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!

ArtLit, Blog, Essays, Travel

Jari x 2015

Fifteen minutes to the new year. Time for a 2015 recap!
People x Art x Travel x Advocacy

x People

This year, I learned that relationships don’t always have to be quick and intense, or (conversely) slow-burning and infrequent to be sustainable. I found my time occupied by new and old friends I somehow managed to not get tired of.

So here’s an enthusiastic hurrah for the people who made 2015 awesome, from old friends to new ones, from orgmates to family members. I love you all.

x Art

This year, I’ve done quite a fair bit in terms of my craft. I made good use of the calligraphy set my sister gave, I began to paint watercolor portraits, and I wrote lots of poetry. I even joined (and lost) more essay contests!

And to gain more inspiration, I visited more museums and watched more performance art shows. I learned to stop and smell the roses.

x Travel

This year, my travel diary became quite full. From our unforgettable trip to Japan (x), to the even more unforgettable Bali trip (no blog post yet), to our last-minute Baguio trip two weeks ago –the world had a lot to offer this 2015. I’m looking forward to even more moments in 2016!

x Advocacy

And not to forget the things I believe in: love. This year, I became more aware of the plight of the Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines. I also learned more about intersectional representation, more forms of oppression, and life in general. And I’ve made more of an effort to feature Philippine culture, art and music in this blog, because our country has a lot of wonderful things to offer. #LabanPilipinas #Art

I did a lot of growing up in 2015, and I have a lot of people and moments to thank for it. Here’s to a whole new year of falling in love with life!

Follow me on Instagram! (x)


ArtLit, Blog

Media Noche feat. this chicken (aka The Love of My Life)

Media Noche –last meal of the year, eaten near midnight (hence the name)– is a meal full of both surprises and traditions here in our household. Every year you can expect some nice salad (fruit salad, macaroni salad and/or potato salad), pasta, queso de bola (edam cheese) and jamon de bola (ham) on our table.


This year we had some roast chicken to spice it up (last year I think we had some mexican type food). Normally I wouldn’t make a whole post to feature our Media Noche menu, but the roast chicken deserves some extra love and attention (because I did most of the prep for it. I swear.)

Continue reading “Media Noche feat. this chicken (aka The Love of My Life)”