Hey HK 2017!

I resolved to be more punctual this year. Good thing I didn’t set a deadline for this travel post.

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Since this is a pretty belated post, my sister beat me to blogging about the details (check out her post here). And I may or may not be too lazy to be as comprehensive.

But I can still say a few things:

  1. On our first day in HK, my sister said that it was already her fifth time in Hong Kong (this trip was my third). My brother chimed in that he’s been to HK seven times before. And my mother swept the floor by saying she’s been to Hong Kong at least fifty times, which is ridiculous and also amazing. Apparently, way back in the late 80s or 90s or so, HK was the production powerhouse in Asia. If my mom wanted her commercials/TV advertisements edited with new technology, she had to fly out to Hong Kong for post-production because Manila was still behind the times. Cool.
  2. Surprise? Every time someone asked me last semester if I had any plans over the break, I would shrug and say nothing. I planned to bum out. But lo and behold, my mom suddenly bought tickets to HK maybe 2 weeks before we flew out. Thank you, mom. Though it’s not entirely coming from the left field, since my mom had mentioned wanting to celebrate New Year abroad before.
  3. Going back to a country you’ve been to before is weird, in the sense that you’d expect more familiarity with the places, commute, language etc. But nope. I was still in full on tourist mode. Maybe it’s because the last time I went in 2013, I just went where my family took me. Now I know how to read a map and use Google and everything.


Back to main Travels page!


I can’t believe I’m posting my greeting late. Haha! But believe me: I’ll put more effort in being a more punctual person this year.

I spent new year in Hong Kong, watching some spectacular fireworks. How about you? Hope your New Year’s Eve was just as good!

(Unfortunately we can’t say the same for Ms. Mariah Carey.)

Screenshot from my sister’s ig! (x
ArtLit, Blog

diy floriography cards

Hi everyone! Happy new year!

I want to start the year off right –by giving thanks to the people around me and by spreading the love. What better way to do that than by sending cute personalized cards to people?

Before I start with this super short tutorial, I just want to say sorry for not being online that much. I’ve been juggling bits of thesis work, the National Debate Championship in Baguio City (I’ll blog about this and other things someday), and miscellaneous org duties this past December. But I’ll have enough time to post more things this year. Hopefully :)

And with that intro out of the way, let’s start!

Floriography Cards: Give out thoughtful and unique messages without having to say anything at all. 
Floriography Cards | Give out thoughtful and unique messages without having to say anything at all.

What is Floriography?

Floriography refers to the language of flowers. The practice of assigning cultural meanings to different flora is ancient (especially prominent in east asian societies), but its refinement and popularization in the West really began in the Victorian era, when the first flower dictionaries were published. Everything from the cut of the specimen to the arrangement of the bouquet meant something in the context of intricate courtships, familial ties and friendships.

I adored the thought of sending unique arrangements to people to convey how I felt about them, and what I wish for them in the future. But I doubt anyone has the time or the budget to get bouquet arrangements in real life, so I thought, why not send virtual flowers? They’re similarly unique and thoughtful, with the added bonus of being pocket-sized and extra personal/artistic. After all, you “grow” the flowers yourself, and they’ll never wilt!

1. Gather Materials

The step “gather materials” reminds me of every scientific procedure I had to do in grade school to high school.

Anyway. Here’re the materials required:


  • Watercolor paint and brush
  • Black ink pen
  • Scissors
  • One-hole puncher
  • Thin ribbon
  • Plain board paper
  • Envelopes

2. Compose your Message

I’m no expert in floriography (beyong knowing that red roses mean passionate, romantic love), so I had to consult a flower dictionary to compose my messages.

For example, I wanted to tell my mom how much I adored her strength and her awesomeness, and I also wanted to wish her good health and fortune for 2016. So this is the selection I came up with:

White Camellia (Adoration, perfection, loveliness)
Apple Blossom (Better things to come, good fortune)
Canterbury Bells (Gratitude)
Red Daisy (Beauty unknown to possessor)
Sage (Wisdom, good health and long life)
White Lily (Majesty)

Feeling a little lost? Dictionaries are pretty accessible online, but I’ve uploaded some references to share here anyway: 1 2 3

3. Paint the Bouquet

With a trusty black pen and my favorite watercolor set, I made quick impressions of the flowers I wanted to send. Because they were quick designs with more feeling than planning, the flowers weren’t necessarily accurate down to the size and style. But I think they turned out pretty well!


4. Tie it all up

No one is really well-versed in floriography nowadays (at least, the people I was sending to aren’t), so it’s helpful to attach a guide to the meaning of the flowers.


I added ribbons to ‘tie’ the bouquet together, just to give the floriography card a more interesting, three-dimensional effect.


5. Sign and Send!

I signed the cards and wrote the names of my loved ones on the envelopes.


And we’re good to go! :)


See you!


five-minute word vomit

i’ve been planning gifts this holiday season, and it was a revelation. i found that there were only 16 people i loved enough to spend for. the rest of my ‘close’ friends, and everyone else who fit into some other social niche i can’t explicitly label in this blog –given this blog’s audience– do not qualify.

the coming week is a mini-vacation; thank you, apec. however i do have some academic work to do, specifically:

  • thesis
  • parasitology sp
  • para lecture readings and review
  • cell mol bio lecture review
  • cell mol bio lab review
  • natsci 8 review
  • hum ii videos

what else, what else

i celebrated my 20th birthday last weekend in holiday inn, makati. my family all pitched in together to give me the time of my life. it was a good distraction from the bad things in life.

i just watched the tail end of ‘lucy’ and the latest two episodes of ‘the flash’ season 2. i liked the bit in ‘lucy’ where she talked about time. it is the only thing.

it’s so hot. my fan is still not repaired.

i want to paint more. write more, live more, love. i also want to earn money. choices, choices.

“poetry is the silent conversation of plants”, a line by de culla. it reminds me why i live.

that’s it. 10:40PM to 10:45PM.

cheers. have fun. stay safe, world.

Blog, Essays

i don’t hate indigenous peoples, but i never learned to love them either

an essay on the absent narratives of indigenous peoples in the philippines, by jari

The plight of indigenous peoples (IPs) against the reality of ethnic cleansing is a battlecry some people are willing to take to its bitter end [1][2]. Since the inception of nation-states as we know them, indigenous peoples have been fighting against the desecration and exploitation of their ancestral lands, culture and humanity. This is the rousing thesis behind the martyrdom of Macli-ing Dulag, and the present day campaign to #StopLumadKillings [3]. But even in the most optimistic victory, changes to ensure legislative recognition and state protection of IPs will pale and eventually crumble against the overwhelming effect of insidious social narratives.

It’s very easy for us to blame the state: it’s the state’s fault that people are dying, it’s the problem of the law that indigenous peoples are being abused and defeated, it’s an issue with national security. And in many ways, it is the failure of the state that we have to address. But there must be a reason why our clamors for change don’t take root and gain momentum. There must be a reason why our politicians and our society decided to be self-interested, and why we don’t view the harms to indigenous peoples as harms to our nation.

I suggest: the cycle of indigenous oppression begins and ends not in the structural machineries of the state, but in the hearts of every modern-day Filipino who enters the classroom and hears nothing of the lives of our brothers and sisters.

Continue reading “i don’t hate indigenous peoples, but i never learned to love them either”

Blog, Travel

日本 2015: Love and Life in Japan (in Nine Parts)

Who knows what's going to happen in this post
Who knows what’s going to happen in this post

When it comes down to travelling or going to school, the obvious choice (which I seem to be making more and more frequently) is travel — getting to see the world and breathe the same air as people you’ll never truly meet are sensations unique to being a foreigner lost abroad, and they are infinitely more enriching than working on my modules.

So when my mother was debating on where she should go and celebrate her birthday this year, I happily yielded to the idea of going to Japan. At that point, all I knew about the country was derived from reading manga and reading fanfiction about said manga. And also from dining in local Japanese restaurants like Sakura and Yabu and even Tokyo Tokyo.

Basically –I was underprepared for and overwhelmed by everything Japan had to offer. 

There’s some form of elegance everywhere: in their rich history, to which the people are still connected to; in their modern infrastructures, which lend a sleek and frankly enviable efficiency to their daily lives; in their cuisine, which begs to be tried over and over again; and lastly in their people, who are interestingly diverse and respectful of that diversity.

This series of blog posts covers everything I experienced in Japan, the things I appreciated and loved, and the sites I’d like to come back to some day. They also include a lot of tips when travelling there, so watch out for those! 

(Basically I really loved Japan.)

(And I wanted a dumpsite for all one thousand photos.)  


Back to main Japan 2015 post!

 I. Credits and Love
II. Japanese Quirks, Signs and Life
III. Tokyo: Part 1
IV. Tokyo: DisneySea
V. Tokyo: Part 2
VI. Hikone Interlude
VII. Kyoto
VIII. Osaka
IX. Osaka: Universal Studios Japan


Back to main Travels page!
Back to main Travels page!



2014 x Footnotes

Before I make a post bragging about the roast chicken I cooked (I did a lot of the prep, okay), and actually making my new year post, I’ll add in the last four highlights of my December 2014.

And before I forget: THANK YOU to everyone who made 2014 possible and wonderful. The air I breathe. My family, my mother. Food. My friends. Sleep. Tumblr. School. UPMDC, AIESEC and THP. WordPress. Myself.

Continue reading “2014 x Footnotes”

ArtLit, Blog

MMFF 2014 Movies: The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, and English Only, Please


Note: The grading is done relative to the different featured films, and also done lovingly (because we have to support Philippine cinema!!!).

Continue reading “MMFF 2014 Movies: The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin, Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, and English Only, Please”


Rise and shine!* …for Simbang Gabi

*Though to be honest, I didn’t wake up early so much as I never slept at all.

The whole church was filled with lights. See the gallery for more! :)
The whole church was filled with lights. See the gallery for more! :)

Simbang Gabi is a well-loved holiday tradition of the Philippine Catholic. For the nine mornings before Christmas Eve, the religious devout (or just plain dedicated) attends mass before the crack of dawn.

For some people it’s for the supposed wish (completing the whole set = one wish), or as a date for the odd pair of lovers, or for the (if you’re lucky) bibingka and other choice holiday snacks. But honestly, I’m not entirely sure why people think the nine hours are worth getting out of bed…

Still. For the first time in maybe three years, I’m attending simbang gabi (for one night only). Let’s go. Continue reading “Rise and shine!* …for Simbang Gabi”