If I were to describe the past three months in three words it would be productive, silent, and calm. Being away from school is so helpful for my well-being, most specially my mental health. Ironic for a Psych major, I know. I finally had the peace of mind I lost for a year. Everything has taken a back seat when I was in school; I stopped blogging, my baking business went on a hiatus, my mental health was declining, and the exhaustion has taken its toll on my overall health. Summer has always been good to me and this year’s break was absolutely worthwhile. I’ve learned a lot of things and I’m slowly stepping into the “adulting phase” and I can feel how tiring it is. Regardless of that, it was fun while it lasted. Here’s what I’ve been to lately.
Surviving my Freshman Year– Looking back at my past writings, I’ve seen how long I’ve agonized about the getting into college. Albeit the past two years were all about preparations, the moment it began, I knew I wasn’t fully ready for it yet. My first year was a tough ride, you were all aware of that. But I’m thankful that I made it and I’m looking forward to the next. By the grace of God, I’m still a College Scholar (AUF’s term for Dean’s Lister) last semester and I hope I can maintain this until I graduate. Konting push lang, University Scholar na!#lawofattraction. Three more years to go and off we go.
Baking Business – It feels so good to be productive during this time of the year, as compared to how my past summers have been. At present, I am a full time baker and I make cakes and brownies for a living. I also try and test several recipes. Sa totoo lang, sawang-sawa na nga ako sa mga bine-bake ko eh. Mini-meryenda na lang ng mga kasama namin sa bahay yung mga baked goods ko at nagsawa na rin sila. Minsan nga pinamimigay na lang namin kasi nasa-stock na lang sa ref. I’m not even kidding! Ok friends, you know what to do. You’re all welcome to Old Town anytime. Haha! Aside from that, I’m also a part time assistant, courier, shopper, caregiver, lahat na. Haha! This is the reason why nakakulong lang ako sa bahay. Sad truth but at least I’m earning. Am I really getting paid? IDK. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . However, there’s also this guilt of privilege, knowing that I won’t be able to do this if it weren’t for our business, if it weren’t for our means, and if it weren’t for the experiences and knowledge I have. I can’t just tell someone else to “just work hard” or “do it now” or “just start a business now!” knowing that I have my parents as my backbone. I know the least thing I could do is to recognize it, and use it for the common good. (‘kala niyo ha!)
Elections – The past senatorial and local elections in the country made me realize how fucked up the Philippines is and how change is already close to impossible. I’m disgusted by the results most especially with regards to the national scale. Why do the masses choose to vote murderers, thieves, plunderers and entertainers over the qualified, dedicated, and unsung ones? I know this may sound very elitist and classist but it would be better for the country if taxpayers are the only ones who are allowed to vote. But on the other hand, I can’t blame the poor for not knowing better because they are denied of access to proper education. It’s also our part to educate the masses about their voting rights. Ugh, ang hirap.‘Yung mga mahihirap kumakapit sa patalim (aka vote buying) dahil nangangailangan sila; at ‘yung mga trapo naman, they feed off of their indolence. Kasalanan ng sistemang ito kung bakit patuloy na humihirap ang mahihirap, at kung bakit lalong yumayaman ang mga mayayaman. The loss of integrity in the recent elections saddens and disappoints me. Harap harapang pandaraya at panloloko ang ating nasaksihan at tila wala man lang pakialam ang ating gobyerno. It will take a period of time for the Philippines to actually change. A change that is not brought by a certain Duterte or Marcos.
New Skin Care discoveries – I recently discovered that my skin loves it when I don’t use a facial cleanser in the morning. I simply splash water all over my face and that’s it, then I proceed with applying Pond’s White Beauty toner all over my face and a little bit of moisturizer later on. I also noticed that I stopped breaking out the moment I limited my use of Aztec Clay to just twice a month. It just feels so great that I don’t break out anymore! Good bye puberty na ba talaga? Haha!
Metamorphosis – My summer was also a period of transformation and experimentation. I grew my hair out and dyed it; tried several long hair styles but mostly sticked to the old and classic ones; hoarded pairs of sunnies and accessories; gained weight because of food crawls but lost them after my extraction; I broke out a few times too but not as severe as before. All these changes in my body goes to show that I’m growing, I’m changing, and there’s only one thing I’ll say, I’m loving myself more than ever.
BTS and BLACKPINK Addiction – 2019 is a good year for music. And what makes it better is the fact that both of my favorite (and only favorite) KPOP groups BLACKPINK and BTS released new music last April! I’m currently obsessed with everything about BTS and their music. Their dance steps. Their hair. Their skin. Their fashion. EVERYTHING. I’d do anything just to look like Seokjin or Taehyung or Jungkook. Ugh. With Blackpink on the other hand, I can’t get enough of Jennie! Let’s kill this love, shall we?
Taylor Swift– I am a big Taylor Swift Lover and it’s just exciting to see that another era is yet to begin. I’m also loving the new theories and easter egg hunts! And Katy Perry’s cameo in YNTCD didn’t come as a surprise. I can smell a collab coming! However, I feel bad for what just happened between her and Big Machine. Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta are trash. Taylor Swift didn’t spend half of her life translating her life experiences into pop sensations only for Scooter to own 30% of their sales. Taylor Swift is successful because of Taylor Swift. Not Scott Borchetta, not even Scooter Braun, nor Kanye West. Imagine Taylor asking for permission to Scooter to perform all her songs from her debut to reputation? Awful. I hope Taylor remasters all her previous albums, this one is a great opportunity for her to release a Greatest Hits album. I would love that! On a lighter note, the anticipation kills me and I can’t wait for August 23!
Recovering from my wisdom tooth extraction and struggling with TMJ disorder. – I’ve been feeling this pain for over a year now. It all started during my senior’s ball day; I just woke up and couldn’t open my mouth properly, there was this pain on my left jaw. After constantly taking paracetamol, the pain went away after three days. It was all normal until it went back last December, last January, and it was on and off until it returned last May. My jaw pops every time I chew and it was PAINFUL. It lasted for almost a week so I immediately went to my doctor and had a dental x-ray done and voila, my wisdom teeth are both horizontally impacted. I felt relief the moment it was extracted, thinking it was just an erupting tooth. Little did I know that it was really TMJ. The jaw pain went back two weeks later and I am not sure if it was part of the healing process or it was really the TMJ disorder. I’m pretty sure it was the latter, the popping sensation was still present. This is giving me so much discomfort because I can’t eat properly, but I’m glad that I can manage it through exercises and maneuvers. Haaaay, dapat yung mga chismosa yung nagkaka-ganito eh!
Family time and food crawls – Summer gave me so much of what school has taken away from me, and that is time with my family, myself, and my kitchen. lol. This break made me learn how to cook so many dishes that I didn’t know how to cook before. After learning pasta, pizza, western dishes and desserts; I tried how to cook home-cooked meals. Syempre Kapampangan ku anya eku pabureng eku mabiyasa! Abalu ku nung makananu maglutung sigang babi, sigang kamatis, kilayin, batsui, labung, tinola, lengua, ampo liga. Aku na kekayu e, pwedi naku talagang maki-sawa! Hahaha! (Translation: Of course I’m a Kapampangan so I grabbed the opportunity to learn. I knew how to cook sinigang, sinigang sa kamatis, kinilaw, batchoy, labong, tinola, lengua, and nilaga. Sabi ko na sa inyo pwede na ‘kong mag-asawa e! Hahaha!) At dahil sawang sawa na ako sa mga pagkain sa bahay, syempre lumalabas kami every week. We tried several restaurants in the course of three months and it’s been a great time not just because of the new food but because it’s family time.
That’s basically how the past three months have been. Now off we go to start another chapter in my college life, and fortuitously, end another decade of my life. See you all tomorrow and may the odds be ever in our favor!
For my annual obligatory birthday post, let me share with you the 19 Things I’m Grateful For in the past 19 years. Life has always been amazing and it still feels surreal that I’m a year away from turning 20. I’m goddamn old. Time flies so fast when you’re having fun, I suppose?
Gift of family– The most important thing in my life. (Janina who?) What would I do without my family? I won’t be who I am right now if it weren’t for them! I thank God that I was born in a good, loving, and accepting family. I’m blessed with very supportive and loving parents. I love you mom and dad! (Tara S&R. Joke!)
Good health– Every gising is a blessing. And what makes it even better? Being completely healthy. Every time you wake up na wala kang sakit, or walang may sakit sa pamilya mo, that’s already a big reason to smile!
Happy childhood– Quite frankly, I can say that I had the best childhood. I was showered with toys, clothes, food, and any good thing a child could experience. I was blessed that it was a happy one and I can say I was born in the right generation. Amidst the rise of technology, I still experienced playing outside and playing with real toys! I know that experiencing a good childhood makes a happy adult and I’m grateful because I had a good one.
Good set of friends– It’s true that having a small circle of friends is better than having hundreds of acquaintances. My friends are one of the best people in my life and I’m thankful for every single one of them!
Optimism– It has always been a virtue of mine to see the positive in everything. No matter how impossible it may be, I try to convert negative experiences into positive learning experiences. It pays off to see the good in everything. Positive mind, positive life!
Happiness, Love, Gratitude– And because of optimism, you get to feel the best things in life. It’s a very very happy and peaceful feeling. Magaan sa pakiramdam sobra. ❤
Good Life– I may not have everything I want but I have beyond what I need. And if you practice the two things mentioned above, expect a big difference in your life. 🙂
Education– I started college a few days back and it’s been good so far. Finally, my last four years! Matatapos na rin ako! It ain’t easy but I know it’s something I will enjoy and it’s something that will help not only me, but the people around me.
Solid Support System– I’d be lying if I say that my readers aren’t my source of happiness. Every time I see someone read my posts or every time somebody appreciates my content makes my heart flutter. Aside from them, my family and friends who constantly remind me that I can and that I am capable of doing things make me want to do better in life. They got my back always. I’m thankful for all of you!
Safety and Security– I am acknowledging my privilege. I won’t achieve what I have now if we don’t have the means to do so. It’s something I value the most and I won’t do anything that will compromise this.
A Complete Home– Everything I need (and sometimes, want) is provided and is already here. Wala na akong hahanapin pa. ❤
Good food– I’m blessed to have good food everyday because my mom’s the best at cooking and I’m glad I inherited her culinary skills. I grew up in a very “foodie” household and every weekend is a feast because we always cook the best dish there is. Hello, it’s a shame kung Kapampangan ka pero di masarap kinakain mo.Huy! Part ng kultura natin ‘yon! Haha!
Taylor Swift’s music– Life is so much better when you are listening to good music and that’s where Taylor Swift comes into my life. I’ve been a fan since I was 13! Her lyrics are written so beautifully and each line has a significant impact in your life. Taylor’s songwriting is genius and the way she markets everything is beyond compare. She really means business. There’s a Taylor Swift song for every moment in your life, believe me.
Towering Height– Imagine standing at 6’3″ at 19 years old. There’s this fact that if you’re 6’2″ and above, you’re taller than 94% of the world. And yes, I belong to that very rare 6%. #Blessed.
Good skin– Although I have occasional acne, my skin is still good because I take care of it. I’m willing to spend everything just to protect my skin!
Established blog– Four years ago, I didn’t even think that this site will eventually grow and expand. I only started by sharing my daily thoughts and documenting my musings. Now, I have daily visitors from all around the world and I finally have my own domain name. My fifteen year old self would be very proud! I’m thankful for all my readers and I swear that I’ll produce great content for you all.
Language Love– This won’t be possible if it weren’t for my parents. They’ve introduced me to books at a young age and that’s where I developed my vocabulary and my oral and written communication skills. I have an affinity with words.
Gastronomic Skills– “Asawahin niyo yung mga marunong magluto, wag yung pacute lang. Looks fade but gutom is forever.” Excuse me, I can do both. Kidding aside, I owe this to my Kapampangan roots. My love for cooking reaches new heights because in Pampanga, you’re exposed to a wide variety of food. Filipino pa yan or American or Japanese, name it we have it. Honestly, titikman ko pa lang yung food alam ko na kung ano yung mga ingredients na ginamit. I can deconstruct the ingredients in my mind. My taste buds should be insured for a million dollars. LOL.
Aesthetic and Sartorial Appreciation – Being an artist is a big big big big blessing. You have a flair for detail in almost everything—fashion, arts, food, linguistics. I know what goes well with this, what doesn’t suit that, what tastes better, what sounds better. Basta super thankful ako na right part ng brain ko yung gumagana.
That’s it! The 19 Things I’m thankful For. Can’t wait to celebrate my birthday for the whole month! I’d like to thank everyone for all the birthday greetings, messages, and gifts! I appreciate them a lot! You know that. 😉 May this year be a very beautiful one!
Shot in location: 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City
They say that summer after high school is the best summer ever because you have it all to yourself and it’s upon you whether you waste your time or not. In hopes of making this statement true, here are a few things that’s currently making me live a not so mundane and boring life.
Growing my hair – Freedom it is! I’m finally free from any school rules and that includes the inescapable haircut policy. ‘Di ko gets mga Catholic school bakit bawal ang long hair sa mga lalaki, eh si Jesus nga long hair eh! Joke lang, wag seryosohin! Hahaha! Because everyone else is either shaving their head or coloring their hair, I’ll just sit down and let it grow. It’s been three months since I last had a proper haircut and now I’m on the verge of trimming it on my own. And I actually did. I mentioned that I hate how high maintenance this is but I’ll endure it because I want to have a hair like LA Aguinaldo’s. However, as of press time, I just had a new haircut and it just feels so refreshing and light. Adios, slicked back long hair. Haha!
Working from Home – While other people are traveling and having fun during summer, here I am working on my pending blog entries, and helping in our family business. Aside from that, I’m also a part time kasambahay. Sometimes I do the groceries, I cook meals, I fold the laundry and I do some of the household chores too. This is also the first break that I didn’t get to ruin my body clock. Maayos ang tulog ko.Habang nagwawaldas ng pera yung iba, ako naman kumakayod. Haaay, I’m such a good son talaga. I should be rewarded with skin products (hiiiiii mom and dad). Kidding aside, things are just getting bigger and better for our business! Can’t wait for this project to be finished. PSA: Kami po yung may-ari ng Old Town Ensaimada in case you’ve already tasted them. Hehe. And ako po yung gumagawa ng brownies and they’re my own recipe! Message me for orders! 😉
Major Plans – There are a few exciting things I can’t wait to share with all of you! First was purchasing my own domain which I’ve been dying to own since I was 15. Guys, welcome to ANDREIPARAS.COM. Aside from that, the coming months will be very promising and there’s something waiting for you guys on my birth month. Only a few people know about it! Can’t believe I’ve painted my dreams. I’ve dropped hints in this post and on my Instagram stories before if you pay close attention. Truth be told, this has been planned long before I graduated. Can’t be thankful enough that the opportunities are the ones approaching me and not the other way around!
Spending time alone and with family – At long last, I was given ample time for myself. It’s actually very refreshing to stay away from school and from other people for quite a while and just spend time alone or with your family. Natupad yung wish kong magka-peace of mind. Iba pala talaga pag nalayo ka sa toxic na environment. I’ve spent time alone in the mall last month and it’s just very peaceful. Having a “me time” every once in a while is necessary too. I love the fact that I’m surrounded by my family and we get to spend everyday together. It’s just so calming and their presence makes everything feel better. We get to spend weekends going out and about (as always) and this makes this break more meaningful and fun. Every night is family night as well! Bawing-bawi yung nawalang family time ko because of school.
Netflix – It’s my new addiction. Why did I not learn about this sooner?! I’m currently obsessed with the British Royal Family because of The Crown and other shows about the royals. Aside from that, I’m also into lifestyle (food and travel) documentaries too!
Rekindling my love for Arts – Since I’m on a long term break, it’s high time that I should go back to pointillism and coffee painting. The last time I did was three years ago and now’s the perfect time to make a comeback! My recent art works are for my model crushes Kelsey Merritt and Maureen Wroblewitz!
Culinary Love – You should be aware that I spend more time in the kitchen than any other part of the house. I’m not even kidding! Two years ago I was into making my own Japanese cuisine which was so goddamn difficult to make. Last year was about American and probably the easiest. This year is all about Italian cuisine because I’m currently feeding on pasta and pizza. I make pasta sauces, pizza crusts and recipes, and breads all from scratch! It’s quite challenging but the results are worth it. Sana lumaki na biceps ko sa kaka-knead ng pizza dough. Haha! Actually mas marami pa akong nakain na pasta than rice this summer. Pizza all day every day!
Prepping for college – Honestly, I’m looking forward to going to college more than ever. I’m very hopeful and positive about this because Psychology is something that interests me and I can’t wait to explore this discipline more. I couldn’t wait to apply what I learn in Psych in real life. I strongly believe that this is made for me and I’m made for this. And I know it’s going to work on my advantage. There’s plenty of career choices if you finishPsychology, and that’s just great because I believe I haven’t picked the perfect career path for me yet. As of this writing, I’m actually thinking of pursuing medicine because I’m thinking of becoming a Dermatologist. Pero dahil may food business kami at mahilig naman akong magluto, naiisipan ko ring mag-chef. Bahala na! Dasal lang talaga. Hahaha! Future MD or future chef? Hmmm.
That’s it for the third volume of my Life Lately Summer Story series! Stalk me if you want to see the first two entries! See you all again in summer 2019. 🙂
(What I’m wearing: Denim button down from H&M, shorts from Uniqlo, aviators from Sunnies Studios)
Locations: Berthaphil II, Clark; Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City
Few months ago, I told myself that this vacation will be worthwhile. It will be all about working out, dieting, being healthy, being productive and all. But scratch that, sinong niloloko ko di ba? Summer, as usual, is super duper boring, depressing, and all things fattening — binge eating, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, waking up just in time for lunch. Crazy. Unhealthy. Ugh, I’ve never felt so lazy in my life. I know I’ll regret wasting my time and energy, but whatever. My life lately was all about…
Gastronomic adventures – Since I love food, I spend my time in the kitchen not because I’m eating, but I’m also the one cooking! The past few weeks have been really productive because I have the kitchen as my playground. Sabi ko nung March magda-diet at work out na ako, oo, sinabi ko lang. Wala akong ginawa. Hahaha! I cook some of my all-time favorites such as pizza (from scratch!), pasta, and roast chicken! Not only that, I also bake goodies like cheescake, cookies etc. I even do the grocery sometimes! #HusbandMaterialna oh! LOL
Binge-watching – I watched 13 Reasons Why in just three days. I love how this series brings awareness about depression and mental health. It speaks to me so much because sometimes I feel like I’m as helpless as Hannah, as bitchy as Courtney and as paranoid as Clay. Each character speaks to me because I feel like I’ve been way too harsh to people like Hannah. But sometimes, I feel like Hannah. I wish there are more series tackling depression and mental health awareness though. It’s actually happening right now and we need to do something about it. Anyway, I’m looking forward to its season 2! And of course, since I’m into Korean series, I’m done with Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo! I also finished watching The Legend of the Blue Sea for the second time! Kinda annoyed (and flattered at the same time) because the name of Heo Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho’s character) in the Tagalized version is Andrei. As if they knew that he’s my life peg/ idol. Haha! Currently watching Goblin! What to watch next? Comment down below or tweet me for KDrama suggestions!
Learning Hangul – Mastering a foreign language is included in my bucket list and because I love all things Korean, I studied the Hangul alphabet! I searched for lessons on Youtube and tadaaa, I’m on my way to learning Korean! It’s actually very easy because they have fewer letters compared to other Asian languages. I still have to practice the stacking and memorize the consonants because they can be confusing at times but I’ll slowly get there. Konting push na lang! Achievement unlocked! I wanna learn French too because of Beauty and the Beast!!!
Unwinding – One of the reasons why I love summer is that I get an ample amount of rest. Actually sumosobra na nga eh, sometimes Iwake up at 11 am. #Batugan. Since it’s all about relaxing, I went to Fontana with my friends last month. At least di lang naging drawing yung summer plans! I also got a nice golden tan when I went swimming with them.
The Road to College – This, perhaps, is the most depressing thing right now because I just have one year left in high school and I still don’t know what to take up in college. I don’t even go to review centers to prepare for entrance exams! ANG BILIS LANG NG ONE YEAR ANO NA GAGAWIN KO. ANO NA. SHET. ANO BA TALAGA.Mag-aaral ba talaga ako o ano? I feel so lost. Should I take Psychology? (I realllly want this!) HRIM? (I want to help in our family business) Archi? Med related? Where will I study?! UP? ADMU? UST? AUF? Will I survive if I take up Med? Magdo-doctor ba ako? Or lawyer? Or architect? ANO NA. Can’t I just wake up with the kiss of my diploma? Bakit di nalang kasi ako naging Kardashian ano?! Joke lang! Of course I still want to finish school because I believe it’s what’s going to take me further in life. O ha! Kala niyo!
Addiction to fruits– and veggies too! When life gives you lemons, drink lemon-infused water. I drink it everyday and I think I can finish 4 liters everyday? I also see to it that I eat salads as well. This addiction is good. I’d do this all in the name of good skin and boy, it shows. I don’t have terrible breakouts anymore because I eat fruits everyday. Truly, you are what you eat.
Painting – I bought new painting materials when I visited Art Bar last week! The store feels like heaven because it’s full of art materials. All kinds of paint, all sizes of canvas, all types of brushes — name it, they have it! They also have a small Toby’s Estate inside the store! Nakakakilig. I wish I had a big budget and lots of time to create artworks though. At least I found my new fave place in BGC! Buuut what should I paint now? Landscapes? Abstract? Comment down for suggestions!
That’s basically my life right now, what about yours? One month left for summer so make the most out of it! See you all soon.
(What I’m wearing: button down from H&M, trousers from Uniqlo)