A Day in Biga, Lobo, Batangas

Being stuck in our homes with all of these happenings in the world, all are craving for a much-needed break and so do I. It’s evident that everyone’s mental balance has been greatly affected that we all need to have an ample breather.

For the past months of 2021, I feel so overwhelmed all of a sudden about the happenings in our country, our current situation, well, my situation too — things that are way exhausting. So, I and two of my colleagues went to a quick escape. A trip which we called as an investment and a therapy.

I’m not your typical travel blogger. I just want to keep everything documented and written.

Due to travel restrictions that have been imposed by the local government units this trip was moved and delayed so, we waited for the right time until it finally happened, yay!


This is just a one-day trip so, as early as 4AM we set forth.

Biga is located in Lobo, Batangas, just one hop away from Laiya, San Juan.  If you’re traveling by car or by bus from Metro Manila, getting here usually takes about 3-4 hours (depending on the traffic). 

Yasss, we’re finally here in Sitio Paho (my colleague’s hometown)

I don’t have much things to carry with me. I just needed to bring myself and my mind with me for at the end of the day I want to feel renewed and restored

A time to pause for a while and appreciate life


This run is a complete reset in my mental physique as this year challenged my wits’ end. I’ve realized that rest is essential, a simple thing that reminds me to never measure my worth based on what I am doing or how preoccupied I am.

The sea helps me to get back to me


Looking up at the cerulean blue sky and the sea, its view makes everything better, with nowhere to go and nowhere to be, a day at a place like this amidst the current situation is what I need.

Somehow, it feels like a low-key escape

The view of the sea feels like a never-ending line that meets the sky on its entirety. The sound of the waves, the fresh salty air, are relaxing. Somehow, it makes me calm and forget things for a while, never mind the heat of the sun since I’m on SPF 50, lol.

An escape from the rush of everyday life


Just being surrounded by the bountiful nature, helps me revive and get inspired. Peace of mind and a pause are sometimes found in a haven like this.

It isn’t always found in the big gestures, it’s often just the small moments


This much-needed break wouldn’t be possible without the constant people who would always say to me that I need to invest in things like this that offers serenity and solitude. We all feel renewed, restored and healed — body and soul.

And today, I choose to escape for life not to escape on me.


I stopped today to admire these things, I took some picture perfect views and myself, I ran, chased the waves and got sun-kissed. I spent hours walking, felt the wind and smell the brine of the sea. Above all, I made memories and felt alive.

It’s a day out from the civilization and was also able to meditate, away from the pressure and social media. God is good all the time. He provided us not just the financial needs but also the strength and the precious time. And I know He is with us, wherever we go.

Till our next. ♡


Page 366 of 366

The story of 2020 has been tough or even the worst one for most people. Days of mental anguish, financial strain, ailed relationships and existential career crisis. True as it could be, it wasn’t easy. But as always, after every experience paves us way to different life realizations and learnings.

This year, I did nothing but to motivate myself not to stay asleep with my dreams and rather wake up and chase them amidst of all the happenings in the world. I’ve gotten the ideal career where I excel the most, expanded my circle, kept the financial resource flowing and taught to look after myself.

It may be the year that is way far from what we’ve all expected it should be, but it taught us all lessons that we can definitely say, it made us better and stronger in a way.

After all, we always got to choose our own story and everything which makes our life inspiring. It may always not as great as we expected to be, but there are parts that can be captured by the heart which makes everything worthwhile.

Life Lately 2020 Vol. 5

Hola Friends!

In just a snap it’ll be the fourth quarter of the year already. I accepted the fact that we still keep on trying these times as we’re still on quarantine. During this time of the year, we should be decorating several piles of stuff in the house, looking forward to Christmas break vacation getaway, have some plans with friends and many more. And yet, we’re still stuck, and we still have to keep ourselves sane and safe.

So how’s my September have gone? Let’s get started, shall we?

So many things happened from September 1st up to this day, and I am thrilled to be spilling it all in my blog. Grab whatever you please and get pretty comfortable as you read.

3 Years in the Academe

Like most things, life in the academe can be both happy and stressful at the same time. Though I have considered this as where I’m most likely to endure greater job-related stress, it does not take away the fact that I still gain happiness and sort of fulfillment from teaching, which makes me choose to dedicate my time in educating people whilst being educated.

Since online classes have been the new normal setup for schools now, there’s a work-life balance. I got to enjoy the time being at home while being flexible to do other tasks, responsibilities and deadlines I needed to get into.

3 Months in the Corporate

So it’s the 3rd month of my work-from-home setup just yesterday! In my stay, I think I really had a good one, as I have discussed in my august run-through, you gotta nourish to flourish. And I believe, my growth in the company is perceivable. We have everything virtual, and I like it.

5 Months in Blogging

And to keep my inner thoughts flowing, few stuffs to share, and to continually inspire people in a way, somehow, I’m keeping things written. My circle often told me that I’m very brave in sharing some of my life experiences and feelings on a public platform. Well, it’s indeed a fact. Aside from the bravery, I chose to blog because as I keep everything written, I’m being reminded of stories whether happy or sad that I once or never expected that it could happen in my life. Yeah, it’s my 5th month, to more blogs to share!

And some random stuff…

MOVIES/SERIES: I finished Still 2gether (will miss the casts totally) and currently keeping myself updated on Blackpink’s 24/365 Episodes on YouTube, also watched Enola Holmes (which left me so many life lessons and questions) and Glow up 2 (because of my fond of arts) series on Netflix. I’m wondering what to watch during my spare times.
MUSIC: Disney Songs on-repeat when I work. It gives me the feeling of calmness, the magic, and it keeps me in a good spirit. HAHA. And of course, the release of Chromatica’s 911 music video, the twist at the end really caught me. It was genius!
OTHERS: I finally bought the land near our town as my investment for now. I’d be happy to share about it on the upcoming blogs. I’m also reading Lang Leave’s Lullabies that I’ll be soon sharing some highlights of it on the next blogs as well.


Life is way too short for bad vibes, let’s all be happy. And as for me I’m grateful for all the good, bad and everything else in between that have happened leaving the lessons I will continually learn all throughout. Now, I keep on working and striving on this whole adulting journey and have to say, I’m a big fan so far from this episode.

How about you? What have you been up to? Any big events and experiences so far? I’d love to know it!

One Sometimes Finds What One Is Not Looking For

They say life is full of surprises and uncertainties. Even though we don’t know where we’re predestined to be, we still keep going. One we’re certain about is that there are ups and downs ahead of us, and we don’t get to be assured of what awaits for us next. Things which prepares us for something that is meant to come.

When we were born, our future is already written in our palms. The so-called “destiny lines” are believed to drive our undertakings to a certain direction.

But whatever these lines tell the possible life path we may have, ourselves and our minds play a pivotal role in shaping our own destiny. We create our own will, and this kind of stuff is just a mere guide.

In real life, there are some people who live by what itches their interest. Everything is already planned from the moment they eat breakfast up to what book to read before bed. All the things that went through were already expected and happened the way it was planned priorly.

Come to look at the bright side if everything is unplanned, we don’t get to know what’s going to happen next. There comes the excitement at the moment where we’ll either be happy on the outcome or wiser the next time because we learned from what happened. See? Both a win-win situation, plus there’s a thrill and an element of surprise. It’s like watching a movie, there’s a twist in the end that we didn’t see coming base from our expectation.

We may not have gone to where we intended to go to, but we may end up where we didn’t expect we needed to be at.

May we not be afraid of taking risks and have imperfect circumstances in life. We just need to have a heart and soul which are brave enough to let things happen unexpectedly. Be it job promotion, feelings from the person you love, a tragic or happy ending in a movie and even a yay or nay moments on a travel escapade.

Sometimes we must let go the need to control the outcome of what our plans and expectations are, trust the process and see what happens.

How Much Did I Save From My 9-Month Old Money Box?

I can still remember from the onset of the year 2020 I swore that I will save money in a piggy bank. I got inspired with the shared practices of Financial Coach Chinkee Tan. Something that everyone can use for different purposes such as Calamity, Emergency and Investment Fund.

Henceforth, I will place every peso and bills left in my purse and shoot in my container, but still keeping some cash-in-hand on the spot and cash-at-hand whenever needed.

I know that this is quite challenging to be everyone’s resolution, but we all know this is something that we could benefit from. This exercise will then shift everyone’s money mindset in different areas as well.

Filipinos are trying creative ways to save and stay motivated, until different ipon (saving) challenges emerged. One which caught my drive was the Peso Sense Ipon Challenge.

Here’s the Ipon Challenge template I followed:

100 pcs – 1 peso coin
90 pcs – 5 peso coin
80 pcs – 10 peso coin
70 pcs – 20 peso bill
60 pcs – 50 peso bill
50 pcs – 100 peso bill
40 pcs – 200 peso bill
30 pcs – 500 peso bill
20 pcs – 1,000 peso bill

I set no particular rules on saving, soon as I already have the spare specific coins and bills I persist to deposit it in the money box.

And, I don’t forget to shade the circle on the template.
Ta-dah! I was able to save a grand total of 53,750.00 PHP! 

What did I do to make this happen?

#1 I challenged myself

Growing up, I used to save money in my DIY piggy bank, money jar, or even a box. Even though I have my own bank account, I’m feeling something special, (if you know what I mean) about having a money box, it’s like I’m pouring water on a soil waiting for something to grow and harvest it on the latter. So, I challenged myself from weighing what are the needs and just the wants.

#2 I tracked the progress

So, I got to finally decide this method, the Peso Sense #IponChallenge, but I did it in my own way, something which I think is doable and I’m confident with. I got to easily adjust the amount I save depending on to what my budget allows. Also, consistency is really the key. If I didn’t save up last week, I’ll make sure I’ll be able to save double this week.

#3 I changed my mindset

As part of the Generation Z, I came to face paying bills early. So I got to spend what I can and save what I should. I do not compromise to pay the bills just to save, so I set saving as part of the bills as well haha. If I can’t pay it now, I’ll definitely make a way to increment it next time.

#4 I gave

I also need to take a part of my salary to give. To share to my parents and some sort to my sibs. If I give, it would lessen the money on-hand, then I will be challenged to save again to have something to give in the future. Simple as that, yes, they’ll be asking for some, but they won’t always ask. The important thing is that I have a saved back-up whenever needed.

#5 I set goals

Obviously, the reason behind this stuff is that I have goals, the reason why we all save. Of course, also having in mind about emergency fund, or something to use to what I aim for. It’s good to have things or go somewhere using the money you’ve hard-earned and saved all throughout.


Now, where’s the money?

Well, it’s all in good hands now. Something is soon to rise that I’d be gladly to share with you all. There’s nothing left from the money box. It’s all gone. Why do I feel that it’s so hard to start over again after the months that I’ve been through with this challenge? HAHAHA

Anyways, maybe the same routine again. One step at a time, until I got to finally shade all the empty circles completely again.


Saving is essential, but don’t ever compromise your wants. We only live once, we should spend the most out of it. Money can’t buy us happiness, yeah it’s from Price Tag. Just see to it that you don’t spoil yourself too much.

It’s not your salary that can make you rich, your spending habits will. Investment for yourself is a smart move, it’s a good catch for your short-term or long-term goals (coming from me huh?).

So, when are you going to start saving?

Memories by Lang Leav

Ta-dah! Here’s to my first ever book review as I have found myself full-book mode in the midst of uncertainties, with all of these happenings in the world, and being entrapped with lots of things in mind.

I never knew who Lang Leav was until my friend introduced me to the words of this novelist & poet. So, I searched all of her masterpiece online, read it and like I swear, her words were so inflicting. It feels like I was the one whose in it. There were too many moments in her collections which I found echoes to and yet to transpire for me.

Memories is a collection of poetry and prose, hand selected from Lang Leav’s two previous books, Love & Misadventure and Lullabies.

What I love about the book is that it has words that are indeed simple, yet so striking, that it could enthrall everyone’s heart. I feel so connected with each of every line.

This book embodied nostalgic lines and stories that strike a chord of twain realizations, happy and sad about my experiences for the past years.

Here are some of my favorite lines:

It was words that I fell for. In the end, it was words that broke my heart.

I do know there are all kinds of barriers to love. I do believe the world needs less of them.

When love finds you, it doesn’t come with crashing waves or thunderbolts. It appears as a song on the radio or a particular blue in the sky. It dawns on you slowly, like a warm winter sunrise- where the promise of summer shines out from with.

You were the storm that changed the skyline. After the damage and the deluge, I could see things so much clearer. There hasn’t been another like you since.

Because losing someone isn’t an occasion or an event. It doesn’t just happen once. It happens over and over again.

When I got to finally have this book, next thing I knew in mind, I wanted to complete the set of her books. Feels like I want to make a deal with a Lang Leav book’s spree.

Memories ticked all the boxes for me.

Title: Memories
Author: Lang Leav
Publication: October 6th 2015, Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Poetry, Romance
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 1449472397 / 9781449472399

Life Lately 2020 Vol. 4

Jeez! August is ending already?

It’s 31st and I’m here again, sharing some recent happenings about work, personal life, along with a lot of additional randomness, or everything in-between.

As I welcomed August on the first week, the thought of school starting to weigh in my mind.

The full implementation of online education is real as the unprecedented COVID-19 happened. A thought or two came in my senses, what if this won’t work, as there is really a thick line between self-paced vs. face-to-face leaning.

Well, we all have to adjust. In my current institution we have this new normal setup. A BorderFree Education as they say. De La Salle Lipa BorderFree Education is the “School of the Future,” empowering students to take greater ownership of their learning process. It integrates Academics, Campus Life, and Campus Services supported online by faculty, staff, and other shared services personnel – offering Education-on-Demand. So what’s in store for the students and us, teachers to this type of education? Click on my blog post here, about that.

Here’ a look with the platform where I have all the deliverables in one of my subjects in this setup.
To gamify this canvas course, here’s the awarding of Badges after completing each module and its requirements.

I believe we could be able to fully adjust gradually and adapt the deliverables to have the milestone that awaits.

And for my full-time job, I learned to master the art of sleeping at 8 PM and waking up at 2 AM have my morning exercise and grind the job until 8 AM. Then sleep again for two hours and prepare to teach, if I still have spare time, I will then stream movies, read a book, or anything under the sun.


This has been my mantra for the whole month.
I purchased Lang Leav’s Memories book earlier this month, and will be posting a review about it after I finish this masterpiece.
The bonus track of Taylor Swift’s folklore was released. Another song which is a melancholy love letter to an ex-lover. © Harvey James
A surprise collaboration between Blackpink and Selena Gomez also made my August tuned. It’s really new for me to hear the group to sing almost the whole song with English verses.
The Rain Season 3: Expected Release Date, Cast Info, Plot, And Other Detail  - Thakoni
A series which I badly finished in just one corner for straight hours. Ahhh it’s amazing. It’s just so sad to know that it’s the last season. I wonder if there’ll still be a chance for more.

Basically, this is how my month of August went on and has been.

It’s BER months in a bit, though it’s going to be a way different season compared to before, I’m still oh-so grateful that we’re safe and for myself, I’ve been blessed having my full time, part-time and freelancing job all at once without feeling the extra weight as these careers have been my daily dose. Foremost to be thankful that I’m healthy in all aspects to do all the routine.

I just want to continue living life to the fullest, of course with the things, foods, happenings, places and people I love and will have eventually.

Soooo as for you, how’s everything with your August?

A Tiny Tale of Us

I miss you.

I may not be your priority but, I know I always run through your mind.

We hardly share about everything we’ve been through, 24/365+.

You know I can’t look you in the eyes, I could melt if I do.

You think the printed pair of socks you gave looks cute on me, so I keep it.

Like a kid, I always put the blame game on you whenever my character dies at the games we play.

You’re particular that I’m not vocal when I feel something bad that makes me mad for a long time, until I cool down and spill the beans.

I was like that.

You loved me even on my tattered points, and I love you so.

I could not even imagine myself with anyone but you.

And now, I always imagine how our lives could be at the present if we’re still together.

Lot of what ifs and regrets I have in mind could either make us or still break us.

Let’s try even the 1% chance left on us.

Trust the process, you always say, and we always do.

Pinky swear?

What’s In Store For You With De La Salle Lipa’s BorderFree Education?

It’s New Normal!

How’s everyone doing these times? It’s been ages since we’re stuck at home, right? As a sword to fight for productivity, I know very well that some of you had some engaging to webinars, whilst some are having their perfect fitspiration to tone up, or catching up with a multitude of books, grinding their mobile games, binge-watched some series, decluttered storage and closets, and even tried new recipes like dalgona coffee or something that’s all over TikTok, so to speak. 

And of course, you can’t forget to keep in mind that you’re also missing everything about school, perhaps. Rushing your way to school, hearing the sound of the busy city, seeing your colleagues, standing by the chez and having some snack, eating at the secret shop, doing some research at the Library, and Nexus Labs (while freezing) as you wait for your next class.

I believe you guys also missed your professors, their lectures, the activities, exams, and projects and some kinds of school stuff, right? Hmm, I wonder if you really do? Hayy, how I wish and all of us wish that these happenings in the world end in no time. The good thing is that you guys are all safe. 

Now, it’s official! Welcome back to school. Yes school, it’s not actually a classroom nor a physical school. It’s what we call now the borderfree classroom. So what is actually in store for you, and us teachers with this term?

In response to the challenges in the education system as well as the constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) is moving forward with its Borderfree Education program.

What is BorderFree Education?

De La Salle Lipa BorderFree Education is the “School of the Future,” empowering students to take greater ownership of their learning process. It integrates Academics, Campus Life, and Campus Services supported online by faculty, staff, and other shared services personnel – offering Education-on-Demand.

Why BorderFree Education?

DE LA SALLE LIPA endeavors to create an environment that forms learners to participate in the creation of a just, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive society through the experience of:

A BORDERFREE COMMUNITY of learners that promotes the excellence of the whole person and that together and by association, give witnesses to Faith, Service, and Communion;

A BORDERFREE CAMPUS that is responsive to the needs of learners and supportive of their success in the learning journey;

A BORDERFREE CLASSROOM where learners are guided to become actively engaged in the design of their learning experiences.

The BorderFree LMS powered by Canvas is designed to help usher in a new era of education for De La Salle Lipa students. With the LMS in place, you can take better control of their learning as we, instructors provide important guidance along the way.

The LMS is also designed to foster confidence and collaboration among the students. You are given more meaningful roles as you take part in Borderfree Education made possible by the LMS. Slowly but surely, the LMS helps you become more independent learners.

DLSL BorderFree Classroom

  • Flexible, self-paced, self-directed programs
  • Gamified Assessments that may be finished anytime within the 20-week Semester Cycle
  • Life-skills training at age-appropriate levels

DLSL BorderFree Student Life

  • Enriched and engaged Student Life
  • Online athletic and varsity coaching activities
  • On-demand life-coaching services

DLSL BorderFree Campus

  • Much reduced costs and higher value-for-money
  • Full-service help desks to help stakeholders navigate the platform
  • Full online access to libraries all over the world

Read more about it on https://www.dlsl.edu.ph

Sooooo, this school year will be fully equipped with online modules, there will be modules given good for the whole semester. Each module has Formative and Summative Assessments to take. Each module will be consumed for several weeks. Isn’t it long enough? You don’t have to feel extra pressured to keep hustling and fill your time to complete and finish the tasks you have.

We are all going through this global pandemic phenomenon, and we are being inundated with tons of anxiety-inducing news about coronavirus update which really affects our mental health. We are stuck in this traumatic experience which adds to our emotional discomfort and unsteadiness. It’s indeed hard to process when we’re still in the battle, so it’s really not a bad idea to give some grace and be more gentle with ourselves during this time.

We are all adjusting, so we have to bear with each other as we face this new normal realm. We have to be open-minded at all times.

To my students, I am thrilled to guide you all on this journey!

Care to share some of your quarantine stories? And what do you expect to this BorderFree Education? Thread on the comments section below.

About Having Our Dog

I admit that I’m a non-dog lover. Maybe because I’ve got bitten when I was young. I have lived to be scared of dogs, like every time I walk by in our narrow street, I will always bite my tongue, so I won’t get noticed by the pack of dogs as I pass by. I don’t know but, I believe in its magic.

Until my brother had one, it took him a long time to have a dog, since I’m really not into it, we always argue. The barking, the shredding fur, the pooping and peeing, the smell, and stuffs — some minor issues I’m concerned with. I’m glad he considered my shallow plead. So, we adopted a native dog that has no breed, an Aspin. Having one require less maintenance than purebred dogs.

View this post on Instagram

our boy, kobe 🐶

A post shared by Franze Villas Garcia (@franzegarcia) on

His name is Kobe, a great addition to our family just right before Coronavirus pandemic rebellion. He is 2 months old when we adopted him on 30th January. I can’t touch him, really scared of him, even though he’s that small.

There were consecutive mid nights and dawn he barked which put me into a really awful sleep. Agh, I don’t know why I’m the only one who complains about it in our family. I always come closer to his shed to talk to him that he’s really noisy. I always scold him because of his behavior. Funny how he stares at me and listen intently as if he can understand what I am preaching. I heard that he’s compulsive barking is normal since he’s into a whole new environment.

As the day passes, I’m getting used to his barks, and he as well got used to our place. There was a time that he really wanted to come out his shed, and he kept on barking. So, my dad let him out of his house, he hastily ran away beside a distant tree and peed, later he also pooped. I just learned something from that day. Those barks may be a sign of a comfort break, aside from attention seeking, or he wants to play, he’s hungry, and there’s a stranger.

On weekends, I used to feed him since my brother is out of town during those days. I got annoyed that sometimes he will make noise even though it’s only 10 AM, not his feeding time. He will stretch his body just to allow me see him because I always do my work in the kitchen near his shed. Poor boy, we have no food to feed him that early and wait for us to finish our meals first before he could finally eat. But I can’t take his appeal, I will then open canned goods for him to eat and stop the noise already. And I will start my preaching again as I feed him.

He became part of our daily routine. We let him out of his shed in the morning and sunset to play in the field, feed and wash him too. For the passing months I haven’t touched him yet. I just really can’t but, I love how I used to feed him and play without touching him. It has been 8 months since he’s home. I can’t believe the fact that we already incorporated Kobe in our everyday lives. He became quiet and adaptive as he age, he became comfortable to our place as well. The only time he will make noise is when he’s going to have a comfort break, when he wants to play, when he’s hungry, and he saw someone peculiar. Not to the point that we can’t get a comfortable sleep at night.

We really can’t avoid unfortunate events to happen in our lives. One morning, where the sky’s gloomy and the rain’s about to drop, my dad noticed that Kobe went missing in his shed. We all started to look for him all over the place. Asked the neighbors by any chance that they’ve seen Kobe. One of them said that he saw a dog walking outside our compound, he wasn’t sure if it’s Kobe. Until the rain came, we failed to find him, we really had no idea where he was. Whilst, my brother had no idea that his dog went missing because he’s out of town.

We ate lunch, I’m the one tasked to do the chores and stuff, I already had everything cleaned. I stopped and sat for a while, I’m suddenly reminded of how I prepare Kobe’s food after our lunch. As the rain came heavier, thoughts of where Kobe could have been situated hit my senses, tears in face came streaming. Maybe he’s shivering, wet and lonely and had no place to shed off. I just really can’t take to be reminded of those unfortunate instances and of course our bittersweet memory together.

Two days passed, we had no idea where he was. I missed the morning walks and plays, the sound of his noise. I used to look around our place if Kobe’s just hiding or nearby. I just can’t control my feelings and let my tears drip on my face, it hurt me so much. I can’t let go of thoughts that maybe he’s into another family, he got by the authorities, hit by raging car, and even worst, dead. But I’m still hoping that he’ll make his way home. And I won’t get tired of waiting for him.

Six o’clock in the morning, one of our neighbor came knocking on our door together with Kobe telling us that our dog was seen heading inside our compound. He looked so sad, starving, and chilling. We didn’t know where he had been, he just walked by inside the house, he knew the place, but he seemed to be aloof. Maybe he’s dealing with emotional trauma after being lost. We fed him, gave him water and pet him. We really missed him.

You’re really a grown up dog, our Kobe! You once got lost but you found your way home.

I felt relieved the moment I saw him eating the foods we gave him. It felt like he didn’t eat for ages. You are safe, you are home now.

I can’t deny that I really got inflicted by this happening. I still can’t consider myself as a dog lover, a frustrated dog parent in such different way, perhaps.

The moment he came back gave me deep realizations and affection towards him. He made me realized that in every fall, do not lose the hope for there might be a great come back. Thank you, God, we’re together again.

Here’s to more bittersweet memories with you, Kobe. 🐕🐶