The life advice I wish I could give my younger self is…

Never put too much pressure on yourself to become the person everyone thinks you are. You are not perfect, you make mistakes and you are a work in progress. Never, ever compare yourself to anybody!!! You are unique in your own ways. Do things at your own pace. Keep things light and simple. Don’t be so hard on yourself, girl! Subtract all the toxicity in your life. Don’t let those negative thoughts pollute your mind. Enjoy whatever you have and focus on your goals (make it specific, by the way)! In God’s perfect timing, everything will be settled.❤ #anGala #ClassyWanderer

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Ber Months is here!

On Sunday

It was my maternal grandmother’s 83rd birthday! We always visit her

How about you? How did you welcome the start of Christmas season? I would like to hear from you, you may share it as a comment below 🙂

Sunday Night

Nothing really special today. I realized t’s been a while since the last time I posted a blog. I just thought I could spend a few minutes before my laptop’s battery charge gets empty.

Hi. How was your weekend? Well, mine went by really fast but it seems to be fun.

Last Thursday, I decided to sleep over in our house. PJ was out of town so the house was all mine. Mwahahaha! So I told my mom about my plan. Friday night, my whole family (except my dad who chose tennis over me </3 hahahaha) came over and we had sotanghon-pizza-squidballs kind of night! My bro even baked brownies.☺

I just had a glimpse of how it’s going to be like when I get married probably a few months from now… Sa totoo lang, I literally cried over it when they already left and I was all alone in the bed. Not sure if I am not ready to be married yet or be alone with just another human being in another house other than my mom. 😀

I woke up early the next day. Mukhang hindi na ako namamahay sa aming bahay, which is good to know. Adjustment won’t be hard. I had shower then went to the market to find something to buy. Haha! You know what I got, 2 white towels worth 12Php each that I can use to clean our floors and 25Php Mongo Bread for my cheap breakfast. Damn. Spent 40Php for my two-way pamasahe!!! Luge pa ko. Hahaha. Should get my own bike. Hihi 🙂

When I got back, I cleaned the house—swept and wiped the floor with my new towels and cleaned the bathroom. How come I don’t do this at my parents’ house???

I had to settle with this small TV (with no antenna) that PJ brought from their house. The signal was really making me hot-headed but I still managed to watch KalyeSerye. Eto na pala ang “tamang panahon”! Kung kailan naman panget ang reception, saka naman ganito! I turned up the volume to 60 to make it more exciting. Hahaha! Screaming my lungs out nung nagkita sila!!! ❤ I’m not really a fan of GMA shows but this one really got me… Lola Nidora’s words were really wonderful. I mean, all people should watch this show. It’s not only about ka-cornyhan, you know. You’ll really learn a lot! ^^

I did a little video editing then I watched Big Hero 6. Oo, ngayon ko lang napanood. Nakakaiyak pala yun! The story’s really great. I wish I could have my own Baymax… 🙂

When the night came, I picked up my Yema Cakes and personally delivered it to some of my customers with PJ. Yey! ^^

Woke up late this morning, around 9am… Missed my bed perhaps? Haha. I had homemade pizza pandesal for breakfast. Then delivered the Yema Cakes again: Sto. Niño > San Roque > Rancho Estate 3 > SM Masinag. I then had my defective bulb exchanged at Wilcon then went to Robinson’s Metro East. Do you believe I spent my whole time there in Handyman, Japan Home Center, Daiso, MK Kitchen and Dept. Store??? Things really change.

I spent my earnings from my Yema Cake business for Homey’s mats, toilet bowl cleaner, ceramic jar and Lemongrass oil.♥ Still have so many things on my list. Tomorrow, PJ and I will be getting our very own induction stove! Weeee!

Hoping for a good week ahead. Good night :*

I’m Engaged! ♥

Saturday, May 9, 2015.
I thought it was just an ordinary day, but I felt extraordinary.
Without an alarm, I still managed to wake up early. With my mom, dad and
brother, I had my favorites for breakfast: corned beef and scrambled
egg with sausages. 🙂

I
also got mani-pedi services at home. For only 150Php (including the
tip), voila, I had French-tipped fingernails and gray toes! First time
to try this combination. You know, there are also times when I want to
make my feet and hands look fair and feminine. Hihi.

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PJ
and I had planned to go somewhere in UP Village to try a new restaurant
at 3pm. After lunch, I could still afford to take a nap. He arrived in
our house at around 4pm to pick me up. He was late because of the extremely heavy traffic
in Antipolo—it’s Sumaka (Suman-Mangga-Kasoy) Festival! But I didn’t
make scenes anymore because I was busy watching ‘Til My Heartaches End.
Hahaha! Plus, pormang-porma. Buti na lang a week ago, he asked me if I
could wear a dress. Ayun, hindi naman ako nagmukhang yaya. 😀

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All
along I thought we’re going to Artsy Café in Maginhawa St. That was the
plan last week. But instead of heading straight to A. Bonifacio Ave.
which is a shorter cut to Katipunan, he turned left… going to our house.
On our way, he kept saying “I love you, Babe” and even brought up those
dates when we started dating. He even asked me to take a photo and
video of us while we’re in the car but it was moving and the photos
were blurry so I didn’t have much. He parked the car on the side where
we don’t usually park. At dahil feeling lalaki kasi ako, I always go and
walk first even when he’s still inside. I think he already knew I’d be
doing it so he told me he’d get out of the car first. Then I knew he’s
brewing something… (If you’d ask me kung wala man lang akong
nakutuban, I thought they were really weird this past week. I just
didn’t want to assume things, you know.) He looked so nervous and
uneasy. Haha! I had never seen him like that. He handed me his phone and
asked me to wear the earphones. I remember, what I said was “ANO
‘TO???” as we were walking towards the gate when in the back of my mind,
I already had a clue. He instructed me to sit on the chair at the gate
and with his shaking hands, he played the video and left me. I was
already teary-eyed. There he appeared, he was talking, saying he already
wanted to bring our relationship to the next stage. My tears burst.
Then our photographer and videographer friends came out. And I guess God
really prepared me for this moment… I don’t normally have a hanky in
my bag but I had one that day. Probably because He didn’t want me to
look ewan on the pictures. Hahahaha! He compiled our photos and
videos from our first months up to the recent. Important events, travels
and just-because moments together… I really couldn’t hold back my
tears. :’)

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At
the end of the video, I was asked to look at the back… Hagulgol to
the max! Why? I was absolutely surprised to see my whole family and his
and our closest friends there!!! Then I recognized my dad, mom,
dad-in-law, mom-in-law and sis-in-law holding banners with words “Anj
Will You Marry Me? :)” respectively. PJ was standing in front, with a
beautiful bouquet of flowers (that I have always dreamt of receiving
whenever I saw it in the mall, haha) in his hands, as if he was waiting
for me at the altar. I just couldn’t walk. My hands were shaking. I
couldn’t stop my tears from falling. (You know, I’m still teary-eyed as I
write this…) He asked me to come near him. He was crying. (My BFF Soph was really kind to upload a video of this moment a few hours after. The link is here.) He looked
to my eyes and sincerely said it’s about time for this moment, that we
have God, our families and loved ones to guide us in this BIG step that
we’re about to take. He said the sweetest “I love you” I have ever heard
from him (so far). I hope the videographers were able to capture this
very moment because I won’t get tired of watching him say those words
over and over again… Then he knelt down and brought out a small red
box. He actually stood up again and handed me the bouquet. Nakalimutan
na nya sa sobrang pagka-tensed. Haha! Then he already asked me
the question every girl would love to hear… As he was saying the
words, I felt like only the two of us were there. I said “Yes!” without
any hesitation, as if I was all ready to answer “Yes” hindi pa man siya
nagsisimulang magsalita. Haha! I could hear my husky voice shaking. He
wore the precious thing on my left ring finger, kissed me on the cheek
and hugged me. I closed my eyes and thanked the Lord for giving me this perfect
man for me that I was hugging. He knew I’d be much, much happier having only the important people in our lives there. I heard them clapping hands and saw
them wiping tears. Everyone was happy. But I wasn’t… because I was the
happiest.

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Please say you’re happy for us. 🙂

Our priest-friend approached us and we started the ceremony… It was also the day of the blessing of our
new house. The house that witnessed his wedding proposal and will
shelter our future family. The house that will be our home with God’s grace.
Though we don’t have any furniture yet, we have our Sto. Nino (a gift
from PJ’s parents) and Holy Family (which I won from a “mini raffle”
from our priest-friend a few months ago) for our altar. After the rooms
were blessed, he asked our parents to give a message for us. Then we
threw coins from the outside of the main door to inside, as they say, it’s for us to receive abundant blessings.

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We also signed the turnover papers that day. Atin na talaga to, wala nang atrasan! 😀

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When
we got home, my mom and I were talking while we’re eating this sweet and delicious chocolate fondant cake made by my brother-in-law. She told me that PJ already asked her and my dad’s blessings
as well as my brothers’ (and nieces’ perhaps?) and treated them for
dinner last month. It was such a really sweet gesture… I sometimes
felt a little disappointed because he never asked for my parents’
permission whenever we go out (even out of town). Hindi ko naman alam na
ipagpapaalam naman pala niya ko pag papakasalan na nya ko… sa buong
pamilya ko pa.♥

The
day ended with heavy rains and thunderstorms. But I was even happy it
happened. It’s as if God was sending His message to us that this day was
really blessed.ü

So
this is what it feels like… Nalaglag sa lupa yung pagiging macho
ko… I felt like a queen. I just can’t contain my happiness! At work, I
would stop for a while and glance at my ring and the proposal scenes
play in my mind as if this ring has a VLC player. Dati napapanood ko
lang sa movies and videos yun. With all the efforts and love, my ex-boyfriend, who
is now my fiancé, absolutely didn’t fail to make me feel really
special…

There
had been a time in my life that I became afraid of
commitments—short-term or long-term—that even getting a 24-month
postpaid plan scared me. It’s a little scary how being an adult scared
me too much even when I felt I was macho enough for anything. I lived
with whatever I have but it seemed like there’s a big piece missing. I
was eager to search for it. I was one of those who believe in
#walangforever. For years, I have been praying for guidance, strength
and courage to take risks and prepare for life’s challenges. God is
indeed generous for when I had almost given my hopes up, He granted me a
man that would change my perspective towards everything in just a hit
of a button. One day came and I realized I am ready to commit myself to
‘someone’ for the rest of my life and that I won’t have to be afraid for
whatever the future brings as long as we hold each other’s hands. PJ Tolentino is
that ‘someone’ and God made me believe #mayforever.♥

How
we started was something I never thought would lead us to where we are
right now. The first few years were never easy. We had been through a
lot of things I thought would break us permanently. But I guess those challenges were God’s way of teaching us a lesson in life that everybody must learn, too: Fight for what you love. Love
is such a wonderful thing that it makes you brave enough to face what
scares you the most—accepting and being accepted. Each of us has our
own set of fears and flaws but we choose to deal with it together. We
still argue (and I’m sure we’ll be arguing more) for the small and big
decisions that we make but one must concede and lower his/her pride. You
know you win when you see yourselves happy and contented towards
the same direction together.

Being
in a relationship is just like playing Clash of Clans, we have just
upgraded our Town Hall (relationship) to the next level. As they say,
the higher the level, the harder the challenges. There will be goons
(problems) to attack us and test our strength along the way but we will
build strong defenses (love) to protect our base (relationship). We have
our troops (families and friends) to support us as we go through this
level. We build and fix what’s broken like what the builders do. We remove the
trees and rocks (problems and pride) that hinder us in achieving our relationship goals and
we choose the right strategy to gain more golds, elixirs and gems
(finances, career and personal growth, and relationships). We learn to
wait until the right time comes that we’re ready to upgrade to another
level. But we don’t stop there; we work harder to make things better
than the previous levels. Kaya PJ, wag ka na masyadong kokontra pag naglalaro ako kasi naire-relate ko naman satin to. Hahahahaha! :))))

To
our families and friends, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Each message you send is a gift we will always keep in our hearts. We
are truly grateful for all your best wishes. We are overwhelmed with the
support you have shown us all throughout. Thank you for being happy
for us. May you include us in your prayers that God will bless and guide
us in the next path that we’re about to take.

Hubby
Babe, I know you will be able to read this anytime soon dahil ikaw ang number 1 fan ng blog ko… Thank you very much for all the love,
efforts, patience and sacrifices. Di ako makapaniwalang isang linggo na
pala ang nakalipas. Hindi pa man tayo nakakapag-set ng wedding date,
meron na agad challenge sa atin. Pero kaya natin’ to! God is with us! I’ll reserve the rest
that I want to say to you. Hihi. Mahal na mahal kita more than a trillion times.♥

Have a great day and God bless.

Will be sharing the official photos and videos soon by Infinite Pixel Digital Photography… 🙂

My Papal Visit 2015 Experience

As I started typing this, my hands still feel numb after being soaked in rain for almost 10 hours.

Yesterday, I am more than blessed and grateful and became a part of the history.

Nung dumating si St. John Paul II na dating Santo Papa sa Pilipinas noong 1995, which happened to be also the World Youth Day, wala pa kong kamuang-muang. I was only 6 years old then and the only thing that mattered to me was playing with other kids on the street. When the Vatican announced through CBCP that Pope Francis will be visiting the Philippines in January 2015, I promised to try my best to see him and attend a Mass he will preside. Everyone was VERY excited, including myself. 🙂

2 days before Christmas, Malacañang declared January 15,16 and 19 as special nonworking holidays. Yeeeey! Not because there’s no work (well, syempre onti, hehe) but because I could watch his Mass and delivered speeches on TV.ü

The Pope arrived as scheduled on Thursday at around 5:45PM. I was watching it on TV online with my dad at our sala.

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The crowd started to cheer when they saw the SriLankan Airlines plane arrived.

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Kudos to this cameraman who captured this shot while the Pope was still inside the plane. Kung gusto, may paraan!

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Finally! The Pope was here! He was welcomed with a breeze of air which carried his skull cap. But still gave his sweet smile and wave.Ü

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He looked so happy and excited as he boarded his D-Max popemobile. Even more when he was welcomed by thousands of people along his way to the Apostolic Nunciature.

Here’s a closer look at the D-Max popemobile.

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Trivia: Pope Francis ditched a bulletproof popemobile and preferred to have an open and simple one so he could easily greet the people. He explained that at his age, he doesn’t have much to lose.

I came home from Cavite last Saturday night to celebrate the feast of San Antonio Abad with my relatives at my mother’s hometown, Kaong, so I was still tired from the travel, but that didn’t stop me from going to Luneta the next day.

I woke up at 7:30am and fixed my stuff. I had to bring a shoulder bag where I could put my phone, crackers, chocolates and water. I left the house on comfortable clothes: shirt I got from my sister-in-law as a Christmas gift, black denim, rubber shoes and clear raincoat. Oo, parte ng #ootd ko yun. Hehehe 😀

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I went to Santolan station and expected the long queues to the ticket counters. As I was waiting for my turn, I saw this man hugging Sto. Niño near the gate. He was just one of the people who brought Sto. Niño with them, surely to attend the Mass in Luneta by Pope Francis. Yesterday was also the feast of Sto. Niño.

A lot of people─kids, teens, middle-aged, elderly─wearing Papal Visit 2015 shirts boarded the train. A group of teens (probably from a parish youth ministry) was talking about how lovely Pope Francis looks when he smiles and how excited they were to see him. (Hindi ako nakikinig, maingay lang talaga sila. Hahaha!)

I even saw my dad after passing the Legarda station whom I didn’t notice was just beside me from Pureza station. Haha. He left as early as 6AM to see the Pope. We separated ways when we reached the Recto station. We have different lives, you know. Hahahaha!

After long walks from LRT2’s Recto station to LRT1’s Doroteo Jose station, pinigil pa ng guards yung mga tao kasi wala raw kaming mga ticket pa. Eh syempre, bibili pa nga lang kami kaya kami pupunta dun! So they had no choice but to let us in. Isang daan kami, dalawa lang sila.

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The train had to stop at Central Ave station and waited for like 5-10 minutes before we moved station dahil daw sa sobrang dami ng taong bumababa sa UN Ave Station (the nearest station in Luneta). Wala ngang joke, sobrang dami nga. The guards had to manually get the cards para mas mapabilis.

The last time I went to Luneta was for the Million People March a year and a half ago. Akala ko nun, yun na yung “maraming tao”. Walang sinabi yun sa nakita ko kahapon. Grabe, it was not a sea, but an ocean of crowds. I attempted to enter the gates of Luneta Park but backed out and decided to stay along Kalaw St instead. Since it was only around 10:30AM, I had an early quick lunch at Siomai House just beside the stairs of the UN Ave Station. Standing ovation, with my raincoat on, no complain. 😉

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There was a big screen in Kalaw St cor Taft Ave live-feeding the happenings in UST at that time so I watched first since it was still early. I was with many people watching him. When he left UST, people started to move and find a place to stay where they could see him. Good thing I had a screenshot of the popemobile’s route. I stayed in Kalaw cor Maria Orosa St. where ABS-CBN’s Doris Bigornia and her team were stationed.

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I stood there under the light rains for more than 2 hours. Siksikan. Walang pagkakataong makasingit. Kids and adults wore their raincoats but some had their umbrellas kaya maraming sumisigaw sa kanila ng “Payong! Payong!” lalo na when the popemobile was approaching. The gates were closed going inside the Luneta Park.

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While waiting, I heard a kid, carried by his mom, beside me saying to his dad, “Halika na, Tay. Nakakapagod naman.” I smiled when his dad said, “Nak, kaya nga tayo andito para magsakripisyo na makita si Pope at makapagsimba. Minsan lang yan.” I never expected he’d tell that to his son.ü

Around 2:15PM, the crown started bringing up their it-was-not-waterproof-until-yesterday phones, tablets and cameras as the jeepney popemobile carrying the Pope passed by Kalaw cor Maria Orosa St. It was a bit fast and he wasn’t looking on our side but I could still feel high… Yun pala yung feeling. Akala ko sinasabi lang ng mga tao yun pero pag ikaw na pala yung andun, iba pala talaga. What more when he was looking and smiling at us. Nakakakaba na nakakaiyak na nakakatuwa na parang yung spirit ni Jesus sumaboy sa bawat isa. I am not exaggerating. That was really the feeling… the feeling I never want to forget. :’)

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A screenshot from my video on his way to the Quirino Grandstand yesterday.

Pagkadaan nya, I looked for a place to stay with a big screen where I could better see him. He went around Luneta Park before he headed to the Quirino Grandstand to preside the Mass.

The Holy Mass started at around 3:00PM. First, I thought it was in Latin as announced before; glad it was delivered in English. Everyone who did not have the chance to get in gathered around the big screens found along Kalaw St. People did the Sign of the Cross altogether. Approximately 6-7 million people─mayaman, mahirap, bagets, jejemon, rocker, FilAm, emo, street vendor, naka-iPhone 6, naka-high heels, naka-raincoat, hindi naka-raincoat, conyo, may kasamang bata, matatanda, mukhang maton─attentively listened to every word he says. We were not wearing our best looks─walang makeup, basang-basa sa ulan, gulo-gulo ang buhok, marumi ang sapatos, putik-putik, hindi kita kung maganda ang damit, pagod, namumutla sa lamig, gutom─but we were there altogether, under the rain, celebrating this day, listening to his heart-touching homily and weeping as we sang the Ama Namin. I have never seen a situation like that ever in my life. :’)

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I’d like to share this part of his homily that really moved me:

“Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God’s plan for us is, and always has been, the lie. The devil is the father of lies. Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being “modern”, “like everyone else.” He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: [to] forget at heart that we are children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Niño is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.” ─ Pope Francis

He ended his homily with “Please don’t forget to pray for me! God bless you!” People smiled and clapped and looked at him as if they wanted to hug him from the screen. 😀

Before the Mass ended, Dagupan Archbishop and CBCP President Socrates Villegas delivered a message for Pope Francis saying that his love for the Filipino people is typhoon-proof. Manila Archibishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also sent a message saying thanks to him in 3 languages (Spanish, English and Tagalog) and a promise that the Filipinos will pray for him.

Two decades after Pope Saint John Paul II concluded the 1995 World Youth Day with a mass, millions once again gathered at Rizal Park in Manila and sang in unison “Tell The World of His Love,” this time in the presence of Pope Francis,

I stayed in front of the big screen and only went home when he reached the Apostolic Nunciature. 🙂

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From the bridge near Plaza Miranda and Quiapo Church

I walked from Kalaw St to LRT2 Recto. When I was already on the platform waiting for the train, the LRT2 personnel announced that the operations were already halted and that the cards can be used within 5 days. I had to walk again up to Morayta where I luckily got a jeepney ride to Anonas. Nakasabay ko pa yung mga taga-OLA Youth, and this old woman. “Nakakapagod talaga. Pero buti na lang nakita ko si Pope at nakapagsimba.” When I heard people saying something like this, I feel so glad it was the “Pope Francis Effect” I wish to be planted in everyone’s hearts forever.

PJ and his family, who was already in Marikina, picked me up in Anonas so they could bring me home safely.ü Thank you po.ü

Today, Pope Francis ends his 5-day state visit and already on his 14-hour flight to Rome. May the Good Lord guide the pilots of the “Shepherd One” and bring him safely to Rome.

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The Pope gave his last wave before he boarded the plane.

My family and I were supposed to be in Davao today until the 21st but for security reasons, all flights to and from Manila within 5 hours of his departure were cancelled. So we decided to just cancel it as well. I don’t have hard feelings about this. It’s for the Pope, you know. 😀

I didn’t have the chance to personally thank him but I hope, though impossible, he can read my simple letter for him:

Dear Pope Francis,

Thank you very much for considering visiting the Philippines. Thank you for touching our hearts. Thank you for healing our emotional and spiritual wounds. Thank you for all the messages you shared that strengthen our faith in God. Thank you for inspiring us to be a good Christian. Thank you for reminding us and making us feel that God loves us and is with us no matter what. Thank you for showing us your contagious smiles despite tiredness and uncooperative weather; it makes me realize to always smile to make things lighter. Thank you for leaving us the feeling that you will always be with us in praying to God for strength and guidance. I hope you visit us again soon. I will always pray for you.

I love you so much!

Love,

Angela

Thank You Lord for sending the Pope to us. I will never forget these days. :’)

I compiled all the transcripts of the speeches and homilies delivered during his visit: