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PSA: I am an Introvert

Most people think that because I work in sales and I attend blog events regularly, I like going out and socializing. While it’s true that my work requires me to meet people on a regular basis and I do enjoy going to events, I really am an introvert in real life and need to exert a huge amount of effort just to be pleasant, gregarious, and mentally present.

The old school definition of introversion was believed to be someone who does not want to socialize (and this is how my Mom initially understood it) but so many articles now prove otherwise. We introverts do have a social life though with a handpicked set of really close and relevant friends, and we are okay with staying home on most days (yes, really). But we are not to be mistaken as shy as when the situation calls for it, we can be in our element and work it like nobody’s business.

With old and new friends in Baler

Believe it or not, some of us are introverts.

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Mittens: The Dumpster Kitten

While traversing Scout Rallos at 9pm, I had noticed incessant meowing of teeny proportions coming from a stacked heap of plastic garbage bags. I looked down and saw a small black kitten, barely a week old, running towards me and finally parking itself haphazardly on my new Flossy Mary Janes.

“Gera! It’s a kitten!” I was unsure if I wanted to pick it up. It was so tiny, so scraggly, so pitiful. Plus, it was crying nonstop. Gera, who had walked on ahead, turns to me and tells me sternly, “You don’t pick that up, Kira! It’s so dirty and we’re late to a party!” She trudges on leaving me behind.

I take a deep breath, try to walk away, but later decide to take in this little critter. I yell, “Gera, we are taking this kitten home and you have no choice but to come with me!”

There was no plan to take on another pet, not to mention a kitten. I had grown up with dogs, chickens, turtles, pigeons, pigs, fishes, rabbits, even squirrels at some point — but never did a feline join our household.

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So as any responsible pet owner would do, I fed it Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR for short also known was Kira Mae Ramirez lol), housed it in a comfortable kennel, took care of it, and tried to make her ready for adoption. The last one was a major fail as we ended up loving her so much.

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Mid-year Musings: On Surf and Life

“Ever since I started surfing, I realized that there is more to life than just work.”

I heard A say this during the 5-hour drive back to Manila. I was feigning sleep and listened in on the conversation. Her purported awareness was belittled by a snigger: How will you pay for the bills, he said. Or sustain yourself while living in a surf town? What, leave all responsibilities and comforts of the city behind? How is this even possible?

Admittedly, A hasn’t figured out what to do yet. All she knew was that she was dead tired doing 22-hour shifts at work and needed a break.

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While I totally would support her and her plans of quitting her job (I am a supporter of going on a sabbatical and taking a break if need be, for your sanity’s sake), I decided to let it simmer and think about my own battles.

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Pixi Multi-Balm in Wild Rose

I’m writing this in sweltering Manila, eating my Chia Pudding (that I made myself, thankyouverymuch), and thinking about our upcoming wake boarding activity this weekend. As someone who’s a fan of the sun (I use copious amounts of sunscreen, don’t worry), my beauty routine has been whittled down to just the essentials. Not that I have an array of makeup products at my disposal in the first place. But I really can’t imagine being all dolled up at the beach with full-on contour and foundation (check Instagram, people do that) — that.is.just.wrong. It’s too hot and sweaty to have to pile on anything else save for sun protection.

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But I get it, we still have to look decent at the beach. So, in the pursuit of looking at least glow-y poolside or at your next surf destination, I’ve turned to multi-purpose and skin-friendly brands and products. Less stuff in my carry-on, less stuff to fuss about.

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My Experience at Brigada Eskwela 2017

My family (Father’s side) are educators, born and raised in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. Brigada Eskwela has been a joint effort of the government and community for 12 years running. I first heard about it in 2016 when I was on vacation in my hometown and promised I’d be back next year to help.

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A few weeks before the scheduled 2017 Brigada, I got a message from my cousin that it was slated for May 15-20 — a month earlier than last year AND the same weekend I was supposed to set off for Apo Reef and swim with the sharks.

But, a promise is a promise, I booked a ticket and flew home. The sharks can wait.

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Ilocos: Tourist Spots, Where to Eat, What to Buy

It was 9:00 pm and I was still a bit sleepy from my 2-hour bus ride from Laoag City to Vigan. I waited anxiously at the Partas bus terminal amidst the flurry of passengers and conductors. I had arrived earlier this morning from Manila and the idea that I am finally in Ilocos was still simmering.

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For years I have planned to go to Vigan as many people have been urging me to visit this heritage town once inhabited by the affluent Chinese-Ilocano mestizos. A town that is unparalleled in its preservation of Spanish colonial towns. After meeting Edmar Guquib (blogger and author of Explore Ilocos) during a previous fam trip in Puerto Princesa, my resolve to visit was stronger and we finally made time to plan a visit on April.

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