Explore, Motivational, My Life Story, travel

Albay Adventure

 

This month’s TRAVEL has been quite the experience for me. Unlike many others, this is the first time I’ve booked a ticket less than a week before our scheduled flight. Oh, little did I know this is just the beginning of all the spontaneity I’d be facing this week!

BICOL has long since been my second home, where I spent countless summers shopping at the local mall, cooking for my relatives and yes of course, eating. But I wanted this time around to be different.

Spending too much time in the metropolis just, kills. I wasn’t a shriveled prune yet from all the hustle and bustle of the city, but my soul just wanted to feel alive again. Free of routines, free of rules and free of all the rushing. I sought to find peace, to find – something.

All set and packed with a last minute plane ticket, a pair of rubber shoes, a hand-drawn map of our itinerary and a head full of hopes, we boarded the plane and on to Legazpi we go!

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A sketch of our itinerary (not drawn to scale)

 


Quitinday Hills, Camalig Albay

Upon reaching the hills, there was quite a drizzle causing the soil to be quite a challenge to walk on, especially this being an uphill climb. The weather wasn’t ideal (of course, this was expected travelling during low-season), but the view was spectacular nonetheless. The view was most beautiful upon reaching the first hill.

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For the brief moments spent atop Quitinday Hills, I breathed more than just fresh air. Within me came an overwhelming sense of awe for all the beauty I didn’t know I’ve been missing out on for so long. Looking at the 360 degree embrace of nature, there was no better feeling but to know that there’s so much more just waiting to be seen.


Sumlang Lake, Camalig, Albay

After a quick lunch at one of the best places for PINANGAT (A native dish made from Gabi Leaves and Coconut Milk), we headed on to Sumlang Lake. Pleased that the rain stopped and Mt. Mayon finally came out to say hello.

I believe it’s just beautiful how the land and the sky meet to form such a sight.

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Sumlang Lake


Cagsawa Ruins, Albay

We headed on towards the ever-so famous tourist destination in Bicol, the Cagsawa Ruins. Just imagine how much history this site holds!

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From where I stand : CAGSAWA GROUNDS

Okay I guess I have to explain why the photo below was one of my favorites (aside from Mayon photobombing quite nicely).

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Mayon ATV Experience

I am an introvert, shy, reserved and I often keep my opinions to myself (whether or not I believe it will win the argument). I was brought up that way, and I guess it came to mold the person I am now. I believe time is gold, and would never spare a second to be idle. I work from 7:30am to 8pm these days. Thus, I can be quite the control freak when it comes to planning, wanting everything ironed out, neat, tidy and on-the-dot. Sometimes I can shift from happy to angry in a snap, yes, the little things can unsettle me in ways. I am uptight, never bending my own rules and being an INFJ – I’m a downright walking contradiction. (Read more about personality traits here: INFJ PERSONALITY)

I started out scared as hell as I’ve never been lucky when it comes to vehicles (I crashed a car once, and it’s traumatizing). But ten minutes later, I revved up the engine wanting to go faster! (P.S. I was trying so hard not to overtake our guide).

Kidding aside, this short trip made me find myself. By “finding oneself” I mean to say: to know oneself better, to find one’s strengths and weaknesses and to love oneself a little more. This was the first time in a long time when I actually let loose and go wild.

I knew this trip was definitely unlike any other. With no final schedules of our own, driving on unknown roads, battling the moody weather and facing full uncertainty, it added to the thrill of what the journey brings.


Vera Falls, Malinao, Albay

The journey to Vera Falls was quite an adventure! The road reached a dead end, where the bridges were destroyed by the recent floods in Malinao. The locals were so kind to volunteer to get us to Vera Falls. I felt a rush of excitement as we hitched a ride with them on their motorbike up the lofty hills and through the quiet town.

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The rapids.

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It took less than thirty minutes to reach the falls, and behold the roar of the water came to welcome us to one of the hidden gems in Bicol.

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You know when you’re happy, when it’s not your lips that do the smiling, but your heart. Being happy is rare for me, but that’s what I felt as I sat there. Enjoying a dip in the cool water, smelling the freshness of nature, listening to the joyful chirping of the birds, and watching the violent cascade of the water.

Nature truly holds a cure for the city-living, it heals all the senses and revitalizes the mind. It shows us how simple life should be, and how difficult we all choose to make it.

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In this Bicol adventure, I found a piece of myself. One where I learned to embrace the uncertain, let loose and live one day at a time.

 

 

XO,

Pearl


 


I’ve been reading through “Steal Like an Artist” (Austin Kleon) this February, and came across an enlightening tip for creatives. Here’s an excerpt that inspired me to get up and go.

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RULE # 8 : GEOGRAPHY IS NO LONGER OUR MASTER

LEAVE HOME.

“At some point when you can do it, you have too leave home… Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings.”

“You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend time in another land, among people that do things different than you.Travel makes the world look new, and when the world look new, our brains work harder.”

“It helps to live around interesting people, and not necessarily people who do what you do. You have to find a place that feeds you – creatively, socially, spiritually and literally.”

“Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity. When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.” -Jonah Lehrer

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Explore

I Left my Heart in Madrid

The breathtaking sights of Spain has caught my heart since day one; with its clear blue skies, lush green pastures and its well-preserved architecture. What’s not to love?

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I was able to stumble upon by chance, an antique flea market where I was able to score calligraphy nibs from the 1900’s. I admire the value they have on culture, more so on their handicrafts. One such piece I treasure to this day is a pendant, hammered by hand in gold by their master metalsmith.

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The intricate pattern says so much about life, I realized. The process is oftentimes long and painful, but the artist knows exactly the kind of beautiful the final outcome is meant to be.

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I fell in love with their keen attention to details, as every figure and design carved atop their stone buildings have a significant story to tell.

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See those details? Aren’t they just stunning?

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Not even a hundred photos can truly capture the beauty of Spain.

It is amazing how quickly I felt so at home in this country. Perhaps it’s the similarity of Spanish and Filipino culture. Or maybe because I admire their happiness in living a simple life. Contentment and peacefulness have become so rare these days.

Things like these are priceless.

Perhaps that’s why I believe Spain is a rich country, full of life, love and laughter

(-oh, and Tapas).

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Make a wish, may they reach the heavens and grow from where your heart is planted.

XO,

Pearl

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Motivational, Random, Thoughts

2015 Wanderlust

Hello everyone!

How time flies! It’s been such a long time since I last wrote. December has been a month for last-minute 2015 memories and adventures, for me. Oh! Before I forget, I’d like to take this chance and this post to greet you all (albeit very late) a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🙂

Before 2015 came to a close, we figured it would be a wonderful way to end the year with new memories. I thought it would be a good time to refer to my bucket list!

One of the few items on it are:

  • A visit to the Pinto Art Museum
  • Relaxed brunch at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo.

…and so we became adventurers!

The abundance of malls in Manila get tiresome after a while. Being a nature person, the city scene not quite the place to be. So we set out on an adventure, in search for a quiet respite from city living.

The one and a half hour (WAZE-less) drive to Antipolo became worth it, after witnessing the beauty of the Pinto Art Museum.

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Captivated by the rustic and mysterious ambiance of the museum.

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The building housing ancient Filipino sculptures and figures.

Situated among hectares of lush greenery, the small buildings’ architecture is reminiscent to that of Santorini.

 

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A little church, beautiful both inside and out.

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Yup, I’m particularly fond of this balcony! You could see the entire place from high up. You don’t see this much greenery in the city. Nature lovers, this is the place to be.

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The museum holds endless artworks from various Filipino artists: Paintings, String art, Installations and Sculptures. I stand in awe, marveling at the beauty that human hands can create.

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My comedian over here…

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..and my emotions right there.

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The biggest painting I have ever laid my eyes on. Beautiful. Amazing.

 

A stroll through the museum was an adventure in itself, by the end of the tour, our stomachs were begging for a good meal!

So, I thought of the second item on my bucket list, Rustic Mornings!

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Artsy-fartsy friends, this is the perfect place for a quiet brunch. 🙂

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I don’t normally take photos of food, do you think I should start to? I suppose the food and the ambiance here, is something that would be best experienced first hand. 😉

2015 did end wonderfully, in the presence of both friends and family. These two places topped it off really well, too. The year has been full of both laughter and sadness, both trials and victories too. With new memories and new lessons learned last 2015, I can’t even begin to imagine what 2016 has in store for me.

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There is always beauty for those who take time to look around. It’s still a lesson for me to learn to see the beauty in everything. It takes practice, it may even takes years, but when our eyes are open, I believe life CAN really be pretty amazing.

Cheers to new adventures this 2016.

Until next time!

 

XO,

Pearl

 

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Motivational, Products

A Floral Pursuit – The Bloom 2016

Have you ever wondered how it feels like to actually – CREATE? Not just a drawing or a writing on paper, but some-THING to share with the world. It is quite an experience, the whirlwind of emotions during the creation process, and then the thrill of seeing your creations actually come to life!

Several months ago, I was inspired to create an artwork for the coming year, 2016. I filled my watercolor pad with various floral illustrations and selected the best ones for a personal project – The BLOOM 2016.

Here is the digital rendering during the brainstorming process. It took more than half a year from start to finish and surely it was anything but easy. But like they say, the best things in life take time!

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After months of planning and production, Pinocchio has come to life. And I’ve never felt so happy!

Here is the BLOOM 2016!

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The Bloom 2016 was initially created to be a planner, but through the brainstorming process, I thought of creating something different. A gift-set!

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Coming from the corporate world a few years ago, I believe that the floral designs would help brighten the office workspace. It would be something I would have liked to have while I was working in the office. Being a flower-lover myself, taking down notes and scheduling would ‘ve been a task I’d look forward to with a desk calendar like this. 🙂

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Here are a few close-up photos of the monthly calendar views (as I wasn’t able to fully upload this on Instagram).

Each month is a different flower, depending on the birth-flower. For December though, I thought it would be fun to spread the excitement of the holiday season through the Christmas flower, Poinsettia (photo below)!

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I wonder if I’ve ever shared my dream with anyone yet, but here goes!

Many might think I plan to become a well-known lettering artist, initially maybe. But as the time goes by, I told myself, no, not really. For a while now, I’ve dreamed of having my own stationery line. Something similar to Hallmark, but more fun, colorful, traditional and floral like Rifle Paper and Co.

I know it’s a long, long way to go. But hey, if your dream gets you going, keep dreaming and never stop pursuing!

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My calendar isn’t a perfect product. But it is a start. This is a humble beginning, and I am happy for the opportunity to share the beauty of traditional art. This gift set showcases the beauty of God’s creation, the value of hand-drawn art and the vision of a bright and beautiful year 2016.

It is truly an amazing experience, seeing one’s work come to life. It’s a little milestone, maybe one to bring me closer to my dream.

Remember to make each day count. No matter how small the achievement, no matter how little people appreciate your creations, remember that you are getting one step closer to your dream. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get there, as long as you keep moving forward. 🙂


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The set includes: 12monthly view calendars, 1 lined pad, 1 unlined pad, 1 ballpen and free calligraphy of names on the gift tags.

PRICES: 1 pc: Php 400    ||   5pcs and up: Php 350   

ORDER HERE: SNAPPERDOODLES SHOP

Or send me an email: snapp3rdoodles@gmail.com

 

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Motivational, My Life Story

Snapperdoodles x Sharpie at the Book Fair!

Last week has been full of doodling fun and excitement as I collaborated with Sharpie Philippines at the Manila International Book fair! The hustle and bustle of both booth organizers and customers surely brought lots of (book-shopping) energy into the SMX hall.

I, myself couldn’t resist and bought a couple of books to read before bedtime! Who could resist the beckoning of a big, fat, “20% OFF” sign? Me. Apparently.

I wasn’t able to go around much as I was at the Sharpie Booth most of the time, but I would like to thank every one who dropped by the booth through this post.

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a “PASSIONATELY CURIOUS” I found this phrase very comforting and appropriate for dreamers such as myself. 🙂 It’s a beautiful two-word quote isn’t it?

It was such a fun five-day long event, doodling on the Sharpie wall. (Four blank walls to fill with doodles) But the best part was that I have met so many new people and I am enormously thankful to some of my Instagram followers who came by to say hello!

My back may have been turned and my focus was on the wall, but I do listen to the passers-by and am deeply grateful for the encouraging words I hear. Your constructive remarks as well as your expressions of awe are enough to give me the fuel to keep drawing.

A lot of people took photos on the wall and it fills my heart with joy that people believe it’s an awesome backdrop! It’s more than a pleasure for me to take photos for them with my artwork. Though, I must apologize if I seem surprised when you ask to take photos WITH me! I’m a very shy person by nature. But it does warm my heart when I see your happy smiles. To those I gave free postcards to, I pray that those quotes would be a part of your life and encourage you to keep pursuing your passion. 🙂
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For me, the experience has been more than just a blank white wall as I realized it is a place where I met friends, both old and new. It has been a sum of my experiences in my lettering journey, but also the beginning of something new.

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For all of us, life is like a blank canvas. I know that it is scary to fill it up for the fear of making a mistake and ruining the blank slate. But don’t ever be afraid of making mistakes, it is God’s way of helping us learn to do better next time. The number of times you stumble do not define your incapabilities, but rather, let the number of times you rise up again, define your unwavering strength.

Remember, there is no mistake that God cannot turn into a masterpiece.

May the Sharpie wall be more than just an exhibition of talent and skill, but a reminder that life is constantly a blank, white wall. Fill it with the things you love, write down your dreams, map out how you’ll achieve them, draw your best experiences, express yourself boldly and creatively.

Thankful and blessed for another God-given opportunity.

XO,

Pearl

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Motivational, My Life Story, Products

Find Beauty Among the Ruins

Last summer, I went on a journey to explore the beautiful country of Greece. Little did I know that I would be overwhelmed with how seamlessly ancient ruins could weave itself beautifully into the fabric of modern Greek society.

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The majestic temple of Zeus standing tall and proud in the heart of Athens. Just look at how those columns have stood the test of time. Imagine how every piece have been put together by the ancient Greeks. It never ceases to amaze me.

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At Syntagma Square with these hungry pigeons.This first stop was followed by a magnificent trip to learn the history of the Acropolis Stadium. This was just my first glimpse of Greece.

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We were walking around the city of Athens during the first day and I couldn’t help asking: “What’s that structure on top of the hill?” My question was answered the next day when we climbed up to see that what is there is so much more than what I had expected.

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Seen from the city is Acropolis, the highest point of Athens. Beautiful isn’t it?

Sometimes in life, you can’t see the breathtaking view until you muster the courage to climb the mountain.

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During our day-trip, we ventured on a boat ride to see the different islands surrounding Greece. One of them is this quaint island called Hydra. This little island is a town in itself, with little shops and cafes near the water. What’s fascinating is that the townspeople here have donkeys to get around, nope, no cars!

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This breathtaking view where the sky meets the beautiful Greek dome-shaped architecture was taken from the island of Santorini. We stayed here a couple of days, and if I could, I would’ve stayed much longer. There were numerous mini-shops greeting passersby along the alley, from nifty book nooks to one-of-a-kind trinket stores.

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The town of Nafplio. Bustling with life through it’s diversity in art, music and delicacies.

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I love the bliss whenever I draw my adventures on my journal. It helps me remember not only the place, but also the little memories that come with my travels. When I look back, it’s the little moments that touch my heart to this day. Such as the time my mom and I shared a large Greek pretzel-like dessert, the ice cream cone I had in Athens despite the biting cold winds or the fact that not a day goes by without a serving of delicious Greek yogurt (yummy!), and the time when I looked down from the highest peak of Greece and thought to myself:

“All these man-made bricks, statues and temples  are truly majestic, but nothing compares to the beauty of nature that my God has surrounded it all with”.

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I am often asked how I find time to draw during these trips. Despite the hustle and bustle during the morning tours, I try to find time to relax in a cafe as a short pit-stop to write down the events that happened during the day. Always remember to write down the important details, you can sketch them later in the evening (if you aren’t too tired!)IMG_4458

The Greeks have a habit of drinking Frappe every now and then. I find that I also belong to this place where it is bursting with art, history, culture…and yes, coffee!

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The mystical trail of Delphi, after a hike atop the mountains of Greece.

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The Dyonisus Theater. It’s size and design is jaw-droppingly (if that is even a word) – incredible! It may be huge, but dropping a coin or stomping your feet at the center circle of the theater can be heard throughout the entire stadium.

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For those who are wondering, what is Greek food like? Three words. Fresh, Simple, Flavorful. This is my favorite, which I have learned to make at home. The Traditional Greek Salad. (Bell Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Olives, EVOO, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Generously topped with Feta Cheese!)

Aside from the Greek Salad, I have enjoyed the Greek Yogurt, to which none can compare. Not a day passed in Greece without us having a portion of this!

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Travelling is a perfect opportunity to experience something new. I give myself time to think when I travel, knowing that the adventure that lies ahead is so much greater than what I have left behind. It’s such a memorable experience when you put your thoughts and emotions down on paper, because every step of the journey is an adventure.

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I’m opening classes once more for a basic lettering workshop, and since vacation is just around the corner, I thought a travel journal would be perfect! If you’d like to learn the art of handlettering and how to start your own travel journal, you can

Register for the workshop here:

2015 TRAVEL JOURNAL WORKSHOP

Hope to see you soon!

Say yes to new adventures. 🙂

*All photos taken with an iPhone5

XO,

stamp design

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