August 1, 2014

Photodump as promised

monterey - yosemite - grand canyon

July 23, 2014

So I've been busy.

Here's a sneak peek.

Dear friend,
I'm sure you recognize this thing called 'wanderlust'. The word has probably been on your bio on twitter or on instagram before. And on tumblr you've probably reblogged some funky typographic art that spells it: WANDERLUST...and then it's definition. 100,000 notes? It's practically EVERYBODY'S favorite word so I'm guessing it's rather familiar. Taking its definition, I've realized: who on earth doesn't have the strong desire to travel? To explore and meet new people and see new places? Who doesn't want to be introduced to vibrant cultures with generations of stories and explosive ideas? It's amazing. I agree. I can't deny any of it.
I think the most exciting thing about traveling is the initial anonymity of a city or a place, and how over the days, the city begins to grow in you and suddenly the value of  the currency makes sense and suddenly you know your way around. And only when you begin to believe that you've 'blended in', it's time to go home.
HA. Yes. HOME where nothing happens. On the palette of beauty, home seems to be a monotone hue in a shade of gray. Compared to travel's remarkable element of surprise, home is dull. Home seems to project itself as this incessant reminder of how boring life is..... BECAUSE- of course! Familiarity breeds contempt! Home is the same-old same-old. It's flat. Linear. Singular. Boring. Bla bla bla.
Am I right?
Guess what?
Ha! I'm not.
It's the best place.
We fall in love with unknown cities but home has always loved us. When we need it most, home will amplify that the constant things in our lives will always mean something to us. Maybe familiarity does not always breed contempt, but comfort as well.
I'm proud of my home and where I'm from. The privilege of exposure is always something to look forward to. But even so, I've gotta make sure I come back. Manila is where I've always belonged and where I will always intend to stay.

June 26, 2014

A memory

It was a foggy Sunday morning and it was very cold. My pink Barbie watch read 6:43 AM. Despite the fact that I cried the night before, my eyes glistened with so much pride because I was only seven years old and this was my very first sleepover with my older cousins. They were the elites- the esoteric group of young pre-teens that I deeply admired. My older cousins multiplied bigger numbers, spelled longer words and no longer wore pajamas. It was a privilege to have a sleepover with them, and I was proud.

Mornings always made me happy despite whatever, but this kind of morning was different. We decided to ditch breakfast and we raced for the park. Above us, a haze of yellow quickly loomed over a purple sky. Below us, the sound of our slippers against the pavement became our music and it echoed around a dozing neighborhood. 

The park was empty when we arrived and we were grateful. This was our kingdom, our headquarters, our mysterious lair, our treehouse and our secret hide out. We played until we found the longest hose I'd ever seen in my entire life. My older cousins gestured me to help them hoist it inside the jungle gym and we let the water trickle down the slides.

I remember laughs, a few races, a bit of sensation and an upset policeman. "We're in mighty trouble." I said. And because one of my cousins nodded hastily in agreement, I repeated what I said about three times. 

The rest is gone. What makes it all worse is that my older cousins don't really remember. Sometimes they nod along with me when I try to tell them the story over and over again - but behind their nods is uncertainty.

Up until after I see the water racing down the slides from the hose and the smug look on my cousins' faces, I can't help but smile. You see, it keeps me thinking--contemplating, even-- that despite the fact that my cousins don't remember, they will always be there. In that memory

I know that behind the algebra equations that I stress and write about on blackboards, behind chick flicks, a heavy school bag and lots of paperwork...behind the glasses, the books and even behind the superficiality, there is STILL a girl. A very young girl with a pink Barbie watch, teddy bear pajamas and loud slipper sounds that clapped and echoed step after step. I can't wait to meet her again. Somehow, someday.

April 30, 2014

thoughts for april

I fear two things. I fear that time will run out. I want to read twenty more books, I want to be able to make something, to say something or to write something and I always just fear that I'm not going to have enough time to do that.

I never believed that sticking to a routine was a bad decision to make, in fact, I think it's the safest one. Steering clear from the edges of my safety zone always kept me away from the evident, bitter taste of FEAR: fear of the unknown, fear of taking the fall when I knew I didn't have to if I didn't try, fear of having to LEARN from my mistakes the HARD way. I wanted to avoid that. I fear that.

Throughout April, I've learned two things. Stepping out of my comfort zone is always, always going to bring overwhelming results. It may be bad or good and that's the thing. You never really know. But all selfishness, fear of pain, fear of learning - all of that aside, the results will be worth it. And what's life without worth? I've learned the beauty of productivity and maximizing my time. I've learned the essence of keeping myself busy, tuned and wired for the present. After all, my life is what I make it. This very month was what I chose to make it. Next month is going to be what I make it. I have no more time for the past!

But I will have to admit. Sometimes I DO like to be nostalgic, especially when times are tough. Sometimes I DO think WAY too much about the past. Let me tell you something: the past is a truly self-inflicting and harmful place to live in. It is the painful truth, for it can be a deceivingly beautiful place to look at and admire from far away.

Goodbye April, Hello May!

April 3, 2014

Does it ever get to you that

I can't let pain act as a deterrent for life. I'll admit, I love people and their stories but there are times when people wear me out. Who am I to talk? I'm just some fifteen year old who's probably having a bad day. But do you ever think about how some people just really know how to sink into your skin and rummage through thoughts and feelings that make you want to scream? The sad thing is that sometimes they don't even know it, but the infuriating fact is that sometimes they actually do and it's this thing that tests my backbone and i'm forced into friendships and forced into words that i don't mean. It's crazy. It's crazy what people like me can do. It's crazy how we think. STILL, life is what I make it. Amidst all this, there are good days waiting to be lived and there are good memories waiting to be experienced. April's going to be a good one. 

March 10, 2014

Photos and thoughts

Psalm 30:5's in my head and I think it's the best thing I've read all week. This is how my March began.

My family isn't so much of the outdoor type. Although we travel and eat out every now and then, we still find most comfort when confided in a small room on a Saturday afternoon where we are gathered around to watch a film that is supposed to be Academy-Award winning, but dad's spoiled the ending and that basically ruins the whole experience (The Prestige- awesome stuff). Ma's got her homemade pizza and some apple pie but since our local grocery won't restock, this is the last apple pie we'll ever eat for God knows how long so we split it evenly. I'm on the bean bag to the left, my brother's on the right. We've never labelled it that way, but it's been registered for almost a year now. The littlest one is oblivious and that's always how it's supposed to be.

I don't think i've ever written about the gift of family, i don't think i've ever rambled on giving thanks. But I don't want to ramble on it for paragraphs and paragraphs because I'm exhausted, but I want you to know that I would and I could but i'm hesitant because i know words won't suffice. Neither will photographs. But dear family, I'll always be grateful.

February 4, 2014

Hey Days!

I think blogging has taught me two very important things. Self discovery is something that I will always be grateful for. Even if I was practically on hiatus the whole 2013, I can't deny that in general, this blog helped me discover my own voice. It helped me find myself. I discovered things that I like, ideas that I agree with, concepts that don't make sense to me - all which were devoured and squished together into the coherent definition of me. Stella. And I think it's like that for everybody, I mean, we're all practically made up of experiences, dreams and everything in between and stuff.
Another thing that blogging taught me was the concept of progress. In a nutshell, these years of logging into the familiar website of blogger have defined progression…ultimately. This blog is always (always) going to be a work in progress. Its content, its focus - the blog in general is just growing as I am. I can't imagine it in a state of finality where I find myself satisfied. I am always going to have to innovate, or to find myself moving forward for this blog. And myself! Because this blog, I believe, is only beginning just as my story is. All these years that I've spent logging on here and trying to figure out what to type, is only the start.

January 21, 2014


Challenged to write a six word story, the father of modern day literature came up with: "Baby Shoes For sale; Never used."
Other authors and writers have also tried to experiment with the Hemmigway challenge, coming up with awesome sauce like: 

"Eyeballed me, killed him. Slight exaggeration." –Irvine Welsh 
“You? Her? No dice, fat boy.” –Pinckney Benedict
grass, cow, calf, milk, cheese, France –Rick Moody
—I love you . . . –Love ya back. –Courtney Eldridge
My nemesis is dead. Now what? –Michael Cunningham

Ernest Hemmigway and his son - taken by Robert Capa
As amazing as that is, I thank God that writing or expression of thought is not limited to six words only. I can't imagine having to constrain myself and my thoughts to a mere phrase. There is still so much for me to offer and there is still so much for me to say. I think that the only thing that keeps me writing about dreams and ideas is the mere concept of legacy and of wanting to leave a piece of myself behind - the REAL myself: the myself that some of my friends do not even know.
As it is important to carefully choose what we reveal about ourselves and to whom we reveal ourselves to, I believe that when we do reveal, we should reveal freely and without hesitation. I, just like you, am comprised of different experiences that make me think what I think.

I am made up of stories and so are you. I am shaped by experiences and in time, I will have a story to share. Just like you.

So reveal freely. Share ideas prodigiously. Make a mark to leave behind!

Back to the author of "Hills like white elephants"!
I dare you to do the Hemmingway challenge by writing a story in six words. I guess in this case you can explain an idea, drive a motive or define a concept or something - but you're given the limit of six words.
I've tried and IT'S DIFFICULT but it's so fun to do.

We believe the lies we say.
He stares. Never saw her again.
Facing north but heart's at south

January 8, 2014

(inspired by)

So i've been following this blog for a long time mainly for her amazing photographs. She has this feature where she talks about six particular films that she watches in a week. Considering my huge love for film (that I never really had such a huge chance to show here) I've decided to show you the movies that got me preoccupied this week.

Prisoners became one of my favourite movies without hesitation and I love love love love Jake Gyllenhaal. Oscar was alright but I thought it was rather pretentious with its humour. Finding Forrester was a cheesy kind of Good Will Hunting, but you can never go wrong with Sean Connery. Shawshank  Redemption is Shawshank Redemption. Amadeus is an easy favorite. Now You See Me made me want to become a magician but the twist in the ending was twisted itself.

January 5, 2014

If you don't know me, i am...

i like making lots of memories

sometimes i think i think too much (haha)

…or read too much..

sometimes i can be really girly (not that i always want to)

and i try to make my time productive and creative and stuff

i am bound by blind faith and I love God

.. and when i'm alone, i'm either reading sherlock or creating a new playlist.

Here's to 2014!