Behind the Mask

What kind of mask do you hide behind?

Which color is most comfortable?

Which of those personalities make you feel most alive?

Would the world love you for what’s lies underneath?

Would you someday accept who you truly are?

Snippets and cut outs of colored cardstock from @boysenpaintsphilippines paint swatch catalogue.


𝑮𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒆𝒏 𝑩𝒍𝒐𝒐𝒎𝒔 and Golden Truths

I learned how spontaneity is invaluable when it comes to art. Just like water, its fluidity causes one to learn to ‘go with the flow’. Never knowing what the piece is going to look like next, always anticipating how unusual the next brush stroke would be – or how the whole thing would turn out.

Swipe to see process photos.

At first I was going for an abstract geometric piece.

See the three women etched into the gold? So I decided to try women empowerment…

..and then it looked off

..and so I obviously covered it in up – badly. I was going for a forlorn lady with purple tears – which I believe looks more like two mutilated butterflies on a golden puddle.

I covered the rest of the mess in gold paint and decided to turn them into flowers instead.

Painting is therapeutic. I’ve had a lot of time to ponder on some realities.

In life, we never get the whole picture – and we never will. There’s a certain morbidity and comfort in this truth. That no one really knows wtf they’re doing now, or what in the world would happen next year. You could be filthy rich now, and a mess tomorrow. You can be struggling now, and victorious sooner than you know it.

We’ll never know the whole picture. So let’s just make sure that we’re on the path to making a good one. At the end of our lives, we’ll all take a step back to either admire our works, or cringe with disdain..




An Acrophobia’s Adventure

Haven’t updated my journal of late. My first hike was an exhilarating experience. I’d envisioned walking (yes, walking) on dusty, flat earth, being surrounded by dewy grass and warm sunny skies (I’ve packed bug spray for the WORST case scenario that I could think up). To my surprise it was nothing like I had imagined.

The hike up Nagpatong Rock was the EXACT opposite of what I’ve prepared for.

We began our journey at 3am to make it for the 5:30am trek.
It was drizzling when we arrived at the jump off. The rest of the hike up was wet, -incredibly- muddy (where the mud sticks to your shoes and weighs it down, making it slightly more difficult to move), slippery and rainy (much more perilous than a regular hike as the rocks and the paths are uneven and slippery).

I didn’t push myself to go up to see Nagpatong Rock Formation though, as I was too -chicken- scared of heights and danger.

Despite my Acrophobia (fear of heights) it was certainly an adventure nonetheless, one I am thankful that I didn’t need an inhaler for (my cardio down the dumps, btw). I wasn’t able to take photos due to the weather, but surely the experience was one to remember.

Stay adventurous.




For You, When You’ve Forgotten

On days when you could barely get up out of bed, hey, you’re awake, you’re alive.

On days when you simply just want to hide from the world, not out of fear, but for the sake of your sanity – you’re brave. Brave for taking care of yourself and that by doing so, you’re being strong for others, too.

On days when no one seems to be on your side, you are your own ally – you’re a boss. A one man team can often get things done too, no matter how small the task.

On days when the traffic gets you late, when you lose something that meant the world to you and nothing goes right, you still try. Sometimes trying is the best you can do, and for that you’re a fighter.

On days when the tears flow like endless rain, and your heart is gripped in pain, you will make it through – you are resilient.

On days when the world has washed you clean of your identity, remember that you’re unique. If you’re a pink, a blue, a green, a purple, whatever, just paint the world that color and revel at the masterpiece that you create.

On days when you doubt your beauty, your pace and your own self worth, remember that your value is not measured by the people around you – you’re amazing.

On days when the sky is overcast and the clouds are murky-gray, look deep within and there you will find that you’re the sunshine.

On days when you feel like your emotions are out of whack and your mental state is nothing short of a ship wreck, remember that to the person who loves you, you’re enough.

On days when you feel lost and look back and to see how far you’ve come, you’re an adventurer. Climb that mountain, cross that ocean, conquer the skies because you can, and you already have.

On days you feel like quitting, let me tell you, you’re not alone. You’re strong and no matter how small the efforts are that you put into making your life (even just a teeny bit) better, trust me, what you’re doing is enough. Baby steps are steps forward, nonetheless.

Let me be the first to tell you that I’m proud of how far you’ve come.

There are many days, even weeks when I could barely function because of anxiety and depression. There are people who are lucky, that they can CHOOSE not to feel what we feel, not to struggle with what we battle with on a daily basis. But for us, sometimes the only choice we have is whether or not to allow this illness to take control of our lives.

There are many days when I let it. But there are days when the only thing I tell myself is “Get off your ass” to get myself out of the intoxicating grip of the warden – depression and the cell – my bed.

I am writing this, miles and miles away from the comfort of my bed. I woke up today, feeling like I’m carrying a huge pile of rocks. It takes thrice as much energy for me to walk or to do the things I usually do. Humor is foreign to me at this point, and this tension headache isn’t making things any easier for me.

All I did today was to “Get off my ass” and somehow I believe it is enough for me to get by for now. That’s all it is. Finding little ways to get by.




The Beauty of Change

You know you’re on the right track when you decide to change. A few weeks ago, I’ve decided to make small life changes.

Over the course of a few months, I’ve used nothing else but Grab’s car services for its convenience. However, @grab_ph ‘s prices are getting unreasonably steep and uneconomical.

Now, I’ve always been afraid of commuting, not because of the public or the PH humidity, but mostly due to my *faulty* personal navigational compass. I’d get lost easily.

One day, I asked myself how much longer will I be dependent on car services and how much longer my *wallet* finances can take more of the price hikes.

(I have taken driving lessons but after a slight accident on the road I nevee got back to it. I blank-out most times and it’s a no-go for me as a potential driver)

But “Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway” (Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck) and I refuse to be a sob, dependent Grab B*tch so I gathered up my courage and faced my fears of commuting.

My last jeepney rides were back then in college when I’d take one ride home every day. I realize now, it wasn’t as bad as my anxiety thought it would be.

I feel relieved that I actually did have a choice. A choice to be bound to expensive car services, a choice to be stuck within the confines of my limitations. But it feels so much better, so liberating to know that I made a choice to be strong and free, instead.

To make my commute a habit that I look forward to, I pick any (public) leaf or flower on the way home. I do flower-pressing upon getting home. One day, it’ll be a collection. That what once was my fear, has become a thing of beauty.


My Truth.

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Truth? I still cry whenever I'm surrounded by the artworks my creative friends have made, in collab spaces and craft shops around the Metro – it reminds me of the past I've willingly chosen to leave behind. . It's like an echo from a past I refuse to return to. I remember how it felt to create and how wonderful it felt to be complimented and looked up to in the industry. I've met so many people and worked with many brands. But this is my TRUTH: I've came to accept that the spotlight is just not my 'home'. . I know what I am and what I am not. I know that I belong in the background, in the quiet of the bustling city, in the back room of a party (possibly talking to a random but the real-est person I can find). I'm not a social butterfly. I'd prefer deep conversations over small talk any day. I have (more than half of the time) moments when I need to be alone, and there are days (albeit quite rarely) when I'm ready to mingle. . For a year I've changed my name into @littlegirlwanders and closed my current account. That's how long it took me before I decided that I will start the process of healing and acceptance. . I look back to what I was. It still pains me that as an artist, I've stopped creating, drawing and writing for years because I've been so hung up over the past. I'm working on it. I know I am. . To this day, I repeat my mantra: 'You are home where your heart is safe'. In everything I do, I remember to practice self-care and to ask my heart if it felt safe. Because for now, that's what matters; #MentalHealth matters.

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Facebook Kon-Mari

Over the course of time (or maybe it’s just me getting older) I’ve learned that there is a certain kind of relief that comes with de-cluttering. After reading Gretchen Rubin’s book (which I must say, is a definite must-read for those of us who feel like we’re going on an endless loop-de-loop in life) I instantly followed one of her steps to a happier life.

One of which is cleaning up my closet. Who would’ve known that something as simple as this could boost one’s mood? One day as I reveled at the towering piles of clothes I’ve collected over the past..decade; I realized that my stuff mainly fall into these categories:

a) Clothes that looked nice in the dressing room mirror, but looked like something I’d never actually wear.

b) Worn-out clothes that I seemingly could NOT live without – talk about that solid black v-neck top that I wore whenever I was too lazy to put an outfit together – which was pretty much 80% of my life.

c) Hand-me-downs which had so much sentimental value.

d) Clothes that have gotten too tight as you know, metabolism *ehem* slows down drastically as years go by

e) Vacation shirts.

f) Bras that are over-stretched and worn out

g) Gym clothes that always made me want to wear them to the gym – out of guilt

h) My art stash. This list is unending. Honestly. I couldn’t tell you how much I’ve hoarded over the past years. I’m a sucker for cute stuff.

The day I let go of these, is the day I felt the weight being lifted off my shoulders. The guilt for not using my gym clothes. The sadness that my 20-something clothes could no longer fit. The heaviness of seeing stuff I could never use on a daily basis, brought a tiny bit of either remorse every day I crack open my cabinet.

I gave some of my stationery away to some of my -awesome- Instagram followers, with the hopes that I could spread the happiness those things brought me at one point in my life. I’ve donated some of my clothes to people I know would appreciate them, and some I’ve sold in a thrift market (where the proceeds are donated to Rescue Dogs).

In a way, this has brought a kind of release for me. I felt a sense of lightness that the pressure of actually USING the things I’ve bought was gone. At the same time I was glad that I’ve made others happy in turn.

I’m writing about this today, not because of my closet clean up. It’s actually about de-cluttering my Facebook Friends List.

Some things we keep. Some things we leave behind.

It was one night when I couldn’t fall asleep, I decided to delete every one who didn’t fall under all of these catergories:

  1. Have we spoken (chat or in any means possible) in the last 6 months?
  2. Have we seen each other within the past 2 years?
  3. Have we worked together and are we still working together in a project/business?
  4. Has he/she said anything to make me feel incompetent or unusually uneasy?

I realized that Facebook has NOT connected us to each other. Social Media has actually brought people further apart, fueled and brought down by emotions of inadequacy, insecurity, entitlement and the desperate need to have MORE. More travels, more photos to post, more likes, more followers, more subscribers, more, more, more.

This generation has forgotten what it is like to have ENOUGH.

This generation has forgotten how to make friends. To think you would already call someone you recently met, looked up and ‘added’ on Facebook, a FRIEND. It’s quite different to the traditional way of making friends where two people meet, shake hands, engage in small talk, move on to deep conversations over coffee, read each other’s facial expressions and gestures. Back then we read people for what we see them, how they talk down to their subtlest body language. Now all we read are blatant Facebook Status Updates, selfies and (the cause of all self-pity, the ever famous) #HumbleBrags.

That is not the type of friendship that makes us people. That type of friendship negates the mission of social media to bring us together.

With all of these thoughts and realities swimming in my head, I deleted my Facebook “friends” one by one that night. (Trust me it was a long process of removing one by one, there is no easy way to multiple-delete, in case you’re thinking of trying). I felt that I needed to let go of the people I accepted and added for the sake of calling them an ‘acquaintance’ or a ‘friend’ or even just ‘someone I met in the grocery store’.

Currently, all that I use Facebook for is to get updates on the trends, art, business, news and of course – DOGS. I’m sure this may spark different views from readers. Please note that my choice to de-clutter my Facebook List was to free myself of excess baggage and memories I wanted to move on from (which is not by any means to “delete” people out of my life, but to re-live the traditional sense of friendship – not by adds, likes or comments. But rather by what it actually means).

Self-care is important, Self-care is real.

My friends list shrank from 1,000+ to 83. There is no shame in it. I doubt half of my friends list would notice, though. I was a tad worried that many of my friends might get upset with me had they found out one day that I ‘unfriended’ them. But I knew that if people are truly our friends, a man-made social media website shouldn’t be the basis of our friendship. I’m not even Facebook friends with my boyfriend and it doesn’t make us any less in-love. Unfriending my family does not make us any less of a family, either.

It doesn’t matter who we’re friends with on Facebook. It matters who we’re friends with in real life.

If social media is the very core of our self-esteem and social well-being… Then what has our world come to?

Think about it. Does Facebook actually Spark Joy?