the happy list 04

The Happy List (04)

  1. Celebrating my birthday with Mumu and my friends at a wonderful place
  2. Being able to express what I really want to pursue, and taking action to make it come true (lol rhyme)
  3. Scratch maps (I have virtual scratch maps, too!)
  4. Staying away from social media
  5. Easy reads
  6. Blessing of our new home
  7. Doing art even though I’m not really that artistic
  8. Our local (Palawan) and international (South Korea) trips (blogging about ‘em soon!)
  9. Snack/lunch/dinner treats from workmates + Christmas parties (thanks for making my stomach happy!)
  10. Gifts — from me to me, from me to others, from others to me

Speaking of #4, I’ve kind of disconnected myself from social media lately, and it actually brings positive things! I get to use the extra time in doing more important things, and I stopped thinking negatively of what others post (because I haven’t read any significantly annoying one in the first place). I wanted to just take baby steps in disconnecting. It’s hard when you wanna know what’s going on in your network, but it’s great at the same time because you don’t have to worry about how to react to certain stories or how to tell your own and make it look/sound good. I still read updates from important people in my life, and I still respond to messages sent to me, but I’ve refrained from lurking.

I know disconnecting doesn’t bring any good to being a blogger, but it’s not my concern for now. I would just like to focus my energy and time on investing in myself. And if I want to share any significant stories in my life, I’ll do it in this blog. :)

This happy list is inspired by Camie Juan. :)

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Taking Charge of My Career

For the past months, my mind was in a jumbled state. Maybe it still is. My ‘housemates’ Karen and Johnel may well be witnesses to that, manifesting as random thoughts I blurt out in the middle of a perfectly normal conversation.

Working in the IT industry is the most challenging thing happening in my life right now, I realized. Well, yes, naturally, our job is the one that brings the most challenge to most of us. I am an Industrial Engineering graduate, but I’ve never had the chance to practice that field for real because I decided to finally follow my heart, and that was to work in a computer-related industry.

I was just trained (for a few weeks) and self-taught on most of the programming languages I know, and it may come off as a disadvantage for me against those who really spent their entire college life coding because I didn’t have an IT background. I still even struggle grasping some concepts and how they relate with each other. And it’s in that struggle that I wonder if I really want to be in this field. It feels really good to be able to solve an issue with the use of your own brains (and the brains of others through Google), but when I hear my peers and my team leads speak of more complicated things, it makes me cringe with fear that I may not be fit to mingle with them.

If I were to choose a job without all the inhibitions I have right now, I would choose the one where I get to travel the world. But where do I get that kind of job? What edge do I have against those who are also aiming for that line of work? All I have is an overwhelming sense of adventure. Is that even enough?

I choose to remain in the IT industry because the salary is good — it helps me pay for all the things I need to pay. It’s the one that fuels my passion for travel. It’s the practical choice. But more importantly, I choose to remain in this industry because I love logic, and I love solving problems. And because of that choice, I decided to take charge of my career. I’m currently a back-end developer (sort of), but I realized that what I really wanna be is a front-end web developer. I didn’t go through formal training in this aspect of IT (just bits of stuff learned from previous engagements), but I know that if I focus my time and energy in studying the languages and technologies involved, I will become a good and successful one.

I’m not going anywhere (a.k.a. I’m not [yet] resigning), but I’m exploring opportunities within the organization. I’m hoping that with the help of ‘the authority’, I’ll be in the career path I choose to take.

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birthday weekend 2014

Birthday Weekend: Tagaytay and Volcano Island

Last week, Mumu flew from Cebu to Manila for my birthday, and I couldn’t be any happier about it! #charozcaldo On my day, we just went on a date night at Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe. It’s situated near my current living place, and I’ve always been curious about their food because the place looks so homey and chill!

We had dinner there, and the food was indeed delicious! We brought home some desserts, and the both of us finished them in no time. We actually planned to leave some for my mates Karen and Johnel, but Mumu enjoyed the sweets too much! Hahaha.

It was also Mumu’s birthday earlier this week, so we decided to have my late and his advance birthday celebration last weekend with our friends.

We had a trip to Tagaytay, and I fell in love with the place instantly! It wasn’t my first time in Tagaytay since we’ve been there during our educational tour last 2010, but because I’ve gotten so used to the usual hustle and bustle of the city, arriving in Tagaytay on a Saturday afternoon with the chilly breeze and relaxing surroundings captured my heart.

We lodged in at Our Melting Pot Hostel and settled down before going out.

It was a cold and rainy afternoon, so we decided to have some bulalo. There were a lot of restaurants around that offered bulalo, but we went for Bulalo Point because they had an area overlooking Taal Lake, though there were some houses that blocked our view.

bulalo

We were stuck there for a while because of the heavy downpour, but when it stopped raining, we proceeded to Bag of Beans. Our Saturday instantly became food/drink trip day! I thought BoB was just the usual coffee shop like Starbucks. But when we arrived there, it took us by surprise! The setting was wonderful! And the place was big!

(more…)

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this & that 10

This & That (10)

Hey there, lovely people online! How are you? I just realized that I have so many backlogs for this blog, especially posts about my recent travels, but every time I sit down and try to work on it, I just can’t seem to proceed. How sad is that? :(

Anyway, we’ve been here in Manila for 2 months already, and I can say we’ve already adjusted to the environment. There are times when I really miss Cebu, and all I wanna do is go home and continue with my life there. But this is part of the adventure, and I’ll have to go through with it in the next 4 months. Oh well, kapit lang! :P

Here are the things that happened since my last life update:

  1. Karen, Johnel, and I (we call ourselves the Minions) went to Divisoria to buy some stuff. I’m not really into shopping, but I went there to buy some clothes for my trip to South Korea! XD
  2. Being in Manila brings joyful little moments, and celebrating when friends from Cebu come to visit you is one of them! We got to enjoy the food from Zark’s and Conti’s!
  3. I’ve gone home to Cebu twice already. The first was last September (the last time I ‘lived’ in our old home), then I went to Siargao. The second was last October (the first time I ‘lived’ in our new home), then I went to South Korea (I’ll blog about this trip soon). In short, it’s just like I went home to take another flight to another destination. No wonder I’m missing Cebu so much!
  4. The Minions tried making mug cakes, and it was not bad for first timers — it was simple but tasty! :D
  5. I went to Smart Araneta Coliseum with the other Minions to join the Saved Festival. It’s a pretty good change since we don’t get to attend concerts that much in Cebu.
  6. Everybody’s getting into lettering/calligraphy, so I tried to do it myself. I started with my G-Tec pen, then I bought some cheap brush pens, but I didn’t find the latter as therapeutic as the former. Maybe it’s because I’m not really good with brushes. :))
  7. I had a 3-day Java training at our office in Eastwood. It was far, but the other Minions came to visit me with some other friends to have dinner. I didn’t like what I ordered at Wingstop, though. :P
  8. I bought a Kindle Paperwhite to get myself back to serious reading. It was an impulsive buy, but I’m liking the gadget so far. I’ve finished 2 books, and I’m still adding more to my to-read list and keeping up with my reading challenge. This might add to the reasons I don’t blog that much anymore. Haha!
  9. We invited some officemates-turned-friends (hehehe) over at our place to have a mini-party. There wasn’t any alcohol involved, but we had a great time with some games! Who said you have to get drunk to enjoy a party? :P

I have another trip coming up next week, and it’s gonna be another addition to my blog backlogs. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish them all before this year ends! :)

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kindle paperwhite

The Reading Challenge

I admit I’m not a bookworm, but I enjoy reading books. I used to allot a significant amount of time for reading during my high school and college days. But ever since I acquired my passion for adventure, I only got to read books sparingly. Last year, out of my target of 10 books to read, I only finished 6. And I think I’ve only been able to finish 1 this year. What a shame. :P

I know reading articles online still counts as reading, but reading a book is different. It takes you places, it makes you feel a lot of emotions at the same time, and it even challenges your imagination!

The feeling I get when I read a book again after being away from them for long makes me ask myself why I even stopped. It’s a great escape. And I want to experience that high all over again.

Starting now, I’m challenging myself to read a book for at least an hour a day no matter how busy I get. And because I’m not a reading purist who completely prefers reading the printed text of real books over reading it on a screen of a gadget, I bought a Kindle Paperwhite (and I named it Kilo) to help me with this challenge and to get back that reading groove. I know, traditional books are sexy, they emit a wonderful smell, and they don’t run out of battery. I love them. But if you think about it (I mean, honestly think about it), e-readers have some advantages over them, too. You can carry thousands of e-books in one small gadget, you can read with or without external light (well, it depends on your gadget), you can search for books and texts easily, etc… Don’t even get me started with their advantages over smartphones/tablets. But really, I’m just choosing what’s convenient for me. It’s still reading, right? :)

To the book lovers out there, please feel free to recommend some books! Also, let’s follow each other on Goodreads! ;)

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