Archive for June, 2011

Sitting Still

At the beginning of my soul work with my wise old sage not too long ago, she told me one thing. Ria, she says, please do this. When you feel uncertain or sad or as if you are standing on shifting sands, just sit with it. Don’t try to analyze it, don’t try to figure it out and most of all, don’t try to get out of it. Sit with it, get to know it, and welcome it for a bit, allowing it time and space to be.


Yes, that’s how I answered her when she said that. After all, why on earth would I want to welcome such dark emotions, right? I am the girl of golden sunshine, remember? I thrive in the warmth of the sun’s embrace and darkness was always, always to be shunned.

Over time I realized what she meant. And so throughout our soul work I learned to sit with discomfort, but admittedly, there were days that were more of a struggle while some were easy.

These past few days have been exactly that and in my last few yoga practices, I had prayed for peace. For grace. For resolution. Then today I opened up a book that was given to me and this is what it told me:


Earlier this evening I was trying to figure out and analyze what’s been going on with me and around me and I guess I needed to be reminded to just sit with it, taking comfort in knowing that all these will pass, and more so, when it passes, it would have left me lessons that make me a better me.

The Butterfly Effect

I spent the afternoon at the Ateneo med school and I couldn’t help but wonder where I’d be now if I had pursued my dreams of becoming a doctor, as I originally planned when I stepped foot in college. It’s not that I regret becoming an educator and a psychologist, mind you, but I couldn’t help but think to myself, what if as I sat there watching these students come in and out in their white uniforms and all. It got me to thinking, about how vastly different things would be. Would I be happier and more content, perhaps? Would I feel more fulfilled and sure of myself? Will the questions and uncertainties that all too often gnaw at me nowadays be the same? Will I perhaps be less of the kikay fashionista that I am and be dressed in more sensible outfits? In the same breath, would my heels and penchant for dangly earrings, chunky necklaces and tanzanite rings be replaced with simple flats and pearls instead? Would I have shunned my creative self for the more logical self in me, perhaps? More so, would I love the me I would be more than the me I am now?

I guess I’ll never know, right? And perhaps there is no one answer to that. It’s just interesting that these thoughts came right at the heels of a nightmare that really threw me off yesterday. Add to that, on the way to yoga class when I woke up, I was listening to the Morning Rush on RX 93.1 as I often do and something the DJ’s said caught my ear. They were talking about the butterfly effect and how a simple fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can cause ripples that affect even a world away. It resonated so much with my dream where I did something so randomly and it caused a great ripple effect that changed the course of soooo many things.

So today as I sat there, watching the students, observing their little differences and admiring their shoes and bags, thinking to myself how all these little things, if changed for one reason or another, can alter the course of so many other things. Random thoughts, I know. Serves me right for not sleeping too well, I suppose haha.

At the end of the day, however, one thing became clear to me. I do have no regrets about the choices I’ve made, even if they aren’t always pleasant and fun. I guess at the end of it all, despite all the twists and turns, in spite of all the ups and downs, and even if I find myself gaining weight or with goldfish eyes every now and then, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I may not like it at times, after all is said and done, I guess I do like where I am.

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am. ~Sylvia Plath


I Missed the Centennial Celebration :(

Yes, I know it only happens once every 100 years but I was so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed so I had to miss the grand De La Salle University 100 years of La Sallian presence in the Philippines bash. Sadness. Although, yeah, I’m not really a full-fledged La Sallian (um, my undergrad degree is from UP after all, and my graduate school degree is still pending even after all this time toink), but I still love being part of that community.

Many do not know this about me, perhaps, but when I was applying for college, DLSU was my top choice of schools. That’s where I really, really wanted to go. Most of my family came from there too, so it was really what I was expecting for myself. I did pass the entrance exams to the University and I was set to enroll there when my lolo gave me such an interesting proposition that I could not turn down.

Because I also passed the entrance exam to UP (which, at first, I only took because the rest of my batch took it), he said, whyΒ  not go there. My mom was a little surprised, actually, because during her time, my grandfather was adamant about her not going there. Anyway, he went on to talk about how many people take that test and how so many do not make it and there I was, giving up a golden opportunity. To sweeten the deal he said, okay, how about this…your choice: if you go to DLSU, well and good. I will support you. If you go to UP, well and good. I will support you. And give you a car to go there.

Errr…hello… πŸ™‚ Choice clear, right?

Sure we did not have air conditioned classrooms, a well-organized and stocked library or a dlp projector installed in every classroom, but I learned so much there and I loved it very much.

Years later, however, I fulfilled my dream of studying in the Green School by enrolling in the Clinical Psychology program of the Psychology Department for my graduate studies. Suffice it to say it has opened up so many doors for me in countless ways. For one, because of that choice and the way things fell into place, I ended up being part of the faculty of the psychology department and I love how this has made me such a better person.

While I may not completely bleed green, as the call it, I am honored to call myself a La Sallian. I am thankful for the many opportunities the University has given me and I am even more grateful for the family I have gained because of it.

And so though I missed the Centennial Celebration, I join my fellow La Sallians in saying, ANIMO LA SALLE! πŸ™‚



The Dark Side of Happiness

Over lunch today I did the unthinkable (kidding! it’s just so…anti-Ria, haha): I read a journal article (cue the hallelujah chorus teeheeheee).

Granted it has nothing to do with my thesis, I got to reading an article about the downside of happiness. One may think that perhaps its such an oxymoron to say that happiness can actually be detrimental to one’s wellbeing, afterall, isn’t happiness supposed to be a good thing?

Anyway the article discussed points that kinda resonated with me, especially now thar I have learned to appreciate the darker side of things. The bottom line of that paper was that like anything, too much of happiness, especially in the wrong context and at the wrong time, can likewise be detrimental as it can contribute to poor judgment and inappropriate behaviors. Although the positive contributions of happiness is far reaching and highly beneficial, what I take from this is really the value of recognizing and appreciating emotions for what they are, good or bad. Interestingly, just this morning I read an article in one of my favorite sites, the Tiny Buddha, about the value of recognizing emotions and not apologizing for them ever.

Synchronicity I tell ya.

And so what I took from that very serendipitous lunch, if I could call it that, is the fact that sometimes, painting on a smile so you don’t have to explain why your sad works, and perhaps this is what people mean when they would say fake it till you make it . But more than that, I was reminded that sometimes, it’s okay to not smile because things are not okay, and you don’t really have to explain, define or deconstruct why it’s so. It just is. And that’s fine.

Yes, this is me embracing the darkness and walking in the rain, knowing full well that both dark and light, sun and rain have their own place in my life. More so, that I am all the better because they both are there.

Bye Bye Bad Photos! No More Failed Shots with Samsung 2 View!

As I mentioned in my past posts, one of my favorite features in Sammy (my dual LCD Samsung camera) is the fact that I can take great selfies because of the front LCD feature the camera has. This dual screen, coupled with the Beauty Shot setting of the Samsung 2View Cameras, makes for the best self-portraits because you can actually see what you’re capturing, rather than the usual “let’s see if we all fit in the frame while I hold this camera in front of us” style others have to settle for with single LCD cameras.


Samsung 2View Cameras

Just recently, Samsung gave two lucky Facebook fans a Samsung 2View Camera each. Sadly I was not one of them, haha. In any case, they have a great new promo now highlighting their goal to say goodbye to bad shots forever! By simply joining their Bye Bye Bad Photo contest, you can have the chance to win one of three Samsung ST700 cameras. The mechanics are simple:

With a Samsung 2View camera, you can definitely say bye bye to bad photos like my contest entry:

Davao Jump Shot Fail!!!

We all know how hard it is to get a good jump shot, right? Especially when it’s a group jump shot! This is a classic example of that difficulty—if you agree with me do vote for my entry haha! Anyway, my friends and I were in Davao a couple of years ago and we tried our best (I should say bestest haha) but to our dismay, we could not get a decent jump shot. With the Jump shot feature of the Samsung 2View, everyone can jump at the right time because it has a visual count down on the front LCD so everyone can anticipate the exact moment to jump. It also takes three shots in quick succession to capture that exact moment.

Besides eliminating failed jump shots, the Samsung 2View camera also features a Child mode which captures kids (especially babies!) attentions so they look straight at the camera rather than all over the place.

SO….do you want your own Samsung 2View? Dig up Wrong Angle, Jump Shot Fail and Baby Gets Bored shots and log on to their Facebook page and join now πŸ™‚ Good luck!!!


click and join now!

If you won one of these cameras, how would you make the most of this unique 2view feature??? πŸ™‚ Do share your ideas by leaving me a comment!

Silent, Still and Steady

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. ~Mahatma Gandhi

I was once asked to describe a place where I felt most safe and happy and whole. The image that came to mind, and still very often does, is sitting by a beach, with the quiet movement of waves coming in and out to meet the shore and the warm golden sunshine warming me inside out. For a long time, whenever things would get too rocky or difficult, a quick trip to the beach puts everything back into place and when I return to my regular life after a quick side trip to the beach, I’d be okay. Even when I’m in my shavasana after a yoga practice, it is the sound of the waves that comes to calm me and lull me to a restful state where I find release and freedom from all that ails me. It is sitting by the ocean where things suddenly become so clear toΒ  me, where everything just falls into place and makes sense. Yes, that’s how connected I was to the beach, and how much it has been a place of solace and comfort for me. It is where I can take a step back from the things that are happening, drop my guard, stop thinking and just be me.

A few days ago I told a friend of mine that I was surprised that I managed an entire summer (now that I think of it, six whole months!) without going to the beach (well, save for that one day I went to Subic and stayed by the waterfront, but that wasn’t a REAL beach, right? teeheeheee). She said something like perhaps I have really learned to breathe through whatever challenges I face (and believe me, these past six months have been SOOOO very challenging, at times so difficult I’d feel like I’d be at my wits end) and that I no longer need to run away or escape to the beach to feel safe.

Perhaps she was a bit right….that maybe I have learned really how to be still and steady in the midst of a storm, no longer needing to run to a safe haven because I have found some strength in me somewhere. And that perhaps, I have that in me to begin with. As my yoga teachers always put it, it’s finding that “back body” to fall into and retreat to to find more space to just breathe (while yes, they may mean that in a more physical realm but as I have learned to appreciate in this whole yoga practice, it’s more than just the physical).

Today it dawned on me even further that I really have slowly began to really understand and appreciate the value of silence. In the quiet solitude filled with nothing but the sound of my own breathing, I have found comfort and stillness. No, I haven’t decided to live a life of seclusion or have I opted to withdraw to a quiet little bubble where only I exist. All I mean is that now I have learned to speak when necessary and shut up when it’s more appropriate to do so. I will admit that I’m still working on the whole “just trusting in things even when they’re not said or seen or felt” as I still find myself questioning my place and purpose from time to time, but in a small way, I can feel more sure about where I stand more often than not. I do still crave affirmation and reassurance, mind you, but I’m beginning to know how to settle myself and just remember that sometimes the best things are said with no words at all.

I guess in essence I can say I have begun to grow up πŸ™‚

And so while I still love the beach, and that will always be my shelter and home, I have learned what it means to be silent, still and steady, even right smack in the eye of a storm. I can take a step back, so it seems, even without moving and it’s so safe in there, but by stepping back, it doesn’t mean I run away.

Most importantly, in this silence, I have found clarity.



A Prison with Wheels

I used to love sitting in my car and driving down familiar roads. Much as driving has never been a favorite task of mine, I have always loved the freedom being in my car afforded me. I could sit through hours of traffic and be okay, with or without the radio blaring. At times I liked singing along to the music that played, and at times I loved sitting in the quiet stillness of that space.

Until now.

Lately I dread it.

Lately it brings me to tears, literally.

Lately I find myself breathless and panicky.

Lately I become engulfed in thoughts that I can’t let go of and that eat me up inside.

Lately I feel trapped in my little prison with wheels.

In the past week and a half I have tried to find ways to not be in that car because for the most part, being in it makes me feel claustrophobic and sungit. Sigh.

Maybe its just a reaction to things. Maybe it’s hormonal or one of those low testosterone symptoms I read about in some website (yes, even women have that hormone in their bodies as men also have some levels of female hormones in them! no, I haven’t gone crazy just moody haha). It just feels like all the bravery and courage I used to hold in me has fizzled out and it’s leaving me all flustered, frustrated and oh-so-tired. Or maybe I’m just getting old. Sigh.

I miss driving in my car and just enjoying the ride.

I miss being in it, just by my lonesome knowing I am okay no matter what.

I miss sitting in the quiet with nothing else but the sound of my breath, slow and steady.

I miss being the me who I was in my car.

I miss my little haven, my sanctuary of quiet, a space that was all mine.


Marketing and Party Planning Made Easy :)

A few months ago I got so into making all those personalized products like note pads, pillow cases, and even dog tags and umbrellas online. It was via one of those online photo sharing sites and I enjoyed making a lot of them especially since I got to make use of my favorite photos and designs. Add to that was the fact that there were a whole lot of ready made templates that made designing my own products so easy. Although I ordered items that were mostly just for me and Bubba,Β  I realized now that they would also make great promotional products for small businesses and the like. It can even be great for party giveaways and tokens!

Now that a new school year is starting (one that I sadly am not part of :() I was telling my former co-teacher that it might be a good idea to order customized pens or bags or even those promotional key chains with the logo of the school as little tokens for the new enrollees or what not. It could serve as a great way to get the school’s image out in the open a little bit more. Of course the idea came a little bit to late, but she said maybe when it’s time to order Christmas goodies or perhaps graduation materials throughout the school year, she could try ordering these things instead of having the teachers make the little souvenirs we used to do. When we were computing it, it actually comes out more reasonable to actually order these things and it’s much more practical in terms of time and resources.

This is one of the many things I miss about being in the preschool…making things that are so cute and commemorate every little occasion that the preschoolers go through. Lucky for me I still am good friends with our school directress, as well as the teachers that I used to work with, so maybe even if I’m not officially employed this school year with them, I can still participate in these little things every now and then πŸ™‚

Hmmm….this got me to thinking….maybe I should just go into party planning…whatchathink??? πŸ™‚ I’d make lots of cutesy giveaways! All I’d really need is my computer, a good internet connection and lots of creativity on board….lemme think about it!!!