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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Motivational, My Life Story, Random, Thoughts

20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

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Hello everyone!

I was tagged in a post recently to share some things about myself with the topic “20 Things You Might Not Know About Me”. Aside from SnapperDoodles, I’m just a regular person going through life – one step at a time. But brace yourself for some of the most random things on this post! 😛

Hope these fun facts would help you get to know me a little better!

Here goes!

Question 1: How tall are you?

Hmm… I’m 5’2! I’m usually one the first few in front when we are asked to line up by height. I get teased a lot because of it but it has it’s advantages too! Right, fellow petites? No need to duck when going through low ceilings and oftentimes people think you look younger than your age! -Yes! Find the blessing in everything! 🙂

Question 2: What is the first thing you notice about people?

I’m not sure if it’s odd, but I’m more fond of people who know how to smile. When I walk into a room, I smile, and the first people I notice are the ones who smile back. It’s a big thing for me.

Question 3: What’s your motto in life?

Everything happens for a reason.

Instead of complaining about present circumstances, this quote helps me stay optimistic no matter how gray the skies may be.

Question 4: What upcoming events are you looking forward to?

Craft Easy Mom & Me PosterI was invited to Filstar’s Mom and Me Craft Event in Market, Market Manila this coming May 24, 2015. In this digital age, I’m still in awe of how far Arts and Crafts has come back to show us the beauty of everything handmade with love!

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I’m also pysched for the upcoming Global Pinoy Bazaar this August which might be my final bazaar in Rockwell! I’m getting lots of new products ready for everyone especially lettering and typography enthusiasts. All of my designs are hand-drawn and produced into different products such as QuoteBags, Magnets, Notebooks and more! Can’t wait for the big day!

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

I’ve been going through a lot recently, and the song that keeps playing in my head is “Christ is Enough”. This song has helped me through the best and the worst in life, reminding me every time that when I have the Lord, I will never be in lack.

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CHRIST IS ENOUGH (Hillsongs)

Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back

Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

Question 6: What did you want to be when you were small?

Hahaha! This made me recall some funny childhood memories!

When I was in 3rd grade, I was a blossoming little entrepreneur selling Pokemon stickers to my classmates. Ever since I was a kid I knew that the office was not my place, and I found joy in selling random things from mints, to stickers and even my artworks.

My ambition shifted later on during fifth grade. I watched a UFO Documentary on Discovery Channel which began my desire to become a UFO Researcher someday! (Well, that was way, way back in elementary!)

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

The perfect me-time would be spending a rainy afternoon in a dimly-lit cafe, sitting next to a window and thinking about anything under the sun while I draw on my notebook…and of course while drinking a cup of steaming hot coffee!

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Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

I was raised in a family of healthy-eaters, junk food, namely, chips and softdrinks have never been a household staple. But if there would be one thing that I could never say no to? Vanilla Ice Cream. Plain. Simple. Sinfully delicious.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

shot3I’m a dog-lover! I have two poodle babies at home named Tuffy and Patchi.

For me, doggy kisses and furry cuddles are some of the best things in the world!

Question 10: What are the things you never leave home without?

Aside from the essentials, I always make sure to bring my earphones! The funny thing is, on rare occasions I forget my comb and handkerchief but I never, ever leave home without my pen and my handy-dandy notebook!

…because who knows when inspiration will strike? 🙂

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

I’m not so fond of make-up, but on days when I have to look my best (for workshops, meetings, special events…and dates!) I use BB Cream, Concealer, Eyeliner and a little blush! Maybe I’m just lazy, but simple is good enough for me. 🙂

Question 12: What is/art your favorite novel/s?

Hmmm. Being a bookworm, I’ve read a handful of books in the past. But here is a list of my top 5 favorite reads!

1. P.S I Love You (Cecelia Ahern)

2. The Shack (WM Paul Young)

3. Have a Little Faith (Mitch Albom)

4. Everlost Series (Neal Shusterman)

5. A Walk to Remember (Nicholas Sparks)

Question 13: Name some of the things on your bucket list this 2015.

Wow, I have a lot on my bucket list this year!

1. To try all of the Cafe’s in Manila! Coffee Shops are the ultimate artist’s chill corner.

2. To keep pursuing SnapperDoodles and expand the line of products I have 🙂

3. To never stop learning something new!

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

I don’t have a favorite movie! But there are some that I could never forget (because they are some of the few movies that brought me to tears!) I love The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, because these have made me believe that someday I will love someone, and be loved just the same. Being a dog-lover, another movie that I could watch all over again is Hachiko. Wasn’t Hachi the sweetest little thing? Lastly, The Miracle in Cell No. 7. I thank God for this movie, through this I have witnessed a concrete example of Jesus’ love and death for us.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Back in high school, I’d say I’m the artist. I used to be insecure about not having a permanent group of friends, but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I’ve been to some countries and I find it so hard to choose. Every country I have set foot on has it’s own beauty and appeal. However, since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to live in Europe. I know the cost of living is steep and it’s hard to get around, but the place is the best of both worlds for me: Europe is rich with art, culture and nature. It has everything I need to thrive and to grow both as an independent person and as an artist.

Question 17: What perfume are you currently using?

Right now I switch from one perfume to another depending on my mood.

But two of my faves are Nina Ricci and CK Shock 🙂

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

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This was last April after my two-week travel to Greece.

I was exhausted after the 21-hour travel back to Manila. When I stepped into my room I noticed an enormous, pink, stuffed teddy bear on my bed with a bouquet of roses. He left it there for me to surprise me when I got home.

I was physically drained, but I smiled from ear to ear and my heart did a happy dance!

Question 19: Do you have a phobia?

Acrophobia- The fear of heights.

Katsaridaphobia- The fear of cockroaches. 😦

Question 20: Name a few weird things about yourself.

I know a lot of weird things about myself, but here are a few:

1. I play Counter Strike! I know it’s a boy thing, but hey, it’s fun!

2. I’m a workaholic to the point that I feel bad when I don’t do anything productive for the day.

3. I’m not English but I love tea. I often drink tea after every meal.

4. I don’t like cinnamon..but I have exceptions. Cinammon Rolls from Cinnabon. Weird right?

5. I get thirsty a lot.I can drink 2-3 Liters of water a day, much more when I have a game of badminton!

6. I am a wallflower.


I hope you enjoyed reading these random facts about me! Haha I just thought it would be great to share that there is more to SnapperDoodles than just lettering and art. 🙂

Feel free to share 20 things about yourself and tag me so I could get to know you too!

XO,

stamp design

INSTAGRAM: SNAPPERDOODLES

FACEBOOK: SNAPPERDOODLES

WEBSITE: hellosnapperdoodles.com

EMAIL: snapp3rdoodles@gmail.com

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My Life Story, Thoughts

The Truth About Freelancing

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Who ever said freelancing is all rainbows and butterflies? Is it really greener on the other side of formal employment? I guess it’s time to lay out all the cards and have a take from different perspectives.

So. Freelancing. To some it may seem like there’s no better way to go than to “Be your own boss”. Isn’t that amazing? No more getting pushed around, yelled at and embarrassed in front of your office mates. Better yet, you have all the time in the world to work at your own pace, arrange your own schedules and even squeeze in a few minutes  hours for yourself Facebook! Oh wait there’s more! For those with studios, they are five steps away from the “office”. Woah. Awesome right? Talk about freedom, flexibility and work-life balance. Oh, bliss!

Well, that’s one way to look at freelancing. Here’s another:

When you wake up early in the morning and look out the window, you admire the serenity and anticipate all that the day might bring (which isn’t much to be honest). Anyway, as you go through the day, you are puzzled where all the inspiration went. As a freelance artist, it’s difficult to produce beautiful art when uninspired. Imagine trying to squeeze water out of  dry rug, that’s how it feels like, or maybe it’s just me. So the rest of the day which you hoped would be more productive ends up with a mess of eraser dusts, pencil shavings and that same, clean white paper you started with.

Of course the entire week isn’t at all that bad. It happens to me mostly on Mondays (Why, oh why?)

The BETTER days are composed of several completed artworks, proposals made ready, on-site visits, most drafts approved and most of all – happy clients. Now that, is Incomparable. Sheer. Bliss. Especially for a workaholic like myself. Knowing that your work has paid off is one of the most satisfying rewards in the freelance business.

My BEST days look like this: Imagine waiting ages for the train to arrive and standing behind a fifty-people line in the blistering heat, perfect right? The Philippine public transportation could do better. Anyway,  I go through this to meet up with people for a SnapperDoodles Lettering workshop. It might seem like such a stretch, but after meeting the people, exchanging stories and having a glimpse into the beauty of their lives; the momentary sacrifice has been worth it.


 

Before I left my day job, I knew I wanted to do freelance with hopes that it would bring me closer to my dream of becoming a famous artist. I wanted succeed on my own, but I didn’t know entirely where I was going, I was lost and was too proud to admit it. I prayed hard for months, asking if leaving the corporate scene would be wise or utterly stupid. It would be like giving up the oasis while you’re in a barren desert.

Months passed and my prayer was answered. He asked me this simple question:

“Who’s in charge here?”

With that, I let go of my own dream. Now I live with purpose, and a renewed goal: To make Him known through art.

I know the major shift of career has been a big jump for me, to go from the banking industry into the creative. To be completely honest, it isn’t as financially secure as it would have been with a day job. Freelancing isn’t all that easy, it comes with a great price. I’ve sacrificed a lot. I had to cut back on my shopping budget, I would rarely eat out and most of my finances are reinvested into the business. Despite all this though, I could say that I am happy. Genuinely happy.

Here I learned that when you have little, you learn to work with what little you have and you learn to appreciate the simple, meaningful things in life.

Now, I’m not telling you to join me in this risky freelancing business. I just hope that you would do what ultimately gives your life purpose and meaning. Life is short. If today was your last day, would you say you lived life to the fullest?

 

Lots of feels and thoughts here today.

Cheers,

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WORKSHOP UPDATE:

I recently informed over on Instagram that I won’t be holding big class workshops anymore, here’s why:

I believe it is more effective to teach as well as to build relationships in small groups at a time. You can only have a handful of friends in a room of fifty people. That’s why I would like to keep the fun and casual vibe of the Snapperdoodles Workshop by keeping the numbers small but significant 🙂

Workshop Registration: HERE

 

 

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