Neysuh on the Spotlight

I am on the spotlight and as long as I'm in it, I'm gonna share my thoughts, my feelings, my artistry and whatever that comes to mind.

22 More Months

So Nayj and I finally decided on our wedding date - December 19, 2015. A lot of people have asked us why it would take us almost two years to get married kahit na kaka-engage palang namin. Well, as much as we want to get married as soon as we could, we’d have to consider a lot of factors.

Nayj’s birth certificate correction is still being processed. We haven’t got into his first hearing and we all know how essential a birth certificate is for marriage requirements so we’d have to prioritize this. The first hearing is on March and were still not sure if there’ll be a second. After all these are done, we can now focus on wedding planning. As in seriously.

My eldest brother will tie the knot this March as well. He and his girlfriend has been together for ten years already so its about time! We don’t really believe in sukob but not getting married on the same year as your sibling is a sign of respect to their special day.

I have just been accepted for housing loan application October of last year and then Nayj is applying for car loan naman for our dream Accent Hatch this week. We want to get adjusted to our monthly payments this year and also make up a sum of amount that we can spend for our wedding as well. You don’t want to get married and have lots of debts after right? :)

Oh and another thing? Our house is almost finished. We just had our first inspection last Saturday and the second one would be three weeks from now. I’m hoping there won’t be a third but were not in a rush anyway so that’ll be cool. I’d like to put a little of our personalities on our future home so I want to renovate it a bit. Plus, it doesn’t have the basics yet like a well furnished kitchen, built-in cabinets, garage and fences. I can’t wait to go furniture shopping!

I admit that these plans are so overwhelming especially the amount of gastos and money that goes along with it. I read somewhere that if you wait until you’re ready, you’re gonna keep on waiting. It is true. There’ll be a lot of adjustments but if you want things to happen, you’d have to sacrifice others in order to get it. Like for example, how much credit card debt do you pay for every month? If the amount is equivalent to a monthly car loan amortization, why not give up on shopping too much and invest on something very useful to you? And it also helps to have someone willing to sacrifice things for you.

Life is very exciting. God will always provide. I am very excited on this journey. Ah, adulthood, you amaze me in a lot of ways.

Another You

Have you ever thought about what could have happened if you took your second choice course back in college? Or what if you shifted courses to something else and thought that maybe you could turn this hobby you currently love into a professional work?

Back in college, technology was just booming and just like technology in our country, I was a late bloomer. I never read articles on the Internet, I don’t know what was available out there and I don’t really know what I want yet. When I graduated high school, I took Computer Science for three reasons: 1) It sounds interesting. My brother took this course as well so I kind of know what to expect, 2) Since IT would be big, it will give me a good career in the future and 3) I exceled in our programming subjects in high school so that’s pretty much a good sign. Those were good reasons and #2 was true, but it was not something that I really really wanted to do if you ask me now.

Don’t get me wrong. I do like my job and I love what I do despite the setbacks such as Holiday work, weekend work, oncall and working during nightshift. It gets challenging everyday and everyday, there’s something new to learn. But as you grow older, you discover a lot about yourself. You realize your interests and thought deeper about what it would be like if your job is something you’d be really interested in, where you don’t feel like working at all.

At some point in college, I was close to leaving Mapua and take up Journalism in DLSU. I started a blog in Blogspot and my love for writing started again. I have always loved writing. Since grade school, my teachers always compliment my writing and I joined various essay contests. I even submitted poems and articles in our school newspaper. I read a lot too, which improved my vocabulary. Journalism and Mass Communication was my second choice when I applied for schools in college and in mid-way, I thought about why I didn’t pick it as my first. I didn’t shift courses. I finished my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and I’m proud of it. But my love for writing still continued an I express that through this blog. 

Fashion never really was interesting until I turned 20. This term was never part of my vocabulary. My usual getup was pants, tshirt and sneakers in high school until college. My mother mentioned that she was afraid I’m going to be a tomboy as I refuse to wear any dresses or skirts and I never wanted to put on makeup. When I became Internet savvy, I began to look out for websites and follow celebrities I liked through their everyday paparazzi shots. I began to see the beauty of dressing up inspired by their everyday looks. I then found Lookbook.nu and discovered local fashion blogs sand applied what I see and read into my wardrobe.

While I was already working, I did want to enroll myself in fashion school once. I looked up SoFA and FIP and cringed on the fee for basic sewing and fashion courses. I remember visiting a fabric house last week and I told my mother, “Kung naging fashion designer ako, edi ako na gumagawa ng dress mo.” And my mother replied that its not too late yet. Is it really? If I knew I’d be interested in fashion, I could’ve taken a short course for fashion and maybe I could become a designer. Well, I’m only 26 now so who knows?

A fashion blog is a combination of writing and fashion. Initially, that’s what I wanted to setup this blog for. Local fashion blogs inspired me to create one myself. I tried to put up a decent fashion blog entry because I thought its as easy as coming up with a look, take photos of it and post a blog about it. But as tried to be one, it’s hard when you have a full time job because you don’t have the luxury to update your blog all of the time. I remember when I attended a fashion blog seminar when Lissa Kahayon mentioned, “Akala ng iba yung fashion blogging is poporma ka lang, magpo-pose tapos okay na.” And when I tried to do it, I realized that she was right. It takes more than taking outfit shots and blogging about it. You should have dedication, investing on the right tools such as camera and your own website and domain and time. 

I could’ve been a designer who creates dresses for myself and for other people, but I became an inspiration to others for the way I put together looks for myself, posting #OOTDs on Instagram and coming to work and experimenting on corporate looks. I was able to style my friends, my Kuyas, my nephew and my mom at times. I never get paid for it but seeing the smile on their faces and hearing them get compliments makes me happy. 

I may not have been a writer in a magazine or a popular newspaper, but I have 90 followers on my Tumblr which is already huge if you ask me. I have also created various documentations at work which my teammates and my onshore counterparts in different parts of the world use on a daily basis. How international can I get?

I may not have been a designer or blogger who wishes that I could be sponsored for an international trip somewhere, but my current job already did that and flew me to New York. It may not be on Fashion Week and it was during Fall but it was one my most memorable moments of my career.

You may have plans for yourself but they never worked out. But you should ask yourself, was it the plan you want or the plan God made for you? :)

Who Stays and Who Goes?

Within my 26 years of existence, I have met a lot of people in my life, knew them through school, work or common friends and then became friends with them eventually. I’m sure you all do but the big question is, who still keeps in touch with you? Who still gives an effort to see you, even just for a few hours, just to chat and know what’s happening and who doesn’t just rely on your Facebook timeline?

I learned that friendship doesn’t rely on the amount of get-togethers or meetups you have with that particular group or person. Just like any other relationship, you have to have that connection. For some people, I’ve lost that and I’m sure some of my friends have lost their connection with me too. There are times when I don’t get to meet with a certain group because I don’t feel like I’m connected with their usual topics anymore. In some of my barkada, there are a few people who doesn’t join us anymore, which I think has the same reason. They’ve lost their connection to the group. If he/she doesn’t want to go, I don’t oblige because I don’t want any awkwardness in the group. If you’re in that situation, you don’t want to be there just because you need to be there.

We all grow up. Our interests from five years ago differ a lot from our interests now. It’s not just you. Not everyone you became close with before are still fiends with you. They just became acquaintances after a few years. You bump into each other and ask how they are but that’s it. You don’t hate them, you don’t have any grudge against them. You remain civil, but unlike before, you just don’t connect with them anymore. And let’s be real, there are those who doesn’t like you anymore, they just don’t want to tell it to you straight up.

In the world of social media, there are so much hate where you don’t even know where these hate even came from. Your posts, your status, your blog, your tweets, your photos, everyone would need something to talk about. You’d get judged. They’d say you’re craving for attention, you’re showing off, you’re bragging, etc. And as cliche as it may sound, you can’t please everyone. Guilty as charged. 

Right now, I only have a few friends who remained close to me. But I’d like to keep that number low because these people I have, are the ones for keeps. People who I know wouldn’t talk behind my back, would accept me from who I am despite all the changes and all the kaartehan, be happy with me when I’m happy, who doesn’t think negatively, and who, despite of everything, still stayed in my life and never went away.

How about you? Who stayed? And who goes?

MOH

I started the year by meeting up with my best friend today. Kristine and I have been friends since second year high school back in 2002. I can’t believe we have been friends for 12 years already!

Our friendship started when we became group mates in one of our class activities. We bonded, clicked, harmonized M2M songs and imitated their voices, hanged out on the bleachers, gushed about our crushes, reviewed for tests over lunch and talked about our plans for college. Even if we didn’t go to the same school in college (she’s a Thomasian by the way), our communication remained constant. Our friendship doesn’t rely on the frequency of our get-togethers but she’s always the first one to know about what’s happening, the person who gives the best advice and the only person who completely understands my awkwardness towards certain situations.

How I wish I could have known her even before our awkward puberty years. I’ve had childhoold friends over chinese garters and Barbies, but I never had constant communication with them anymore. If I knew Kristine even before, maybe I had more fun over those childhood games and knew the awesomeness of music way back then. I think the reason why I learned how to sing was because of her. She was a really good singer, a popular girl in highschool who always asked to sing over school events. I even asked her before how her voice vibrates when she sings. Haha. Her interest in music influenced me, she recommended songs to me and introduced bands I’ve never heard before. As mentioned before, imitating M2M was one of our hobbies. This girl duo always reminded me of our friendship.

Here’s one of our most awkward pictures. Back when we have 0 knowledge over fashion and makeup. I think this was second year highschool too. Haha.

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And now here we are, at 26 years old, graduated college almost 6 years ago and are both working in our fields for almost 6 years already. Kristine got a looooot prettier and I have pimple marks all over my face. Lol.

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I prepared something for her, it was something I saw all over Pinterest and because she’s special to me, I wanted to do the same but with a little twerk. I purchased a pearl bracelet the other day, put it in a fancy box with a little note inside that says, “Will you be my maid of honor?” 

It’s something that would be added to one of our best moments together. We almost got teary eyed and excited as we’ll be bonding over all the planning. I knew she’d make a great maid of honor because she’s very calm (sa pagkakaalam ko ha. hahaha.). 

We had lunch at Bag of Beans and bonded over coffee at the new Starbucks in Tagaytay. This is just the start of the year and we’d be having more of this for the rest of 2014. 

Thanks, Kristine, for saying yes to me! Haha :) I love you.

Summing Up My 2013

Saying that 2013 was a good year to me is an understatement. God really knows when to answer prayers that you have been asking for for a long time, whether it’d be those that you’ve been praying for years or dreams that just popped in your head as an idea.

I’d like to sum it all up as a year-ender for my blog. 2013 was such an exciting and wonderful year for me.

1. Switch from Accenture to Tata
After my four-year stint at Accenture working as application production support, I was given an opportunity at Tata Consultancy Services to work for the same client but with a higher pay. I started just last February 18th and I can’t believe I’ll be turning 1 by 2014 in two months time. Time surely flies when you’re a butterfly! (Got that quote from Chasha. Hi Cha!) It was a big change since Accenture is a big stable company and Tata was just starting here in the Philippines. Sure, there are ups and downs but hopefully, this company would slowly rise up and be one of the top.

2. Giuseppe Salvatore

A bundle of joy has been born on our family! Kuya Jop and Ate Kate’s first born, as well as my parents’ first apo. He was born premature but he’s such a fighter that if you look at him now, you’ll never know he was a premmie back then. He always put smile on our faces every time we see him. Dear Kuyas, please make more pretty and handsome babies? :)

2. US Visa
My first attempt for a US Visa was last October and I was blessed to have been approved for 10 years multiple entry in the United States. It was one of those independent move that I did but wouldn’t be possible without the help of Tata. This has opened a lot of opportunities for me, which I will discuss on the next items :)

3. First NY Trip
I was given an opportunity by Tata to represent Manila team to our Morgan Stanley counterparts in New York for the whole month of November. It was a mix of emotions for me as it was my first time to travel alone in a country that I’ve never been to. I didn’t know the joy of traveling alone until I came to NY and mastered the subway, the streets of downtown and uptown New York and the city of Queens. It was the biggest highlight of my year which I hope would happen again on the coming years. Never in my life would I imagine myself going on a business trip in one of the cities that I only see in movies. I loved New York City. I also get to visit my aunt for a few days in San Diego which has the perfect weather.

4. Getting Engaged

When Nayj and I turned 9 on our anniversary last December 19, I never thought he planned on proposing. It once popped in my mind but I erased the idea because I don’t want to rush things. But now that it finally happened, I am so happy that a person like Nayj loved me so much that he always prioritize what I want and my happiness. Whenever I tell my friends and colleagues about his proposal, they always mention that I’m very blessed to have someone who really loves me. We have been together for so long and yet he never fails to make me smile whenever were together. We are slowly trying to plan our wedding for 2015. We have no dates yet and were not in a rush. I guess 2014 would be a busy year for all the wedding planning preps :)

Those are the biggest highlight of my year. I surely know that God has laid out another set of events for me on 2014.

How about you? :)

Next Step

Now that Nayj and I are engaged, the next question would be, when is the date of the wedding? I actually haven’t thought of it yet although I do have a date already for 2015. It’s still the same date as our anniversary although it’s too far away. December 19, 2015. So I’m still thinking about it.

Nayj and I always wanted to be ready emotionally, financially and spiritually before we push through any plans together. I didn’t expect him to propose because I knew we still have a lot to do next year: his birth certificate hearing and our future house renovations. Ayaw namin nang nagigipit so we always make sure that we have savings and this year, we were able to fill that up.

We are very blessed with friends, family and colleagues who are very supportive of our relationship. We’ve been together for 9 years so imagine the friendship we’ve built with people while we are in a relationship. I guess the biggest compliment we ever got was that we are an ideal couple for most of them. We are far from it, really, but thank you.

I am excited on planning for my wedding next year but I think we’ll start planning once we’ve finished Nayj’s hearing on his birth certificate on March 2014. After that, I hope everything will be smooth sailing. The first inspection for our house in Bellefort Estates, Molino will be in February 2014 as well. It’ll be a busy week next year, I guess. But I’m excited!

Thank you for all the prayers and wishes. I still haven’t made any list of sort and I’m looking forward on making that next year.

We’re engaged!

Nayj and I left for Baguio 1am last Dec 18. We rode the First Class bus because we wanted to try it, and its less tiring. It has a toilet inside, no stop overs and its route is via SCTEX. We were seated at the back of the bus but it was okay as we can fully recline our seats.

Before I left, one of my colleagues teased me that Nayj might propose on our 9th year anniversary. I didn’t want to think about it because I don’t even want to think about it. Not that I don’t want it to happen, its just that I don’t want to put pressure on myself and Nayj most importantly. I shrugged it off and wanted to enjoy our three days in Baguio.

I am a sweet tooth and I loved cupcakes and cakes so much. I told Nayj that I want us to have a cake, even just a small one on the night of our anniversary. We can’t find a cupcake anywhere so I saw this small Black Forest cake in SM Baguio. Nayj said its better than a cupcake so we bought it.

Around 10pm on Dec 18th, I’ve been asking Nayj to get the cake already because I wanted to eat it. He told me to wait because its not yet our anniversary. When the clock struck 12, I volunteered to get the cake but he insisted, “Ako na.” He took it, opened the small box and said, “Happy Anniversary! Will you marry me?” I saw a beautiful diamond ring on top of the cherry. My jaw dropped and tears started to fall. I nodded and hugged him very tight. I think I didn’t let go and we were like that for almost 30 minutes. No witnesses, no videos, just the two of us and it was so sincere and true. I couldn’t have asked for any other proposal than that.

The ring was beautiful and it fits me perfectly. He told me that I left a ring on their house so may nasukatan siya. Nayj even told my parents about his plan when I was still in New York. It was Li Marcus’ baptism when he told them, hinatid pa nila si Nayj sa MOA where he bought the ring. When I texted my whole family, all I got was “Alam na namin yan.” replies. I was very happy.

I’ve been flooding all my social media accounts about this engagement so I apologize. I want to thank everyone who sent their wishes and greetings. My 2013 is already complete and its not even Christmas yet.

Home is Where the Heart Is

So it has almost been a month since my last update! Sorry, I’ve been preoccupied with a lot of things at work so I had no time to sit in a computer and write my thoughts.

But now that I do, prepare for a very long blogpost… :)

Anyway, I didn’t realize that I didn’t blog about arriving from New York. It’s actually been a while (it was Nov 30th), that my one month trip seems like it’s already been a year. Really. But I was excited to go back home that I didn’t feel the 18 hour flight I was in. I wanted to be with my family and knowing that Nayj will meet me at the airport on that day made me more excited.

A day before my flight, Kuya Jay wanted to take me to Woodbury Premium Outlets on a Black Friday. He said there are a lot of good deals and with extra discounts because of the Thanksgiving Sale. I really didn’t plan to shop more because I already did a lot of shopping every after work. But he insisted because he also plan to buy something. Since my filght was 12:40PM on a Black Friday, we went there on the evening of Thanksgiving, after dinner at their house and left at 10PM. It was 1.5 hour drive but it was worth it. Bought purses from Aldo, Kenneth Cole and Steve Madden, clothes and bib for Seppe from Carters and sunglasses from Coach. See, I told you I didn’t buy a lot because my bags are already packed and I might be charged for excess baggage. Hahaha.

We left Woodbury at 5AM and went straight to JFK Airport. I was finally excited to go home and super thankful for having the Baniqued family take me as their guest on their home :)

If there was one person I miss the most, it was always Nayj. He worries about me a lot, made sure that I don’t get lost in a foreign land that I’m not that familiar of because it was my first time. He always ask about my day and keep on telling me that he’s so proud of me. He misses me so much but he put on a brave face on that early morning of Nov 2nd when I left, I didn’t take a second glance because I didn’t want to cry. 

I arrived at the airport at 10.30PM of Nov 30th and I immediately texted Nayj the moment the plane landed. I so wanted to see him already. Due to the holiday rush, there are a lot of people going home so Immigration lines were long. Our plane was huge so ang daming kasabay. Plus, it took me almost an hour to get my check-in baggage.

Guards were strict in NAIA because there are a lot of people na gusto magsalubong so Nayj and Ama can’t help me with my bags. I had to take my cart and carry it to the parking area because the guards won’t allow them to the arrival area. Nayj got me four Sonja’s Cupcakes as welcoming gifts and of course, a kiss that I missed the most.

We arrived home at 12AM. As exhausted as I am, I am still happy that I am finally home. 

I plan to do something with my long hair when I got home and thought of having a perm. And now, my hair is already short. Not that I planned for it. It was actually caused by a bad perm from Tony and Jackey that I didn’t want to go back to that salon anymore. My long hair got dry and frizzy. I got it cut from David’s Salon near the office because I can’t take it anymore. So now, I am a short curly haired. Something different that I’m slowly getting used to and owning it.

On my first day back at work in TCS Manila, I gave my colleagues repacked chocolates from what I bought from Duty Free as pasalubong. I was glad to see them again but then there are a lot of work to be done. As I type this, I have been back to back oncall and next weekend will be my third. And today was the busiest Monday I ever experienced. Whew.

Tomorrow, after work, Nayj and I will go to Baguio for our anniversary! Finally, a much needed rest from all the craziness at work lately. Nayj and I are turning 9!! :) 

Bye San Diego!

My trip to San Diego was short but sweet with a little bit of heart ache. When I arrived, my aunt and her husband took me to PF Chang for a much needed Chinese food and then we went to Fashion Valley. We checked out Bloomingdales and Forever 21. It’s a great mall, much like Alabang Town Center. They can’t drive when its already dark so we went home by 4pm.

The next day’s agenda was to go to SeaWorld. They actually have two tickets that’s been sitting in their closet for years and it was the perfect opportunity for them to use it. So they only need to pay for me! Oh by the way, I always like to visit family because I always feel so pampered. I had my own room which was very spacious. I had my own bathroom, the bed was really nice that I had a good night sleep for the past two days. The comforter was my best friend. Their house was very nice. If I’d have a second house in the future, I wanted it to be that big.

My breakfast was bacon and eggs. It’s been a while since I had bacon. In our family in Cavite, only healthy food is allowed so you won’t found any bacon in the fridge.

SeaWorld was really nice. They had a lot of shows, not just rides. If you’re too tired to go around the park, just watch the shows and the fee that you pay for would be all worth it. Even if I wanted to buy any souveniers, I can’t find any because they were so expensive. My favorite was Shamu, and then the Sea Lion show. I hope Philippines would have parks like this in the future.

Today, we went to New Life Presbyterian church to hear the morning service. It’s almost like Ellinwood with how they worship, the choir and the people. I took a communion and I didn’t know that there was a choice to either get a legit wine or a grape juice. I had no idea I picked wine because its in a pink glass. The grape juice was in a clear glass. When I took it, I smirked for 5 seconds. Haha. They also give real bread just like back when I was still singing in the youth choir in Ellinwood. It was a very nice church with modern interiors.

After church, we ate at a buffet and went to Walmart where they bought clothes for Seppe and Li. Iba na talaga pag may apo, gifts go to them na. Haha. We went around Plaza Bonita for a bit of shopping.

And so here’s the heart ache. My phone fell on the concrete and its glass is cracked and its heart breaking to look at. It still hadn’t reached a year old and this happened. I don’t have AppleCares so this doesn’t have warranty. I’ll check with the Apple store tomorrow to have it fixed. Here’s to hoping it won’t give me a pain in my pocket.

I’m now in he airport, waiting for boarding on my 9pm flight. Soon, I’ll be seeing New York again and its very cold weather which I don’t miss at all. Haha. I’m very excited to go home too. 5 more days to go!!

Weekend to San Diego

As much as I love New York City, its sometimes hard to keep up with the pace of the people. Everyone seems rushing in in the morning… Or yeah, not just morning but any time of the day. Its funny because even when I pay for something in the cashier, I rush to get my wallet and cash because the person behind me seems to be in a hurry all the time.

I am blessed to have friends and family in Northern America. I stayed with my church friends here in New York and now I’m currently in the airport to visit my aunt who has been living in San Diego California for 20 years now. It’s been a long time since she visited the Philippines so it’s time for me to visit her this time. She even mailed me my itinerary for this weekend. It involves a lot of shopping and Seaworld! We’ll also go to church this Sunday.

I can’t wait to tell you more about my trip. I’m now in JFK Terminal 5 JetBlue lounge waiting for boarding. My flight leaves at 9am. I am excited to go to a place with a warmer weather. And by the way, the airport here is amazing. Free fast wifi (that’s why I’m blogging this now), plenty of food selections and other boutiques. It’s like Greenbelt with airport.

Will blog again soon.