The Smell of The Sea

I grew up in Baler, a small town in the Province of Aurora located in the Central Luzon, Region III of the Philippines. Proudly, my hometown is one of the top surf spot in the Philippines and over the years, it has become a tourist attraction. With its 9 feet mighty waves, the place is definitely a haven for surfers.

I remember waking up as early as 4 A.M, so I could join my Father fishing and/or watch the sun as it goes up in the morning. I remember the smell of the sea…I remember walking at the beach on barefoot, enjoying the sand between my toes, while Dad is busy catching some fish for breakfast. I remember the salt water in my mouth, the distinct aroma of the ocean air, I remember running from the waves, trying not to be caught. I remember my thick dry curly hair because of the salt water. I remember the face of my Father, every time he catches big fish, his smile from ear to ear, alive and strong and full of life. I remember how he carries me on his shoulder going back to our house. I remember everything, it made we want to go back to my childhood, life was so simple back then.  miss ko na pala si tatay!

I took photos of the beach, the last time I went home. So, I can look at it anytime. I used the photo as a background to a Beach Theme Wedding Invitation and it actually came out nice. Check it out:

Here’s the original photo. It was cloudy and about to rain when I took these photos.

I looked at these photos and it always reminded me of the smell of the sea. The lovely aroma of the sea breeze, especially in the morning.

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Posting for the Daily Prompt : Scent

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Faded Feelings

Me – staring blankly at my computer screen, listening to a song that is playing on my Spotify.flower daisy T-Shirt

A glimpse of the past suddenly runs through my thoughts and it made me smile and then a tiny giggle. It is so funny how music brings back memories, it made you stop in a moment and savor the feelings of being in the past again, even for a second.

I closed my eyes.

Years has passed and you realized, no matter how painful the past and how strong the feeling was, the music never brings it back, only the memories…

The feelings just faded.

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Posting via Daily Prompt: Faded

Faded

tiny conversation

I just lost my job recently, a job I thought would last a lifetime, something I cared for and loved with all my heart. It breaks me into small pieces.

My son, saw me crying silently at my desk.

“Mama, what’s wrong?”

I’m sad. I said.

“No, you cannot be sad”

Why not?

“I love you Mama” and he showered me with kisses.

How lovely and sweet.

He is right, I can’t be sad. I have him.

So.. To light up my moment and get this heaviness out of my chest.

I said, “I want to go to the moon, would you like to come?”

“Mama, we cannot go to the Moon!”

Why not? I could ride a bike to fly to the moon!

Irritated now and almost a shout “Nooo…. You can’t ride a bike to the moon, it can’t fly and the moon is too far. You need a spaceship, we don’t have that. And… and… You need a space suit and you don’t have one. And you can’t leave me here and Tatay (Dad), we need to stick together.”

My son is five years old.

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Posting via Daily Prompt: Culture

Daily Prompt:Culture

Pungent…

Today’s one-word prompt is PUNGENT, and it made me remember. Not the pungent odor, but a very aromatic moment.

3 years ago when I first set foot inside our house, I remember the pungent odor of burning onions and garlic and then the aroma of a very spicy food. I remember the smell so vividly that it water’s my mouth while writing this. It came from the apartment next to our door, where an Indian couple with two grown up kids is living. And up until now, every once in a while I smell this very familiar aroma, a mixture of curry powder and coconut milk – I know, she’s cooking it again. And I’d be here tapping on my keyboard, wondering if the taste of the food is as good as how it smells.

My Indian neighbor does not only have a delicious cuisine, they also have this colorful clothing. Every Sunday, I see them wearing their beautiful Sari. I love watching them as they walked graciously, bursting with colors and beautiful accessories.

They fascinated me.

via Daily Prompt: Pungent

Back to UpWork and Job Hunt

This is a continuation on my professional career meltdown :-). I am now officially unemployed and in the process of looking for a new job.

UpWork formerly known as oDesk has always been of great help. I registered here like 6 years ago, but never really got the chance to build my reputation on this job bank because, after a few tries, I got a permanent job. Voila!! Six years have passed and here I am: UNEMPLOYED!

So, I went back to UpWork this time and started to make my profile look professional, I changed my Profile photo to make it nicer, I added some Work Experiences and created a portfolio. I change my ‘overview’ details to make it direct to the point and more appealing. You know what? It’s hard to look for a new job this time, I submitted 25 proposals and only got one invitation for an interview. (Help me, Lord).

The struggle is real this time around my friend!

There are thousands of job ads, but there are also millions of job hunters, mostly Asian, who are as good as you or maybe even better but offer their services at a lower rate. Can you compete with Indians? Or Bangladeshi? In terms of hourly or fixed rate?  If you live in the Philippines and you sell your services same rate as Indians or Bangladeshi, you won’t be able to buy a pair of panties, I swear! Everything in this country is expensive, from Tuyo to Salmon. Lahat mataas, panty na lang ang bumababa sa madaling araw.

But, if you are just building your profile and reputation, good reviews are more important than money, so you sell your product as low as 3USD per hour – It can get you by. Don’t give up, the more positive reviews you get, the more clients will notice you. The time will come when you will be able to charge them 10USD per hour, and who knows maybe 25USD per hour after a year. Just keep holding on to your faith.

God will provide!

P.S.:

Anyone looking for Email Handler or Virtual Assistant – here is my UpWork Profile:

http://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~01bdc564897741404b/

On Job Hunt

So… It has ended!!!

My boss has finally decided to close the company down. He emailed me yesterday that it was our last day and asked for my invoice which I have been delaying since I log in. I hate to think that it was really our last, that we are going to part our ways. We’ve been working together for six years and it’s hard to just leave everything behind and start anew.

We have informed a week ago about the possibility of closing down and I have started hunting for a new job since then. I have actually prepared myself for any emotional and psychological stress, but this sudden change in my daily routine and my professional career still kept me awake at night. You really can’t move on quickly, especially when you spent six years of your life working for a nice company and wonderful people. The rapport you established with your team is something you just can’t throw away and something you just can’t get overnight – this is the sad part of losing one’s job: Starting over again!

I don’t have time for grief. I have to move on and I have moved on easily, I don’t let any negativity in life keep me down. I know that there’s a lot of good things in the future that is waiting for me. And in times like this, I keep holding on my faith, that God will provide, as my brother-in-law always tells us: God will provide!

I’m on Job hunt now. So, if you need a VA or email handler, please count me in. You can check my profile on UpWork:
http://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~01bdc564897741404b/
or you may contact me via realgrapiks[@]gmail[dot]com

I can provide the following services:
Microsoft Word and Excel and Photoshop
Wordpress
Manage contact lists and customer spreadsheets
Maintain a calendar and set up meetings
Prepare and send out e-mail newsletters
Prepare, collate and ship proposals and meeting materials
Send out requested information to customers
Handle client inquiries by e-mail
Email Management/Filtering
Booking Appointments with clients
Following up with clients/customers (thank you and other reminder emails)
File Management (organizing files using Dropbox)
Database building (updating email or contact list on your CRM)
Research on certain topics
Personal errands (purchasing gifts for loved ones/family members online)
Hotel and Flight Booking
Creating basic reports
Preparing slideshows’ on PowerPoint
Recruitment
Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Tumbler)
Manage and update social media accounts
Manage your blog
Publish posts on your Blog (as long as you provide the content)
Filter and reply to comments on your blog
Blog commenting (to increase traffic and links to your site)

Is this the End?

It’s a roller coaster! Everything is turning upside down in my professional arena now. Life has thrown so many challenges in my life and this one is by far the hardest. Imagine giving your all to a company for almost eight years, spending all your energy, talent and skills, investing emotional connections with your team and bosses. You created your virtual family and you really feel needed, belonged and loved. You feel contented and happy and then one day, in a snap of time, the dark force has just taken them all away from you.

Today is Monday, 31st October 2016 and supposedly my last day at work. My boss hasn’t shown up yet, maybe it is because it’s just 2:56 PM Manila Time and is still too early in the United Kingdom. I feel so bad that working with him will soon end. He has been very good and I just wish I could do something to keep the company going, but there is really nothing I can do. It is beyond my capacity. Waiting for further instructions on what is going to happen to us after today feels like forever and is like I’m slowly dying – it really keeps me awake all night for two days now. I wonder what the future will bring.

I am not so sure if Rob will still keep me, at least as his Virtual Personal Assistant, I hope he will.

I’m dying to know if today is the ‘End’ so that I can move on.

KWEK-KWEK, PORK STEAK AND AN UPSET STOMACH

I went to collect my nephews Form 137 at Jone Paul Christian School Inc in Fairview, Quezon City last Monday. To go to Fairview from Tabang, Guiguinto – you have to take a van and get off at SM North, then you have to pass through all the food stands under the hanging garden at SM North to get to the Van going to Fairview terminal. Having not eaten lunch before leaving home, I feel so hungry that I chose to eat Kwek-kwek soak in vinegar with spices. Hmm… ang sarap. There is a Kiosk selling kwek-kwek and tokneneng (I’m not sure if it is Dr. Kwek-kwek) and a buko juice at a nearby stand. Lunch is solved!

On my way back to Bulacan, I decided to eat at Sizzling Plate in SM North Food Court, so I ordered Pork Steak, oh my God… I MISSed IT A LOT… It was a very long time since I last ate at Sizzling Plate, it’s our favorite food station back when I was still working at Cybersoft.

The next day, I woke up with an upset stomach, it was so bad! And I kept vomiting. Suka’t Tae ako – excuse me po sa kumakain. My god! I was food poisoned and I don’t know which food has poisoned me. I don’t want to blame kwek-kwek, but it could be it!!! Or the Pork Steak from Sizzling Plate? Or could be the Buko Juice?. Na-swertehan ko lang siguro. This won’t stop me from eating Kwek-kwek or any street foods, ang sarap kaya ng kwek-kwek with matching salmonella on the side hahahhaha. Even after losing all my energy yesterday from going back and forth to the bathroom and vomiting, even after being exhausted and weak, I would still eat kwek-kwek.

Anyway, a friend of mine suggested that I drink Pocari Sweat, so before bed yesterday I drank two bottles, it helps me get my energy back a little. I drank another two today, I feel energized, but my tummy is still feeling weird. Yakult is also helping a lot. Pocari Sweat is the best Upset Stomach Remedy.

Anyone, having an upset stomach. I suggest you drink Pocari Sweat and Yakult. Pocari Sweat will help manage your dehydration. “It contains balanced electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride) which are a critical factor in the timely absorption to the body, to help you recover from dehydration faster. Refreshing and mild tasting recommended as a beverage for sports, exercise or any physical activities and various forms of dehydration in daily activities”. Yakult,  on the other hand, is a probiotic, it improves digestion and helps builds immunity.

pocari sweat

yakult
Make It Your Own

Movie Date with Friends

This post was a little late.

Last week, we watched a movie called “THE ACHY BREAKY HEART” which is about a woman in her mid-30s, independent, has a strong personality, have a good job and earning well enough but has been single for a long time.

The movie stars Jodi Sta Maria, she plays the protagonist Chinggay. I’m sure all of those who watched the movie can relate to Chinggay’s character and feel all her successes and disappointments. She is a loving daughter and sister who works hard to support her family, send her younger sister to college and setting aside all of her dreams just to provide for her love ones.

Having friends around doesn’t help from still feeling alone. Life would be more colorful and interesting if you have someone to share all your thoughts with. Then, one day a handsome guy named Ryan played by Ian Veneracion comes along, but in a twist of fate someone from the past also suddenly showed up. All of a sudden, Chinggay found herself in a middle of a love triangle. Will she choose Frank, the man from the past who is willing to win her back again? Or Ryan, the one she just met but gave her that kilig feelings she never felt before?

If I am Chinggay, I would choose Ryan… ang pogi kaya ni Ian GRABBBEEEEEE!!!!  Who is for #TeamTisoy???? And who is for #TeamTsinoy???

It is a feel-good movie, though there are lots of boring moments, the kilig moments covers it all. Jodi, Ian and Richard played their characters really well. The ending is unexpected. It makes you want for more. I feel that it needs a continuation, part 2 perhaps.

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A glimpse on my-not-so-boring life

Nothing much is going on with life right now. Nothing dramatic and worth reading. I am actually a boring person.

My life evolves in the four corner of our house. My daily routine on weekdays starts in the morning from our bedroom to the bathroom, then downstairs to the kitchen – living room – kitchen again – then the dining room. Then.. before 10 AM, I have to prepare my son for school. The school is 5 minutes walk from our house. Well.. that’s quite a little journey 🙂

12noon is Lunch time and I have to start my home based job around 1.30PM. Working from home is really rewarding and it gives you lots of time and lots of savings. Imagine working in an office few steps away from your bedroom or just downstairs from your bed. Isn’t it awesome? You don’t need to worry about your clothes, your make-up and no more traffic haggardness! The best part is, you don’t need to deal with obnoxious officemate and feeling boss na supervisor. If you wish to work from home and enjoy all the privileges that I am enjoying, plus higher hourly rate than our local office jobs, try this website: https://www.freelancer.com

I could buy the things that I like, bags, shoes, clothes… etc. I do online shopping too. You could find all the pretty things at Zalora, and you can actually avail a 15% discount by just using the code on the photo. It is a special code given to me by Zalora, being their Fashionista shopper daw kuno. I could share it with anyone, so there…. enjoy your 15% discount. Please, only on selected items.

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I’ve been living like this for 8 long years. I am happy and contented. I’ve got money. My husband loves me, I have a son, we live simple a life. I have a ‘virtual life’ and ‘virtual friends’. No one is visiting us, except my in-laws and my own family. It hit me one morning – ‘My God, I don’t have a friend, I mean real friends. Like, someone you can hang out, talk with…. I mean physically, I don’t have anyone except my immediate family. I realized that my world is too small and its not helping me. I don’t wanna grow old living in a shell. The outside world is such an interesting place and I so much wanted to experience it once more. I don’t even know my neighbours’ OMG. —  that was a year ago.

Last June of 2015, I decided to go to Gym. It was the best decision ever, I’ve got to meet new people. I found new friends who share the same interests as mine plus I was able to lose some pounds.

My life is not that boring after all.

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