Musings: Native products made in PH

As you can probably notice in my previous posts, I like weaved products and products made from abaca. In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite items from Kultura.

I love also using canvas bags! This particular bag is a steal at a price of P100. I carry a lot of stuff with me always because I cannot stand a day without a water bottle and umbrella on hand. My cousin also liked using this!

Another canvas bag that is more beach themed. I love the dandelion/ mustard color! It just pops!

This boat hat is a basics essential. Unfortunately this is too big for me. Australians love wearing this type of hats when they go to the beach. I also like to try wearing this sometime.

Weaved bag with pompoms!

Weaved pouch in blue and white with tassels

Blankets in print

Scarves. Buy five take one.

Pili nuts in shell.

Cute tarsiers attached to pens!

Do you love weaved/ native products?



Field trip: TPE Marketplace

It’s been a while since I visited Taiwan People Exchange (TPE) Marketplace.

When Teaz isn’t around, I usually buy their bento box that costs P190. I can consume their bento box both for lunch and dinner since the serving is a bit big for me.

Since I started doing freelance and business, I ended up sitting on my desk for a long time. I decided to set an alarm at 3 pm to help me walk and get stretched.

One afternoon, I decided to check TPE just to window shop (or take photos) and walk. Here are some of the photos that I’ve taken:

Buns! There’s even a purple bun. I guess that’s taro.

Packed vegetables. Chinese people love to eat vegetables more than meat.

Although that is the case I think TPE’s vegetables are pricey. Maybe the mainland Chinese buying here are in a rush since the wet market is quite far from the main street.

Cow’s milk with a kawaii packaging! I would love to try that some time.

Vegan green jade balls. Chinese people love to add some meatballs to their soup. There are also other variants like fish balls and taro balls. I find this particular flavor a unique one though.

Frozen buns and wrapped sticky rice. These are perfect snack ideas!

Black sesame spread. I took a picture of this because the packaging is ❤️!

Where is your next adventure close to your home?


Takeaways: Option B

We humans often strive to live the American dream but not everyone is living in the ideals—a happy and complete family, a comfortable home and the resources to pursue dreams. Our world isn’t perfect, but we can find joy and gain resilience in the midst of it.

In the book Option B written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, this fact is expounded. After the loss of her husband, Sheryl was able to express well how it is to grieve and cope through adversity. The words are well put so much so that I as able to feel what it’s like when hurtful things happen.

Death is often dreaded by a lot of people. I could not imagine also my loved ones passing before me. I am ready to die but I’m not ready for them to leave me. I guess this interdependence between us makes it difficult to let go. We are also often caught unprepared for this despite the fact that we know all of us will die at some point.

Life is never perfect. We live in some form of Option B…we all deal with loss: jobs lost, loves lost, lives lost. The question is not whether these things will happen. They will, and we will have to face them.

Here are my takeaways from the book:

Accept. The first and hardest thing. It is difficult to accept that the people you spend most of the time with will be gone. It is difficult to move on in life when you got used to being with them around you. But according to Adam Grant, the pain that we experience because of unexpected circumstances will decrease over time. There is a time to heal but the first thing that we should do is accept—accept that what happened is God’s will and that it is for your good.

Little girl hugs her mother
photo from the internet

Open up and ask for help. It is when we open up that we are healed. We should let other people know how we feel so that they know how to interact with us. Sheryl shared that she had a difficult time expressing her feelings in the workplace because she was scared that it is inappropriate. But then she realized that the more she hid her feelings, the more the pain stayed. I realized that we should let our feelings flow even in the workplace. I believe that our workmates will be glad to help us cope in the bad situations we are in. When we are only faking that everything is all right, the matters will get worse. We need to discuss it openly to people around us.

Sheryl narrated that during her meetings with Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives, she would go to the comfort room to cry. She also encouraged her kids to do the same.

Journal. Writing is one way of opening up. During the first few weeks after Dave’s death, Adam also asked Sheryl to write down her big wins for the day. Sheryl mentioned that even the things that she does regularly like focusing on a meeting suddenly became difficult. These baby steps enable her to move forward. She said even simple things such as eating meals and doing some chores were included in the list.

“Turning feelings into words can help us process and overcome adversity.”

Choose joy and hope. We cannot choose the situations we are in but we can choose to have hope and persevere. We must choose to have a grateful attitude. In the book, after a few months writing her big wins, Adam suggested Sheryl to write down three things that she is grateful for at the end of the day. During their family dinner, Sheryl also added this to their family conversation.

 “Choose meaning over emptiness.”

For us as Christians, we have a greater Hope and that is the Lord Jesus Christ because we know that He has overcome the world. He is alive and He is coming soon to rule the earth. He is our only hope. I disagree that spirituality is only one way of having hope. I believe that it is the only way to having hope. Jesus alone can give us healing from the pain we have experienced.

Persevere now that we know we have hope. Life is repetitive. Sometimes we get tired of doing the same thing over again. Habits enable us to keep persevering.

After reading the book, I realized that family rules help.  In their family, Dave and Sheryl had written rules for their kids to abide. When Dave died, Sheryl, together with her kids, made a list of new rules. What is interesting is that in all areas, they wrote that they should not be afraid to ask for help. We need other people’s help especially when we are at the lowest point of our lives.

“We all need other people—and I do more than ever.”

Move forward. The feelings of guilt might hinder us from living a meaningful life. I learned that it is difficult to cope with it. As a psychologist, Adam shared that after such loss, we should avoid saying “I’m sorry” or similar statements. Death and other losses may or may not be our fault but God allowed it to happen. God is still sovereign so we should entrust to him these matters beyond our control.

photo from the internet

After a couple of months, Sheryl had a conversation with her mother in law. During the conversation, her mother in law told her that she believed that she will cope with the loss and get married again. Adam also shared to her that she will not only cope but will grow resilient because of it.

Our resilience is enhanced or cultivated when we choose to move forward and not be bitter with what life threw at us. We need to help ourselves. We need to move on and move forward. In the midst of loss, we can remind ourselves that adversity develops our character. Our experience of loss and adversity will not be put to waste. We can help others by telling our stories. We are used to bless others and to make our lives count.

Sheryl also mentioned that her family and friends reminded her that when she’s happy, Dave is happy and is rejoicing with her.

“Joe learned that post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.”

Moving forward means paying forward. What can we do for other people?

Be there. Giving sympathy means being there for them. We cannot offer help if we are not there with them.  Say ‘we are going to get through this together’, so that even when you don’t know what to do, the other person that you’re trying to comfort will feel relieved. Don’t forget to mean what you say.

I was amazed how Sheryl’s mom, siblings and other relatives grieved with her. They did not leave her behind. They were with her in every step of the way. Her mom and siblings took care of the funeral stuff. Her in-laws regularly talked with her over the phone. Her friends dropped by her house to check how she’s doing.

Be sincere. When we ask ‘How are you?’, we should mean it. During the time that she opened up, Sheryl was able to express how some people hurt her because she feels that their greetings weren’t sincere. She also shared that some people are openers. People who are openers enable us to express what we feel by asking questions showing that they care. Sheryl discussed that people who naturally experienced the loss are good openers but we can be trained to be one. They can help us accept the situation by being sympathetic. We feel sympathized when others ask us sincerely. When you talk to them, you share what you feel because they honestly want to hear from you. Hurting people long to speak what they feel. Be there to listen.

Be intentional. We know that our days are only limited. We do not know how much time left we have on earth to spend with our loved ones and live a meaningful life. We ought to create memories, lasting and significant ones. It is difficult because we are all busy bodies. We have a lot of things to do. We like to make excuses. What we need is to set aside time intentionally for other people. It might be eating dinner with the family, being there for a friend or volunteering for an outreach program. It also means we set aside time with the Lord. Overall, we need to be intentional with our time.

I realized also after reading Option B that we need to give attention to our family members and to other people. I learned that we have circles of influence. We should not be afraid to seek encouragement from them. We also ought to give encouragement to them.

“We find our humanity—our will to live and our ability to love—in our connections to one another.”

And lastly…

Don’t waste your life. You’re probably tired of hearing this but I want to stress this statement again. I also need to remind myself of this often. Live out your life as if it will be your last. Sheryl wrote that people have many regrets and a greater percentage of this is attributed to the regrets for the things that are not done like not able to spend more time with loved ones, did not accept forgiveness and not able to help in times of need. These regrets are also often relational.

Sheryl narrated that if only she knew that she would only spend eleven years with Dave, she would have not fought with him too often about petty issues and that she would have celebrated his birthday every year instead of every five years.

One way also of living out our lives is by helping others to cope with loss. I commend Mark Zuckerberg for being a good boss. He was understanding when Sheryl wasn’t able to perform well while she was grieving. He and his wife also accompanied her and the kids to a beach to have fun and help them cope.

“Wherever you are in the circle, offer comfort in and seek comfort out.”

I was struck when Sheryl narrated that she didn’t know how to open up in the workplace. We spend most of our time with our workmates and yet we pretend everything’s fine. We seldom ask how they are and what they are going through.

“He said if I wanted others to be more open with me, I needed to be more open with them.”

When she finally posted on facebook timeline how she felt, many of her workmates reached out to her.

We can do more than we can imagine we could do. God has made us unique and special. The pain and adversity that we experience can be turned into something good. We just need to have a vision. Aspire. Dream big—not for us to prosper materially but for us to develop a character that is continually molded into what God wants us to be.  Dream that the people around us will feel unique and special as well.

No matter where we are in life, we need to make it count. Choose joy and persevere. Everything will be okay.

photo from the internet

Thoughts: Exercise at the parking lot

Doing freelance and managing a business meant staying at home most of the time. I love the freedom and the silence but I hate the fact that I don’t get to move a lot! After a while, I committed to walk or stretch at 3 pm daily. I put it on my calendar so I don’t have to remind my self.

For this particular afternoon, I tried to go up the car ramp in the building where we stay. It’s like doing an indoor hike with surrounding cars.

I love how the walls are painted yellow!

The view outside. I originally planned to go outside for a walk but it was raining!

Through this particular experience I realized that:

  • We can get creative when there are roadblocks
  • The way we respond to limitations will either make or break us.
  • Choose to be grateful for the sudden turn of events.
  • Accept that God is in control even when your plans are ‘ruined’. That meant He has prepared something bigger.


Food trip: Pooja’s Cafe

In the knack of trying something new, I headed to the nearest Indian restaurant in our place. I usually pass by Pooja’s Cafe while I was still working in the office but never really tried the food.

We had a bad experience with Indian food when we were on a trip in Singapore. The food was too spicy for us! I couldn’t eat anything except the rice. I think Pooja’s food has already inculcated a bit of filipino palette.

I ordered Combo No. 4 because I it gave me an option to try their chicken curry. My meal included dried vegetables (sabji), lentils (dal), flatbread (chapati) and chicken curry.

As shown in the picture above, I placed the lentils on two separate bowls. The peas on the left bowl is smaller. Both are better eaten with the flatbread.

The way they cooked the chicken curry is a bit different to the one I’m used to. They didn’t put in too much curry powder.

I liked the fried vegetables the most. I cannot identify the type of vegetable that they used but I think it is kale.

I was only able to finish half of what I had ordered! The portion was too big for me! Nonetheless I enjoyed my Indian food experience!


Field trip: University of Santo Tomas (UST)

One Sunday afternoon we hanged out in UST’s park while kn worked on her projects. I also read and write and took photographs.

Park outfit. Red, blue and white.

Trees all over!

One of the fountains.

Drainage with dried leaves.

Flowers and elephants. My aunt thought this photo was taken in Bangkok!

An apartment outside the school. It’s so vintage!

Benches outside the one of the buildings.

Chandelier in the main building.

Hanging garden near the hospital.

Storage rooms.

UST’s new building during sunset.