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Osaka, I love you

Hi, I’m back.

2017. 22 years old. first time to live in a city and alone.

I was full of life and adventure when I first move in. Until reality happened, I struggled a lot during my first 3 years, had my ups and downs, felt happiness, sadness and all in-betweens. I almost gave up because I felt like I don’t belong in here. I thought this city is too big for a small town girl like me. I had nothing but my dreams, hope and faith that the universe put me where I am supposed to be.

2021. 26 years old. contented.

I don’t know what changed but one thing I know for sure is that finally, I am embracing the life I have. I was living in my past where I didn’t realized how blessed I am and how I am robbing the people who wants to know me just because I am scared to trust. The only constant thing in our life is change. It’s either we learn how to go with the flow or go against it and drown. I met genuinely people, fell in love with city, move in knowing zero names and probably one day, leaving it knowing hundred names.

My greatest adventures happened here. I was able to laugh, cry and grow. Osaka will always have a place in my heart. Who knew that a small town girl like me will be able to survive this big, loud and fast-paced city? As the saying goes, our fate is already destined even before we were born.

Kobe Port 2021
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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

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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

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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

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22 Life Lessons at 22

  1. Don’t take life too seriously, unless you want to go crazy.
  2. Be your own hero.
  3. Age doesn’t measure maturity.
  4. Don’t wait until you’re ready cause life is happening now.
  5. ‘No’ means no. You don’t owe them explanation.
  6. Quality over quantity in all aspects of life.
  7. Guard your heart above anything else.
  8. No matter how busy you are, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
  9. Good food, music, bath and sleep solves anything.
  10. Never stop learning.
  11. Trust your instincts.
  12. Dreams do come true if you work hard on it.
  13. Stop overthinking everything.
  14. Your faith will take you to places.
  15. There’s more to life than love.
  16. Do more, complain less.
  17. You are the master of your life, rule it.
  18. Accept the fact that people come and go.
  19. Appreciate the little things.
  20. Faking bravery and confidence can go a long way.
  21. Take every opportunity to do something you never done before.
  22. At the end of the day, a bottle of beer won’t hurt.

Navigating life has no instructions and manuals. We were given the freewill to decide for ourselves. Life is tough but the beauty of it is undeniable. Every experiences whether it be good or bad is teaching us something important and that’s what makes us who we are. Enjoy everything while it lasts, none of us coming out of this world alive. Dance like no one’s watching, do whatever makes you feel alive even if it’s just singing at the top of your lungs with your favorite jam.

I’m at the point of my life where I don’t give a shit of what others think of me, I do whatever makes me feel great and happy. When you already reached this certain point, you feel so free. It feels like I’m at the top of the world screaming to life ‘I don’t give a fuck, you can’t bring me down this time.’ Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. Day by day it seems like nothing’s changing but looking back, everything is different. I’m growing into something I never thought I can be.

‘Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live’ -Me Before You 

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5 things I always miss about Philippines

It’s been so long, Dear Philippines. How are you? I might not be there anymore but I always wish all the best for my beloved home. I remember my first year in Japan, I don’t want to accept the new culture and norm I’m surrounded with cause my system can’t take the reality I’m not in the Philippines anymore.

I guess no matter how long I stay here, truly there’s no place like home. Yes, I’m surviving but there are days homesickness will hit you hard and you can’t do anything about it but cry and remind yourself to be strong. I believe this is a common struggle for all expats. They are not kidding when they told me living abroad are only for those people who has strong heart and mind, cause you will make a lot of sacrifices. Sometimes, I wish my reality now is just a dream. But no regrets, I’m just homesick so bare with my drama tonight and I really miss home right now. So here it is:

5. Weather

I miss the days where I woke up with sun beaming into my face and the sound of rooster saying it’s already morning. It’s still bright even if it’s already 7pm, the beautiful sunset with shades of pink, sky blue, purple and orange.

Philippines has only two seasons: wet and dry. As you all know, we are tropical country. All year round, you can hit the beach cause there’s no winter but beware of typhoons. I remember during my college days, even if it’s December we hit the beach at night, drink cheap spirits and BBQ. The good old days of my life! (okay. I want to cry T.T)

4. Street Foods

Filipinos loves to eat. I swear, we eat five times a day: breakfast, snack before lunch, lunch, ‘merienda’ and dinner. All of our festivities and parties equals to food. When you go to Philippines, you will notice a lot of food stands that sells street foods. If Japan has lots of convenience store at every corner, we have food stands.

Street foods are really cheap perfect for students budget. It has been part of my highschool life, after school we buy siomai, kwek-kwek, buko shake forever, ihaw-ihaw and stories we shared over it. I miss how life was so simple back then.

3. The Filipino Spirit

Filipinos are jolly people. We love to smile, throw punchlines and laugh. It’s part of our culture. No matter how big the problem is we still manage to laugh and shrug it off. This is the one thing I’m really proud of about us. I was surprised when I came in Japan, where the news is all about suicides. I wonder why? I want to tell them how lucky they are to be Japanese, their government gave them everything they need. Unemployed? Single parent? You can receive money from the government. Senior citizen? free of charge from the hospitals and medicines. Do you have kids who are minors? They can receive allowance from government quarterly. Public transportation? very fast and efficient, no traffic jams. Unlike in our country, everything is the opposite of it.

If they only knew how lucky and comfortable their life is. In the Philippines, a lot people has no work and living in the poverty lane. But it’s so rare for us to give up on life. I know I’m in no position to judge. I just don’t really understand why? I’m saying all of these cause I already saw two perspectives of it.

 2. Simplicity of life

Sure, life in the Philippines is not extravagant. It is actually the opposite of it, you can see the face of poverty at every corner but even though it’s like that, you can feel the warm, harmony and happiness. I miss the days where neighbors will hand you a plate of dish she cooks for you to taste. It’s always been like that and common for Filipino neighborhood. ‘Sharing is caring.’

Most of the time, I miss the simple life. You don’t need to spend much just to be happy and have fun. Street corners, good friends, good music,’bangketa’, anti-repellent for mosquitoes, cheap spirits and chips will do the magic.

Filipino kids don’t own expensive gadgets. Streets and rice fields were our playground. We climbed trees to get fresh fruits, climbed the roof to watch stars, and played in the rain even though we’re afraid of thunders. I miss playing in the rain, I swear. And of course childhood would not be fun if you didn’t experienced to chase by a dog.

1.People I love

Of course, this is already given. The people I left behind to pursue greater ambition in a strange land. My friends, cousins and grandparents they are my reminder that I can always come back home and they will welcome me with open arms. It feels like no matter how far I roam around or how my life has been changed for them I’m still the same ‘Hana’ and why it’s important not to forget it. It’s nice to know you have people in your life, you can always count on when life seems so restless.

See you soon, my beloved. Philippines has a lot of flaws but there’s more love in here that’s why I will always come back to you. If I had the chance to choose what nationality I want, I will always choose to be a Filipino cause I can’t have it the other way around. Exactly one month to go! yatta!

Proud to be kayumanggi. xoxo

 

 

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Budgeting 101

I don’t know if I’m in the position to talk something about budgeting cause like every other millennials, I’m struggling when it comes to it. I don’t have a huge amount of savings in my bank, but I can safely say I’m financially independent cause I pay my own bills all alone and I can still help my parents considering I’m not earning that much, I can travel and buy the things I want without depending on anyone else. Personally, I think saving up money is all about discipline and lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you’re earning a lot or not, it’s all about how well you handle your finances. So, I want to share to everyone how I budget my money.

1.Wants VS Needs

I’m a woman but I’m not fan of shopping. I can go on months without going to mall, I rather stay in my bed read books and watch my favorite shows than waste my time on it. So when I go shopping, I only buy the things I really need. You will see how much money you can save by only buying the things you need.

‘I like that mini dress! It’s really cute’ but it’s winter girl, can you wear it?

‘Oh! that crop top is really pretty.’ But do I have the guts to wear that? No, that’s too sexy for me. I can’t.

‘That heels is the bomb!’ But wait, where am I going to wear that? I’m not having dinner with Obama.

So those are the things going on with my mind every time I go shopping. You can live your life without those fancy things. It’s not as if you’re going to die if you don’t buy that dress you want. (Keyword: discipline or you can also say I’m just frugal and practical. Maybe lol.) 

2. Have separate bank accounts

I have two bank accounts, one is connected with all my expenses. That is where every month I left enough amount of money for all my bills cause automatically, it will be deducted. The other one is for my savings, obviously this account is not connected to my bills. This method is effective if you really want to see how much you save each month.

3. No Luxury Items

I’m ‘allergic’ to everything high-end whether it be a place or things. I rather have 2oo,oooyen cash than 200,000yen worth of a wallet with only 1,000yen on it. I can’t understand the logic why people are so crazy with branded stuff. A 200,000yen of bag is already worth of plane tickets to somewhere.

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This is the only branded thing I own. I bought this as a remembrance from my first-ever salary. It’s kate spade small coin purse. It’s not that expensive compared to LV.

4. Coin Banks

I’m that old-school that up to until now, I still have my coin bank. It’s all because of my upbringing, I grew up with my grandparents. Since I was in Elementary,  if I wanted to buy something for myself I have to save up for it. My grandma is so frugal, we’re not spoiled. They will provide the basic needs but not the ‘luho’ she simply won’t hand things to you especially if it’s just new toys or dolls. (I remember my coin bank back on elementary was the bamboo trunk you can bought at Public Market. My grandpa bought it for me. Every week, the money I save was only 20Php LOL)

So until college, the rule is the same. ‘If you want something, save it up for yourself.’ Well actually it helps cause I learned not to be depended on anyone and I learned the value of money at early age. So that’s the story why until now, I have my piggy bank.

Yes, it’s just coins but as time passes by you will be surprised by how much you can save on it. It can be a really huge amount of money. But sad to say, my coin bank is nearly two years now and it’s still not full. But at least it’s in half by now. LOL

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I’m using this coin bank you can bought it at 100 yen shop. There are lots of coin banks you can choose from.

So there you have it. I hope my blog post for today somehow helps and inspires you to save up. I know it’s not easy especially if food is life but nothing is impossible if you’re determined. You can still save money while having fun and enjoying the fruit of your labor like what I do.

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FAQ: Why your hair is so straight?

 

‘Is your hair natural?’

‘What shampoo are you using?’

‘Why is it so shiny and straight?’

‘What do you do?’

Most people asked me those questions when they first met me in person. Well, I got it from my Mama. Thanks to her genes, I saved myself from hundred of bucks for salon lol kidding. But on serious note, I just want to share what I do with my hair to keep it beautiful cause every woman is crazy about her hair. Admit it, girls like the saying goes hair is our crowning glory.

(These Don’ts with my hair are just my personal preference and common sense. I don’t have any scientific reasons or proof for it but the results are pretty good.)

DON’TS:

1.Hair Dryer

I don’t use hair dryer or blower for the reason that I’m so lazy. My arms are getting tired from it cause I have a long hair it takes forever to dry. So instead, I just stand in front of our room heater and let the hot air flows through my hair. (win-win situation! lol) but seriously, I also think it is damaging to use hair dryer everyday it will cause dry hair eventually.

2. Combing hair when it’s wet

I don’t comb my hair when it’s wet cause wet hair tends to be frizzy and tangled. I only use my hands most of the time to comb and don’t force your hair when untangling. It will just cause unnecessary hair loss. I wait for it to dry to finally comb it using brush, you will notice it is easier to untangled.

Trivia: I only comb my hair when going to bed. lol too lazy!

3. No hot water

Using hot water to hair is a crime unless, you want to go bald. Since, living in Japan where there is winter I notice that hot water is damaging. So, what I did was I washed my hair first using lukewarm water not hot water that is 40 degrees. No matter how cold, I endure it.

4. Wrap your wet hair using towel

We usually wrap our hair with towel after showering, but I noticed that it makes my hair more tangled. So, after showering I just let my hair down even though the water is still dripping from my hair. The results are it’s easier to dry and comb.

5. Wash your hair everyday

This is my dirty little secret, I don’t wash my hair every Saturdays for the reason that I’m so lazy and I know that I don’t have work the next day. So it’s fine lol. But, I think washing your hair everyday is drying and I don’t use hair conditioner everyday cause I don’t have time. I can only use hair conditioner every weekends or when I don’t have work.

6. No to hair bleaching

I only use Liese Prettia product of Japan when I want to dye my hair. I’m scared of using strong hair dyes or hair bleach cause I know it’s too damaging. Liese Prettia doesn’t cause much damage to my hair, I’m using it for 4 years now and my hair is still fine. But this year, I plan to stop dying I want my natural black hair back.

That’s it! Nothing special or extra effort. I  don’t use any hair products, just shampoo and conditioner. Maybe it just all runs down on how you take care of your hair for it to be beautiful. I take pride to my hair cause it’s important to me. So for everyone who’s asking me read my blog, people! lol

‘Have a nice hair day!’ xoxo

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‘Little Miss Too Nice’

This blog post is very personal to me cause it is dedicated to all those people who let me down. This will be the first and last time I’m going to talk about it. I just want to express and let go all the pain I’m feeling right now.

I bet all of us know what betrayal feels like but I never expected it will come from those people who are really dear to me, who I knew for so long, who I trusted so much. I can accept everything if it comes from people who hated me rather than for those people who I treated like siblings. I was speechless.

My problem is I always care, I always do. Even for those people who don’t deserve it. If my friends need me, I’ll be there in a heartbeat cause I know what it feels like to have no one. If you need a listener, I’ll be there to listen and comfort you cause I know what it feels like to have no one to talk to. When I love, whether it be relationship or friendship I tend to give myself too much to the point, I was being taken for granted. I put too much trust on people even higher than Mount Everest cause I never had a single doubt about the friendship we had. But surprise! I know now that just because you treat them well with all your honesty and soul it doesn’t mean they will also do the same for you. Life is unfair. Why do I always need to learn things the hard way?

You can never really trust people these days. Even the people you thought will be there for you until the end will drop you down. I swear. So from now on, I’ll do what’s best for me. I will let go all the people who taken me for granted and never really appreciate me. The show is end, my dear ‘friends’. I don’t deserve all of these bullshits cause all I ever gave was only love and genuine friendship. My hands are already full with so many things going on with my life right now. I don’t want to waste another time for fake people.

So lesson learned, at the end of the day all you’ve got is yourself and your faith. Don’t put too much trust on people. Learn to be silent and be your own hero. I can’t kill all of you literally but I will treat all of you like a dead person. I will just completely ignore you like you never existed in my life. You won’t hear a thing from me starting today. You all made me look so stupid. I just can’t believe what you did to me cause you’re the least people I thought who will ever betrayed me.

I know now who are really true to my face. I really appreciate those people who says the truth no matter how hard it is than to comfort me with lies. Thank you for saving me from the people I thought who cares for me. Truth hurts but I’ll always choose pain and honesty than faking it. So fuck fake friend, fuck fake love. For one last time, TANGINA NIYONG LAHAT.

P.S I’m so sorry for the cursed words. I just badly needed an outlet to vent all my emotions but I’m fine now.

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Being at 20-ish

‘we’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical oh yeah..I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22. Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you.’ 22- Taylor Swift

This is the phase where you are almost legal in everything that the world has to offer. Loans, credit cards, alcohol, driver’s license, bars, casinos etc. name it! Yep, we’re ‘that’ legal now. We don’t have to make fake ID’s anymore in order to enter a bar or buy cheap spirits. Sounds fun, right? But also overwhelming, cause from now it means we’re ‘adults’ and we have to be responsible for ourselves. (omg! Hi Mom, please read my blog. I don’t want to be an adult anymore, help! sending SOS loljk)

Nobody said it will be these confusing cause the decisions I’m going to make today will either make or break me in the future. For the past few months, I was a ‘damsel-in-distress’ trying to figure out what the hell am I gonna do with my life? I’m also wondering how come some of my batchmates are already married with kids while the others are still busy getting wasted every weekends? I belong to the latter, okay. We’re still kids who are so confused and lost trying to act like an ‘adult’.

They say 20’s are your selfish years to build, learn and explore. Being in the foreign land, makes it much harder for me to know what am I supposed to do cause I don’t have any idea what’s going on. It took me a year to realized what I want to do with my life. For the first time, I am so sure with my decisions. I finally found my reason to stay. Congratulate me, guys!

I know the journey would not be easy. It might be tough and hard but I want to pursue it. I finally understand the feeling of waking up each morning with goals and dreams to achieve. I’m not living my life like a ‘jellyfish’ anymore. This time I’m taking control with my life. I might be too ambitious but the hell this is what I want and I’m going to make it happen no matter what it takes. So young folks, ‘chase dreams, not people’ cause there’s more to life than love.

We’re still new in these whole adulting phase, so don’t be so hard in yourself if you’re still feeling lost. You might be drained, confused, lost, and stuck but I tell you, it’s completely okay cause it’s all part of the process to grow and learn. As the saying goes ‘if you’re struggling, it means you’re progressing.’ So don’t give up yet, we’re just starting. Don’t forget that we can always rewired, rebuild and restart our life cause we’re still young we’ve got time.

xoxo

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