – perfect for your kids this summer!

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If you are looking for a resort with a lot of things to do, then this resort may not be for you. It is perfect for those who want to commune with nature and experience some rustic vibe in the middle of this summer heat.

Edzel and I have this tradition of tasting two usual main entrees of the restaurants that we visit – sisig for him and liempo for me. Haha! So healthy!

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Sisig at Verde Restaurant in Loreland Farm

Their sisig is a must-try!

 

 

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Their liempo, too! Yum!

We also tried this fried suman but I didn’t really like it. Not because it was not good but I am really not into kakanins. 

 

 

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Room rates are as follows:

Loreland Farm Resort Published Room Rates

You can also opt to avail of their day tours and rent some cottages. For more information about Loreland Farm, check out their website here>>

I also suggest you call their hotlines instead of filling out the online reservation form.

Telephone Nos.: 696-0101 to 03
Mobile Nos.: 0917-8352000 / 0908-8734220 / 0932-8857351

The Pretty: Luljetta Signature Massage! Hahaha (check out our Luljetta experience here>>)

The Ugly: It was a little noisy where our room was situated. It was near Phase 2 where there was videoke service and… you know what happens when there’s videoke, right? Haha

Have you ever been to Loreland? How did you find it? Share in the comments! Thanks, loves!

x

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Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa

The third part of our Antipolo trip that deserves a separate post as well is our visit to Luljetta’s  Hanging Gardens and Spa.

Check out:

Part 1: Pinto Art Museum

Part 2: Loreland Farm Resort

So you probably know by now that I am a sucker for promotions. I saw this sponsored ad from Real Living about a hanging garden and spa that is just right in the metro. Without much convincing, I invited the husband for a weekend getaway as I felt we needed to just break way from our normal rut.

Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is actually located inside Loreland Farm Resort. It is owned and managed by the child of the resort owner.

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Here are the things that you can do at Luljetta’s:

1. Soften your calluses with Dr. FishSPA. There are two fish spas here – one with smaller fishes and the other with the much bigger ones.

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There were no people at the ‘big fish’ spa (probably because they look scary and humongous) so that’s where we went.

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The husband is awfully ticklish and he shouted (literally) when a big fish nibbled on his toes! Wahaahaha! He warmed up to these big scary fishes after a while. I didn’t.

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2. Burn those fats in the jacuzzi and sauna. This is probably what I enjoyed the most. I love saunas and the jacuzzi was also a treat.

3. Dip in the pools. There are several pools inside Luljetta Spa – infinity pools and hydro pools if you want some water-pattering massage.

4. Meditate at the Hanging Gardens. After we explored the pools, we went to the Hanging Gardens. There’s relaxing music all over the place and it was really meant for you to commune with nature. Soo relaxing.

5. Get the Luljetta’s Signature Massage. After around two hours of exploring what the place has to offer, we capped our experience with their signature massage. In all fairness, the therapists were really good (I say this with conviction because Edzel and I get massages all the time and we know what a good massage is) –

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There are several huts but we opted to stay at the massage room because we wanted to doze off and not be disturbed by other exploring guests, haha!

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The rates are a little overpriced in my own opinion. You have to spend a minimum of almost PHP1500 to avail of the whole amenities and get a spa service.  Anyway, since we were there already, husband and I decided to get the Cleanse Package boosted by Phase 2 (Dr Fish Spa, Hydro Pool, Hanging Garden) access. So in case you were wondering about the packages, you can visit this link here>>

The Pretty: I love the ambiance of the Hanging Gardens. I love the small details, the inspirational quotes scattered all over the garden and I LOOOVEEE THE MASSAGE. 

Luljetta

The Not-so-pretty: It was sooo hard to contact their landline and their text line. The receptionist  told us to be there 15 minutes before our scheduled massage or else, they will deduct the “wasted time” from the massage duration. We arrived twenty minutes before our schedule but they were the ones who were late. Our schedule was at 5:15 and we started with the massage at around 5:25. And as I mentioned, the price could have been a little more affordable.

Have you been to Luljetta’s? How was your experience?? Share in the comments!

x

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Pinto Art Museum

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“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Last weekend, husband and I had a short vacation at Loreland Farm Resort in Antipolo. Since we were in the vicinity, we decided to check out Pinto Art Museum.

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From Paranaque, it will take you around an hour and a half to reach the destination. We passed by C6 to avoid the traffic. While there were not much vehicles in this route, not all the roads are paved so brace yourself for some bumpy ride.

Pinto Art Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

We got to the gallery at around 10:30. It is located inside a village and looks very unassuming from the outside.

I looove the entrance.

Before you start strolling around, you have to register and pay for the entrance fee. Entrance fee to the gallery is at PHP150 per head. Discounts are given to senior citizens and students.

(Update as of August 2016: Regular ticket: P200, PWD and Senior Citizen: P180, Students with Valid ID: P100)

I loovveed the place. It was so quaint and picturesque.

Here are some of the snippets of our Pinto Art Museum visit with my reluctant model.

And few shots of my own —

After strolling for more than an hour, we got hungry and had late lunch at Pinto Cafe.

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We got Basilica pizza (PHP375) , Devil Roll (PHP325) and pink lemonade and raspberry iced tea. (probably around PHP80 each, sorry, can’t remember, lol) —

Pinto Cafe

Pizza was oh, so yummy!

 

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This is spicy tuna, cucumber, spinach deep-fried in wasabi batter.

If you have the time, do visit this beautiful place! Totally worth the trip *sighs*

Have you been to Pinto Art Gallery? Did you like it? Hit me up in the comments. Thanks, loves! Happy Tuesday!

x,

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