Smells Like Grandma!

Have you ever wondered what you actually smell like? Do you know what object when smelt will be reminded of you?

During college, I learned through lectures, readings and studies (Psychology was my major), that olfaction or the sense of smell can harness evocative power towards a person’s emotion.  I personally believe that people can fall in love towards a food, a location, an animal or even a person because of the odorant organic molecules that these objects of affection diffuses.

Just imagine the aromatic smell of coffee that relaxes you in the morning or the joy you feel when you smell freshly baked bagels?  Have you ever wondered why some stunningly beautiful and well-mannered lady can be so head over heels towards a rude dude who only takes a shower once a week? It must be the odor!  Furthermore, multiple journals in Psychology asserts that memories and recollections as evoked by smell are usually localized to the childhood period.

this reminds me of lola teray… ow i wish you can smell this.

All these stance and viewpoints about olfaction were further reinforced when I and my younger sister bought a buy-1-take-1 Japanese-made charcoal soap from a grocery store!  I of course paid for the “buy one” and she took the “take 1”.  Hahaha!

On my initial use and as soon as I lathered it on my hands, a vivid childhood recollection was evoked by the subtle fragrance of the soap!  The scent clearly reminds me of how my Lola Teray (my mom’s mom) smelled like.  On an impulse, my brain suddenly replayed some of the beautiful childhood memories I had when my adorable Lola Teray was still alive.

my lola teray… she smells so good…

lola teray’s photo when she was a chosen subject for a photography session

My family lost my Lola Teray more than 30 years ago, and I could not imagine how an object now can actually trigger and remind me of my long-forgotten scent of my grandmother!  How amazing is that?!  And as soon as I finished my shower, I messaged my younger sister telling her that the scent of the soap reminded me of our sweet and gentle grandmother, Lola Teray.  She agreed!

Now, I wonder how I smell and what odorant chemical compounds that I diffuse?  I wonder what crazy object do I smell like? Hahaha!

Small Victories

I got two words for you today…  Small Victories.

When I saw these words tattooed on a stranger’s left arm, it suddenly invoked some thoughts and emotions.  I became joyous and thankful.

It made me realize that I have actually been achieving countless small victories.  And though I often brush these aside and do not think about it, seeing the man’s tattoo made me contemplate how lucky and blessed I have been.  That I should appreciate and take into account these tiny accomplishments in life.

celebrate your small victories peeps!

Learning how to cook, freeing oneself from zits, waking up relaxed, sending a civil message to your ex, making someone smile and staying afloat when everybody seemed to have drowned are some of the small victories each one of us has to acknowledge and be joyous about.

Stay alive, be happy and keep achieving those Small Victories!

I Pay for Autumn, I Buy My Winter

It’s September 1.  Considered as the start of the BER-months, this is usually the day I would start getting excited about my purchased autumn or winter season.  Yes people, since I live on a spot where there are only two climate periods in a year, I buy my autumn and winter seasons.

Living and growing up in the Philippines which only has wet & dry seasons, my childhood is deprived of knowing what it’s like during autumn and winter.  And because I live in a climate where it is either hot or hotter, donning on thick coats, a beany and earmuffs would result to some fatal heat stroke.  Instead of owning trendy coats and jackets, me and my friends grew up possessing either a plastic rain coat or the mighty umbrella.

me and my sister love osaka!

And guess what?! During my early childhood days, I thought countries where snow falls are wealthy because that is where Santa Claus lives.  I would often wish that snow would fall in the Philippines so that it can finally get rich and Santa would have easier access getting here!

Now that I am old and my silly childhood wish for a cool autumn and frosty winter in my country will never ever occur, I purchase these seasons for me to personally enjoy and experience.  How do I do my purchase?  I simply apply for an elusive travel visa, book an airline ticket, reserve a cheap hotel and file my treasured vacation leaves so as to journey to a chilly northern or southern hemisphere spot on the planet.

Here’s some of my purchases…

happy at a snow festival in hokkaido!

braved trekking the ihlara valley in turkey during winter! 

my recent purchase! a chilly autumn in st. petersburg, russia

have always been a fan of autumn in koyasan, japan

Yeah! I envy people living on places where the leaves turn bright orange and where fine white snow falls. I guess, folks who say “people long for things and places they do not have” are so correct.  But for those who got yet hate these seasons, you just don’t know how blessed you are!  I so envy you that I even spend heaps of time and money purchasing it!

OMG! Sam Drew Me!

God is so smart and so clever that he decided not to bestow me the gift of being a drawing artist. Because of my being so egocentric, self-centered, narcissistic and self-obsessed, he knows that if He is to equipped me with such a talent, I would draw nothing but my self-portrait. 

But since God is truly unpredictably generous, He let me encounter an awesome Drawing Master. He gave me the amazing chance to know Sam of .AM I DOING THIS RIGHT? blog

I have been fortunate to bump into the wordpress blog of Sam.  His drawings posted on his blog gave me the impression that he indeed is a master drawer.  I may not be the arbiter who determines a good art work from the bad, but with my pretty rich exposures to various drawings and artworks that I have personally seen from various museums in various parts of the world, I guess I know a good artwork when I see one.

A fine art creation for me is something that prompts me to feel or do something: unconsciously grow goosebumps, write about it, stare on it for minutes, take photos of it, find out more regarding its origin or simply be breathless about it.

I was so impressed with Sam’s drawings that I did not hesitate clicking likes and commenting on his blog posts.  I was so impressed that I commented that “in case he run out of photos to draw, I can always volunteer and send mine” for him to work on.

Sam took it as a challenge and responded on my comment.  I did not, of course, hesitated sending him my photo.  And as expected, the one photo I choose includes me.  Without telling Sam the location where the photo was taken, he surprisingly recognized that it was taken in Glenorchy a beautiful southern town in New Zealand.

100% pure

After a short convo thru comment section of Sam’s blog, I no longer expected anything.  But surprisingly, when I tried checking out his latest blog post (I follow him by the way), this is what I saw.

OMG! Awesome!!!! (hahaha! i posted this photo without seeking Sam’s authorization, sorry Sam)

OMG! I uttered the biggest O.M.G. when I saw it!  I was so happy, I wanted to fly to Sam’s hometown and give him a kiss!

This is one big awesome surprise!  You just don’t know how glad I am when I saw it.    God may not grant me the talent Sam has but I know He was laughing out loud when He saw my jaw dropped, the moment I saw Sam’s super awesome drawing.  Thank you Sam from the bottom of my heart!

Bought Two Robot Toothbrush Hangers

In a couple of months I will be celebrating my 20th birthday on being 30 years old.  I must be excited because I am already writing about it. Or am I really excited or just anxious about this uncertain point in one’s life?  A lot of people embrace it others are unenthusiastic while some are simply numb.

What is alarming about my about-to-celebrate birthday the fiftieth time is that I am still single, lone, solo, free and unattached (do I really have to accentuate this much? Hahaha!).  People can say that in the aspect of finding and attracting a life partner I may be the living proof that The Secret revealed by Rhonda Byrne in her book regarding the law of attraction is nothing but a futile idea and an unsuccessful suggestion.

I have done all Rhonda Byrne has opined.  I slept in only one side of my bed which at times I find myself waking up on the floor because I unconsciously fell while sleeping at some point in the middle of the night.  I prepare food good for two servings which only resulted to my having to purchase larger sized clothing.  I allotted a space in my dresser which caused me to buy and install further dressers so as to have more space for my retail therapy.  I even bought and installed two cute robot toothbrush hangers inside my bathroom!

robot toothbrush hangers on my bathroom wall

hoping to have fun when i’m five zero

Despite this unsuccessful approaches and years may have passed, I would still like to believe in Rhonda Byrne when she say, “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation.  Every single circumstance of your life can change”.

I really hope and wish that Rhonda Byrne would prove me wrong.  According to her, thoughts become things.  But I really wish that in this coming November thoughts would finally become a person.  Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed!

A Tiny Good News in the Midst of Ongoing Uncertainties

Good news has been so left behind and seem to have totally been overshadowed by bad news.  Everybody would agree with me when I say that there has been a surplus of bad news this year.  Situations has been so cruel in this ambiguous and uncertain times of the world. Everybody if given the opportunity would go back last year (2019) so as to reboot the year 2020!

Let me then relay a tiny good news.  Because of the vague, hazy and unclear future of my personal life which I could no longer seem to control, influence and regulate due of the bad news that lurks around, I decided to flung and cast all my worries to God.  Because of the ongoing impact of the pandemic and all its effects of oversupplied bad news which has directly affected me, I was left with no alternative course of action but to pray and call God, Mother Mary, the angels and the saints for support, assistance and furtherance.

my nightly weapon

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, bizarre and strange as it may seem, the tiny good news I want to relay is that I now pray every day.  And prayer has been my only weapon now in these times of crises.  And I am glad to say that I don’t just say a little prayer, I actually do the grander scheme of things.  Since middle of March this year. I do recite and meditate on the beauty of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary every day without fail!

You may want to ask the effects of my praying the Holy Rosary.  Well, let me just say that it has helped me a lot to keep my sanity.  It has helped me to stay hopeful and optimistic that all this bad news will soon come to an end.  And the little requests, wishes and appeals that I would sneak in between my praying of the Hail Mary-s and Glory Be-s has so far been fulfilled and realized.

Happy day to all and I hope you have a tiny good news to share.

Queendom Called Vigan

The ongoing world-wide corona virus scare and outbreak made me defer any plans of going out of the country.  No way would I want to be quarantined for 14 long days!  This virulent virus however can not stop me from my being a wanderlust.

Instead of trooping out of the country, I settled domestic!  I went 9-hours by a sleeper-bus away from Manila and went to the Ilocos part of the Philippines and roam the queendom of Vigan.

travel back in time at calle crisologo

i heart vigan

Believe it or not, it was my first time in this rustic UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This queen city of the north of Philippines is actually one of the very few old colonial towns left in the country.  And what is so amazing is that the residents, though with struggle, were able to preserve the Spanish colonial era structures of the town.

While traversing the iconic Calle Crisologo at the heart of the city, I cannot seem to stop imagining that at any moment I would bump unto a European price, a Portuguese Duke or the Spanish Royal Guard who have gone for some leisurely vacay in the Philippines!

love this shot

antique finds!!!

so at home at casa syquia

rustic evening!

find me! hahaha!

Though some of the structures within the city were evidently abandoned, neglected and left to decay, the small impressive city obviously displays the cultural elements of Europe, China and the Philippines!  In fact some of the abandoned and decaying structures adds up to the charm and pleasing character of the area.

Because of the uniqueness of its character, I think I love Vigan!  And aside from taking tons of photos of the cityscape, my travel to Vigan took me the opportunity to taste and enjoy the Ilocano-cuisine, which I will feature in my future and upcoming posts.

Cutest & Bravest

At a very young age, I knew how it was to be very sick.  I was too sickly, I could be considered a regular “customer” of hospitals.  If hospitals and clinics would have a promo like Starbucks – earn enough points to get your free coffee on your next visit – I would be one who can easily earn the required hospital points to avail of a free confinement in the next visit. 

i remember this! my elder sister took this photo and i was just discharged from (as usual) the hospital.  too weak to smile! hahaha!

During my childhood, nurses and doctors are no longer surprised to find and see my name on their medical charts.  Nengkoy (my mother) in fact have loads of stories and anecdotes about her experiences in hospitals and during medical emergency situations that involves none other than, me.

I know how it is to be very very sick.  That is why every time I see a young child at odds and is battling an illness and medical circumstance, my heart would just melt.

I am in tears when I encounter this trending news about John Oliver Zippay, the young kid who battled and won a war against cancer.

The video washed my eyes!  I am super happy for J.O. (his nickname).  What is good to know is that aside from being sickly at a young age, both I and J.O. were tagged “STRONG” by our respective fathers.  The hashtag in J.O.’s GoFundMe page created by his dad was #JOStrong.  My Tatay (Dad) on the other hand named me after Neil Armstrong.

got this from cnn photos!  super happy for this boy! so brave, so brave!

There’s one big difference though between me and J.O.  Aside from his infectious charm, the difference is that J.O. is the cutest and the bravest!