En Route: Baguio, La Union, Manila


Instead of starting off with another “I haven’t updated this blog in quite awhile” statement, let me just say that life has been really interesting the past few months. Apart from learning to spend more time offline (miracle, but I’m working on it!), I surprisingly I ended up going back and forth the same places (for work and personal stuff) and experiencing new things, in the hopes of trying to piece together what 2017 really has in store for me (update: I still haven’t had it figured out yet).

It’s already April and yet I am still a work in progress. Here’s the thing: comfort zones scare me. This year is turning out to be a testament to that, as I’m venturing into 1) work that feels very new to me; and 2) finding time to sort out my life in the process. There is a lot of growing up that I still need to do, I realized.

So in this entry, I’ll try to make sense of my thoughts (and things, and random blahs, really) in conjunction the three places I’ve been to for the first quarter of the year. 🙂


I went to Baguio two weekends ago to do demos for an event. Coincidentally, I felt like I needed a long road trip to do some introspection about things that have been on my mind (which are a lot). I have this habit of panicking over the future (don’t most of us do?) and the fear of how I’ll take everything in (mostly work-wise). It’s kind of weird but I try to condition my system properly so I won’t be surprised when they all come to the table.

[Side note: I love my new Lomo’Instant Automat camera! Also, it’s in the exact red shade that I love.]

I did say I like forests and anything surrounding trees when I travel (ironically, I can happily get lost in city lights too), so we had a few minutes in the afternoon in Camp John Hay and I really liked it there. The silence kept me distracted from life for awhile, and it was good 🙂

On a lighter note, super thanks to everyone who dropped by the NBS Color and Calligraphy Fair, participated during my demo time w/ Faber-Castell, and had their books signed! Twas nice to meet you all 😀

La Union

How many times have I been to La Union? I think it’s safe to say I really love it there. I went twice earlier this year and I’m going back again this May (lol) for a workshop. Coincidence much?

I don’t like swimming in the beach, but I love sunsets, the cool breeze, and getting to soak in the warm sun during golden hour. I also love that LU is not too crowded unlike most beaches and it’s low-key but really amazing.

First visit involved spontaneous midnight drives on the road with my college friends, tuna pie drive thru (best!), endless rounds of Exploding Kittens, drinking (haha, I act my age sometimes), and unexpectedly meeting new people (what are the chances!). All I know is I clearly remember everything that happened despite being half drunk on that particular Saturday night. Haha.

Above: with some of my favorite people from college! 🙂

Second visit was well-planned. But ironically I ended up planning things at the last minute. 😛

I’ve been traveling w/ Tricie (who is half my manager and half one of my closest friends) for a long time now but we never went on a road trip, until this LU trip. We ended up spending transit time belting out high school pop punk music (#throwback) and Mariah Carey tunes like we’re real singers. LOL.

We took a weekday trip, which was great, because there weren’t much people. Also got to meet up with new LU friends! If anything, I learned something valuable, too—it feels really good when you open yourself up to people. 🙂 I keep building walls around myself and I realized that there’s no point in closing doors when there’s a whole world of out there to make sense of and discover. (Thanks, Tippy, for always reminding me this!) 

On the way home, I felt a sense of reassurance that 1) I could get myself back together aka fix my work life balance and 2) it’s going to be an interesting 2017. News flash: It really is going to be an interesting one, because I don’t know what’s in store yet. 😛


I’m spending more weekends at home (in Manila) while I can, because this April and May I will be out and about. Honestly, more than ever, it feels different to be home. But at the same time, there really is no place like it. I see the same view every day and while I take it for granted most days, I really feel a sense of ease that I am in this place, doing the work that I love.

There are days I get to go out, though, which is good. I always have a habit of visiting bookstores to check on new titles and do my “readsearch” (that’s reading + research, by the way) while I can.

Speaking of books, I am still over the moon because my third published book (and first international one!!!) is finally available for pre-order! It’s called Hand Lettering A to Z and it’s published by Rockport Publishers, one of my dream publishing houses. 😀 You can pre-order on Amazon here and on National Book Store here. It’s going to be available worldwide. I’m not crying!!!

I remember looking at titles and I was particularly drawn to a Rockport published book called Drawing Type (which I eventually bought). It was one of my first book acquisitions on lettering and a few years later, here I am, a published author under Rockport! HUHU!

I’ll be sharing more about this in future posts but do keep posted on my other social media accounts for updates.

On another note, I’m almost done working on another baby project! Nope, it’s not a book. 😛

I’m so happy I got to work with the A Team (yes, that eez our name, bec we love Ed Sheeran, half jk) for #ABCReadSearch. This has been what’s keeping me occupied since 2017 started and I can’t be any more proud seeing it slowly come to life. I can’t disclose any more details for now but here’s a promise: it will be out soon! 🙂

Something off-topic: I read this article about True Grit on 99U and I thought I should share it here: click!

My favorite takeaway from the article is: “Enthusiasm is common; endurance is rare.”

Every time I write something here, I feel like there are so many things that still need fixing (for me, tbh). And I really think that mindset is never going away. For someone who constantly runs after what she wants and knows how to get it on her own terms, this year is turning out to be very uncertain. No concrete plans, just what’s right in front of me at the moment. A few planned ones, but it can go both ways. And I don’t know if I should be worried about it (I’m actually not?!) considering I have no control over some things that may or may not come.

Maybe it’s the universe trying to tell me that I should just trust the process and learn to adapt when it happens. Or maybe it’s just me reminding myself that things will turn out for the better. I just have to believe they will.


PS: So much for this ending up to be a drama-heavy post. Haha! I hope your first quarter of 2017 went well. 🙂

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