January was interesting. It started quite uneventful but picked up by the second week and ended, sadly, in a negative note. It is true—well, at least for me—that the month felt like it went on for years like what almost everyone is saying on the internet. Although, I do think that the month only felt more eventful and slow than it actually was since I started journaling almost every day, about even the tiniest detail.

Month Highlights & Notes


The Start
Like I said, the first week was boring (and that’s saying something since I already have a boring life to start with) and uneventful. I welcomed the year sick. For the first 3 days, I was nursing a flu and a very bad cough that carried on through the next two weeks. Also, I really don’t remember much about my first week (I doubt I did anything being sick) since I only started journaling the second week.

The Middle
The second week was sort of… inspiring. I was like a walking ball of energy and had a once in a life time unlimited amount of motivation. Though I got rid of my fever, my cough got worse. For a few days I’d throw up whenever I'd lie down to go to sleep. I don’t know why it was like that but it was horrible along with having a hard time breathing from time to time. I really think I have my asthma back.

  • Our neighbor and close family friend called for help around 2 in the morning when she suddenly collapsed. My mom and I rushed to help her until her children was able to call the ambulance and bring her to the hospital. Thankfully, it was nothing serious.
  • I told my dad that I started a system into my journal similar to bullet journals and that I got a little frustrated and discouraged that I have nothing to write about since I don’t have everyday life and tasks. He answered, “That’s not you though. You’re internal. Write about your thoughts and philosophies instead.”
  • My sisters and I cleaned up our room spotless and mom was so proud and happy.
  • I made resolutions for the first time!
  • I had the serious thought of going back to school for a while after I had a talk with my dad wherein he planted an idea of me taking up a philosophy major. Coincidentally, the next day after my dad and I talked, I saw a post on Facebook from Portraits of America about a student studying Philosophy. Why philosophy? To learn how to think. Too many people go to college to get a job—they should go to get an education and learn.
  • Family friends visited us, coming home from London. At some point, they talked about cultural differences, most specifically the educational system when my dad mentioned that I was interested in studying abroad. But the highlight of this visit for me was when they asked me if I already graduated, I told them the truth that I dropped out of school and wasn’t ashamed of the fact at all and I was very proud of myself for it. (Not that dropping out is a good thing, stay in school kids!)
  • The family celebrated my uncle’s birthday with dinner and karaoke. Karaoke’s always fun though I don’t sing.

The third week was about settling into the year. It felt like the first two weeks still had the energy from all the Christmas and New Year celebrations so realizing that we’re in another year, planning for it, and finally not making the mistake of writing 2017 was all crammed up in the third week of the month.

  • I watched Seventeen (as I was getting into their fandom) on crack videos on Youtube and laughed so hard—the first time for the year!
  • I spent the whole day of January 19 sleeping and I seriously thought there was something terrible wrong about me… well, more so than I already was.
  • The day before, January 18, I sat beside my dad who was watching a movie as soon as I woke up, laid down with my head on his lap and cried, thinking about the future and despising myself how I could be a person without dreams.
  • I downloaded the Superstar BTS game in a desperate effort to lighten up my mood that was going downhill.
  • I spent one morning talking to the entire family over breakfast (and I mean coffee and lots of bread—the family’s breakfast) and watched NBA after. I also painted for a while. (Photo above) It was, hopefully the first of many to come, a really nice morning. Much needed.

The End
The remaining week and last days of the month were I daresay internal and very loaded. I had a good amount of time just to myself, which became rare since my sisters (my cousins really but I like calling them my sisters, it’s more appropriate) came to live with us, and I guess, set myself to retreat back to my shell again. I was too restless for the most part until the last two days of the January where I gave in to my mind and was a complete mess.

  • Out of nowhere, a lady knocked while me and my sister, Lucille, were at home alone and demanded that I give her 10 pesos so she can go home. I got scared and refused, also remembering my mom’s warning days before not to entertain strangers begging because of break-ins going in our neighborhood. Apparently, they use the excuse of begging to look around your house and then come back next time to steal something? So I refused the woman when she continued to ask me money and some clothes. After she left to knock next door instead and I calmed down myself, I felt really bad. Maybe I judged her too quick? I should’ve helped.
  • Dad borrowed philosophy books for me since I grew interest in Friedrich Nietzsche after I watched some videos on Youtube.
  • I wrote a letter for my aunt.
  • A ‘lowlight’ happened which I now call “Episode 1” but I’d rather not talk about it here. It’s the same demons, anyway.

Month Consumptions


The Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire book I borrowed from the library was barely holding on.

I consumed pretty good this month though I wasn’t able to watch any movies like I wanted to. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to watch movies. I preferred watching Korean variety shows for some reason and rewatch some of my favorites. I did read a lot, I’m so proud!

  • The K2 (2016)
    A former mercenary soldier seeks revenge for her his murdered fiance by working as a bodyguard to the hidden daughter of a presidential candidate. I didn't expect it to be as political as it was but it (still) was a very nice drama. I like the fight scenes mainly how Ji Changwook pulled it off so well. The acting of all the characters were really good, even the love interest which didn't really have much to go on, depth and development, was carried really well.
  • High Kick Season 3
    It's my first time watching something like High Kick from Korean television. It's sitcom but not really that sitcom by what I am mostly used to from Western TV. It has more flavor to it, more depth which I really like. I have yet to finish this one though. I'm still around the 60s out of 123 episodes!
  • Half-Moon Friends
    K-Pop boy group Winner's variety program where they set up a daycare center to take care and form friendship with 4 to 7 year old kids. I have a few episodes left to watch for this one too but aahh, it's been so cute and fun! The show really gave focus on the kids rather than just the idols. Winner really knows how to interact with the kids as well. They were so cute and it really showed that they care a lot for the kids.
  • The Gifted Episode 11-13
    The Gifted Season 1 ended this month! It was so good! *leaves it here çause I didn't commit to my episode recaps and I'm guilty lol*
  • Spirited Away (2001) - rewatch
    Lucille and I made our younger sisters and other cousin watch this. How this movie still amazes me and makes me feel things no matter how many times I've seen it, I'll never know. A masterpiece and my favorite!
  • Legend of Korra: Balance and Game of Thrones Season 7 - rewatch
    The go to for rewatches. Mainly because I miss Korra and her adventures and how I can't wait for the next and final season of Game of Thrones. Also, for the satisfying scene of dragons and my Stark children being the boss kids that they are.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    I'll have separate posts of proper book reviews for this one and all the other books I'll be reading this year. So... yeah. I'll leave my thoughts there? Hehe.
  • Seventeen One Fine Day Season 1 & 2 + Produce 101 Season 2 rewatch
    I haven't finished season 2 but season 1 was really fun! I didn't expect it to be Castaway but it showed how fun and hardworking these boys are, it was good! The first time I watched Produce 101, it was more about the show and this rewatch, I focused more on Wanna One. Is it weird that I was super nervous for them at their final elimination even though I knew who'd be debuting? LOL

Fangirl Moments

I don't know why I exactly have this corner... but BTS won two Daesang (Grand Prize for Korean music awards) this month and I'm super proud of them. Also, I got into Seventeen this month. I don't particularly like dyed hair unless you're Min Yoongi or Kwon Jiyong but blond Mingyu in Boom boom with forehead might be the only exception.



And that was January for me! Oh boy, that was long. If you made it through this part, I love you!! How did your January go? I hope it went well!! And I'll leave you all with a quote that always struck a chord in me whenever I watch Legend of Korra.

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About three weeks ago marked the third year of my aunt’s departure from our world. I decided not to visit her resting place and instead wrote her a letter, feeling this way, I can properly and wholeheartedly talk to her. Though it got a bit overwhelming for me from time to time that this took me a week and I always had to pause to get a grip of myself here and there, I felt like a great load was lifted off my shoulders when I actually did finish writing.

This got really personal and I seriously considered not to post this. But life overall is currently heavy for me, I need to let out some things and, I don’t know, sharing on my blog, to strangers, is the most comfortable option I have compared to my other alternatives. Also, somehow, posting this on the internet makes me feel like I’m actually sending my letter to my aunt. Wherever she is, I hope she has good Wifi.

Dearest Tita Guy-guy,

It’s been… what, 3 years since you started to look out for me—for us—from the heavens. I feel awkward, to be honest, writing this letter and even more while considering if I should say that I miss you. I realize we really didn’t spend a good deal of time together when you were still around. I mean, our time together was always short and in between intervals of long periods that we would barely remember our last encounter the next time we’d meet. Are our short moments enough to merit me a right to say, truly, that I miss you?

I wonder what conversations we could’ve had especially now that I am older. Maybe you could’ve taught me about commitment and faith? Being a nun, I could’ve asked you your views on certain topics. Maybe we could’ve watched Spotlight together. Or I could’ve just told you random things like a new meme I found, God ditching heavens and our prayers in Supernatural, or a joke that I found funny. You were always eager to listen to me before. I wonder if it would still be the same if we had more chances, more time.

Truth be told, Tita, half of me still doesn’t believe you’re gone. I’ve resulted to our lack of interaction as the reason why I feel this way. Sometimes, I feel you’re just called to work somewhere in the country, doing God’s mission, and will turn up for a visit soon. I still expect you to come during our family Christmas reunions actually, bearing all kinds of gifts and chocolates like you used to do. I’d always have to pause and remind myself that such thing is impossible. You’re up with the angels now, I’d like to imagine given your profession and probably forcing to them to help you tame your wild curly hair.

Don’t feel bad, Tita. It’s not your fault, it’s nobody’s fault.

We only did have fewer moments than what I would’ve wanted, yes, and yet as I look back at everything while writing this, your presence in my life, I realize, was never equal to the number of time we spent together for it was, always, so much bigger. Despite not always seeing each other, I still knew you were there. I still felt your huge heart for me and our family. You were like the moon when the sun rises, I can’t see you but I know you’re there. Like the wind, I can always feel you.

Perhaps that’s why I can’t bring myself to believe you’re gone nor can I will myself to say that I miss you. You were—you’re never gone. I feel you, Tita. With my entire heart, I do.

But you wouldn’t easily believe that for how much I’ve ignore you the past 3 years, would you? I have been ignoring you, I can’t deny that no matter how ashamed I am of the fact. I tried, Tita. I really did but one thing keep holding me back.

It was that day you came home and before lunch you came to me asking for my architectural plates. Do you remember? I gave them, my plates, to you and you settled yourself comfortably on the couch and began to look at them. Only, you were thoroughly examining them, more serious and focused than my teachers ever did. I started to become nervous and scared that you might be disappointed about my work but then, you looked at me after and had the widest smile I ever saw you wear. Your smile and your eyes told me that you weren’t—not even the slightest—disappointed. That, in fact, I could never disappoint you and you were very proud of me. It was that look that spoke volumes told me that no words could ever fully express your belief in me.

You returned my plates then and said, “Finish, okay?” And I promised you that I will.

That was the most vivid memory of you that I have. The last conversation with you that I could remember. A promise. A promise that I broke for I didn’t finish. I'm finally admiting it to you now. I broke my promise, Tita, and I am so sorry.

Shame, guilt, a mixture of both and attempts of coming up with excuses that always fail and end up of me telling myself, “Next time, I’ll face her next time,” led me here. Three years after. Words fail me. But I guess, there’s nothing really much to say? You have seen it all from where you are right now. I hope that you know how sorry I am and that I wish you don’t think less of me, Tita.

In fact, I actually need you to believe in me because I can’t do it for myself right now, Tita. I need that one look again to back me up, even just for a moment, and make me believe in myself and in a future as you did so once. I’m in dire need, Tita. Talk to the big Man you committed your life for me, if it’s not too much? Do your magic and make the stars where you are right now, the wind that you’ve always been to rattle me hard until a better version of myself come out—a version that is able to see what you saw in me all those years, that is able to say that my life and I am… of worth.

I’m sorry, Tita, if this letter suddenly took a dark turn and suddenly became about me. (Insert a long, long... long sigh from me somewhere here...) I don’t know how that happened, I just realized halfway through that my depression and dropping out of school was around the same time you said your goodbye, only a year apart. I don’t know what to make out of it but it got me thinking that maybe we did have a lot of thing in common like our family would always say.

Tita, I hope you’re doing well wherever you are. I hope you’re at peace and you’re not suffering anymore. I hope you’re somewhere good and beautiful just like how you’ve always treated and seen the world.

I’m not gonna say I miss you. You’re always around, right? Thank you. And I love you, Tita.

Always,
Dems.

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With the goal of blogging more regularly, I was thinking whether I should start a new blog series updated monthly or weekly. I was leaning towards a monthly series where, I think, there's a lesser chance of failing to commit, to be honest, but since I'm currently feeling very inspired right now, I figured I might as well make the most out of it and decided on a weekly series. May this inspiration carry through this series throughout the year!

The first week of the year was really boring. I spent almost the whole time sleeping as I suddenly got sick, coming from our Christmas family reunion. I didn't even get to celebrate and welcome the new year with my family. When I wasn't trying to recuperate, I was binge-watching Korean tv.

  • I started and finished The K2 at the start of the year. I've fallen in love with Ji Changwook and Song Yoonah was amazing. Yoonah's portrayal as the series' antagonist was so layered (she was evil but also sad, sly but caring, and powerful but just craving love), I hated and loved her at the same time. I wish there were more romance shown on the story, though. Yoona and Changwook was really cute as a couple.
  • After finishing The K2, I started High Kick Season 3 and Winner's reality show Half-Moon Friends but I haven't finished either.

The second week pretty much got me into the new year. I mean, I think it was only a few days ago that it finally hit me that it was, in fact, a new year. It's 2018! And 2017 went by so fast, don't you think so too?

  • I started to use the bullet journal system (not everything though) I've seen in a few Youtube journal flip-through and it has been incredibly fun! So far, it's been keeping me really inspired and motivated.
  • BTS won a daesang! Yay!
  • I made New Year resolutions for the first time.
  • I rewatched Produce 101 Season 2 just because. Seeing our baby chicks, how much they've grown and improved from Produce and now as Wanna One, makes me very emotional like a very proud mom.
  • I spent Sunday with the entire family as we celebrated my uncle's birthday. Of course, like almost every Filipino birthday celebrations, we had karaoke. My sisters sang and I asked all the Earthly powers why I wasn't gifted with a beautiful singing voice like them. LMAO.

How did your first two weeks of the year go?

I hope you had fun! Also, I'm planning to post these updates every Monday next time since I also have my journal starting on Mondays unlike the calendars. Wishing you all a great week ahead, too!

  Photo: December 2016
Mati City, Davao Oriental, Philippines
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Well, is it? No? Yay!

If there’s one type of post that is extremely difficult for me to write, it would be the obligatory year-end recap. For one, I have a very crappy memory and bad sense of time that 2012, to me, still feels like last year (it’s been five years already—what?!) and quite literally at the last day of each year I would always go, “What the hell happened to me this year? Wait… no that was 3 years ago… I think.” I mostly rely on my social media posts and photos I took to remember the year’s events but since I’ve taken a step away from both things this year, I am coming up very, very… very short on recapping 2017.

I do remember laughing a lot last year. A different kind of laughter. I laughed so much more compared to how much I did the last two years and felt it more deeply than I did all the other previous years. I asked my father before New Year’s what lesson he learned in 2017 and when he shot the question back to me, I told him, with a lot of conviction, that I learned to be happy.

A smile crept to my face then, realizing I’ve come a long way. I’ve learned how to be happy—I am happy now. Sure, last year still had its down moments but I’ve learned how not to let myself be completely overwhelmed by those moments. Most importantly, I learned to raise myself above and move forward from them. I am very proud of myself for that accomplishment and my progress especially considering where and how I was at the very beginning of this phase of my life.

This year I’m hoping that my progress will continue and the amount of positivity I’ve gathered from last year’s lessons will attract the same energy (and maybe more) for me this year too.

Twenty Eighteen Resolutions

Unlike previous years, I actually made resolutions for this year, thinking of my hopes for what’s to come. I’m never good with resolutions. I always end up with too vague goals and most of the time, the grandness of the idea I want to accomplish discourages me only a couple of months in the year. I’m hoping it’ll be different this time around. Also, I decided to go for more specific and simpler goals. This way, I hope I won't get discouraged and I will actually be successful with my resolutions by the end of this year.

To be honest, I’m not expecting too much from myself with my resolutions. I’m still not sure whether these resolutions have a bright future ahead with how I, also, lack commitment on long-term plans like this but let’s be positive, yeah? After all, it’s a new year!

01. Read more books and accomplish a reading challenge - For three straight years I've disappointed myself for reading less and failing my reading challenge on goodreads time and time again. This year will change that, I promise!

02. Blog more often and more truthfully - I still feel like I haven't accomplished the goals I had when I rebranded my blog last year and so I'll be focusing and putting more effort onto this blog this year. A "sub-goal" under this one would be to document more memories on my blog on a regular basis. A more specific goal included in this one, too, is to share my blog (proudly) more to people I know in real life, something I still haven't done in all of my years blogging.

03. Take more photographs or rediscover photography again

04. Journal and write often - I just started to fuse a system in my messy journal, inspired by the bullet journaling system to log my days and everyday life and/or thoughts. This year, I'm promising myself to write down everything, no matter how boring my life usually gets, to keep track of memories, process my thoughts more deeply (a mentally conscious lifestyle) and have something I could look back to in the future.

05. Learn new things

06. Accomplish things in my 101 things in 1001 days list - I made a 101 Things in 1001 Days list around October of last year and I haven't done anything from/by it apart from making a list and starting an art journal. I'm hoping to cross out things from the list as much as I can including blogging all about it this year!

07. Pray more and reconnect your faith

08. Paint and draw more - Last year, I was able to regain my love and passion for art and tried to explore my lack of skills again. I'm hoping to continue that this year, additionally putting a learning perspective to my art. I'm also challenging myself to create at least one art piece per month to showcase my progress.

09. Keep a year highlights notes or jar

10. Listen to more music and watch 100 new movies this year

To be more specific, I’m thinking of making monthly goals that would ultimately help my larger goals for the year. I think that way I could make committing to my goals a habit (and teach myself commitment, too!) and so, I wouldn’t get discourage or feel that I’m slacking off or not doing enough.


There's really something about New Year's that makes you feel so optimistic (even to a very pessimist person like me) about the future, doesn't it? Somehow restarting your life doesn't feel so heavy and burdensome around this time...

Lastly, though this might be somehow a bit late, I want to wish you all a happy new year! May nothing but love, light, and happiness fill our days ahead. May all our wishes come true and may we all find the strength to work and continue to hope for better days! Be kind, stay awesome.

  First Photo: a photo from 3 years ago, one of 2015's last sunsets
Second Photo: the same sunset on a different angle/placement
December 2015 Mati City, Davao Oriental, Philippines
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