personal

The hardest part of living in Japan

It’s almost 4 years now since I moved to Japan and this year is nothing but amazing. I was able to got home in Philippines last month for two weeks, my friends visited me here in Japan and it is their first time to travel abroad. It’s just March of 2019 and I can already say that this is gonna the best year ever. 2018 was really dramatic for me, depression, anxieties because of all the calamities happened in here that I had to face alone. But thank God I can say all the tears I cried was all worth it cause I am at my happiest right now.

Living and working in Japan for a quite while now, everything got so much better because I got used to the life I have right now. I built routines, met new people, more settled and got more matured at handling my life. There will always be mistakes and stupidity it’s part of life.

Being away from all your love ones is the hardest part, missing out important occasions like birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Years and not to mention holidays that you always celebrate alone. Friends you want to see and hang out with were thousand miles away from you. Sure, I met new people and made some new friends but you know, you’re ‘go-to people’ ‘homecourt friends’ will always be different. They get you, the real you, you get each others humor that nobody else will understand but them.

I wrote this to give highlight to my friends who kept in touch for the last four years and made an effort to stay in my life even though I am already thousand miles away from them. It means a lot. I consider myself lucky and blessed enough to have people in my life that is so supportive that I can turn into when life is kinda overwhelming. They keep me grounded and reminds me of who I was before I came here. Life in Japan can be tiring sometimes and it is important to not lose yourself while living in this fast-paced life.

‘Keep swimming’

xoxo

Standard
personal

24. soon.

Every time it is year-ending I can’t help but to feel sentimental cause it means I am one year older again and it makes me reflect what the whole year has brought me. I am going to be 24 soon, mid twenties is coming and I don’t know what to feel. I admit I felt the pressure at first when everyone around me is either getting engaged or having babies. My facebook timeline is full of people found ‘the one’, someone to share their lives with and friends asking me to be their babies Godmother.

I was afraid to be alone. I was terrified to live this life alone and no one to share it with. I was hopeless romantic always searching for the one great love. Until I realized, it is way more scarier to get married with the wrong person just because you don’t want to be alone. I decided to change my perspective. I am living independently for almost 2 years now. I can completely do this life alone. I underestimate what I can do just because I relay my happiness with looking for someone until I realized nobody can make me happy except me.

23. 24 soon and finally I can say I am now emotionally independent. I am taking my time to know myself and I am not pressured anymore that I am alone because so what? I love my life. I am embracing this life alone the good and the bad and actually enjoying it. I am not bothered anymore if no one is out there for me because for me I am already enough for myself. This isn’t easy journey a lot of trial and error but you know what it’s all about mindset and perspective. Love yourself hard and when that love is full that’s the time to share it with someone else. As of now, I am contented with where I am and happy. I never felt this peace in my entire life. If someone is gonna be out there for me in the future, I will think of it just a bonus from above.

Braver 2019! Let’s go!

xoxo

Standard
personal

Reading between the lines

Like any usual after work habit, I’m scrolling thru my timeline at facebook and I came across to an article from Japan Times saying that according to a study Japan might be the loneliest country to live with. As an immigrant in this country for almost 4 years now, I cannot comprehend how accurate that article was.

For Japanese culture they have to follow social norm and most of the time you have to be mindful of your actions as to not bother anyone. It can be so tiring because humans are social being and we are created to interact with one another. As the saying goes, no man is an island but here you have no choice but do everything on your own. Clear example, Japanese tend to overwork so practically, you know their free time is so precious that you’ll think twice if you will ask for help even if you guys are friends or family.

Sadness and loneliness is like your friend in here. The world here is so fast and everyone seems to care only on material things as they prioritize their work not relationships or family. I don’t know but it makes me think that when you get older, your work won’t take care of you. I am not sure how true my observations are but the fact that there are lots of senior citizens here that is living alone or dying alone makes me think all of my assumptions are true. Forming a genuine relationship with someone be it romantically or friendship is far more valuable than any of the things that the world could offer.

I love this country for sure because it’s part of my roots as well but it makes me so sad. People seems like robot. I just hope one day..just one day they will start to see the things that I see. Life is too short to not actually living on it.

xoxo

Standard
personal

An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Self,

Lately I know you feel so disconnected with everything that’s going on with your life. Everything is just going down the hill  and you’re getting tired of keeping up with this strong facade. Then it hits you, drowning with your thoughts again..

You have to stop expecting people to give love and happiness to you. You owe it all to yourself because the only person who can give you all of those is no one but you. Nobody is responsible to make you happy. Only you, remember that. Love yourself so much that no one will ever dare to hurt you again. Self-love is never a selfish act. It’s about time to give all the love you are giving to people who are not worthy back to yourself. This is way long overdue. It’s about time to see your own worth.

I know nobody will understand your decisions when all you are trying to do is save yourself. You already gave so much. They will look for you once you stop doing things you usually do for them but don’t get swayed by half-baked efforts. You are worthy of all the love, effort and attention. Remember that. You are brave and strong. I know you will make it, like you always do.

Sincerely,

Self

xoxo

Standard
personal

Conquering Mt. Fuji

Summer time in Japan means climbing season for Mt. Fuji. I was caught in the middle of my life so stressed, depressed and unmotivated to do anything, so I decided to book a tour to climb Mt. Fuji last minute, it was a spontaneous trip with my friends who also just want to get away with the routine of life.

I took overnight bus from Osaka to Tokyo where the meeting place is. I was part of a tour with other tourist from all different parts of the world. Our tour guide explain to us the guidelines while climbing the mountain and they said we are very lucky cause the weather at the mountain is perfect cause the typhoon just passed by the other day.

11:30AM. Our tour bus took us directly to station 5 where the climb will start and we have to climb until station 10, sounds easy? No. Station 6 is okay but station 7 until 8 is very rocky and stiff, I suggest rent trekking pole it will save your ass from sliding, falling and it will give your more stability while climbing or walking.

6:00PM. When we reached station 8 where we will stay overnight, have dinner and rest before we reached the summit. That’s the only time I somehow properly wash my face, used bathroom and clean myself a bit cause I still can’t take a shower. They offer post cards which is exclusive only at the mountain where you can send to your loved ones or yourself.

1:45AM. The most difficult part for me climbing at dawn with 4-5km/hr wind and 5 degrees weather. The way to the summit is very stiff and dark it took us 2 hours before we entirely reached the summit.

4:15AM. The most rewarding part waiting for the sunrise! As the sky clears and you can see all the clouds beneath looking so soft and fluffy that I actually want to dive in feels so unreal. Then, me watching the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Fuji I just can’t think of anything. It might sound so cliche but as I watch it, everyday is literally and figuratively a brand new day!

That moment in my life will definitely be one of the books and I will always look back at when I’m so tired with my life. Imagine everyday the sun rises for all of us and me as a night person personally watching it, I never knew how amazing it can be! It feels like magic and surreal. I felt completely happy, high, positive and energized after I witnessed it. There are no words and adjective to describe how great it was.

xoxo

Standard
personal

How to Love Strong Independent Woman

For years she build herself up, spends day and night to really know herself, took countless of downfall before she finally accepted and love herself-all the good and bad. She value her solitude more than anything that’s why it’s tough to crack her wall. You’re so lucky to love by a woman who value herself.

1.She doesn’t need you. She wants you.

Bad day at work? She knows how to make herself happy-a jar of ice cream and netflix but she still want you to be there by her side to comfort her or watch rom-com movie with her while she’s sobbing, wipe her tears, hold her hands and hug her until she feels better.

2. Don’t be intimidated with her

We all know men’s ego are so big when they see women who are doing great and being successful more than them they feel so interfere. A boy will see her as a competitor and get intimated by having her shit together. A man who truly loves her will be supportive and a great cheerleader.

3. She is living up with her expectations

Strong independent woman expectations are so high because she always set the bar so high for herself.  So please don’t get tired when you think she’s being so demanding she just wanted you to be the best version of yourself that’s why she is always pushing you to do great things.

4. She hates being weak

Everyone around her admire her for having strong personality. You can never see her cry because she hate herself more than anything when she’s being weak. She will try her best to shrug off the negative feeling she has and show up like nothing is bothering her. Talk to her. Make her feel safe. Tell her it’s okay to cry and not be okay all the time. Be her safe haven that she can lean on when she can’t handle her world.

5. She tend to be workaholic

She understand that career is not everything but she is always chasing after success. Ask her to spontaneous adventures and dates like hiking on weekdays, long drive where you can alternate driving cause she knows how to handle car, take pictures of sunset. She won’t turn you down because she is addicted to life experiences. Remind her the world is vast and don’t be confined in her little world.

xoxo

Standard
personal

Snowboarding in Nagano

As a person, I am sucker for experiences. I don’t care if I’m not good at something I will still do it cause I want to. I don’t want to miss anything to do things for the first time at least at the end of the day, I know to myself I tried rather than having  what if thoughts.

This is a long overdue winter experience that I owe to everyone. As you all know, I’m from Philippines which is a tropical country and experiencing snowboarding for the first time is a must! I won’t miss this chance. My cousins booked a Ski Resort in Nagano Prefecture.

We wake up so early to make it to the reserved bus which will take us to the ski resort. When we arrived, you need to fill-in small sheet of paper for the items you want to rent. I believe most of the ski resorts have rentals from outerwear to snowboard. So if you’re beginner or just like me which is after the experience it is more practical to rent than to buy the actual wear which can cost up to 50,000yen depending on the brand.

There’s a cable car that will take you to the top of the mountain. The experience can be so liberating cause it is an open air cable car. We spend 2 hours to get down. They said for beginners you need to look forward and enjoy the view so you won’t get afraid when you managed to stand up. I can compare it to real life scenario, don’t get panic or scared wherever you are learn to enjoy the view and experience.

Overall the experience was great! I learned my physical pain tolerance is so low. Snowboarding is the only thing in life that made me gave up. Be ready for next day cause your body will soar like no tomorrow.

‘Fall seven times, stand up eight times.’

xoxo

Standard
personal

Skincare routine

Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist these are only the products that work for my skin and since not everyone has the same skin type it might not work for others. The products I’m gonna show you are not paid nor advertisement. 

I started doing skincare routine when I was in college. I’m a late-bloomer thanks to my cousin who teaches me how to take care of myself and be lady-like. Ever since then, I became so addicted to skincare products because I’m too lazy to put on make-up everyday that I can even go to work without it. My thinking is if I have good skin, I don’t need to enhance or cover up the flaws of face.

My current skincare routine is here! Most of the time when I found products that works for my skin I stick with it cause I don’t want to explore and harm my face with changing of routines every now and then.

1. Dove facial wash

You need to wash your face 2x a day every morning and before you go to bed. What I love about this product is, it’s really light and not harsh to my face. It also gently exfoliate your face while you wash so after you use it. You can feel your face so glowing and soft. It can be found in any drug store in Japan.

2. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

I bought this one in Costco but it is also available at Amazon. I love this product because it doesn’t have any scent and light in your face. As you notice, I love products that are light-weighted and not-so oily when you put it. It also not harsh to my face this one also helps me to prevent my acne and lighten dark spots for some reason.

3. Biore Aqua Rich Sunblock

Most of us only apply sunblock when going to swim or beach but we didn’t notice in our everyday life when we step out of the sun. We are also exposed to harmful UV rays that can cause early wrinkles. You need to apply sunblock every time you go out to protect your skin from it. I love these cream type because just small amount of it can cover up your whole face. It can be found at any drug store in Japan but I bought mine at Costco.

4. Lush Honey Lip Scrub

When it’s winter, it’s so hard to prevent not to have chapped lips. Recently, I tried this Lush lip scrub. All you have to do is take a small amount of it and circularly rub it into your lips and voila! you can feel your lips so soft and looking kissable. That small tub can go a long way, it can be messy when you apply it but it smells so good like sugar and honey it’s all organic.

5. Lush Mask of Magnaminty

This mask is all over the interrnet. I already tried most of the lush masks and I can tell why netizens love this particular mask. It can prevent acne and lighten dark spots. When you apply it, you can feel relax with the minty smell of it and the coldness from it that cover your whole face. It also has some I don’t know if it’s oats or something but all organic that also helps to exfoliate your face without harming your skin. After I use it,  I can feel my face so smooth, soft, clean and glowing.

6. Cure Natural Aqua Gel

I use this product to exfoliate at least 2x a week. This is my ultimate go-to exfoliate. This is really top-seller among Japan’s skincare products. It can cost 3,000 yen but it can lasts for 3-4 months depending on your usage. You can use it in your face, elbows, knees or underarm to exfoliate and remove all the dead skin cells and dirt. I’m using this for 5 years already and it never fails me.

There you have it! For beginners, always remember the steps of wash, tone, exfoliate and moisturize. You have to be really committed to achieve flawless skin.

xoxo

Standard
personal

P A U S E.

pause noun: a temporary stop, a break in verse 

I admit I always try to do things big or small on my own without asking the help of anyone cause I don’t like the feeling of being a burden to someone or put them in a bad place cause of me. That’s why no matter how hard the situation is, I will try my best to solve everything in my power. AS IN EVERYTHING…only to find myself at the end of the day so exhausted and drained.

Each day I live like that without realizing how hard I was to myself, until I went back home in Gifu for 3 days off. Being the ultimate ‘probinsyana girl’ big city like Osaka is kinda overwhelming. It’s so fast-paced and feels like 24 hours is not enough to get things done. I tried my best to keep up with this lifestyle. The funny thing is, I never thought I was being toxic to myself.

During those 3 days break from my city life, I had lots of realizations and how important it is to practice pause from life and just breath for a while. That’s the only time I slow down and took my time. I rode my bike, stare at horizon, took picture of sunset, walk at park, cook food for my brothers, drink beer with my father, genuine conversations with mom. It made me think and understand how blessed I am.

Yes, career is important but don’t forget to pause. The biggest reward we can give to ourselves is time. Assess yourself, meditate where are you now in your life? Are you happy? What makes you happy? What’s stopping you to do the big things? Why are you afraid of the unknown? or you can just let go everything, smile and utter a small prayer that everything will work out just fine.

Always be grateful about the little things in life cause when you look back at it, you will realize they were the big things. It can make your heart full and soul at peace. We are only humans, not capable of everything and ultimately not perfect. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and treat yourself better.

xoxo

Standard
personal

Adulthood. Since when?

2017 is the plot twist of my life cause this is the first for me to be independent. I grew up with strict and conservative grandparents that’s why I always crave for freedom. When I got the chance to move out of our house and live by myself without second thoughts I grabbed it right away. So at 22, I am that ‘independent woman’. I create these image inside my head of what am I gonna do once I have my own apartment. All of it was beautiful, exciting and fun. I thought it will be look like college sleepovers but reality hits me like a truck. I don’t know why I have this habit of making major decisions without really thinking about it.

At firsts it was a struggle, the emotional aspect of it is tough. I can’t sleep cause it doesn’t feel like home, getting home with no one to talk to my family is big I’m not used to silence, eating alone all the time. Even the day-to-day living was hard cause after long of work I have to take out the trash, cleaning dishes, laundries, cleaning, cooking, understanding your taxes, paying your bills all by yourself which I took for granted before.

This whole adulthood phase is all new to me that’s why I am so overwhelmed. I still fucked up, missed work cause I’m too drunk (don’t tell my mom), hitting snooze button for 100x, eating junk for the whole week to make ends meet, panicking over petty things. In short, I still don’t have my shit together I think we all do. No one have it all together. It’s bullshit some are just better at acting like they do. No matter how old you get life will always be a bitch but that’s what makes life interesting and worth living for. Well, my point is don’t be too hard on yourself as long as you’re trying world will understand.

I am not ready with adulting and I will never be. It’s fun but in a different way. The accomplishment when all your bills are paid, all laundries are done, sink is empty . It’s the little things that counts and don’t forget to celebrate it cause nobody will understand what does it takes you to get it done. The fulfillment finding out you can actually feed yourself and completely getting in control of your life. All the decisions big or small without the influence of anyone. It’s still tough but I won’t trade it for anything else cause I won’t have it the other way around. 2017 is life changing, indeed. Be grateful always!

‘Adulting is realizing we’re just children with taxes.’

xoxo

 

 

 

Standard