Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Rest for the Weary

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Oh just in case you were wondering, that’s apple juice for my upset stomach. A week of bed rest is enough to drive a workaholic nuts!

I’ve never been a fan of “lazy days”. I have always believed in the philosophy that a day with little productivity, is a day wasted. This way of thinking has brought me to the point of overworking myself, thus causing my arm to swell due to excessive computer use (Too much Illustrator and Typing – for twelve hours straight) AND getting my hands wet right after to cook for the family.

Over the past week I have lost the ability to lift, to type, to text, to draw, to paint and to do even the simplest tasks with my right hand. My “downtime” has made me reflect (a lot), and this experience has taught quite the contrary of my initial belief on productivity. It has changed my mindset that:

It’s never a good idea to push yourself to your limits, EVEN if you love what you do.

To be able to be productive, one had to work without exceeding physical limits, to claim the benefits of rest, AND never forget to aim for one’s well-being in the process.

I can’t even adequately express how much I have missed the use of my right hand, which is also why I’m happily typing away right now on my blog. I might soon even be back on court to play badminton! (YAY!)

I never realized how important my right hand was to me until it grew tired one day. I guess I forgot that even hands, need to rest.

 

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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Products, Tips and Tricks

Tools of the Trade (Features and Reviews)

Hello everyone!

I’ve been having a lot of inquiries regarding the materials I use for my art and lettering. This has inspired me to create a blog post for the materials I’ve tried throughout my journey. These pens, inks and watercolors are truly portable little rainbows that have brought much color into my life!


 

PENS

FILED NEOFINE FINELINER

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Review:

The Filed NeoFine Fineliner Set is truly a box of rainbows. Here is an artwork I made with the fineliners. The tip of these pens (0.40mm) enabled smooth writing and doodling. However because these pens are water based, make sure you don’t keep coloring / shading on the same areas as the ink will seep through the back of the paper (I used 80gsm paper). Using thicker surfaces such as vellum and 100+gsm might work better with this water-based pen. Overall, it’s perfect for note-taking in class. I’m sure I’d write with this in school to keep my notes fun and colorful!

 


 

BRUSH PENS

TOKYO FINDS BRUSH PEN

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Review:

These bright-colored pens are dual-tipped. It’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to for calligraphy and lettering.The two tips give an advantage for shading in large areas (brush tip) and for creating details too (slim tip). The ink is bright and not too thick that it would seep through the paper.

Shop: TOKYO FINDS

MARVY LE PLUME BRUSH PEN

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Review:

The Le Plume brush pen possesses a lighter hue compared to others. The ink is pretty thick and more water-based than most, it will seep through thin paper. Though I love the way it slides through the paper smoothly, and how closely it resembles the feel of using an actual brush.


MARKERS

SHARPIE FINE POINT

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Review:

One of my favorite brands! The all-around marker! These markers provide bold and bright colors, perfect for the creative at heart. Best to use thicker boards or paper, and all other non-porous surfaces when using Sharpie.

DONG-A PLAYON

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Review:

Although not the typical artist go-to, I love the black (twin tip) marker of Dong-A. I used this one for outlining and for shading, more often than not for my watercolor illustrations and lettering works.

ZEBRA MILDLINER

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Review:

This one is meant to be a highlighter, but I always find a different purpose for my coloring materials. I bought mine from Japan.


WATERCOLORS

KOI WATERCOLOR

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Review:

I love, love, love my koi watecolor set. Although it’s a bit more costly, it’s a purchase I didn’t regret. The colors are bold and bright, just the way I like my palette. The watercolors are concentrated as well, use sparingly for softer tones.

KURETAKE GANSAI TAMBI

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Review:

I knew I should’ve bought myself a set of these during my trip to Japan last year! Luckily my boyfriend got this for me as a birthday surprise. The palette is very concentrated, meaning you can use just a little and have a solid texture.

PRANG WATERCOLOR

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Review:

The most affordable and has found it’s way to be called the “sweet” watercolor. Why sweet? It’s thick consistency makes the colors bold and bright. The watercolor has a syrupy thickness when added with a little water. Most people say that ants keep finding their way to their Prang palettes. Despite all that, yes, it’s also an artist’s must-have.

Shop: National Bookstore


FOUNTAIN PENS

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Review:

My first ever fountain pen. Also a gift from my boyfriend when he came back from Germany almost a year ago. I love that they have branches here in the Philippines so you could simply buy the refills (it comes in lots of different colors too! Next time I’ll try the neon yellow!).

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Review:

Very handy and writes smoothly. The tip is smaller than the usual fountain pen, but it’s the perfect travel fountain pen. I got mine from Japan and took home a couple of refills too, just in case I don’t get to visit Japan anytime soon!


For a complete list of tech-pens that I use, you can visit my other blog post about them here:

TOOLS OF THE TRADE (Part 1)


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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts

Passion & Profession

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I’m utterly and indescribably thankful for how far the Lord has brought SnapperDoodles in a span of one year. When I left corporate, I never would have thought that passion, when pursued could open so many doors and unexplored possibilities.

On April 19, 2015 (Sunday), the article about how SnapperDoodles began was out on the newspaper! I recalled the events leading to this opportunity and I can only say one thing: “God is Good!”


Passion & Profession

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Pearlyn Choco, creator of SnapperDoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, documents her thoughts and musings through typography and doodling.


MANILA, Philippines – It has been said that when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

This rings true with 22-year-old Pearlyn Choco, the lady behind the well-loved Instagram account @snapperdoodles where she documents her thoughts and musings through  typography and doodling. This journey later on became her ticket to going full-time as an artist.

Pearl, who is also the creator of Snapperdoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, found her passion in lettering, art and design. With her unique works posted on Instagram, she generated more than 14,000 followers in just 10 months. Pearl now continues to showcase her distinctive artistry online and social media platforms.

A petite lady with a contagious sweet smile, Pearl carries a reserved and innocent vibe. But the moment she opens herself up, one will see a strong and motivated person ready to tackle life’s challenges.

Pearl grew up in an environment where financial stability and security are viewed with high regard. So in college, she took up Management of Financial Institutions at De La Salle University. Even before she graduated, Pearl found a job at a multi-national company where she worked hard sticking to the “corporate routine.” A couple of months later, she left for another banking career but again, the 9 to 5 job didn’t allow her to have creative freedom. This fueled her desire to explore the field of arts more. So she mustered all her courage and decided to exchange the security of a stable employment for a chance to start fresh and become a freelance artist. “I took the matter to prayer and fasting because I was so desperate to find my purpose in life,” says Pearl.

SnapperDoodles, which Pearl personally defines as her life in snaps (photography) and doodles (typography), became her way of giving glory to God through the talent and skill He has given her.

In just a few months, Pearl was able to launch her own product lines, participate in bazaars and conduct basic typography workshops. Through her art, Pearl has inspired a handful of individuals to explore their own artistic sides while working on wonderful collaborative works with people whom she shares the same passion with. “If you think you can’t do something, you really wouldn’t be able to accomplish it. I was like that before but I learned to choose to think otherwise,” she explains.

Pearl finds beauty in simplicity, which is evident in her art. Lines, curves and a bit of color here and there reflects her simple personality. Like her art, Pearl believes that every girl is beautiful the way she is. “Nobody is perfect, and that’s one thing to accept,” she assures.

For Pearl, a confident woman is a beautiful woman but a little help from one’s trusted makeup brand doesn’t hurt. She uses Careline products to prep up and complete her look.

Starting with the face, Pearl uses Careline BB Cream as a base to hide imperfections and keeps skin fresh-looking. This BB Cream has three shades — Natural, Fresh and Nude — that perfectly matches the Filipina skin tone.

Pearl emphasizes her beautiful eyes using the Careline Color Pencil. Formulated to glide on smoothly, it can be smudged for a soft smoky effect or to create bold lines that will make the eyes pop.

Finally, Pearl opts for a soft natural flush using the Careline Oil Control Blush-on. It comes in 10 shades that will match her day-to-day activities.

“I believe that makeup helps enhance our beauty. Simple makeup helps us stand out,” Pearl adds.

As someone whose confidence shines through her simple, unique personality, Pearl is a good role model to teens who are finding their own place in the world. Through her experience, Pearl leaves a strong message to teens, “Do not live for other people’s approval or conform to someone else’s standards. Instead of hiding behind insecurities, find what you are best at and shine,” she says.

Looking back, Pearl is thankful for being part of the corporate world where she learned many things, acknowledging that it was a stepping stone to her higher purpose in life. “By the grace of God SnapperDoodles came to be and thank God my mission on earth has begun,” Pearl concludes.

Photography by Mot Rasay • Makeup by Mary Jane Arpa of Ever Bilena Cosmetics • Clothes by Jellybean

LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Passion and Profession


Here are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot with Ever Bilena for The Philippine Star’s Allure.

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It has been such a memorable experience, being interviewed by a fellow Christian too! It made us both so happy to see how God works amazingly in people’s lives. Getting all dressed up is definitely something new to me as well because I don’t normally wear anything as fancy as these!

Maybe I should start doing so now? 🙂

Amidst prosperity and loss,

Successes and trials,

There is only one thing that remains true:

God is Good!

XO,

stamp design

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Three Months to Go

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It is when your days are numbered that you begin to hold on to what little time you have left, savoring every minute, and making the most out of every millisecond.

As I was walking home from a client meeting, my thoughts went back to the three months I have left. Although I am ready to return to the office life, I still have many thoughts as to whether or not this is where I truly belong. It has been a wonderful experience, my one-year with Snapperdoodles. If I hadn’t left the corporate world, I might have a sum of disposable income in my hands, but I asked myself one question that justified my decision: After all that you have experienced since you started SnapperDoodles, would you trade it for the amount of income you would have earned if you stayed in the office? I stopped and thought about it, and here is my answer:

“Over the one-year period, there had been so many things I never would have had the chance to experience had I not taken the leap of faith to pursue my passions – full time. Since June when I began, I mustered the courage to go beyond my comfort zone, being the wallflower that I am, I was able to conduct workshops and enjoy the company of new people, I have met fellow artists who are tremendously talented, I have made collaborations with various organizations, by the grace of God He has helped me launch my own product lines such as postcards, stickers and tote bags and I have been able to help people through the verses and quotes I write about on Instagram. I would never trade all these for a large sum of money. The definition of success varies for different people, and to me it’s about being able to turn your passion into something more, being able to live for something above yourself and glorifying God in everything you do.”

I’ve had many people say how brave it was that I have decided to pursue a full-time freelance career. I’d like to take this chance to say that it was one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make in life. Growing up in a Chinese family, it was never, and is still NOT what parents would have in mind for their daughter. I’d say I’m pretty reckless and unconventional, all this and more, but nothing close to brave.

They say that when it is God’s will, everything will just fall into place. I am a witness of this reality and I am not ashamed to declare that my life is a proof of God’s unending faithfulness.

 

Three months left, but I know God’s work in my life won’t end there.

It takes a lot to jump out one’s comfort zone, but trust that where God leads, there He will surely provide.

Press on in faith,

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Motivational, Random, Thoughts, Uncategorized

SnapperDoodles Studio

 

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Whew February has been such a whirlwind of adventures!

Admittedly, I haven’t had much time to create new lettering artworks nowadays, so I figured I might post something different!

Recently, in an interview, I’ve been asked about what it’s like working in a “different” setting. It gave me an idea to give a quick tour around here! Oh! Just in case you were wondering, it’s not a legit “studio”, it’s just my happy place, my work space a.k.a the attic.

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When I began the design for the studio, I couldn’t stick with one theme        for my room. I wanted something modern, yet I also tend to go for a        more rustic feel. I have a thing for florals and pastels, but white seemed        to be a “cleaner” alternative. There are so many things I wanted for a      space to call my own, but because of my indecisiveness, eventually I    stopped thinking about how to do it, and just let the room transform     itself.

Being the DIY-er that I am, I wanted to repaint my boring black swivel   chair. I chose bright yellow as it matches my closet (not shown in photos).     I thought it might look cute with a little “drippy” ice cream effect on the    top.

 

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When we started renovating the house, my old room was turned into an office so I had to share a room with my siblings. It took half a year before the portion of the attic was completed. For the longest time, I’ve always wanted  white wall where I could stick colorful postcards and artworks. Here it finally is, my own inspiration wall. 🙂 The best part about it is how it began as a bare, white wall and is constantly growing into a colorful mosaic of memories.

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My work space pretty much looks like this on most days. Notebooks scattered everywhere. I have several notebooks that I use on a daily basis: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Planner, Muji notebook and a To-Do List Notebook. I’m such an OC freak, I don’t think I can survive working without planners, post-it’s, calendars and lists!

Music. My work area is never complete without some tunes. Nope, my bluetooth speaker isn’t top of the line or anything, but I’m happy with what I’ve got. Spotify is another creative workplace staple.

Why do I have so many pen holders? I segregate my brushes, tech pens and colored pens. I’m OC that way. Haha!

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Aside from the notebooks I use everyday, I have some lined up on my table, too.

From left to right: Unlined Floral Notebook (Paper St. Ph), Pink Daycraft Notebook, Unlined Journal (Sketchnotes), Dotted Spring Notebook (Muji), Eiffel Tower Travel Notebook (Gift) and Floral Hardbound Journal (Gift).

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I saw the tiny macaron photo holder while browsing through a store the other day. It was pricey for such a little thing, but it was so cute, I couldn’t resist!

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I designed this shelf myself, its construction took a while, but it was definitely worth the wait. I just wanted a place where I could store little, yet significant mementos. The little cat figurines are from my recent trip to Japan. The blue Eiffel Tower on the upper shelf is from Paris.  The porcelain cupcake is a memory from my first job after graduation. Next to this is a mini canvas which I bought from Guam, the brown bracelet hanging from it is a handmade craft from Istorya. Last but not the least, the Instax on the topmost shelf was a gift from someone close to my heart.

My attic isn’t the best “studio” there is, but it’s what I’ve got and it’s my own happy place. It took a while to bring together, but it made me learn to value the PROCESS that had brought it to its completion. When life seems like a bare, white wall, trust the process and see how things will unfold in His perfect time. Life has been teaching me the value of PATIENCE these days, but I’ll save that for a different post. 🙂

There is no such thing as a messy workplace. If that is where you are comfortable, where you feel most free to be yourself and to spread your wings, that is YOUR creative space, let no one take that freedom from you.

Related article:

10 Messy Desks of Successful People

 

X,
yes

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Motivational, My Life Story, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A Letter to My Future Valentine

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Dear Valentine,

It’s a bright Saturday morning on February 14. I sit here at the park, watching as couples take their leisurely stroll. I see they twinkle in their eyes as they look at each other as if it’s the first time they met. There is so much love around today and I  can’t help but wonder… “Where are you, my other half? What’s taking you so long?”

Yes, I admit I am envious. It’s the day of love and here I am, alone on a dusty old park bench holding a half-eaten turkey sandwich instead of my lover’s hand. So many thoughts drifted through my mind. “Did cupid forget about me?”, “Is there something I’m not doing right? Maybe I should learn to flirt better.”, “I’ve been single all my life, oh, what might people say?”, “Should I be more active in looking for my soul mate or should I just go with the flow?”, “I can’t stand going through another year alone.”

As much as I’d hate to admit it. Yes, I AM bitter on the sweetest day of the year.

But as I sat there (yes, with my sandwich keeping me company), I realized a handful of things that would help me hate Valentine’s Day a little less. And that is why I am writing this letter to you today…


 

My future valentine. Hello. I know we haven’t met yet, but I know you would love it when you read this letter someday.

Would it surprise you if I told you that each night as I lay my head down to sleep, I think about you? I wonder what you’re like and how we would meet. Sometimes during the clearest nights when the stars shine the brightest, I look at the moon and hope that across the miles, you are looking up at it too.

People say that love is all about timing. Do you think we’ve crossed paths already in the past? I’d love to think so, maybe when the time is right, we’ll find each other again. It took me a while before I realized the power of these simple words: “Why rush?”. True enough, why did I ever? I may not have you in my life yet, but I know that you are worth every second of the wait. I am no longer looking for a fling, I want something real. If waiting is what it takes to have it, then wait for you I shall.

I know that someday when the time is right, our paths will cross again, and for the first time in my life, I we would just KNOW. You will be the one who could give me the warmest hugs. I know your smile would still give me the butterflies no matter how long we’ve been together. You’ll be the one who would hold my hand through life’s toughest times. You will be the motivation for me to become a better version of myself each day. You will be my cheerleader whenever I feel frustrated. And I know that you are the only one who can love me unconditionally at my best and at my worst. As we grow older, I will still feel like the happiest kid when I’m with you. For a love like this, my valentine, I will not trade for anything so fleeting.

No, there is nothing I’m doing wrong and there is no need to pretend to be someone I’m not. I know you will love me and see me as beautiful even during no-makeup-days, sweatshirt-days and bad-hair-days. I admit I am weird in my own way, but I will fall deeper in love with you because that’s when you will say: “That’s great! Let’s be weird together.”

Valentine, it could take weeks, months or years before our paths meet. But I know when that day comes, we will both be ready for the best that is in store. I may not have you now for Valentine’s day, but it fills me with joy knowing that you are mine and I am yours since the beginning of time.

So then, my Valentine,

Until we meet.

 


Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

 

During my bazaar in DLSU (University Week, Feb 9-11) I heard dozens of passers-by dreading the arrival of February 14th. Nobody even dreaded the usual Friday the 13th. That’s why I thought of writing about what a single’s perspective would be like, and what it should rather be.

I wrote this blog post because I know how it feels like to be part of this fast-paced generation. I’ve been through the stage of peer pressure, when getting into a relationship seems like “fun” and helps one “fit-in” (though I’m not saying that’s the reason for most relationships). I can say that I’ve never had a boyfriend all my life, but have been through several “in-between” relationships that left me heartbroken (no words could explain the pain I went through). It is human nature to look for love, especially now, but sometimes it takes the most painful relationships to teach oneself to learn to wait.

Pray unceasingly. God has the best in store for you. 🙂

 

X,

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